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Paris apartment rental precautions

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salt lake city
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Paris apartment rental precautions

We've been researching weekly apartments for rent in Paris, and have also been reviewing "how to avoid rental scams" information. The warnings say to never send a scan of your passport, or, wire transfer money to reserve the apartment. Yet, what seem to very legitimate rental sites/owners (with great reviews on Trip Advisor) are asking for passport copies and wire transfers. Pascal Bronstein is one of the owners in question. He has glowing reviews, but is asking for my passport scan to be emailed to him, and he would prefer a wire transfer of the deposit. We're not sure whether or not to trust him. I'm reluctant to send anyone a scan of my passport, should that, or the wire transfer request, be a deal breaker? Advice welcome! Thanks.


New Hampshire
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1. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

There are warnings against sending funds via Western Union, but not wire transfers (your bank to their bank), which is a common form of payments when credit cards, PayPal, and other forms of payment are not used.

Requesting a copy of your passport is not unusual, either.

But, if either of those requirements render you sufficiently uncomfortable, best bet is to move on.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

we have done bank to bank transfers several times, although I prefer using a credit card transaction. we have often sent our passport (once they have your credit card information, you have entrusted your identity to them, I am not sure what they could do with the passport info that is worse than that)

I would not do Western Union wires for money, but the rest is fairly common. But if it squicks you out then find a place that accepts credit cards.

the most important thing is confidence in the integrity of the person you deal with -- we tend to go back to the same people we have experience with and look for clues on other bookings. reviews in a third person source i.e. not the landlord's own page can be helpful. asking here on TA. we have done this 42 times without getting ripped ever -- and have two bookings for fall one with a tried and true source and one with a new one with good reviews. trust your instincts and triangulate information. there is always some risk.

Edited: 14 March 2011, 17:53
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3. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

Janet's right. Renting a vacation apartment, especially the first time, is a leap of faith. If you have good communications with the owner, they have third party references, and are timely and forthcoming in their answers to your questions, this all bodes well for the rental. The part that you can't quantify is your intuition. If you have any niggling doubts, don't do it.

Paris, France
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4. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

Dear Trip Advisor members, I found by chance your various posts, googling my name.

I totally support exchanges of info amongst experienced people and newbies dealing with short term rental operations.

However, I am a little bit surprised that Mr Westerberg wrote a post, exposing my name in a way that could induce suspicion on my practices with short term rentals.

This is not a very fair practice, as I am not aware of the "complaint" and because the picture he is presenting is only partial. Other means of payment were proposed to him (his wife actually) like PayPal to secure the rental with a deposit. PayPal offers good customer protection.

Proposing a credit card payment is possible if you have a company, most of the owners do not have access to this method of payment. So they ask for wire transfer or Paypal if they understand how it works...

Moreover, there are a lot of bad recounts regarding payments with credit card originating from the USA, due to the possibility of canceling a payment after the service was actually consumed.

Generally this is how Short term rentals work :

When people wants to book a place

1. We ask a valid address + phone number

A passport scan to check the existence of the potential renter

2. A rental contract (or agreement) is established that is sent to be signed by both parties (Owner + Renter).

3. The contract is binding, but this is not enough to guarantee the rental. Therefore the renter is asked to send a partial payment that confirms the reservation (from 20 to 50% of the whole stay). Now if somebody ask you to pay more for the booking, just say no.

4. The remain is settled against key remittance upon check-in.

5. Renter is also asked to take a personal civil liability insurance. This better secures its interests in case of possible liabilities.

Hope this help clarify the process.

Asking questions on practices is ok, naming owners for supposedly bad practices is a no go.

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5. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

You always google your name? Well, the way I read the OP's post is to gain any general information about if anyone here rented from you specifically. This is a common occurrence if the apartment is rented by an individual. There are always periodic questions about different owners not just you. It's apparent the OP was concerned if what you're requiring was legitimate. His questions were good ones regardless he posted about partial options offered. You, as the owner, see it your way. If I were new to renting, I'd also be inclined to ask any sort of questions no matter how suspicious I may seem rather than to get involved in something I may regret later on. As you should know there are many rental scams out there.

Edited: 04 June 2011, 02:14
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6. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

I have written to a few apartment owners on the interest to rent their apartments for a 6 nights stay. 2 came back.

Both request 150 Euro security deposit. Mr A stated refund at the time of check out. Mr B stated to refund the deposit after 20 days. I wonder why the refund can't be done upon check out. What if the refund is not done and I'm no longer in Paris?

As for the deposit, Mr A requested 80 Euro; Mr B requested 50 Euro. Both are reasonable I think, since it's a 400 Euro rental.

Mr A and Mr B didn't request for any passport photocopy. However Mr B did request for a identity card photocopy.

OP, be sure to check the contract carefully before committing. Mr B's contract mentioned that bed linens and towels are optional and I have to pay 50 Euro for 3 sets rental! I also have to pay 20 Euro extra if I choose to pay the full rent upon arrival, unless I settle before arriving to Paris via Paypal.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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7. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

Pascal88, no one, including the OP inferred anything and there were no suggestions of anything that would "induce suspicions" other than the common knowledge and advice that short term apartment rentals are a leap of faith and one must take great care to avoid a dreadful experience of one sort or another.

Generalizations are not useful - particularly with regard to PayPal protection (which covers only merchandise purchase and not services or apartment rentals) and Credit Card disputes (when charges are never reversed if the payee can document the charge was authorized and/or service agreed to was received). Legally, credit card payment protection applies only to goods/services provided in the card holder's home state or within 100 miles of the consumers address, though credit card issuers may get involved regardless. But, to my observation, disputing a credit card payment for a vacation apartment rent or security deposit is not common, as you suggest, and I've never seen any report on travel forums of a dispute that was successful.

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8. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

There is NO need to ask for a passport scan - I've rented apartments and gites numerous times in France (and elsewhere in Europe) and I have never done that. I would not scan my passport information and send it in any event. You have no control over what happens to that information if you scan and send. (That's why the warning on the TA rental advice is not to do that.) Valid address and phone number of course. If the owner wants "proof" of your existence (something nobody has ever asked me!), you could send a copy of your driver's license. I agree on the it's very rare to dispute a payment on an apartment after the event situation - nobody I know has ever done that. There are just hundreds of apartments available - many many lovely and very satisfactory. I think the best advice for renters is not to get hung up on one as "perfect" or "ideal" - just find another if you have any concerns.

By the by, a wire transfer from your bank will be very expensive. PayPal is much better for that in terms of cost and it's a secure transaction.

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9. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

I have never googled my name. Perhaps I should.

One thing about PayPal. They will not do anything when it comes to people paying for a service (as opposed to merchandise) and a rental is considered service. You are on your own if you use PayPal.

10. Re: Paris apartment rental precautions

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