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further questions to flat rental owners

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further questions to flat rental owners

I read through your "Do's and Don'ts" re: flat rentals above.

I've been trying to keep up with the posts in this forum. I so far haven't seen my questions below previously discussed.

I have just initialized communication to an apartment owner through homestay.com for a place in London near Regent's Park tube next spring to see if the dates would still be available at the rate listed on their property description listing. If they reply that the location is available, these are the questions I'd like to ask when I phone them.

BTW, it is a separate living area with a door inside a home where the owners are on the premises, but it is in a private area with a private facility in a basement space. I am traveling on my own. this is their review page. homeaway.com/vacation-rental/reviews/p417564

I don't expect maid service; I've stayed one other time in a rented apartment while in Prague. I basically saw the owner once and expect to see these owners during my stay because it sounds like the live on the premises. I'll ask the above questions you provided in your topic on "Do's and Don'ts" when I talk with them.

Are these reasonable questions and would the owner feel insulted in being asked:

1. Which room of the main house is directly above or next door to the basement bedroom?

-Just wondering if it is a common area room like a kitchen or a bedroom due to concern over being awoken too early in the day such as before 9AM.

2. Is there a water heater or appliance that makes any sounds in that part of the flat that I'd live in?

3. Is there a construction boom in the area and should I be prepared for building or demolishing; re-paving in the immediate area?

4. Will you still have belongings in any part of the area where I'll be staying?

5. Are supplies like toilet paper provided for the entire duration of my stay?

6. Is there mold or mildew present and causing any odors?

7. Is this area heated and will I be able to control the temperature? What shall I do if it is too hot or too cold in this part I'm staying in?

What are other questions I should ask for this location not detailed in the property details and payment area (given that they provide a straightforward rental agreement)? Also, is it typical that they want the final payment of the rent 8 weeks prior to arrival?

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1. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

I've happily stayed at Castletown Apartments twice and going back for my third time in a few weeks and I booked before looking at the do's&donts and not all apply but I don't mind because it has worked out well.

In regards to your questions is the apartment on tripadvisor ifso have a look there. They might mention the way of getting in and the state of the apartment.

Btw I always ask wether the heating can be off so for me that is a normal question, I actually need to open a window too otherwise I can't sleep.

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2. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

If it were me , and I were letting part of my own house, I would be concerned about some of those questions. In an urban area it is impossible to guarantee the sort of silence you seek and if you were going to be unhappy about road works which I could not possibly forecast six months in advance then I would decline the letting.

If these things are very important to you, you must ak the questions, but not all are within the landlord's control and they imply that you might be hard to please.

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3. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

In general I think only your last question is reasonable and the rest are superfluous, subjective, or wont be answered truthfully by a bad landlord.

If I was the landlord I'd tell you not to bother staying because I could foresee a troublesome and legalistic tenant who was setting the situation up so as to be able claim a full refund. Or one who would be far too much trouble, complaining constantly, who expects absolute quiet (1&2), the streets pristine with no building work at all even within an unspecified area possibly of several miles (3), and is concerned to the level of detail of a 50p cost of a couple of rolls of toilet paper(5).

And if I was a bad landlord I'd say of course there is no mould, no odours, and it's absolutely quiet and no building anywhere within 10 miles.

*however* thats "in general" but for this specific apartment i can see why you have asked them, one particular review which is way out of line with the others and mentions all your issues and so i presume your q's are an attempt to determine if it's real.

Why not cut to the chase and instead of dancing round the issue ask them how come that review is so very different and very negative compared to all the other ones and they haven't replied to it?

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4. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

Question 3 - I live in West London-I am woken early every morning by noise of the planes overhead on their way into Heathrow - That and the humm of traffic is more likely to wake you than construction .

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5. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

If you like to be in a city or its suburbs you have to take everything that comes with it. Convenience to everything that you might need, noise, pollution etc. After all, I live in the heart of open countryside but even I sometimes get disturbed by very low flying military aircraft. It happens, it life. Nowhere in the UK is utopia. Even those that pay serious amounts of money for a house (e.g. on an estate in Weybridge) frequently have the drone of aircraft overhead flying in and out of Heathrow.

Sounds like you should be heading to a deserted island if the most that concerns you is a water heater firing up. Instead of thinking of everything that could go wrong maybe time to go buy some ear plugs. That will cover the noise issues in one foul swoop. As to Q7. Do what most people do. Open a window if too warm or if already heated and cold, put more clothing on.

And yes, if I was a landlord I too might think you could be a very difficult tenant, hard to please.

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6. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

ObsidianSnow - firstly, welcome to TALF and we all hope you have a great stay in England.

Secondly - I have to say that I agree with Brit and Joe that some of your questions are such that the owner may decide it's simply not worth the hassle, the "construction boom" one in particular. There's only so much you can do beforehand. OT has personally recommended the location. I'd proceed as above and if you're reasonably happy, then just go with it.

Anyway - surely you want a BIT of local noise to give you a flavour of where you're staying - milk floats, cheery postmen, rag and bone men ;-)

Have a great trip - what are your plans ?

Mike

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7. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

OK, thanks for your honesty.

I do not see the location on Tripadvisor and I've now received the address from the owner and a commonly asked questions list. They will send by mail an agreement.

Thanks, joeintheuk, for the suggestion to inquire about what would have caused this one tenant to be so negative in reviewing the apartment. I'll see what the owner says; I agree, the reviewer was too extreme.

To clarify, I know my questions now sound like I am a fussy person from your reactions. I have issues with loss of sleep when I travel to the point that it makes me physically ill for a couple of days because I am overcome with intense fatigue. I don't travel often out of my time zone because of fatigue. I have read other forums on jetlag and will try those methods. I don't want to ask the questions I posted, of course, but I'm nervous about having a ruined vacation from fatigue and illness. I always bring medicine for sleeping on the plane and sleeping when I get there to just try to push through it. I also won't plan to do major things during the first couple of days.

Argyle_Mikey: I will post an itinerary within at least a month before I go and ask if it is reasonable to get to everything. I have visited London in 1998, but missed a lot that I didn't know about since the internet was not as convenient for finding everything back then.

Edited: 16 September 2012, 16:54
london
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8. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

<<a flavour of where you're staying - milk floats, cheery postmen, rag and bone men ;-)>>

I must be living in a different UK from you, argyle_mikey, or have you just been asleep this last 50 years

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9. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

I think if you have that much trouble with sleep (and I sympathise because I'm psychopathic if I'm sleep deprived) you're going to have a problem with most apartments (neighbour noise, esp overhead in a basement flat) and even some hotels. Converted properties can be quite poor for sound proofing even in an expensive Nash terrace house. Road noise, construction or a noisy boiler don't even come into it.

Your best bet might therefore be a penthouse/top floor in a purpose built block (whether hotel or apartment) such as the LSE top floor vacation lets.

http://www.lsetopfloor.co.uk/highholborn.htm

The one good thing about jetlag (IME anyway) is that when you do drop off, you can sleep through a small war, but it may be at 2pm in the afternoon rather than at night when you want it.

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10. Re: further questions to flat rental owners

<<a flavour of where you're staying - milk floats, cheery postmen, rag and bone men ;-)>>

I must be living in a different UK from you, argyle_mikey, or have you just been asleep this last 50 years

There was a self-deprecating wink there ! I give up...

Mike

Edited: 16 September 2012, 17:35