Lots of people choose to rent houses for their holidays. This is what is known as a seasonal rental which is a variation of a furnished rental, agreed upon for a short term, one whole season maximum. Since the accommodation is chosen without any viewings having been made, potential clients need as much information as possible to make their choice. This is where internet and its images are brilliant! In addition, this type of agreement is less regulated than long term rentals;except for the owner’s obligation to provide a detailed description of the accommodation, the conditions that apply are freely agreed upon by both parties.
Reservation of holiday rental
Before booking the owner must send a descriptive statement of the rental property. It allows one to get all necessary informations about the accommodation, its equipment, the surroundings and the rental conditions. If you decide to reserve the place, you will send the owner a first installement payment, generally amounting to 25% to 30% of the total price of the rental. The money you send to reserve the rental property generally represents a deposit. This means that if you cancel the reservation, you lose your deposit. If the owner cancels the rental, he will have to reimburse you double amount of your deposit. Sometimes the money you send is qualified as a down payment. In this case, the contract is definitive and may not be changed. Cancellation is forbidden for both parties and the tenant must pay the entire rent.
Signature of the contract
Upon receipt of your reservation, the owner sends you two copies of the rental contract. You must sign them and return one copy. The contract must obviously specify the rental dates along with the arrival and departure times. It should also specify how the exchange of keys is handled. The owner is generally present but he may also appoint someone for this procedure.
The rental price is made up of three elements: rent, deposit and service charges. After the reservation, one must send the balance of rent due. This payment is performed according to the conditions stipulated in the contract. Generally, a second bank transfer is made one or two weeks prior to the beginning of rental. The contract may also specify a cash payment upon arrival or exchange of keys.
The charges for seasonal rentals are fixed according to a flat rate. The rent is always inclusive of charges. However, the contract may stipulate that water and electricity are paid according to actual consumption. In this case the owner must read the meters upon arrival and departure of each tenant. The owner may also ask you to pay for tourist tax. This local tax is enforced by local authorities of some tourist towns, who define its amount per day and per person (approximately 1 euro). The owner pays this tax to local authorities and in turn charges the tenant accordingly.
A deposit may be required upon arrival to guarantee the owner against potential damage identified at the end of the rental period. Its amount depends on the importance and quality of amenities provided. It usually ranges from 20% to 30% of the rent.
For seasonal rentals, the tenant is responsible for deterioration and losses that may occur in the accommodation during the rental period. It is therefore important to stipulate the insurance conditions in the contract. The simplest for you is to have the owner take out an insurance policy which covers him against all possible damage caused by renters. He will then be assured that his accommodation is insured for the rental period and you do not have to take out an insurance policy yourself.
Arriving at your holiday rental
If you have not already paid the rent by bank transfer, it is upon reception of the keys that the tenant pays the balance of the rent along with the deposit, in cash or by cheque. The next step is then proceeding with the owner to the inventory of premises and fixtures. Two copies of these documents are generally established and signed by both parties.