We will list the usual questions asked by travelers, according to our experience:
1. When is better to make the reservation?
We recommend that you make the reservation to rent a house in France a long time in advance: several months before the date of the journey. This is due to the fact that the demand is great, especially in mid and high season. It should be pointed out that prices tend to increase during high season.
2. Is there a minimum of days to rent a property in France?
Usually a minimal amount of days is stated to rent a place, which varies according to the owner or the rental agency. Generally you must rent a place for at least a week, but many accept to rent a place for three or five nights.
3. What happens if I decide to stay more or fewer days to the ones stated on the contract?
If you want to stay longer, you can do it. However, if it is high season it may not be possible to extend the stay. On the other hand, it is convenient to calculate exactly how long you are going to stay in the property, since this will be more economic if you have rented a place for at least three weeks.
If you want to stay for fewer days, usually you will not be given your money back. Incase of longer stay rentals (over a month), there is a possibility of some kind of refund.
4. What happens if I have to cancel the trip?
If you cancel the trip or modify the date –whatever the reason might be– usually you will not receive any refund. In some cases, owners and agencies will try to make a new reservation for another time, so that you do not lose the money invested. Sometimes, you can receive a refund, but with a certain discount for the owner or the agency. If you are planning for a long stay, it is advisable that you acquire cancellation trip insurance, since any problem may arise and this will result in your losing an important sum of money.
5. What day and what time can I arrive and leave the rented place?
The arrival and departure days vary according to the agencies and the owners. Generally, all days are valid, except for Sundays and holidays in France. Anyhow, some companies offer you the possibility of arriving or leaving the place any day of the week.
As regards timetables, these depend on the agency or the owner. You can generally get to the place from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. The departure schedule tends to be during the morning, between 10 a.m and noon. If you cannot keep to these timetables, you should let the one in charge or the local representative know, so as to arrange for another arrival/departure schedule. It is important to respect these schedules since they allow for the cleaning before and after, so that you and the people coming after you can get the place in the right conditions. If you arrive when there are still people in there, you will be allowed to leave the luggage but you will be asked to come back later.
6. How can I get the keys and how do I return them?
When you get to the rented place the owner, the agency representative or the one in charge will be waiting for you to hand you the keys. In some cases, you will have to pick up the keys from the agency or the house of the one in charge. Some agencies and owners offer the possibility of picking up the keys from the property itself. The day you are leaving you will have to give them to the one in charge or the owner or, in case of automatic returning, leave them in the place.
7. What does the price include?
The price of a property to spend the holidays in France includes:
The rental price itself.
Different types of taxes (for example: travelers taxes, determined by French Law and that vary according the type and quality of the property).
Basic rental insurance, which covers damages due to fire, flood or flaws. It also covers third party damages and unintentional windows and furniture damages (it does not cover the loss of luggage or personal items)
Cleaning services before the arrival and after the departure.
In some cases, once a week cleaning service, travelers´ phone assistance, Internet access, cable system, CD player, DVD, washing machine, table linen, sheets and towels can be included. In the total price the following things are not included:
Electricity, gas, water, Internet and phone expenses.
Insurance for the luggage and personal items.
Extra services of cleaning, laundry, children care, fax, mobile phones.
All these expenses will have to be paid before the stay is over, by credit card, checks or cash. Since the demand for the services of catering, cleaning, children care is high it would be better to hire them, at least, a month in advance.
8. What type of taxes do you have to pay?
French Law states a tax for tourists, according to which the traveler must pay a small quantity per day of stay. The tax varies depending on the type of place you rent, its location and equipping. The average is €1 per day and per week.
9. How are the properties equipped?
The properties that are to be rented for holidays in France are furnished and decorated in a typical French style. Sheets, table linen and towels are included. As regards sheets and towels, it must be pointed out that they are changed once a week, for which some travelers prefer paying an additional amount so as to have the sheets and towels changed more frequently, or take them themselves. Blankets and pillows are also included. Furthermore you will find cutlery, plates, glasses and all kind of cook utensils. As regards available appliances, they vary according to the rental agency or the owner. Generally it may include: television, CD player, washing machine, dishwasher, iron, fridge and microwave. However, not all the places offer these appliances. Instructions are usually in French but they are also in English.
Usually the places have a book with tourist information about the region and useful telephone numbers and addresses. On the other hand, it is important to mention that food and cleaning products are not included. You can buy these products in the stores and supermarkets nearby, and bear in mind that they are closed on Sundays. You can get fresh food in the fairs, which open on Sundays.
10. Are the electricity, gas, water, telephone and Internet expenses included in the total price?
As we have already mentioned, the service expenses are not included in the rental price. This means that you should pay for what you use separately. The gas and electricity meters are at sight, so that the travelers can control what they consume. What you spend in services will depend basically on the size of the house, the number of people in it and the time of the year. It is important to bear in mind that these expenses during winter holidays ate higher due to the fact that you spend more in gas and electricity.
As regards telephone, there are different options. The restricted system allows only for incalls from any telephone and you can make local calls. The unrestricted system allows for all type of calls (local and long distance calls), but this entails greater expenses. A good way to avoid spending a lot of money on telephone is to buy a prepaid card, useful not only for public phones but also for private ones (beyond the one in the place). These cards can be bought in stores, airports and stations, and their price varies. On the other hand, many places in France have Internet, with broadband or dial up. They only charge you the connection and you pay for what you consume. In all, it is not a very common thing for rental places to have Internet.
11. Are pets allowed?
Unfortunately, apartments in Paris do not allow pets, except there is a special previous agreement (in which case there is an extra cost). In the suburbs it is more likely to bring pets.
12. What happens if there are problems with the property?
When you get to the place, the one in charge or the owner will show you the place and its functioning in detail. If you have any problem with the place, you should contact the owner or the one in charge, thus you will have a quick solution to your problem. If you do not inform about the problem in the place, you will not be able to make any complaint when your stay is over.
13. Is it necessary to have potential damage insurance?
Rentals for travelers in France include a basic insurance against fire, flood and any other accident that may occur in the place. This insurance also covers third party damages and unintentional damages to furniture or installations. However, this insurance does not cover the loss or rob of the luggage or personal items. To do so, we recommend that you hire an insurance that covers this possibility, so that you can enjoy your holidays knowing your belongings are insured.
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