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insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

Brisbane
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insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

Hi,

We are a family of 4 travelling to Paris in Dec2013/Jan 2014 for 26 nights. It will be our first trip to Paris. After looking through 100's of apartment options, I believe we have finally made a decision and are looking to rent through A La Carte Paris. I have a few questions as I don't want to be caught paying unneccessary fees. We have been advised that it is compulsary for us to pay 3rd party risk insurance. The policy recommended is through Adar and also covers cancellation & interuption. The cost is 5% of the rent approx 286 Euros for our stay. Does this seem reasonable? In Australia the owner is required to pay insurance, and the security deposit is a safe guard for any damage. The company is holding our credit card details for the security deposit as well. We will not require cancellation/interuption insurance as this is covered in our travel insurance.

- Can anyone recommend companies that provide the 3rd partyrisk option only

- Is the premium charged by Adar "reasonable" ?

- We have been advised that there is a 3.8% credit card surcharge. Is this standard in France?

( in Australia standard surcharge is around 1.5% )

- I am considering paying by international money transfer as the credit card fee equates to approx $335 AUD. Thoughts? ( I know this in not preferred option due to security etc, however if the company is reputable there should not be an issue)

- other additional charges on top of rent are visitor charge/VAT 0.96Euros per person / day and APLM fund fee 7 euros.

Would really appreciate input on fees and also if anyone else has used A La Carte would appreciate feedback

many thanks again

Puget Sound
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908 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

I used a different agency, but for comparison purposes, insurance thru Adar was 3%, not 5% -- 70 euros in total for Adar. Also paid for final cleaning, final laundering of linens, and utilities. Total of all fees above came to about 10% of the rent. No markups for use of credit card as I recall.

You may also wish to ask about check-out fees. Many agencies will attempt to charge a stiff fee if you vacate during other than their normal business hours. I was able to go thu the pocedure the night before, and thus avoid the extra charge.

Takapuna, New...
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2. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

I use Friendly Rentals and there are no extra charges with them. No additional cc fee, no cleaning fee, no requirement for additional 3rd party risk. The 3rd party risk to $2m is include in my travel insurance. However, I'm not so naive as to think that I'm getting free cleaning. The important thing is to compare the total cost, whether it is shown separately or factored in with the base price.

Another company I use is www.parisholidayapts.com. John charges a cleaning fee of 60 euros for stays of 4 nights but for 5 nights and above, there is no extra charge. This makes a lot of sense to me. Also, there is no security deposit required.

There has been a lot of discussion on this forum re insurance for apartment rentals and the outcome seems to be that it is a legal requirement for unfurnished long term renters to have their own insurance, but it is not a requirement for short term furnished rentals. Where you are dealing with a rental agency that historically rented long term unfurnished, they still require short term renters to take out insurance. That is my take on it, FWIW.

Edited: 21 May 2013, 23:28
Boston...
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3. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

I already don't like the sound of that. I've rented a good number of apartments in Paris and have never had any hidden fees or compulsory insurance, and certainly no fees for using a credit card.

Edit: should have added that I've never paid a separate cleaning fee either. I realize it's wrapped into the rental fee, but that's fine. And I don't feel as though I'm being nickel and dimes that way.

Edited: 21 May 2013, 23:30
San Diego
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2,404 posts
50 reviews
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4. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

Wow, that sounds like a lot of hefty fees!

We've rented twice in Paris from vacationinparis.com. They charge a $29 insurance fee.

I have rented from other agencies in other cities and not had to pay for 3rd party insurance nor for using a credit card.

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
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21,189 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

<< After looking through 100's of apartment options...>>

Once you've found the "perfect" for you property, you have to determine whether you find the added fees reasonable - to you.

It's probably best to total all the charges to determine nightly rate (compared to other properties of interest) and decide whether the value is appropriate for the location, space, decor and furnishings, layout/beds, amenities, etc.

Fees are rarely "hidden", rather disclosed in the terms and conditions on the website or in the contract you receive. Every agency has its own terms and conditions. Some may "add" to keep the rates competitive or just in deference to their overall costs. That other agencies/owners include all in their rates does not mean that added fees are "unnecessary" - they're just calculated differently.

If you object to added fees, you can, of course, simply book a different property with another agency.

To my observation, A La Carte Paris is a reliable agency which, when the occasional problem has arisen, has done everything to maintain their fine reputation. I doubt an international money transfer would be a problem. However, the fees involved may offset any credit card surcharge savings, as it's quite common for you to be required to pay their bank transfer fees as well as your own.

If you search this forum, you'll find plenty regarding A La Carte Paris. Apparently, satisfied guests have been "encouraged" to register with TripAdvisor and post a review (not recently, however). Many have a problem with this (though I do not, as it seems Alex is merely on a quest to overcome an unusual situation or two that resulted in disappointed guests some years ago).

6. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

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Removed on: 11 February 2015, 05:15
Melbourne, Australia
4 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

Hi TP,

Would you please supply the ADAR website.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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8. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

I too like having everything included in the original price. It makes it easier to compare prices, which makes it easier to narrow down apartments. However, if a place gets good reviews here, that's a big positive for me.

The calculations you're being required to consider and ask about are way too much for me. Yes, 3.8% is not uncommon for bank charges by the time international credit cards are charged. It's similar to paypal charges. I would *never* send direct from a bank, because so many things can happen and the agency now has your cash. A reputable agency will of course refund it if there's a problem, but it's much nicer just to have your own cash/credit card available rather than pay in advance.

I think most agencies that require you to have specific renters' insurance are probably getting a kick-back from the company (or, if they are purchasing it for you, they are taking on a service fee). Just a hunch.

In other words, other companies simply add all these things together and make that the rent. Which means that everyone does far less research and doesn't have to ask about or worry over so many details.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

Well I used another agency( Parisbestlodge) and there were no additional fees period. The price on the website was the price I paid,, and I like that .. The expenses may be the same for both agencies, but one chooses to lump them into the intial price shown, others tempt you in with what appears to be a cheaper rent but then adds all those other thing in later.

Unless one is doing a monthly rental I object to having the vacationing renter pay for utilities , that should be included in the weekly rental fee, , its not hard to average out your costs and build that into rent, I know I do that with my rental.

10. Re: insurance for apartment rentals and other hidden fees

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Removed on: 22 May 2013, 03:35