I’m not going to get into any specific details, but my BS radar detector was up big time when I met the folks, earlier today, who were going to supposedly rent me this new property.
The words nassabeen, or hustlers, came to mind.
One word of advice if you are renting long-term in Gouna: deal with a reputable agent, such as Magic Properties.
Otherwise, if you are dealing with a self-styled “agent” who has no rental offices, make sure you have the following information when renting here:
–full name of rental agent you are dealing with. Ask to see ID, or license, and take a pic or make a photocopy.
— full name of property owner (including email address and tel number)
— make sure the owner is cc-ed on any rental agreement via email, but also demand a physical copy of the rental agreement (which must be signed in person). Do not accept jive that the rental agent has no printer and so cannot produce hardcopies of rental agreement. El Alam in Abu Tig marina can print any document off a thumb drive
— make sure the security deposit (which should only be 1 month or less) amount is spelled out. Get receipts (signed by the rental agent, with a witness, and your name on it) for everything. Do not accept anonymous bank deposit receipts as proof of receipt for your deposit. Make sure if you leave a security deposit in Euros or Dollars, that it is specified that you get it back in like currency
— make sure you have an estimate in writing as to the monthly utilities bill. You should only be liable for water and electricity that you use, for which you should demand to see readings
— make sure the address of the property is in the agreement. This should include the full letter-number designation of the property and its general location
— make sure the rental term (ie when you check in and out) is specified
— make sure it’s spelled out how and when you get your rental deposit back
— make sure you are not liable for any unexpected “bank charges” or cleaning fees or ORASCOM fees that are not directly related to water or electricity
— make sure your place is hooked up with HD TV and a WIFI internet connectivity. The TV should be “free’ (ie part of your monthly rental) but the Internet connection could cost you extra — maybe around 440 LE/m
— watch out for anything that sounds funny or unpleasant or arrogant or even racist; do not expect that people whose first language is not English to have a precise understanding of what you are saying to them; watch our for vagueness (Arabic can be a very roundabout language) and trust your instincts as to if you think you are dealing with a straight shooter or some kind of jive artist
— take pictures of the entire place when you move in. This will save headaches later if it is claimed that something is missing or broken
Bottom line: Gouna is full of lonely hustlers, whatever the nationality. Don’t take shit from nobody, as they say in New York, and don’t fall for the “I am doing you a favor” crapola by people who claim to be working the deal for nothing on a behalf of a friend. Also make sure you are not liable for paying out anything extra to any intermediates.
Above all, walk away fast if any of the principals refuse to sign their name to a legal rental agreement, which must be in English.
Understand you are dealing with people who can rip you off at any time, and you will be left with your thumb up your ass, unless you are prepared to go to court in Egypt to recover your money, which you do not want to ever do.
Bottom line for me: I am outta here mid March.