Safe payment for your holiday rental:

Every year more holiday makers decide to rent a villa or apartment. They often find accommodation through internet, from websites where private owners offer their properties.  Unfortunately people become subject to scamming and lose their well earned holiday savings. In the current economic climate also (established) rental agents close down.

Please be aware that as off Nov. 29, 2014 a new national law exists that prohibits any property to be rented without an official licence, registration number and an AL sign (AL = Location Accommodation sign which needs to be installed next to the front door). Any advert online must also have this licence and registration number.

Holiday makers renting properties without this mandatory requirement, may be forced to leave the place and owners will be forced to pay a fine that can reach Euro 30.000,--.

When it comes to payment for your holiday rental one doesn’t actually know who they are sending their money. While reserving a property, there’s often a request for full or partial payment in advance. This is a risk one must be willing to accept. Think carefully before you go ahead and spend your holiday money.

There are various methods for payment:

Credit Cards: this is a recommended way to pay because of consumer protection laws for credit card transactions.  If something goes wrong with your rental, you have the right to contact your credit card company and initiate a chargeback or reversal of funds.  Although you can submit a complaint, it’s not guaranteed that your money will be refunded. 

PayPal: like with
a credit card chargeback, if you pay with PayPal (either their credit card or money transfer service) you can contact PayPal and initiate a chargeback. The difference is that because the owner is accepting payments for an unsupported service they will not be able to defend their position and will simply lose. Their entire PayPal account will be frozen and your funds will be returned. This process requires some patience, but is obviously good for the traveler.

Wire Transfer, Checks, Western Union, etc.
When you send payment via one of these methods, your money is gone and you have no safety net.

And about your travel insurance: 
This is not a payment method, however a travel insurance offers protection for unforeseen circumstances. Generally, travel insurance provides coverage for emergency medical situations while on holidays. Also trip cancellations/interruptions due to work reasons are covered.   Check if your travel insurance covers scams, double bookings, holiday rental foreclosures and owner bankruptcies. To file a claim, certain documentation has to be submitted within a defined time period and certain steps have to be taken.