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rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

Mumbai (Bombay...
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rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I have been researching apartments to rent for 1 month in Rome, in the city centre.I have tried using various websites including craigslist , airbnb etc. these are either full of scams or they offer no safety net against cancellations etc and have terrible reviews.

Would anyone know of a reliable way to go about this.

Are there any reliable agencies or a fair and safe booking possible with an apartment owner do let me know

Many thanks

Destination Expert
for Naples
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1. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

Try the Slowtrav.com web site and their messages boards at Slowtalk.com. This site specializes in apartment/villa stays and has years of reviews of both agencies and apartments.

United States
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2. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

Sleep in Italy is a reliable agency whom I've used for several rentals.

www.sleepinitaly.com

TAB

New York City, New...
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3. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I rented an apartment for a few weeks through Airb&b precisely because it did have a safety net; they don't turn the money over to the owner (I paid via credit card, another safety net) for 24 hours after you check in - just in case the apartment has problems or is cancelled or, whatever. You do pay in full up front when you book, which I didn't mind since it was via credit card and I knew that I would be protected if anything went really haywire.

I did luck out and have really responsible owners who lived nearby, which is something I wanted and was able to communicate with them prior to booking.

I can't vouch for any other apartments Airb&b has but I would, after doing my homework, book with them again - but, I did take quite a bit of time in choosing and also in communicating with some other owners through them before picking.

I have read lots of good things about sleepinitaly.com - I am not willing to pay cash, wire cash, etc so I personally would only pick somewhere that allows me to pay with a credit card so I have that protection.

Happy hunting - how nice to be there for a month!

You could look at www.wantedinrome.com - they have listings but, I have no idea about validity, etc. Just that I have seen listings there for one month and longer.

Lancaster, NY
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4. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I am also looking at apt to rent for just 4 nights for 8 women in Rome. It is through VRBO, the terms were to pay upon check in. I have use VRBO here in the states and never had any trouble. Any thoughts ?

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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5. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

Momcat, someone on this forum who had a problem with an AirBnB apartment said that the 24-hour protection vanished into thin air when she needed it. She was told she'd have to work it out with the owner.

AirBnB and Vrbo are listing services for people who are supposed to be ordinary citizens renting out an apartment or two of their own. Actually, it's a fiction, as many of them are professional agents. The point is, in any case, that if an owner is honest and above board, it will probably be fine. It's not really the fault of the listing service if an owner is shady, although they should refuse to list for people who have garnered numerous complaints.

Venere.com and booking.com both list apartments, and usually you can pay by credit card for them. On Venere.com they're listed as "vacation rentals", a category you can use as a filter. In both cases, you can select that category as well as a neighborhood and then sort the list by guest rating or price. I would think that these services are more reliable than many of the apartment brokers. I've several times rented apartments through them, and had no problems. However, I also once rented through Rome Sweet Home, which gets lots of bad reviews, and I had no problem with them, either. I do consider renting an apartment to have a higher degree of risk than booking a hotel room, which is just one of the several reasons why I much prefer to stay in a hotel, except when traveling with a family group.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

Well, as I said - I can't vouch for any other Airb&b situation or any other owners; only the ones I was fortunate to have been lucky enough to deal with; they lived just about 100 yards away and were incredibly responsive before and after I booked and I found them to be a wonderful young couple.

But, of course, that experience is just one experience - it doesn't necessarily mean that is what will happen with others who rent with AirB&B; I wasn't altogether concerned re: the 24 hour rule, though I had no personal reason to distrust it - I spoke directly with American Express (the card I used) in advance of booking to go over certain particulars about doing such a booking.

I am not advocating any particular type of booking or agency; only that I personally would only book when I can use my credit card for the entire booking. I will never book where it involves any type of cash transaction - whether for the deposit or for payment on arrival. Not for me.

As I said - I did my homework and felt, given everything I had done, I had a good chance at a good outcome knowing full well that there are things that can happen to make it turn bad but what I did do, was ensure that my money was going to be safe even if Airb&b somehow did not honor their 24 hour policy.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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7. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I've so far found only one apartment where I could pay by credit card, and that was more a hotel with suites.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I've seen a few agencies but haven't paid much attention because the only time I was seriously looking was this past December and the one I found was in a building - it was pretty much the only reason I did rent, was because I could use my cc with Airb&b but I know sleepinitaly.com takes deposits via credit card - whether they take full payment that way or not, I don't know as I haven't pursued it.

Just as I did, I imagine people will find the situation with which they are most comfortable and do whatever checking they need to do for the best outcome.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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9. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

I can second TAB's recommendation (in reply #2) of Sleep In Italy. It is not just a listing service: it checks out the apartments.

Edited: 01 March 2013, 23:52
10. Re: rome vacation rentals,craigslist etc are full of scams.HELP

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