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Rent apartments

London
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Rent apartments

Hi there,

I'm wondering if anyone can advise/help me out? I've been looking for an apartment to rent in Rome in about a month's time. I stumbled across a site called 'italyrents.com', which was one of the first things that came up when I searched for holiday apartments in Rome. I found a suitable apartment, and began to go through the stages to book it.

I read their terms and conditions a few times, and it turns out they want an 800 euro security deposit (to secure the property as ours for the period we want it, and as a deposit held against any potential damage etc we may do to the property). They want this 800 euros by bank transfer or credit card, and only after they've received this deposit will they be able to confirm that the apartment is ours.

The second thing is that they want 1200 euros (which is the total cost of the apartment for a week) in *cash* on our arrival.

Both things seem a bit extreme - if I were booking a five star hotel in Rome, they certainly wouldn't want 800 euros down-payment before I'd even seen the place. Secondly, the cash at the *beginning* of our stay is not something one expects from hotel/holiday services.

There's more - there is very little information on 'italyrents.com' on the internet, despite them coming up (near) first on Google. There are no customer reviews on their own website, and the reviews I have found elsewhere are:

"They pretend to rent apartments, but when you reach your destination you find out that they give you just one bedroom in the apartment, with other bedrooms occupied by other unknown people and you are forced to share bathroom and kitchen. When you complain they see it is up to the owner of the apartment to do this!" (October 2009)

and on this site:

"I travel to Rome often---and I find renting an apartment is nicer and more convenient and relatively the same cost. I have used this site many times and never been disappointed with service, cleanliness, or accomodations: http://www.italyrents.com you can choose by location and/or price. (she goes on to talk about transport in Rome) January 2010

I'm not filled with confidence from the first review, and on a separate note, I typed them in on Youtube, and found out their last sign-on was 2 years ago!

In short, does anyone know or have any experience of thsi company at all? We've got our heart set on one of their properties, but does this really sound too good to be true? Is the deposit of 800 euros a lot? Is the request for the full cash sum on arrival out of the ordinary? I'd really appreciate your input!

Many many thanks,

Alex

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Rent apartments

If you haven't yet looked them up on Slowtrav.com, you should -

Personally, I wouldn't even consider for a moment staying someplace that had those kinds of reviews. There are many agencies/owners who rent apartments in Rome who get very good reviews - why settled for a place that could be a huge disappointment and prove to be a bait and switch? Not the way I would want to start out of my vacation especially after handing over a load of money to them.

Apartment rentals are very different than hotels. There are usually just a hand full of apartments in a building and they have an almost impossible time of renting a place if someone cancels close to the time they were supposed to arrive - hence, the large deposit.

Not all demand such a large deposit, some ask for about 20% - some ask for far more.

As to the cash upon arrival - that is almost 100% across the board. Again, these are not hotels which have the ability to make up for empty rooms by offering last minute deals through the many hotel booking sites, etc.

It is all part of the reason you can get space (more space than a hotel room) for a lot less money than you would pay for a hotel room.

If you decide to get an apartment - wheverer you decide to rent from - I suggest you consider getting travel insurance and confirm that the travel insurance will cover a loss due to fraud by an apt agency or owner (hang onto to your receipts and emails, etc) and/or cover you for the loss of your deposit if something happens and you find you are unable to make your trip after all.

There are tons of apartments for rent in Rome - there's no reason to suffer undue angst just because this one apartment looks good to you - keep looking - you will be amazed at how many nice places there are.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Rent apartments

I'm in a quandary about what you mean by "...does this really sound too good to be true?" Although personally I wouldn't consider dealing with this company, much less giving them 800 euros in 'advance' in cash or via my credit card, I ask again, what do you mean,"...does this really sound too good to be true?" Perhaps the reason you haven't heard from anyone who has used this company before is because "misery loves company" and no one wants to admit they were a bit too naive and thus duped? Perhaps you might want to go ahead and deal with them...and then let us know if they are reputable! I apologize for being so cynical...I think.

