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When you are renting a holiday home and making arrangements via a website like  

the low cost villa advertising service

We suggest you check out very thoroughly the following with the advertiser of the property.

1) AVAILABILITY: Property owners should update their Availability dates on a regular basis on the web site. If they have not indicated an availability date, please email them for this information.

2) ACCOMMODATION: Most advertisers provide excellent accommodation details, occasionally they might have omitted some details, so if you require additional information contact the owner. In many cases Property owners have their own web site that shows additional details and if they do have a site you can access this from the featured property page.

Many advertisers are registered or listed with their country/regionís Tourist Office and have to comply with the guidelines on standards of accommodation and facilities & equipment provided.

3) BABYSITTING: If you require a baby sitter you must ask the Property owner if they have contacts.

4)BREAKAGES: (see also Inventory & Deposit sections below) Small accidents can happen when you are on holiday. Normally if a renter breaks glasses, crockery etc they will often find replacements at the local supermarket and should always advise the owner or agent. If there is a serious breakage - window - chair etc, the renter should immediately report this to the owner or their agent.

5)BICYCLE HIRE: If you need to hire a bike, it might be advisable to contact the owner when you make your booking as to availability in the property's area.

6)BOOKING FLEXIBILITY: See No 9 Changeover Day below as many property owners can accommodate for longer or shorter periods depending on seasonal demand.

6)CAR HIRE: If you need to hire a car, sometimes if you book well in advance you can secure a rental at a more favourable price. Rental prices tend to vary from country to country and from experience car hire in Spain is a lot cheaper than Ireland. If you want a quote

7) CHILDREN: Some property owners do not accept children under a certain age bracket.

8)CLEANING: Many holiday properties provide a cleaning service and state this on their page on Sometimes they offer daily, weekly or just end of stay cleaning. In other cases you either have to clean it yourself or pay additional charges. It is advisable to check when booking.

9) CHANGEOVER DAYS: The property advertiser will usually advise on our site the changeover days. In the peak periods these days cannot usually be changed, however at other times of the year many property owners will be agreeable to changing the booking period. i.e. Instead of Saturday-to-Saturday - Tuesday to Tuesday. You will also come across some property owners who will be happy to let the property for a very long weekend. If this information is not stated you can always email the owner.

10) CHECKING IN & OUT: Please make sure you have the owner or agent's contact details with you - mobile phone/office phone etc and provide them with your mobile number as well. Sometimes flights are delayed for example and you should let the key holder know the situation. You should also agree a check in time with them. With many properties you cannot arrive till after 12 noon, but check the situation out when you make the booking. If you are likely to arrive out an "unsocial hour" then you might find that you are charged a fee if there is an agent handling the check in.

When you leave the property, quite often you have to be out by 10.00 in the morning to allow cleaners in and normally times will be agreed between yourself and the owner in their Rental Agreement or correspondence.

11) DEPOSITS: - Initial Deposit & Damage Deposit: You will normally be asked to put down a deposit at the time of booking. Sometimes this is non-refundable so please check the details with the property owner. It is worth well considering taking out Travel Insurance when you make a booking in case you have to cancel your visit.
Many property owners now require a damage deposit to be held throughout your visit. see section 4 above on Breakages

12) ELECTRICITY, GAS & WATER: These utilities are expensive in most countries and are usually metered (except with butane gas). You will usually find that these services are included in the rent, although sometimes the electricity is on meter and you sometimes have to pay additional charges for heating or heating a swimming pool.

Electric voltages in most European countries are about the same, however you might need the appropriate adaptor to use your domestic plug in some countries. You should find out when you arrive at a property where the trip switch/fuse board is and also if butane gas is being provided how to change the bottle and where to purchase a replacement.

13) INSURANCE: You should take out adequate travel insurance when you make your booking in case you have to cancel the holiday. In many cases if you have an accident at a property, although the Property owner's insurance company will initially entertain the claim they may also want to pursue your insurance company.

A property owner's insurance will probably not cover your personal must make sure that your property is properly covered for holiday lettings. You should advise the insurance company that it is being let for this purpose. If you want some further information on quotes follow this link.....

Find out more here

14) INVENTORY: It is normal procedure to have an inventory of the contents that will be checked in by the local agent or owner. A damage deposit is often held and then will not normally be returned till after the property has been vacated and will either be paid back locally or sent to the renterís home address. You will often find reference to this and the amount to be paid in the rental agreement.

