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What is the norm?

cape town
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What is the norm?

What is the norm when booking an apartment direct with the owner as far as payment is concerned. I normally pay a deposit (10%) and the balance within 24 hrs of arrival at the apartment. This time I am booking a different apartment and have been asked for FULL payment within 72 hrs ( a month before arrival ) PLUS a security deposit of more than the 3 weeks accommodation. THis doesnt sound right to me. Any comments.

Israel
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1. Re: What is the norm?

It does not seem right. If there is a clause stating that cancellation can be done within a reasonable amount of time prior to arrival with full refund, than go for it. If not, I would have doubts about the property itself. Recently I was to stay in a zimmer which was prepaid upon arriving it was noticed that while the view was fantastic, there were not doorknobs on the doors, windows couldn't be closed and the fully equipped kitchen lacked pots and pans (but there were of everything else), the bathtub (very important aspect) had no plug, amongst other things. The owner was quite upset when ultimately we did not stay there and has of yet to refund the money paid upfront. While the owner must cover his bases, the customer must as well.

Chana

Israel

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: What is the norm?

I have found that it is the norm for apartment owners to request payment in full up front. That is why I like to book through 3rd party sites which have a clear refund policy. You certainly take your chances paying directly to owners- it is almost impossible to get a refund. Also, I don't like the security deposit aspect if you are paying up front. Usually if you are paying up front, you also include the cleaning fee. I would not pay a security deposit on an upfront payment and that is not standard on third party payment sites. I have never actually paid a security deposit on any apartment I have rented.

cape town
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3. Re: What is the norm?

Hi Anne, Nor have I. I am willing to pay a large 20% deposit plus the balance when I arrive which i really feel is fare. The owner wont be there when i arrive so thats why she wants the full amount up front but I am not happy about it.

Gippsland, Australia
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4. Re: What is the norm?

I haver booked an apartment for next year in a Jerusalem through www.airbnb.com because I like their terms. When you book you do pay the whole amount, but this does not get passed on to the apartment owner until you have been there for 24 hours, so that if there is a problem with the room and it is not the way it is described you can stop the payment going through.

philadelphia
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5. Re: What is the norm?

Hi. I have been renting apartments in Herzliya Pituach (family is in Herzliya) for a month each year for 7 years now. I rent from individuals (Israelis) and never through an agency since it's cheaper that way. I do have a family member look at the apartment and meet the owner before I sign the lease. I have usually paid about 1/3 with lease signing, and the rest about one month prior to arrival. And I have almost always paid a security deposit. For one beautiful apartment it was $1500! I've always gotten my deposit back. Occasionally the owner will accept payment at time of arrival, but usually it's about one month in advance. And electricity is usually extra.

The more expensive apartments tend to belong to Israelis who live abroad and use the apartment as their home in Israel. I know it's a bit scary just dealing with individuals, and I make sure the owner knows I have Israeli family. I haven't yet had a problem. Because I stay for a month, I think using an agency would add 15-25% to the cost. I use VRBO, Home Lettings, and Flipkey.

Am curious to know what experiences others have had. I always just thought this was how it was done. Btw, I do insist on seeing the lease before I commit.

Good luck

Telly

cape town
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6. Re: What is the norm?

Hi Telly, On the few other occassions I have rented an apartment it has been through the same person and they have met my daughter. Also I paid a 1 nights deposit (2 weeks rental) and the balance the day of arrival. The next few times I havnt paid any deposit and the full amount within a day or 2 of arrival. Now not only do they want the full amount up front BUT the security deposit they want is one third more than the full cost of the whole 3 weeks. SO its 3 weeks upfront plus another 5 weeks as a deposit.

cape town
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7. Re: What is the norm?

Sorry, I didnt see your message Chana nor Heathers as I was looking at them on my phone first. You are right Chana, whilst the owner must cover her basis so must I. I did get a friend go and look at the apartment for me but not test things and my daughter has spoken to her and so have I (several times to negotiate.) I dont think there is a lease. She has sent me an email with her requirements. Also the owner will not be there, she will be on holiday overseas whilst I am there.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: What is the norm?

Honestly, anyone who requires a security deposit that is more than the rental (and you are renting for an extended period for a holiday apartment), I would not do this. The owner won't even be there and there is too much money up front for my comfort zone. Every apartment I rented had a legal lease agreement with lots of detail including refund policy. Even people who have only one small apartment have had a proper lease agreement that we both sign. Since you are not comfortable with this situation, just the fact that you posted here, I say walk away and get something you can feel comfortable with.

cape town
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9. Re: What is the norm?

I am not comfortable at all with the payment stipulations by her and also in case GOD FORBID CHAS VEGALILA I have to cancel due to something beyond my control, I need to know that I will get my money back. If i have to lose my deposit that is something else. I dont want to lose the flat though because my friend has looked at it and the position is not too bad and the price is what I was prepared to pay, so dont quite know what to say to her. Its actually very easy for me to negotiate on behalf of other people but not so easy negotiating for myself.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: What is the norm?

Even excluding all the other reasons for uneasiness (full payment, no contract, etc), I have learned the hard way NEVER to rent a vacation apartment unless there is someone local to whom you can turn in case of problems. I'm not talking about fraud or misrepresentation, but a water leak or problem with electrical power that can occur in the best of rentals. Without someone local with the ability and authority to solve the problem, you have no way of getting the place livable.