Rental accommodation

Young dark-haired woman looking disappointed with her hand on the side of her face and carrying a rucksack and rolled-up mat on her back.

Booking a private rental property?

Do you want to rent private accommodation or a holiday home? To avoid holiday rental fraud, learn all the essential information about your consumer rights when renting private accommodation in the European Union, Norway or Iceland.

Good to know

There are two ways that you book, either directly with the owner or through you can book through a travel agency or third-party booking website.

If you book directly with a private owner, you are not covered by consumer law as it is considered a consumer-to-consumer transaction.

Before booking any accommodation we strongly advise you to thoroughly read the terms and conditions, particularly, the cancellation, (pre)payment and no-show policies. If you use a third party booking or travel agency, you should check the terms of conditions of both the booking platform and the accommodation provider.

You should also:

  • Check the ratings, photos, and description of the accommodation on different websites
  • Avoid bargains if you are expected to pay the full rent or a large deposit a long time in advance
  • Be wary if an unbelievably low-priced flat is fantastically located and luxuriously furnished

Only book, pay, and communicate through the platform. Never make a payment outside the platform.

Do not get involved if you are asked to send money via money transfer services . These types of payments are not traceable. Remember a bank transfer is not a ‘secure’ payment method either, as you cannot cancel it.

Make sure you know how you will get the keys before confirming your booking. If the landlord asks you to meet them in a car park for the handover or wants to send the keys to you by post in exchange for cash, do not confirm the booking!

If you wish to cancel:

  • Depending on the cancellation conditions and the time of cancellation, the host will charge cancellation fees. This also applies if you are unable to make it to the accommodation — for example, due to illness or other personal reasons. In such cases, it is helpful if you have taken out travel insurance in good time beforehand.
  • If there are expenses that will no longer apply such as cleaning costs they should be deducted from how much you owe or refunded to you if you have already paid.
  • Usually, any service charges you paid at the time of booking are not refunded. And some online portals charge an additional service fee for processing cancellations.

The booking the platform should provide information on what to do if the landlord cancels your booking. Usually, the guest receives a full refund and support in finding replacement accommodation via the platform. In some cases, portals are also accommodating if replacement accommodation requires additional costs.