Tips for renting an apartment

Dec 18th, 2008, 09:42 PM
  #1  
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Tips for renting an apartment

Ok so these are just from my personal experience but figured they might help someone that has never rented before.

Let me also state that even though I was not happy with my apartment nor the landlord, the company I used (www.rentalinrome.com) is an agency and you deal with individual landlords. So while that landlord might own one or two apartments and I had a bad apartment...I would still probably give the company another shot when I go back to Rome next year...maybe I will get a better landlord....now on for the tips...these are all dealing with rentalinrome so it may vary with other companies.

1. Make sure you have enough Euros once arriving at the apartment to pay the balance in full. We were not able to use a credit card but we asked in advance and was prepared for this.

2. Bring wash cloths and your own soap.

3. Our apartment did not have toilet paper(I think they just forgot to put some in there)...you might want this!

4. Get receipts for EVERYTHING! I know this sounds stupid but we used their car service and on our way back to the airport the driver decided he was going to charge 25 Euro more than the contract stated and acted like he didn't know English to discuss it with us...he knew pretty good English when he picked us UP from the airport. He made such a big scene and we were already running late so I gave him the money just to be able to get out of there and was going to complain about it once I got back to the states (the agency wasn't open that early in the morning) They said the driver didn't charge us extra and said we paid the price that was on the contract...the drive swindled us out of 25 euro...my own mistake for not getting a receipt.

5. If the apartment states it is on the 1st floor...not always. I was not aware of this. The second floor is often called the first floor. There are sometimes cafe's under your apartment. Which leads me to #6

6. Ask if there is a cafe under your apartment lol. You would think with big thick walls you wouldn't hear anything..wrong again. The kitchen was right under our bedroom and all you heard all night was dishes clinking around and lots of loud voices outside.

7. If you are staying in the Winter and there is no central heat...ask for extra fuel for the space heater. We had to call three different times to have the heater refilled and ended up spending our last night in the freezing cold in December with a broken window.

8. Walk the apartment when you get there. Make sure the water runs, the toilet flushes, the stove works....and no broken windows! The bathroom door was open so it hid the broken window when we got there and then once I did see it I wasn't really worried about it cause we had the space heater....but then we ended up with no fuel and froze to death.

9. Make sure to ask how the water heater works. I wasn't able to take a hot shower the entire time I was there. Evidently my room mate thought that off was on and on was off...should have checked it myself but I just figured it was broke...once again...my fault lol

10. Ask about garbage pick up. We would have the garbage people ringing our bell each morning at 6! But we had no clue what the bell was for until the last morning we were there.

11. Bring ear plugs

12. If there is something you are not happy about be persistent! Get it fixed. You are paying for the apartment so don't settle. You may end up regretting it.

13. I know this one will sound stupid but we honestly had no clue...get the land lord to show you how to use the T. V. We had to push a series of buttons for ours to work.

14. If you are the type to get cold at night and don't like being cold you might want to bring a blanket with you. Our's was paper thin.

15. One of my favorite things that I brought was slippers! I didn't realize that the entire apartment would have tile on the floor. I was very glad I brought them.

16. If your bathroom is anything like mine was you might want to bring some shower shoes. My shower was positioned right above the toilet...not kidding, I actually have pictures of it.

17. I don't know what these things are called but I actually had one with me and was very happy....it's the nylon strip with a clip at the end that goes around your neck that people in the press usually have their ids on. It came in handy when the landlord passed over the key to the apartment. It was one of those huge ancient old keys that would not fit in our pocket nor in my "under the coat" purse. I hooked it to the nylon strap and wore it around my neck under my coat.

18. Mark your apartment on a map before you leave to go see the city...it took me forever to find my way back. We were so excited to get out and see Rome that we didn't bother bringing anything but a map and hadn't marked where we were on it.



Anyone else have any suggestions??
heartofthesouth is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 01:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 429
I can imagine how frustrating it must have been for you with that rental. You probably paid a good bit for it too. Your advice to others is very helpful. Thank you and I will remember your suggestions.
travelme is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 02:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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If it has a washer/dryer be sure to ask for instructions on running it.
Carrybean is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 03:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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..great comments. I would like to expand on "agencies". I think it is important for renters to know what kind of agency they are dealing with. Is it more like a hotel front desk which "owns" or manages properties which are quite standard and almost always rented out..Paris Perfect would be a good example. Second type is a middleman sort of role where the agency organizes the rental and the contract but has little to do with the day to day problems with the apt. Lastly there is an agency which is more like a bulletin board which just lists apts..an example is VRBO. I think if renter know this they know what to expect and what they are paying for in agency fees. It is important also to realize there are good and bad properties in all 3 settings. I also agree that you must have the landlord go over step by step the heating/AC; TV/DVD; washer/dryer; hotwater heater; a pullout couch;the oven; the shower if the fixtures look odd;the coffeemaker. Take notes! I think the really clever land lords leave note book for dummies. The best landlord that I used had step by step instructions in pt form byt he TV oven and water heater. Apt rentals can be great but I think a renter has to realize that they must do their homework BEFORE signing on the dotted line. They must also realize that almost all rentals want close to 50% down at the time the property is reserved and this is not refundable. Some even want it all paid prior to arrival.
travelbunny is offline  
Dec 19th, 2008, 06:59 AM
  #5  
 
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According to what you describe, RentalinRome is a broker, not an agency. With an agency you pay the agency directly and often can charge it on a credit card, which is another kind of insurance. (That is, you can dispute the charge if the apartment is not as described.)

And the agency's reputation depends on providing good rentals and good rental experiences.

Wow, I will certainly avoid RentalinRome. That apartment and the renting experience sounded awful. www.slowtrav.com is a good source for apartment/villa reviews. And those reviews include how the agency was to work with.
Mimar is offline  
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