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!