Frequently asked questions
When making an accommodation booking with Tuscany Now we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the applicable Property Owner, in our role as agent. To help answer any queries that you may have about your booking (or prospective booking) our Property Owners have provided the following helpful information:
1) Initial reservations
How do I check the availability for a property? How do I check the price for a property?
Click on the "check price and availability" tab on the top right corner of each villa's webpage. A new page will open where you will be able to see the availability and weekly rental rates.
What is the minimum rental period for a property?
The minimum rental period for a property is 7 nights
Is it possible to book for odd dates (not Sat to Sat)?
Although we can arrange for late arrivals and early departures our reservations are from Saturday to Saturday only. During low season periods (before May and/or after the end of September) provided the reservation is for a minimum of 7 nights some owners might accept an odd starting date and/or an odd duration.
Do I need to pay a deposit to in order to reserve a property?
No you don't. You can reserve a property without putting any money down for up to four days depending on how close your request is to the holiday date. Once you provisionally request a property, we will notify the property owner who will block the week(s) for you and a Booking Form shall be sent to you via email. If you wish to go ahead with the reservation, you will need to return the completed Booking Form together with the relative down payment within the deadline on the Form. Payments made are non-refundable.
How do I book a property?
Once you have discussed your requirements with us and made your selection, we will email you a Booking Form. You will need to complete and return the Booking Form together with relative down payment in order to confirm your reservation.
Can I make a booking directly from the website?
No you can't. You will need to contact us if you wish to reserve a property. We will place a provisional booking and send you the Booking Form. Once you get the Booking Form from us you need to fill it in and pay the relative deposit to confirm the booking.
2) The booking form
What is the Booking Form?
The Booking Form is the document we sent you when you reserve a property via us. When an email address is available we will send it via email. In exceptional cases and for UK residents only we can send it via fax or post, provided the rental start date is more than 9 weeks away. On the Booking Form we list, on behalf of the Property Owner, essential details for the reservation such as the villa name and price, the rental period and the payment schedule. We ask clients to review their personal details and amend where necessary. We require that you return the completed Form and credit/debit card payment via our secure website to confirm your reservation.
Is it safe to give my personal details on the booking form you have sent me?
Yes it is. We work on a secure website and all the information we exchange with you is protected.
Do you take credit card details over the phone?
Yes, we can take credit card details via phone. As normal procedure every time we need to take a payment from you we will email you the relevant form via a secure link. You can fill in and return it via our secure website. If you encounter any difficulties with the online form, you can call us and we will take the payment via phone.
I do not have a computer. How can I make a booking with you?
If you are resident in the United Kingdom you can book with us even if you do not have access to a computer. We will send you a paper version of the Booking Form via fax or post. You will need to fill n and sign it and send it back to us via fax or post. We recommend that you send it back via Registered Mail for a speedier and safer delivery. For last minute bookings i.e. bookings made within 9 weeks of the rental start date we only take bookings when an email or fax number is available. For non-UK residents we can take bookings via email only.
Do I have to return a copy of the booking form via fax or post or can I do everything online?
It is not necessary to send us a copy of the Booking Form via post or fax and it is not recommended. Our Booking Form can be filled in and submitted online via our secure website.
How do I know my booking is confirmed?
Once we receive your completed Booking Form back with relative payment you shall receive confirmation of your booking by email.
3) The party leader
Who is the Party Leader?
The Party Leader is the person who holds the booking, to whom all correspondence and invoices are addressed and who is responsible for the rental. Spouses' names are not considered interchangeable.
Can we put more than one person as Party Leader?
That is not possible. We can only have one person as Party Leader.
How do I change the name of the Party Leader on the Booking Form?
If you receive our Booking Form and the person listed as Party Leader is not the one you want please contact us immediately and we will email you a revised Form in the name of the new Party Leader.
4) Changes on booking
Can I change the dates of my confirmed booking?
No, once you have confirmed a booking you cannot change your rental dates.
Can I change Property after I have confirmed a Booking?
No, once you have confirmed a booking you cannot change property.
Can I change my booking in order to accommodate a larger group of people?
If the property you have booked allows for bigger groups at a higher price, you can contact us and we will email you a new Booking Form so that you can book the larger option at that villa. You will need to complete and return the new Booking Form and settle any price difference and we will send you a confirmation receipt.
In no case customers are allowed to have more than the maximum number of people for their booking.
Can I downsize my booking since the number of people in my group has decreased?
No, once you have a confirmed booking you cannot have a reduced price if the group is smaller than anticipated.
5) Cancellation of bookings
How do I cancel my confirmed booking?
