Holiday rentals: how to avoid scams

There is nothing worse than arriving at your vacation spot and realizing that the promised sea view has turned into a parking view, or that the rented accommodation has been rented to someone else for months. Sometimes the rented property doesn’t even exist, it can be rented at the same time to other people or might not match the announcement at all.

Rental transactions precautions

It is important not to work only by email or SMS but to speak to the owner. This will allow you to ask him/her for the rented property address and his/her own home address. Take the opportunity to ask for more photos of the property outdoors and indoors. If all these contacts do not seem conclusive, you’d better give up on the rental before you pay him/her any money. Be careful when you find very cheap price proposals or ones that are out of sync with other ads even at the last minute because in general it hides a scam. It’s important to remember not to give statements of account or settle by money order or bank transfer, especially abroad. It is advisable to pay by post-sent check, by credit card or PayPal.

What to do?

If the property does not conform to the description or unreported defects are revealed, preventing the normal and peaceful use of the rental, no matter what country you are in, Consumer Codes allow you to ask for a discount or a refund from the owner. But if he/she does not agree on the compensation, you will have to go to court.

Rental contract

Finally, signing a seasonal rental contract is an obligation according to most rental and tourism codes in Europe. Most of the time, it must be written in two original copies dated and signed by the tenant and the lessor. The contact details (full identity and address of the owner and the tenant), the precise description of the property, the rate and payment terms must be indicated. An inventory must also be signed by both parties. And before leaving, also make a phone call to your home insurance to verify that you are covered in case you are the author of damage in your rental.

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