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Renting villas and apartments: what to look for/think about

Renting villas and apartments: what to look for/think about

Dec 9th, 2011, 07:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,137
Renting villas and apartments: what to look for/think about

Alex from the agency A la Carte Paris posted a link to this page of general advice for short-term renters of apartments and villas. I thought it deserved a thread of its own.


Read the comments, expecially the woman who was almost scammed for an apartment in Paris.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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While I would agree with most of the tips posted, there are some that are quite biased given the fact that the writer is a Reantals Booking Agent. Specifically, he stated "Booking via an agency rather than a private owner tends to be much safer, simply because an agency has a reputation to uphold". Could not disagree more. The owner actually has MUCH more to lose, including not only good "word of mouth" reputation of his property, but PERSONAL reputation, financial impact to PERSONAL wealth, etc... I have rented via agency and rented via owner and there is no doubt whatsoever that I have obtained quicker, better response when dealing dierctly with the property owner
Viajero2 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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I don't agree. Renting from a reputable agency is much safer. There's some guarantee that the apartment exists and is rentable. You don't know that when you rent from an individual or from a web site that merely provides a listing service for owners. And usually you can pay an agency with a credit card, which allows you to dispute the charge. Few individual owners allow you to pay with a credit card.

You say an owner has a lot to lose. How many scammed renters have sued? Suing in a foreign country is inconvenient and expensive. Who even knows the real name of the scammer?

I'm happy you have had good experiences renting from individuals. And I'm sure 99 out of 100 such listings are valid. But my vacation days are hard-won and not plentiful. I don't want to chance spoiling my vacation and losing a big hunk of money.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269

Illegal currently for individuals to let in Paris

expect no help if scammed quite common.

parisbestlodge.com good experience many others

Never wire money always pay with CC insuremytrip.com
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 877
Agree with most or all. And agree that renting from an agency is much safer than renting from an individual.

Sites like TripAdvisor and SlowTravel have apartment reviews, and often you can find reviews justby Googling the address.

We've rented several apartments from agencies, and have had good experiences every time. Some agencies were better than others at communicating, etc., but wehad no real complaints about any of them.
niente is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,464
While I don't disagree with anything Alex recommends, our experience renting from individuals has been good. For our last trip in September, we reserved apartments in both Beaune and Paris with owners who wanted no money up front, but wanted to be paid in full upon arrival. I'm not sure how common this is, but I thought that the worst that could happen would be that we would have to find alternative accommodations if things didn't work out when we arrived to occupy the apartments. No security deposit was requested in either place. In fact, both apartments were satisfactory and everything went well. Prior to this trip we rented an apartment in a small village near Pézenas with the same terms.

Before confirming with any of these owners, I had extensive email correspondance with them and had found some further information about them online. It's clear that dealing with a reputable agency gives you some level of assurance, but it is possible to do due diligence with individual owners and find apartments that meet your needs and your budget.
MaineGG is online now  

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