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(Rome) Apartment deposit: inconsiderate to request making it in USD?

(Rome) Apartment deposit: inconsiderate to request making it in USD?

Dec 21st, 2008, 03:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 9
(Rome) Apartment deposit: inconsiderate to request making it in USD?

I have chosen the Residenza Giubbonari Red Apartment for our trip in Feb 2009 and, of course, there is a property damage deposit of 200 euro required.
Assuming all goes well and the deposit is returned, it is returned upon departure. What do I do with 200 euros just as I am leaving Italy?
Would it be a really insensitive, ugly american thing to ask the landlord to take the deposit in dollars, BUT make adjustments for the exchange rate and the 5 to 6 cents/euro exchange fee? That is, give a deposit of 292USD and therefore in the more likely event of the deposit being returned, I have dollars and didn't have to lose on the exchange both ways (USD to euros, then euros back to USD)>
aquamarine is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 03:58 PM
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I doubt they will take it in $s. You can always exchange the euros at the airport, but why not just keep them, assuming you may do another trip? Remember, unless the European central bank reduces interest rates, they may well be worth far more in the future than they are when they are returned.
daveesl is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Oh wait, I get what you are doing, paying the deposit in dollars and then if all goes well the landlord just returns your money. That makes sense, but I still doubt they will go for it.

I don't see anything wrong in asking though.
daveesl is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 04:18 PM
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OK, I just wanted to be sure it didn't seem rude in asking. And yes, I will definitely be returning, but almost $300 will be more useful upon returning home than later. (But you may have a good investment tip there- investing in euros seems a whole lot better than my current investments!) Thanks.
aquamarine is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:31 AM
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I somehow always end up bringing back Euros - usually under 100 but sometimes close to 200.

They have consistently increased in value by the next trip over...
bardo1 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 04:16 AM
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I purposely visit an ATM to get euro before we come home, just so we'll have a stash for the start of the next trip. It's the cheapest, easiest way to have some on hand. So, if you feel sure that another trip will be in your future, save your returned deposit for that. Otherwise, do you know anyone else who travels that would buy them from you?
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 04:22 AM
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Gosh, I never come home with more than €10
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 04:55 AM
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What, exactly, are you proposing here?

Apart from the silliness of $292, if you're supposed to be giving a cash deposit on arrival, I can't possibly see how anyone could get upset at the suggestion you give them $300 (as long as you make the suggestion beforehand), and take that back if everything's fine. Indeed, some people have reported here they've just given the landlord a US cheque for $xxx, and had it returned when they handed over an impeccable flat.

Remember, though, that if you do €100 in damage, the landlord's going to want €100 in real money - not some weird foreign paper - before giving you your $300.

But if you're supposed to be sending him €200 in advance, he's going to want €200. Wiring him $300 results in his being given €200, or paying loopy amounts to take the money in $s. And, whatever you do, he's not going to have $300 to hand unless you've handed him those dollars over yourself.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 05:06 AM
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There is nothing rude or insensitive about it. It is a business transaction. I think you have given a pretty good explanation and it makes sense.

Of course, while there is nothing rude about what you are proposing, it wouldn't be rude if the landlord says no and insists upon the deposit in euro.
travelgourmet is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 05:23 AM
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"What, exactly, are you proposing here?"

Wasn't it clear? I wouldn't call $300 silly.

"Would it be a really insensitive, ugly american thing to ask the landlord to take the deposit in dollars"

There's nothing "ugly" about negotiating convenient financial terms especially when travel is down by 30% and competition is stiff. Be polite but assertive. Keep your suggestions SIMPLE.

Some apartment owners will ask you to mail a personal check deposit and then give that back at the end of your stay. Some will ask for a bank transfer (I've yet to do that.) Some will ask for a credit card and then deduct the deposit from the total due or provide a credit to your card. Every owner/agency has their own policy.

Some owners will require a deposit in Euros, which typically means you get back Euros. But, by all means, if you can provide a U.S. currency deposit, ask if you can get it back in U.S. currency. If not, you can exchange Euros to dollars at numerous places before you depart or wait until you come home and do it. Or, you can sell your Euros to someone else who is about to travel abroad (and lose no money in the exchange). Or, like I do, you can keep them for future trips. Lots of options and all of them work.
NYCTS is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 08:18 AM
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This reminds me of some friends who complained loudly because they went into a post office in a small Italian town and no one spoke English. Such an inconvenience. I asked them to imagine working in a small post office in the middle of Kansas, when someone from Italy arrives and expects them to speak Italian. They didn't get it. I didn't really expect they would.