If you have to cancel your booking, please contact us and we will send you a Cancellation Form for you to sign and return. Your booking will be cancelled only upon return of the signed Cancellation Form. After that you will be free from any contractual obligations in relation to that booking. You can return the signed Cancellation Form to us via fax or scanned email attachment or post (if you choose this option we recommend you use Registered Mail).
What is Tuscany Now cancellation policy?
If you cancel a confirmed booking we will retain all the money already paid. The amount is calculated as follows depending on when you cancel the booking.
- a. If you cancel a booking made for the following year, we will keep the 10% down payment made when you confirmed the booking.
- b. If you cancel a booking after January 1 of the year of your holiday, but more than 9 weeks (i.e. 63 days) before the rental start date, we will keep the 30% down payment made on the booking.
- c. If you cancel a booking within 9 weeks (i.e. 63 days) of your rental start date, we will keep 100% of the rental price.
Can Tuscany Now cancel my booking?
We undertake to notify clients in the unlikely event that we are forced to make changes to their booking. Should a property become unavailable for reasons beyond our control, we will do our utmost to find an alternative property in the same area and of a similar description, and reserve the right to transfer your booking to that property. Should no similar or suitable properties be available, we will refund the full amount paid to us for the rental and additional services, but we will not be liable for cancellation charges pertaining to travel arrangements.
6) Extra services
How do I check what extra services are available at my property?
Go on the "Price & availability page" of the property. At the bottom of the page you will find the link "Extra services available payable locally". By clicking on the link you will be able to see all the extra services available at that property.
The website does not have any extra services listed for my property. How do I know what is available?
Please send an email to our Concierge Service on firstname.lastname@example.org in order to enquire about extra services available at the villa.
How do I order extra services?
You can book your extra services by:
- a) Filling in the Extra Services Form that will be sent together with the confirmation email once your reservation is confirmed.
- b) Sending an email to our dedicated and complimentary Concierge Service on email@example.com at least 3 weeks before the first day of your rental period.
How do I change the extra services I ordered?
Extra services may be changed up to 3 weeks before the first day of your rental period. You can send an e-mail to our dedicated and complimentary Concierge Service on firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I pay for extra services?
Extra services are paid locally and in Euros (in cash) to the caretaker at the end of the rental period (usually on the day of departure).
Is there a deadline and/or a fee payable for cancelling the extra services I ordered?
Extra services may be cancelled without penalty until 3 weeks prior to the first day of the rental period, provided notice of cancellation is provided in writing. Notices of cancellation of extra services received within 3 weeks of the rental period are subject to penalty charges and debited against the security card as follows:
- Maid service: Euro 4 per h requested,
- Cook service: Euro 52 per meal requested + Euro 5 per person per meal,
- Babysitting: Euro 25 per evening requested.
Extra services cancelled after arrival at the property will be charged at full rate. The amount will be debited against the security card together with a handling fee of £75.
Is there a deadline for ordering extra services?
Extra services can be requested up to 3 weeks before the first day of your rental period. We can't guarantee fulfilment of last minute requests.
Is it possible to organize weddings at the villa?
The properties that allow weddings are listed separately on our website and they provide in-house wedding services. No third-party agencies companies are permitted to organize weddings on their premises. If you have any queries about weddings please send an email to email@example.com.
What tips do I leave to the people at the villa?
In Italy tips are at the customer's discretion, so you can give whatever amount you feel is fair based on the quality of the services received.
What does the maid service included in the price of some villas involves?
Maid service included with the property rental involves cleaning and tidying, but it does not involve bed making, laundry or ironing. However you can book extra maid service for those tasks with a cost ranging from 10 to 30 euro per hour, depending on the property.
7) Rental payments
What is the payment schedule for my booking?
Most of our Property Owner's apply the following payment schedule for the rental price, should a particular Property Owner apply a different payment schedule we will advise you of this at the time of booking:
- If the initial reservation is received less than nine weeks (63 days or less) before the first day of the rental period, the completed Booking Form must be accompanied by 100% of the total Invoice Price within two days.
- If the initial reservation is received more than nine weeks (64 days or more) before the first day of the rental period, the completed Booking Form must be accompanied by a deposit of 30% of the total Invoice Price within four days.
- If the booking is being made for the following year and the initial reservation is received prior to 15th November and more than nine weeks (64 days or more) before the first day of the rental period, the completed Booking Form must be accompanied by a deposit of 10% of the total Invoice Price within four working days. A further 20% of the total Invoice Price is due by the 15th December of the year before the booking.
- Full payment is due within nine weeks (63 days) of the first day of the rental period. If payments are not received on time we reserve the right without prior notice to cancel the booking outright and apply cancellation charges.
Where do I find the payment schedule for my booking?
You will find the payment schedule on the Booking Form we send you.
Do you send me an invoice when a payment is due on my booking?
