Renting private accommodation abroad

Updated: 12/7/2015

Today, many people deviate from the traditional way of booking a hotel for the holidays, and opts for renting a house or an apartment privately instead. Here are our top tips to avoid the worst pitfalls while doing this.

Close up of woman looking for rental apartment in mobile.

It is of outmost importance that you find out all the necessary information before you decide to rent private accommodation, since you are not protected by consumer laws when you conclude a contract with another private individual, rather than with a trader.

There are plenty of apartments and houses that are mediated by both Swedish and foreign organizers. We have collected some points worth thinking about, before you sign a contract with an unknown individual.

Before you make a reservation

The first question you should ask yourself is how reliable is the landlord? If the landlord claims to live abroad and want to use anonymous payment services such as Western Union, then stay clear of the deal. If you are unsure – ask for references.

Do not rely blindly on fancy images and euphemistic descriptions. Contact persons who have previously rented the accommodation you are interested in. You can also check the address / location of a map service online, such as Google Maps.

If you book through an agency

Many people might feel safer booking through agencies. If you rent from an agency you often have the opportunity to get help if you have any problems, but it is still important to find out what responsibilities the broker takes. Read the terms, conditions and fine print information so that you know what applies in the event of something going wrong.

Look for quality seals, membership of trade associations or partnerships with tourism organizations. Some brokers have evaluations of previous customers on their sites.

Beware!

Unlike mediators, ad squares does not provide any guarantee that the items they advertise is reliable. Ad squares only serves as a platform where providers and interested tenants can make contact. Check the terms and conditions carefully if you should find an interesting item here.

If you rent directly from the home owner

You can also rent directly from a home owner. This can be a way to save money because no agency require any fee. However, it is even more important that everything is in order before you travel, if you rent without intermediaries.

Would your holiday accommodation turn out to be something other than what the pictures promised, and you do not agree with the landlord, then there is nowhere to turn to for help. If the problems concerns a contract between two individuals, neither the local consumer adviser nor ECC Sweden can assist.

Remember that you as a tenant also have obligations. You must follow the rules underlying the contract, and you must care for your temporary holiday accommodation. Document any faults and defects in the accommodation upon arrival so that you are not accused of having caused these.

Make sure to have a written contract

Always insist on a written contract with all the terms specified before you pay, so that no unnecessary surprises popping up afterwards. Should there be a conflict, it is always good to have written evidence of any terms and conditions.

Be as clear as you can when you and the landlord formulate the contract between you, in order to avoid misunderstandings.