I have a small apartment I rent out for short holidays in the US. I've dealt with all sorts of people over the years, most of them wonderful, a few difficult. If a prospective renter asked me to accept euros for a deposit payment, I'd probably shuttle them into the 'possibly difficult' column.

julia1 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 08:38 AM
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Can't hurt to ask. I stayed at Residenza Giubbonari (Blue) apt last year. At checkin I handed over 200 euro cash. Actually, if I recall correctly I paid the balance over 2 days to give me get cash from ATMs and that was no problem at all - I just asked when I arrived. I was given the 200 euro promptly on departure.

I was traveling other places in Italy so I had use for the euros.

You aren't the first tourist to rent these apartments, so I'm sure they've seen/heard all sorts of requests. Just ask them before you travel.

J62 is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 08:56 AM
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"If a prospective renter asked me to accept euros for a deposit payment, I'd probably shuttle them into the 'possibly difficult' column."

There was a time when the U.S. dollar was valuable to a European merchant. Oh, the memories.

Julia's point is valid: The security deposit is used to "secure" the owner of the Rome apartment. It's hard to imagine how another country's currency can help provide security. Then there's the inconvenience issue. How does the U.S. dollar make the financial transaction more convenient for the apartment owner? There's a thing called reasonable service and then there's silliness.

On the other hand, you never know when a merchant in Italy possesses the sincere desire to help an American tourist. One year I was dumbfounded to discover the ATM I had used regularly was no longer dispensing $1000 a day. I told this to the apartment owner and he said, "Pay me at the end of your stay." That was the beginning of a very long relationship that continues to this day.
NYCTS is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
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I distinguish between a deposit to reserve the rental and the separate, refundable damage deposit.

Of course I would require payment in the local currency for the rental.

However, the refundable damage deposit is 99% certain to be returned to the tenant, so I'd accept it in the tenant's currency. But I would require an amount adequate to compensate me for the inconvenience and expense of conversion in the unlikely event that I do not refund it.

As a renter, though, I'd have no problem using that refunded 200 euros for aiport transfer and a starter fund for my next trip.
kayd is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Could they accept Pay Pal? I have done transactions before with the owner of an apt in Barcelona, and it went very smoothly. You just designate that you would like the receipient to receive the money in euros.
humpalump is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:31 PM
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I would appreciate your letting us know how this worked out, if you indeed request the payment of the security deposit in US dollars. We are renting the Blue apartment in late April, 2009.
mom83 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:39 PM
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Worth a try but I seriously doubt if they will agree.

Please do let us know how this turns out.
caroltis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:51 PM
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Couldn't you use a good part of 200 euro between... breakfast that morning, transportation back to the airport, drinks & food before you board the plane. A few last minute souveniers?
suze is online now  
Jan 21st, 2009, 12:05 PM
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I don't think it is odd or inconsiderate at all.

I'm an American...I own a vacation rental in Italy. I advertise in Euros because all my expenses there are in Euros, but, I live in the US most of the time, so it is no big deal at all for me to accept dollars - I don't have a preference either way actually. Many rental owners are American and would not have a problem taking any or all the balance or deposit in either currency.

The other solution is PayPal. It is free and easy on both ends to set up - and it lets you hold a balance in another currency...so...an owner could take a deposit from you in USD at an agreed upon rate and, if there is no damage, they could refund it to you in USD without converting it at all. (and would work the same way, you could pay in Euros with a credit card and they could just refund it back to you via paypal on your credit card) Italians are not usually too hot on paypal and prefer cash - so probably only good with a foreign owner.

Anyway...don't know anything about that particular apartment though and who owns it...but I still don't think it would be weird to ask an Italian owner to hold a USD deposit as long as the amount was enough to cover any currency fluxuations.
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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With the Euro going up and down, I keep them and put them in my safety deposit box for my next trip.
tucsontraveler is offline  

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