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Vacation Rental using craigslist

London
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Vacation Rental using craigslist

Going to NYC for first time in New Year and looking to keep accommodation cheap. I have been using craigslist, after it was recommended on here. I have found somewhere that looks lovely and the owner "sounds" nice and "seems" professional.

Question is - how do I know they aren't going to do a runner once I pay my deposit up front? Is there any way to ensure that it is all above board? I have only been looking at listings with photos and good descriptions. And any which I want to investigate, I usually build up a bit of an email communication with them first off. But is that good enough as a bond of trust?

Any pointers would be very welcome, especially from people who have used craigslist before as a way to rent holiday accommodation. Thanks for any tips!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Vacation Rental using craigslist

Short answer is you don't know. Be aware that unless the apartment is set up as a short stay rental (in which case it will be advertised elsewhere too. Did you ask if they advertise on any other website?) you will likely find clothes in the closet, food in the fridge...you're in someone else's space. If this doesn't bother you, my best suggestion is to ask the owner to help you put your mind at ease. What kind of upfront payment was requested?

Has there been any discussion of having to keep the rental a secret from neighbors? That's sometimes an issue as many buildings don't allow temporary tenants and owners/renters sometimes ask you to pretend you're a friend or relative. I wouldn't like that.

DC
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2. Re: Vacation Rental using craigslist

Have you checked into the Apartment Switch area of Craigs list. You may be able to find some one wanting to do a straight switch.

When I've done a switch in the past, to make sure they are legit, I make sure there is a telephone listed under their name at that address, and then also get a name of the company they work for, get the number from Directory Assistance to make sure he didn't give you a fake number, then call the company to verify employment.

If these two things work out, it is probably safe to do a switch.

London
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3. Re: Vacation Rental using craigslist

Thanks for the feedback.

I will ask her about other websites she may be advertising on - that's a good idea. The total for 7 nights is $875 and she has requested $500 of this as deposit upfront, which seems fairly reasonable judging by some of the other apartment deals I've checked on craigslist.

Thing is I am not sure what is the safest way to make payment - they take credit card, paypal, cashiers cheque or money order. I was considering using Paypal - once I feel at ease with this whole process. How do you ask someone if they are above-board without offending them?!

She mentions that keys and an info pack are normally sent out a week before. And she just asks that because it is still her home that we be respectful & keep noise levels down etc. That is a good point about the phone number - how easy is it to get info from just a phone number in the US?

Thanks again for the tips.