10 things to keep in mind to avoid scams when renting a vacation apartment

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Many people prefer to rent an apartment to spend their holidays, as it allows them to feel at home, be able to cook and have more space, something especially attractive for families with children. However, you have to be careful to some aspects to avoid scams when renting a vacation apartment

The most common complaints are that the apartment does not meet the advertised conditions, is not in the indicated location (usually further from the beach) or is damaged. In the worst case, it may even happen that the apartment does not even exist or is occupied by other tenants.

For this reason, it is advisable to carry out a series of preliminary checks to renting an apartment for the holidays safely.

Be wary of bargain holiday prices

1. Be wary of excessively low prices

It is common for scammers to use the price hook to attract customers. To detect if it is a fraud you have to compare the prices with other apartments in the same area and type.

If it is excessively low, be suspicious. Most likely, it presents some kind of hidden flaw, does not correspond to what was announced or, directly, does not exist.

Apartment location

2. Confirm the veracity of the ad

Through Google Google Street you can see its exact location and check if its external appearance corresponds to the information in the images provided by the landlord.

You can also do an image search on Google, and see if the photos of the interior have been used in advertisements for other apartments.

Landlord identity

3. Verify the identity of the landlord

When it comes to renting an apartment to an individual, It is necessary to verify that the house exists and is owned by the landlord. You can do it by requesting a simple note through the Property Registry.

If you rent through a travel booking platform, confirm that it is the official page to avoid phishing.

Rental contact phone

4. Always ask for a contact telephone number

Whether the arrangements are made directly with the owner or through an agency, In addition to the email address, you should ask for the telephone number of a contact person in case a problem arises upon arrival or during the stay in the apartment.

A sign that it is a fraud is that when calling on the phone it is always off or does not respond.

Holiday rental contract signing

5. Sign a contract

If you are renting directly with an individual, it is essential sign a contract in which all the conditions are collected: rental amount, down payment, deposit, period of stay and mode of delivery and return of keys, among others.

Book holiday apartment

6. Request proof of payment for the reservation

Generally, the deposit that is given as a reservation for the apartment is usually between 20 and 30% of the total amount of the rent, an amount that is later deducted from it.

It is important that the price and this signal are clearly stated in the contract and have proof of payment.

Apartment cancellation conditions

7. Check the cancellation conditions well

On most apartment booking websites, the conditions for canceling the reservation are explicitly detailed. However, in a contract with an individual they can be ignored, and it is important that they are reflected.

Usually, If the reservation is canceled, it is usual for the owner to keep the deposit, but other circumstances may be indicated in which you are obliged to pay part or all of the stay if it is canceled at the last minute.

Credit card book car

8. Use secure payment methods

When you have signed a contract directly with an individual, never pay the entire amount in advance or send money remittances to an address. A transfer is always better.

If it is an individual renting through a platform, never leave it to complete the reservation through WhatsApp or email, nor, especially, make transfers or other similar payments outside the platform.

When you book on an online platform, it is best to use secure means of payment such as credit cards. Banks have anti-fraud security measures, in addition to including other advantages over other forms of payment, such as the possibility of postponing payment or including travel insurance.

Check apartment status

9. Check the condition of furniture and fixtures

Upon entering the home, it is convenient to check the condition of the furniture and equipment in case there is any damage that was not specified in the initial conditions. It is important to later avoid claims by the owner.

Holiday booking documentation

10. Save all documentation.

Invoices, emails, advertising brochures, messages on the phone or photographs can serve as proof in the event of a claim, so do not throw away any documentation during your stay.

What to do if you get scammed when renting your vacation apartment?

In case you’ve been victim of a scam when renting your vacation apartmentYou must act differently if the rental was directly with a private individual or through a real estate or travel agency.

  • If the rental is made between individuals. A claim must be filed with the court of first instance of the town where the apartment is located.
  • If hired from a real estate or travel agency (physical or online). First you have to fill out the claim sheet and, if it is not resolved, then file a lawsuit.

In Orange | Vacation guide
Image | Grant Durr

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