NYcity apartment Christmas vacation?

Sep 22nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,704
I too am trying to figure out what Paypal fees you'd have. I've certainly never had a Paypal fee booking an apartment or buying anything.

By the way, when you booked on VRBO, did you register with their HomeAway free protection plan? I'm not sure if it would have made a difference in this instance, but still. . .
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This is classic. A month ago you were advising someone else to do what you did and rent from vrbo despite the fact that you hadn't even stayed in the apt. Despite being told this was dangerous, you were SURE this apt. was legal yadda yadda. Renting an apartment privately in NYC for a vacation stay is just NOT a good idea. There are loads of other options with no risk.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Are you talking to me, McLaurie?

I have friends who were ripped off -- never got their $500 deposit back from NYCHabitat -- an often praised "reputable rental agency", but I don't know anyone personally who was ripped off by a VRBO rental, although that can surely happen. Sure, there are no guarantees. Regarding that rental someone posted about a month ago -- have we ever heard back? I'd be curious too, how that went.

Sure you have to do your homework. And sure it's smart to sign up for the guarantee on the off chance it should be a fake and you don't check it out well first.

By the way, when people STOP saying, "don't rent that one bedroom luxury apartment from VRBO for $190 a day with no tax, but rent this suite for $390 plus over $50 a day tax instead" then we'll talk. Sure there are other options, but frankly I'm a little tired of hearing the options that are more than double the cost. For some, that just isn't an option.

I'll stand by my BigAppleGetaway apartment I first found on VRBO any day! I even checked for humanone on that, but of course it is already rented for then.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
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And I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was with my one month rental this summer in WorldWide Plaza for a total of just under $3000. I also found that on VRBO, and it is perfectly legal and legitimate. Of course, I could have booked an Affina apartment instead and it would have only been about $ $9000 to $12,000 for the month! Hmmm. Did I make the right choice?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:11 PM
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If I'm not mistaken Patrick, I think mcLaurie was referring to tinydancer.
emcash is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:20 PM
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That's why I asked, I wasn't sure. But I clicked on tinydancer's name and didn't see such a post from a month ago. In any case, it could very easily be me, because I have recommended VRBO time and again.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Posts: 16,715
I was indeed talking to tinydancer whose post on THIS thread was on 8/234, just about a month ago. NeoPatrick, you normally come for a month which is a whole 'nother thing imo. I would be interested in hearing about why your friends didn't get their $500 deposit back.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Because the owner told the agency he did return the deposit. Many letters went back and forth. NYHabitat said it was up to the owner, but he had assured them that he had returned the deposit. He hadn't. With numerous contacts he gave a lot of different stories -- his secretary forgot to mail it; he was in a car accident and it would be taken care of soon; it was already sent, didn't they get it?, oops, he had sent it to the wrong address and it had come back so he'd send it again, etc. The owner changed phone numbers. My friends gave up, saying it wasn't worth the aggravation and it still was less money than a hotel would have been for the week. I wrote a letter to NYHabitat expressing my concerns, since I had recommended them and the apartment, which I had also rented. Their final answer was that they had removed that apartment from the list they represent. End of story.

And actually, I've rented VRBO three times for either a week or 10 days in NYC in addition to my month rentals.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Oh, and once again I failed to look at all the dates of this thread. When I looked at the first post and saw 8/23 I thought that was today! Ooops. I was a month off! I didn't even notice that that one previous post was mine and that this WAS the thread you were talking about.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 24th, 2008, 05:20 AM
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Neo, if you want to give every tourist who's interested in renting an apartment in NYC lessons on how to do it, be my guest. You've been doing it for years AND you know Manhattan and what's possible and not possible. The average person hasn't a clue and the sad part is the people who are least able to afford losing money get scammed one after another after another. This has become a BIG problem in NYC and the more I can advise people that it's mostly illegal and not a good idea, I will. If there are individual apts. I know are good and legit and fit their requirements, I'll mention them, but otherwise, people should look to the suite hotels and b & b's.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 48
We are coming to NYC on the 25th of Dec and have booked a VRBO apartment in Upper West Side, it sounds legitmate, 172 West 79th St apartment 12C. We have sent some money already. The vrbo listing number is 143373. I have spoken to the owner she sounds very nice. Does anyone know if this is legitimate. It is so much nicer to stay in an apartment and be able to cook. We are a family with two boys. The thought of eating out for every meal fills me with dread. cheers Kate
jackgus is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 31

I'm certain the building exists, but it's probably not a legal, short-term rental. I say that, because on this site:, the certificate of occupancy states it's a Class A Dwelling which usually indicates it's an apartment building, and not zoned for short-term rentals.
HarlotsGhost is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You ned to check on a couple of things:

Is this arental building or a co-op? In either case you're illegal - but the landlord is les likely to notice you than the nosy neighbors.

Is there a doorman? And, if so - who do you announce yourselves to be? Are you relatives come for a visit or???

If something goes wrong - plumbing etc - who do you contact? If it's a super he might start asking questions about who you are.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Wiring money into someone's bank account is usually a CLEAR giveaway that it's a scam. The ad says the apt. is only available in Jan. Did it say something else when you saw it? Did you wire money to a bank account?

Do you realize there are suite hotels with kitchens so you don't have to eat out every night?
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 597
VRBO was highly recommended to me by a relative who has used it in the past. I'm certain most of them are legit. Mine was legit too ( Listing #129246), but the woman was a bit dizzy. I got all my money back LESS the paypal fees which were charged to her (I didn't realise that was what the difference was). She claimed she was worried about the 72 steps up from the street to the apartment with our heavy luggage. (It actually was an issue, and would have made it very difficult). She also sent her keys by snail mail and when they didn't arrive (for 2.5 weeks) she got paranoid about me. There is no clear way to understand what happened. I only know she suddenly cancelled the booking. But she did return all our money. I would DEFINITELY recommend everyone ask how many flights/stairs up from the street all apartments are unless it says 'elevator'. Also, VRBO was concerned about my complaint and told me they had this woman on their books several years without any complaints. So they do have some follow up. Having said all this, I think looking at the prices of New York hotels these days will frighten anyone into gambling on an apartment if it looks like it's going to save them 50-70%. NY hotels are through the roof, and once they add the 13.xx% tax and occupancy tax it just gets worse. I'm now booking with an agency called Lara Group and I hope this works out better. And finally, the VRBO site has a link where you can actually get insurance on your booking, but you have to do this before you pay any money. I missed this on the site and would have had a lot more peace of mind had I done it first.
tinydancer is offline  
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