When we rent our properties....do we know who the enquier really is?

I advertise a property with a well known site which has an audience of millions. I also advertise with a company which specialises in properties like mine and chateaux but this company

filters the enquiries and then I get my deposit there is basic back ground info on the client to include contact details. With this method I know that the client has serious intentions to rent as the deposit, of course is non refundable.

Same principal as booking a flight. Once the date is reserved you have a 2 way promise.I pay a high percentage to this company but

it is worth it for safety and excellent marketing.

For me it is worth having less reservations from people who are prepared to pay for what they want than charge a lot less and get

more wear and tear on the property.

I am bringing this topic to you as I question....

We never know who is at the other side of an e mail.

At least with a tel call there are questions with answers...


Has anyone experienced any rental scams?

Now I am never sure who is the author of an enquiry from Owners

Direct. I always look up the name of the client and come across all

sorts of info....sometimes the name refers to a person from the

eighteenth century or possibly a well know actor.

The last enquiry dragged on for more than 2 weeks and a large number

of e mails going to and thro from across the sea. It ended with payment

not only for the deposit but in full.

Funny enough I get a lot of clients who are in the legal business....

several for 2015 including my regular family who will arrive here

from London with all their restaurant news.

It is funny because they all get one of my home made contracts/info

pages to sign for me before they arrive!

But...maybe I am wrong but some scammers just use the pics to lure the clients to make paiments

Yes and description but the house which may be in Normandy is portrayed as being in Bordeaux

countryside. They do all sorts.

Their minds are focused on illusion and trickery and some are very good at what they do.

With a large property the deposits requested by owners is higher and the pics are

usually more appealing.

I know how to find people using Internet resources, as some people know already. On the same principle it is easy to find places and things. So, on that principle, if you wish to protect yourself against scams by agencies who are 'renting' without you knowing, simply use your details, your address would be good because the name of the place could be changed slightly by scammers. If it is up anywhere you will find it. If it ever happens, then simply inform the police in the country it is (supposedly) based in.

it is important to speak to people first.

We sent our credit card machine back as it often did not work very well.

Bank transfers are easier.

Scammers like big properties,....it seems.

So far, we have only had scammers wanting us to join their database, Indians.

We speak to all our clients personally and they have the choice of paying by credit card or bank transfer.

I am afraid it would not be up to us to arrange such an insurance as we have no "insurable interest". It would be for the holidaymaker to do so. However to suggest it to them, when they book with us, would not be a good idea as it would raise questions in their minds.

I am afraid it is something none of us wish to face, none of us have any control over and something about which none of us can do anything. Just hope it does not happen

I can not imagine any of us B and B ers or renters have an insurance to cover

fraud created by others. I have 3rd party cover for b AND B AND GITE which

covers for things like food poisoning and pool probs....etc.

But this fraud stuff is fairly new....is it not?

The report on this scam is here


As I said, we have not been involved with this personally and what would you do. If you are already booked, there is nothing you can do.

There is even a top up insurance policy for this as the "normal" ones do not provide cover for this eventuality as far as I can discover


It is worrying.

It is a scam of sorts.The thing is ...how would you know if someone had marketed your property

in this manner until an unbooked group turned up saying that they had a reservation?

Yes I too request a bank transfer when the bookings are from....lets say Owners Direct.

I recently have been communicating with a woman who apparently is major player in a Hong Kong

Law firm and is not reacting in a manner which I trust....I will not accept a group without a signed contract

which is sent by post them.

Anyone who is not happy to comply is not going likely to make a good tenant.

And a tenant who is difficult is the last thing we need.

This is a timely subject as the season gets under way.

We have been renting our gites for 10 years now and, so far and fortunately, never had a problem. There have been the usual scam enquiries but we have found these fairly easy to detect at the outset.

Our system, through various holiday sites, and our own web site is to deal with the enquiry on a direct basis, get the client to sign a rental agreement, get them to send the non returnable deposit directly to our bank by bank transfer. The final payment is also made directly to our (UK) bank by bank transfer. We only deal with the people personally on a direct basis.

The other side of the coin, which is worrying, are the reports of genuine rental properties being marketed by scammers and the owners know nothing about any bookings until the people arrive.

I HAVE an idea....

For all seriously interested parties...

they should call me to discuss dates etc.