How it works:
- Version 1: bait and switch - when you arrive, apartment owner claims the unit is unavailable due to a gas leak requiring days to repair and sends you to another lower quality apartment.
- Version 2: when your rental period is up, the apartment owner comes down to collect the key but claims to have forgotten to bring your deposit. Arrangements will be made but will not be fulfilled. At this point, most tourists are likely to have a flight/train/bus to catch and will not be able to chase for their deposit.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Platform: use one with buyer protection rights: e.g. Booking.com (Frommer’s tests found it to have the best selection and rates).
- Deposit: never return the key without getting your deposit back first. Also, avoid revealing your departing flight/transport details.