Villa Rentals: The #1 Question to Ask Before You Rent

Whether you’re renting through an agency or directly from an owner, Guest Editor Pauline Kenny and I agree that the number one question to ask before you commit is:

Is there someone we can call if there’s a problem in the villa or apartment?

And that’s not a simple yes/no question. Be sure to follow up and find out:

  • Where is that person located and how long would it take he/she to get to the proparty to look at a problem? It is a big difference if he or she is in the villa next door or at a call center somewhere else in Italy.
  • In order to call, you need a phone, so ask: Is there a working phone in the villa? If not, is it easy to get cell phone coverage? (and plan to bring a GSM phone or rent a cell phone)
  • Does the emergency contact speak English? Don’t take for granted that he or she does. Check before there is a problem.

When I rented a villa in Tuscany a few years ago, the toilets didn’t work. Not a situation you want to be stuck with for days. There was no phone in the villa and my GSM cell phone didn’t get coverage in the area. There was a happy ending however. I called the agency from a pay phone and they sent someone over. Luckily, I could speak to him in Italian and he quickly fixed the problem by turning on a water valve.

In Dream of Italy’s September issue – Special Report: Villa Rentals II, we go over other questions you must ask an agency or an owner before plunking down thousands of dollars…

$10 to download this issue or as little as $64 for a full online Dream of Italy subscription (with a total of 66 issues) is a small amount to pay for the right information before making such a large investment!