You should check with the owner as to when you can expect to receive the deposit back. If can be checked in with your guests.
Either the owner or local agent should politely point out that if the visitors break equipment, if they are glasses for example then they should replace, if it is more serious - bed, window etc, then immediately report it.

15) KITCHENS: We encourage advertisers on to give a description of their kitchen. They should include an oven (conventional or microwave )They should include an oven (conventional or microwave), Does it have a dishwasher, washing machine, iron etc?

16) LINEN HIRE/TOWELS/COTS: Before setting off on your holiday check out the linen hire situation. Many property owners provide linen & bath towels (but not beach towels) and many of the properties advertised do not have linen or towels. They would provide pillows, duvets or blankets usually. You can often hire linen locally, which is a good idea if you are flying. Check with the property owner when you make your booking. If you require a cot you should find out if the owner provides these, or if you can hire one or if you have to bring your own.

17) LOCAL FACILITIES: If the owner has not provided a Property Handbook (see 21 below) please ask for information. Do not forget to buy a guide book and buy local area maps.

18) LOCAL AGENT: Many property owners will employ a local agent to check you into the property. This person (or agency) would most likely be your point of contact if you have problems at the property. The local agent can sometime arrange linen hire and if the owner has not left you a Property Information book, the agent can normally tell you about local shops, restaurants, bars and attractions.

19) PRICES / RATES: At we encourage our clients to keep their prices updated. Unfortunately not all advertisers do this and in some cases do not submit their prices. If you are not certain about the information shown, email the owner for confirmation. You will probably find that you are paying more over bank holiday periods and in the main summer season.

20) PROPERTY CAPACITY: Although a property might stipulate it sleeps 6, there is often the possibility that it can sleep an addition 2 on a sofa bed. Alternatively a property stating it sleeps 6 might only have 2 bedrooms - the other sleeping capacity being on the sofa bed. Check the description carefully and if in doubt email the owner for clarification.

21) PROPERTY HANDBOOK: We advise owners to leave a ring bound folder with some notes about the property - how the hot water system works, where the rubbish should be put, information on local shops, restaurants and attractions etc.

22) RENTAL AGREEMENT: It is normal procedure to have a rental agreement. In some countries it is the law. It will set out the terms of the rental - prices, length of let, damage deposit and other conditions.

23) SWIMMING POOLS: Take great care if you are renting a property with a swimming pool. In France it is now the law to have these fenced as well as to supervise young children. You will quite often pay an additional charge for the heating of the pool. Take great care with pools they are not always lined with tiles and concrete and the lining can easily be damaged by a sharp object. They are expensive to replace and you could be responsible for paying this if a member of your party has caused the damage.

24) TELEPHONES: Some property owners provide telephones for incoming calls; some have a pay phone system. If you are taking your mobile on holiday, make sure that you have contacted the mobile phone provider to allow calls to be made to and from it when you are not in your home country. Generally you will pay the cost of the call coming from your home country to where the mobile is being used.

If you do not have a mobile and there is no telephone at the property and you want friends or family to contact you in an emergency let them have the owner or agentís number

25) TELEVISIONS: Many properties provide a television. Quite often it will only be the local countryís networks. Some properties have satellite systems, but these systems might not necessarily have programmes in your language. The BBC made changes to their satellite broadcasting in 2003 and whereas the signal used to be strong south of the Pyrenees, apparently this is no longer the case

26) WASHING / IRONS: If the property you are going to rent does not have a washing machine, you should find out from the owner or agent the location of the nearest laundry or laundrette. You should also check to see if the property has ironing facilities. If you need to take an iron, there are very neat travel irons on the market.

27) WCs: Many properties have a septic tank rather than mains drainage and have narrow gauge pipework. Nothing other than toilet paper should be put down any WC. You will often find in Greece & Turkey that you will have to use a separate container for toilet paper. Blockages are inconvenient and expensive to clear and you could be charged if a specialist is called in.

28) WELCOME PACKS: A lot of properties provide a welcome pack. Quite often a local agent can arrange for this if required, especially if you are going to arrive late at night. (Bread, milk, coffee tea etc). In some case these are included in the prices of your stay, in others it will be an additional cost. Do not expect to have a welcome pack, as many property owners do not provide these.


Please note this guide has been compiled from experience and jml Property Services takes no responsibility for the accuracy of its content.

If you have any further tips for people renting holiday properties that could be added here, please email them to us.

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