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London Flat/Apartment Scams?

Hello, I've been searching for a one week rental flat in London for my sister and I'm wondering if I'm running into scams. One "agency" wanted me to open an account with Barclay's. And another would not provide me with their phone number, saying they were on a business trip and could not be reached, but could we wire the deposit of $1200 from a Western Union branch. Yet another has asked me to do all of the above, but asked that I also send them a copy of my passport as well. I've never rented a vacation flat before. Are these all legitimate requests?

Has anyone dealt with a reputable and honest apartment/flat vacation rental agency or an private renter in London that they can reccomend? Thank you!

Posted by
23434 posts

For the most part, yes !!! Not sure if any of your experiences are scams. Remember, they are just as concerned about you as you are about them. All will require some type of a prepayment/deposit. And it can be difficult to transfer funds. Some will require full payment in cash prior to giving you the key. Others have reported a similar request for passport.

Posted by
97 posts

James,

We are Londonophiles and go every 2years or so. We usually exchange with someone but we have rented on several occasions. Try to get your sister something at the London School of Economics if she is traveling in the summer...they have modest digs available. We also plan to stay for several days this August at the Langorf Hotel on Frognal St...they have BandB which we have used in the past or this year we will have one of their few apartments. You can also look at VRBO.com which are rentals by London people of other properties they own. Your sister will have to pay something around 100GBP per night if she is looking to be right in the heart of the city.

Good luck,

Mollie B

Posted by
13 posts

We've rented an apartment for 5 people for this July. We found it on the British Tourist Authority Website. I felt this would ensure the credibility of the rental. I believe the total came to about $1500 for 7 days for a 3 bedroom flat. We sent a 25% deposit with the booking and the balance is due a month ahead of time.
I'll give feedback after we return. Our apartment is part of a complex that has about 8 units of varying sizes. (I believe it's a converted large home). It is in in Zone 3 of London. I imagine apartments right in the centre of London are more.