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Vacation Rentals: How to Avoid Scams?

Here you will find out the main tips to avoid getting ripped off when renting a vacation home.

Tip # 1: check the address
The best way to find out if a property exists is to check it online by looking for its address. Ask the advertiser for the address of the property and compare it to their advertisement. A house must be easily found thanks to sites or applications: the whole earth is mapped today on the Internet, and by typing on one of these sites the address that the advertiser will have indicated to you, you can verify its existence immediately. If you can't find it: beware! Choose another!
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Tip 2: check that the advertiser is the owner of the property.
For this, several tips. Don't be satisfied with emails or text messages: call! The voice, the accent, and the words' coherence make it possible to have a first impression. If that impression is bad, trust it and let it go. Ask the owner to give you his precise personal address: you must be able to write to him by mail. If he refuses to give you his address, do not follow up, it is certainly a scam.
Ask that we send you other photos than those of the advertisement, of the interior and the exterior of the accommodation and compare them with the others and with the photos that you will have found on the Internet. In case of hesitation on the part of the owner, or if the photos are different from the first ones and from what you see on the Internet, go your way; it is surely a scam.
 
Tip 3: beware of a price that is too "interesting"
Compare prices! If, among the others, the property for rent that you have spotted is offered at a price that stands out, chances are it is a scam. Scammers assume that it is better to cash out a small amount without taking too much risk rather than cash-out nothing at all! In this case, flee.
 
Tip # 4: use the phone
If crooks commonly use the Internet, messaging, or social networks to communicate with their victims, it is to avoid being located and therefore being found if they succeed. By calling them, you can check that the number is that of the owner of the property and, at the same time, the exact name of the owner.
Also, that this number corresponds to that of the country or the announced department, that the person is easily reachable and at normal hours. Also, the interlocutor knows his region, his city well (in the conversation, mention in an innocuous way places that exist in his city and others that you imagine, ask him where a place in his city you will have invented).

Tip 5: signing a seasonal rental contract is an obligation
Contract must be drawn up in two original copies, dated each signed by the lessor and the lessee, and contain certain information such as the contact details (full identity and address) of the owner and the lessee, the precise description of the property, the price and the terms and conditions. of payment. Once the contract is signed, upon arrival, it is desirable to make an inventory, signed by both parties as well.
Write down any comments you think are important and ask for a copy to be given to you immediately. If you find that something is not in good condition, take a photo: it's not complicated, but it can be useful. Since digital photos are time-stamped, you can prove the date and time you took them. This inventory and these images will be essential evidence in the event of a dispute.

Tip 6: payment or refund of deposit
To block your reservation, the owner requests a deposit, which must be limited to 30% of the total amount. If you cancel your reservation, he will keep the money and may even claim the full rental price from you. If it is the owner who cancels the reservation, he will have to return your deposit. If this cancellation causes you harm because it forces you to cancel your vacation, causes you to lose money because you have booked non-refundable activities, you can claim damages. Keep track of any deposit or reservation.

Tip 7: only use official payment methods
Most of the time, payment takes place remotely. The main thing is, in the event of a dispute, to be able to prove that you have paid he amount. It is, therefore, necessary to favor the check sent by post, the transfer (only to France!), Paypal, the credit card, or holiday vouchers.

Tip 8: in case of a scam, react very quickly
Make observations immediately, on the inventory or other, and take as many photos as possible. Call the gendarmerie or the police so that they come to see and file a complaint about fraud. If they do not come, bring in a bailiff to make a report. You can easily find one by consulting the Yellow Pages. Immediately send a formal notice to your interlocutor to have to reimburse you for the sums paid and, of course, consult a lawyer.