San Francisco Bay...
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3. Re: Rent apartments

I agree with MomCat to go straight to Slow trav.com and check out the apartment rentals. My family and I rented an apt from Dolce Roma last summer and were very happy with the apartment and service. If I remember correctly, we paid a percentage of the weekly rental in advance to secure the rental. Also, paying the balance of the rent upon arrival is pretty standard. Some people get euros when they arrive at the airport, but that seemed too risky to me (would I be able to get enough euros? would the ATMs be working? What if I'm just too tired to deal with it?), so I sucked it up and got euros prior to leaving for the trip.

Have a great trip!

San Francisco Bay...
6 posts
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4. Re: Rent apartments

I agree with MomCat to go straight to Slow trav.com and check out the apartment rentals. My family and I rented an apt from Dolce Roma last summer and were very happy with the apartment and service. If I remember correctly, we paid a percentage of the weekly rental in advance to secure the rental. Also, paying the balance of the rent upon arrival is pretty standard. Some people get euros when they arrive at the airport, but that seemed too risky to me (would I be able to get enough euros? would the ATMs be working? What if I'm just too tired to deal with it?), so I sucked it up and got euros prior to leaving for the trip.

Have a great trip!

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Rent apartments

A deposit in advance and the rest on arrival AFTER you check the apartment is pretty normal. However, our last stay for a week was €75 with €800 to pay on arrival. I don't recall a security deposit but you would be surprised how many hotels do actually put a stop on an amount in your Credit Card when they take that number on arrival.

In Spain the owner came in the morning and gave us our security deposit back, another place in france had our deposit in a cheque, we paid the full amount on arrival and she tore up the cheque on our departure, so it served as our security deposit while we were there.

Wiring money to people means it is gone forever. Use a CC if you can or PayPal if they don't take a CC.

We used www.sleepinitaly.com and last time stayed in apartment Orbitelli which was possibly the best apartment I have ever stayed in, €120 a night plus €35 for final cleaning.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Rent apartments

There are some great agencies out there and some not-so-great. SlowTrav is a GREAT resource for independent reviews, so please, do as MomCat suggests and check it out. The deposit to hold the apartment and paying in full, in cash on arrival are standard industry practices. I've not seen a security deposit (to be refunded on your departure) in my experiences and would probably not agree to those terms. We have used www.RomanReference.com with great success on three trips to Rome. Their terms are listed clearly at the website.

Australia
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7. Re: Rent apartments

Hi

I dont know anything about this company, but I have been trying to rent apartments throughout Italy and Malta.

I checked a number of websites and emailed a number of owners and they all wanted about 50% of the total amount when I booked and the balance about 8 weeks before the date. Most of them wanted the deposit and further payment deposited into their bank acount.

I wasnt very comfortable with all this, as who is this guy, does he exist, does the apartment exist etc was running throught my mind.

Most of them also want about 400euro security deposit paid in cash when you arrive, and will be refunded if the apartment is in good order.

I eventually found a number of sites that are linked that are excellant. These are two of them.

ownersdirect.co.uk and Holiday-rentals.co.uk.

They allow you to register your holiday if you book through them, and they will Guarantee/Insure you for up to 3000 pounds, I think it is, if there is any problems with getting access to the apartment or the apartment does not exist etc. You need to register the holiday before you pay the deposit.

They also give good advice re booking the apartment etc. and suggest you pay by Paypal. Most of the apartments also are reviewed, just like trip advisor.

Not sure if there are apartments in Rome, as I didnt check, but certainly in most other parts of Italy and in fact the world.

I have just booked an apartment from the website in Malta and feel very confident and comfortable about it because of the guarantee. I negiotated that the security deposit be dropped as we are 60''s and not swingers, plus flying straight out of Malta back to Australia and getting 400 euro back the morning we leave, was going to be a hazzle. I would have had to pay commission to change it back into Au after paying charges to draw it in Euro.

The owner kindly understood.

Hope this is of some help

Janderra

Australia
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8. Re: Rent apartments

Hi again

I have just checked the website Holiday-rentals.co.uk/rome and they have about 30 pages of apartments in Rome. In fact I am looking at some myself.

Jandrra

9. Re: Rent apartments

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10. Re: Rent apartments

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