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Vacation in Paris? Fees?

I am trying to break down all the additional fees for Vacation in Paris in addition to the actual rental. There appears to be a key deposit/security deposit (fair and all accounts are good that it is returned), but is there also insurance required to send the key back? What about other fees? I am looking at staying for five nights for for people (one adult, three children) and trying to weigh the costs against a hotel.

Posted by
5688 posts

Cate,

I can tell you my experience. I rented #115 for a week in October. The fees were exactly what they told me they would be.

$150 Refundable Key Deposit

$29 Damage Waiver (I think they charge more if you have one of the more expensive apartments).

They ask that you to insure the package when you mail the keys back. You pay for the insurance at the post office. I don't remember the exact cost, but I think postage plus insurance was around $5. It was quite easy. They even send you an addressed padded envelope to mail the keys back. I took the keys to the post office on a Oct 17 and had the full $150 had been credited back to my credit card via paypal on Oct 21.

Bottom line, the extra costs were about $34.

Posted by
671 posts

Thank you! I have read such good things from a variety of sources, but I was getting confused in that section of the website.

Posted by
5688 posts

You're welcome. I hope everything works out just as smoothly for you. Have a great time in Paris.

Posted by
37 posts

Hi Cate,

We rented through VIP last summer. I would probably rent through them again although we did have an issue with them. While there my husband knocked over a small lamp. When we returned to the U.S. I contacted VIP and explained what had happened and to let us know what the replacement cost would be. They told us that we would be charged $250.00 and that we would have to buy 2 lamps since it was a"matched set". This was outrageous as the lamp at most cost $20.00 (I saw the same exact lamp in BVH for that price!!) The owner of the apartment was clearly trying to pad their pockets on this one. Fortunately, I had taken photos when we first arrived of the apartment and noted all defects (a good practice regardless of who you rent from!). Anyway, after replying that we had no intention of paying that amount and that I had pictures to prove that the lamp wasn't worth $250 they did reduce the fee to $50.00 - still more than the lamp was worth but much better than $250.00!!

Posted by
108 posts

I've never rented through them but have rented apartments through another agency and I am surprised that you are asked to mail the keys back. In my case it was so handy to have the owner present when I left the apartment, he gave me my security deposit back there and then and I gave him the keys back, as it should happen in France for vacation rentals anyway. I wonder what would happen if the keys got lost on their way once you mailed them, would the owner have to replace the locks and charge you for that?

Posted by
5688 posts

Rudy,

The reason that you insure the keys when you mail them back is in case they are lost in the mail. If the keys were lost, the post office would pay the value which you insured for ($150) so your deposit would be covered. The post office gives you a receipt that proves you insured the package.

This particular company is a U.S. based company so this option would probably not work so well if you did not live in the U.S. For me, returning the keys by mail was much more convenient than having to arrange a time to meet with the owner. I'm always in a mad rush on the day that I depart.

Posted by
2023 posts

VIP does not mail the keys for every property. This will depend on the owner of the apartment. We were met by a rental manager at the apt and she gave us a walk through and the keys. No problem getting in touch with her as we had her cell number and we called her as soon as we got into a taxi. She had lots of advice regarding grocers, markets, how to use the quirky washing machine, etc. VIP was great to deal with and we would use them again.

Posted by
2744 posts

I rented from ViP also and was completely satisfied. I liked getting the keys in the mail before we left because that way we could go right to the apartment when we arrived and didn't have to worry about meeting anyone. I agree with Laura -- it was great not having to worry about meeting up with anyone the day we left.

Posted by
108 posts

Nancy, that is why it is normal usage in France to draw up a condition report at check in and at check out where both owner and tenant check everything is fine or notes in writing whatever damage there is. They both sign it. For vacationers it's true it takes time and can seem not worth the waste of time but it's actually the only way to be on the safe side. Then, when an owner wants to deduct something from your security deposit, they have to produce an invoice or at least a quote for the needed repair or replacement. Also, in France, remember that what ends a contract is the remittance of the keys... striclty speaking, this means that as long as you have not given your keys back, the owner could be entitled to ask for the rent because it legally means you are still occupying the premises. Which is why, even with a post office insurance, I personally would not accept to send the keys through the post but only to hand them directly to the owner of the apartment or their representative. That's what I did last time I rented an apartment in Paris, and also when I rented an apartment in New York actually. Both times it was a vacation rental and I found it great to meet the owners who were really nice and helpful.

Posted by
671 posts

Are there other reputable local agencies, then? Rudy, you make a good point about the legalities.

Posted by
108 posts

I'm sure there is a good choice of good agencies. The one I went through for my vacation rentals is New York Habitat at www.nyhabitat.com, for me the whole experience was hassle free, both the agency's agent and the apartment owner were really helpful