Questions To Ask
As I said, dealing with these websites may save you a buck, but you'll need to do more work to ensure that the rental is the right one for you (as you'll be dealing with an entity who won't have the ability to move you if you're unhappy). Here are some important questions you should ask, whether you're renting from an individual or an owner:
- How are problems handled? Will there be someone nearby who I can contact if I get locked out, if a fuse blows, or if some other problem occurs?
- What does the price you're quoting me actually mean? Does it cover everything? Or will there be additional fees for utilities, WiFi, cleaning the property, use of linens, etc? Cleaning fees, in particular, can add a great deal to the cost of the rental, so get those sorted out before you close the deal.
- And is this price for the property or per person (in Europe, often the price is per person).
- Where exactly is the property? Often owners will exaggerate how close the property is to the center of town, the beach, or whatever the appealing element is in the destination. Get an exact address, and if possible a map, before you commit.
- What's in the house? Don't assume anything! If air conditioning is important to you, make sure the property has it. Ditto for a phone, a washer/dryer, internet access, a fully-equipped kitchen (and make sure you're defining that in the same way the owner is), linens, TV.
- Is a floor plan available to view? This will answer many questions, most important of which will be if there are enough bedrooms for everyone in your party or will some folks be expected to sleep on a fold-out couch.
- How private is the property? You don't want to show up and find out that the owner is staying in main house, and you're in the attached guest cottage. Find out who and where you neighbors will be.