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1608 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2012 9:18 PM by anja RSS
New Member 2 posts since
Jun 8, 2012
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Jun 8, 2012 4:28 AM

What to do when an owner resfuses to rent because they don't like you



I have used VRBO with positive experiences.  However, recently tried to rent an apartment in Milan.  The listing was handled by an agency.  Aside from the fact that they put a low price on the listing, and then demanded more money when I made contact, the agency also insisted that I tell them exactly why I was coming to Milan, what I would do there, who my meetings were with, and what they were about.  When I got tired of the questions, and asked why they needed all of this information for a three-day stay, they said "It's the owner's personal apartment, and all of her things are there, and she's worried."  Why put it on VRBO for rent??  They then asked if I was ok paying the higher price that they demanded and said they were worried I would fight with the owner over asking a higher price.  The phone call concluded with the fact that they weren't really sure they approved (was going to Milan to see my agent, have meetings with publishers and do some photography shoots) and it would be better if I found another place to stay because they were worried about the owner's personal things, and perhaps I could rent another one of their apartments.


They did NOT ask for a damage deposit or anything else.


I am fine walking away from this because I realized that this same agency a year ago did something similar.


As a renter who is acting in good faith, do you just walk away and be happy you dodged a bullet?  Is there a way to file a complaint?  Should we expect owners to raise prices or accuse us of being thieves?  I understand there's a LARGE amount of trust necessary to rent out your property-- but there's the same amount of trust necessary on the renter's side-- will the images be faithful to reality?  Will the owner come into the apartment or let someone in during the day when you're not there or when you're there?  Will your person and effects be safe?  Is the building safe?  A myriad of things.


What is the best way to handle these situations?

  • stjvilla Active Contributor 624 posts since
    May 27, 2011

    Very briefly, we agree you dodged the bullet and should just walk away.  What you experienced is not business-like behavior and this agency handling the apartment sounds very unprofessional.  Since you only talked to them you really don't know what the owner would want or say.  Maybe the owner doesn't even know how their agency is behaving!  Hope you find another great plac to stay.

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011

      I'm here to support stjvilla's comment.  Good points made.


      I would not take it so personally...."....refuses to rent because they don't like you". This is a case  of someone who wants to rent while she is afraid to rent.....and employs an agent with a heavy hand in "screening".  It isn't's business.  You've done nothing to offend or appear "suspect" to the agent.  It's a weird arrangement, though, from the get-go, in my opinion.


      Personally, I would not try to work out anything with this agent.  I wouldn't even try to work directly with that owner.  Under those rental circumstances...after what the agent revealed about the owner's insecurity renting the place, I'd perfer to stay away from it...I would  not want to feel "responsible" for anything.   One never knows if anything should go "missing", "misplaced"  or just damaged.... from among all her personal belongings she has there...what you could be suspected of, charged a fee for...and falsly accused of...who knows?


      It's actually an 'unspoken'  fact that most owners generally do screen inquirers a little so we know who we are giving the keys to our house to.....even for a short stay. We just expect essential information.  But, this one seemed unprofessional and a bit of an interrogation. {Unless you speak Italian....the agent was speaking English to you.  ?...and perhaps his command of English was awkward his tone could sound wrong when trying to make a point in a foreign language.  Just a consideration from someone who lived and worked in different countries and had to learn languages...struggled to express myself well.  Just a side thought, I had}.


      Regardless, this all sounded "over the top".  The owner seems to have criteria to "qualify" a renter...or it's an agent acting on his own to protect his client...even if it sounds extreme....there's plenty of crime in Milan.


      You dealt with that agent  once before, so it seems it's not so unusual.  But, the owner should not put all her personal belongings in her home open to risk, regardless.   Foolish. That's a different discussion.


      Does this warrent an online harm the woman?   I don't know....I'm not so sure that I would want to do that, personally. They have their modis operandi ...maybe it's standard practice  in Milan...maybe not....and she has her criteria that "qualifies" guests.


      But, owners do have the prerogative to select who they will rent to...who they feel secure giving the keys to. I do not rent to anyone and everyone who inquires, for example...if it's not a good match....I need basic information about who wants my keys. That's all.   I do not interrogate, but I do like to know what brings someone to my location rent my home?  Vacation?  Business?  Family gathering?  That comes out "in the booking process"....because there are rental terms and conditions to be considered by both parties.   If you're  a single guy on business in my area, I'd welcome long as you sign my rental agreement which states that you accept my terms.....I'd warmly welcome you.


      I think that this  owner lost a good guest opportunity - you!  It's her loss.


      Personally, I would just  move on to find another place...try a different agent...or use HA and VRBO to work directly with the owner.

      You will find a better rental in Milan with more reasonable reservation procedure and rental terms.  You are correct....this trade depends upon TRUST between both parties.

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011

          Hi kphotog....


          Your response is excellent.   I could not agree more! You do need assurance on your side about the owner....especially if they don't use contracts in Milan. Unheard of.  I would not be renting from anyone there.


          I assume that, when the agent called to apologize, you told her why she was losing your business.  The entire scenario was ridiculous.


          You can not leave a "review" on the HA/VRBO portal unless you stayed there...if it is listed there. However, you should search for that place on If it's there, you can upload your comments about this experience.

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