We send you only one Invoice and this happens when you confirm your initial reservation by returning the Booking Form. On the Invoice you find the rental summary and all the relevant details for your booking including the rental price and the payment schedule. In those cases when your payment schedule is split in instalments, we will send you a reminder before each payment is due with all the information to make the payment.
What forms of payment can I use to pay for the rental?
Payments are accepted in UK Sterling only. You can make payment via Debit or Credit Card only.
What credit/debit cards do you accept?
We accept Visa, Visa Delta, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. We do not accept Diners' Club cards.
Can I be the Party Leader and book the villa under my name and then have somebody else paying for the rental?
Yes that is possible. On the payment section of the Booking Form just fill in with the payment details of the person making the payment.
Can I split payment for my booking among various credit/debit cards?
It is not possible to split a payment on multiple credit cards. We send you a payment form each time a payment is due and you can fill in with just one credit/debit card.
Do you apply a surcharge for payments made via credit card?
No, we do not apply any surcharges for credit card payments. We have been made aware by some of our US clients that US dollar payments made through Visa, MasterCard and Access credit cards may be subject to currency surcharges imposed by the credit card companies. These charges have nothing to do with us and are totally beyond our control.
What does the price of the villa include?
The rental price for the villa includes the following
- • Exclusive use of the property during your rental period
- • Credit Card service charges
- • House wares such as linens, cooking utensils and china
- • Electricity up to 330 Kw p/week
- • Water and hot water from taps
- • Garden and swimming pool maintenance
- • Services included as listed on the webpage for the villa.
Please note that, when included in the price, maid service does not include laundry service. So this service, if available, must be specifically requested and paid as an extra.
What is excluded from the rental price?
The rental price for the villa does not include the following
- • Food, travel, flights, car rental, transfers and travel insurance
- • Staff gratuities
- • Use of swimming pool out of season
- • Cash Deposit against damages that may be requested locally. The following items are to be paid locally at the end of your stay, if incurred
- • Outgoing telephone calls
- • Any Extra Services requested
- • Hot tub heating
- • Central heating
- • Repairs for damages to the property caused by your party
Does the rental price include linen and towels?
Rental properties may or may not have a licence. Rental properties with no licence are private homes therefore the owners are not permitted to supply bed linens, bathroom and swimming pool towels. These shall be arranged on your behalf directly by Tuscany Now Ltd and are payable locally upon arrival in Euros (cash). Rental properties with a licence are permitted to arrange and supply on your behalf bed linens, bathroom and swimming pool towels sufficient for the number of guests indicated in the Booking Form, note that these shall be provided weekly.
Does the price paid for a villa vary depending on the size of the group?
The price we quote on our website and everywhere in our literature unless otherwise indicated is to rent the property for a week from Saturday to Saturday. Prices are for the property and not per person. Some of our properties offer different price levels depending on the number of people staying at the villa and on the time of the year you wish to book for. Please check on our website or with our Sales Team for further details on the single property.
9) Travel arrangements
Can you help me with flights' arrangements, car rentals and hotel accommodations?
We do not deal with flights, car rentals or hotel accommodations, but you are welcome to enquiry with our sister company Italian Journeys. They have been working with us with many years and can provide you with an honest and reliable service. They are based in London and they telephone number is 020 7434 7492 (For calls from Europe please dial 0044 20 7434 7492. For calls from North America please dial 011 44 20 7434 7492). You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will look after you. Please tell them that you have a booking with Tuscany Now and they will treat you with priority.
10) Group composition
Why do you require the composition of the group staying at a property?
We ask you to let us know how many people there will be at the property in each age group: babies, young children, adults and senior citizens.
Certain properties do not accept children and others are not suitable for children or for senior citizens with mobility problems, therefore we need to know to give you the best advice on which property you can book.
This piece of information is in turn forwarded to the local staff at the property so that they can best prepare things for your arrival. We do not require the names of the members in the group.
Do young children count towards calculating the number of people staying at the property?
Babies up to 2 years of age do not count for calculating the maximum number of people allowed at the property. This is because they sleep in a crib rather than a bed. For each property there is a limit on the number of babies accepted that you can check with our Sales Team.
11) Arrivals and Departures
What is the Accommodation Voucher?
The Accommodation Voucher is the document that grants you access to the property. The local staff may refuse entry to the property if you fail to present your Accommodation Voucher upon arrival.
The Accommodation Voucher is emailed 3 weeks before the rental start date and contains driving directions, contact details and other useful information for your holiday.
Where do I find instruction on how to get to the property?
Full driving directions are on the Accommodation Voucher we will email you 3 weeks before the rental start date.
How do I check in at the property?
On the Accommodation Voucher you will find instructions on how to check in and check out at the property. Upon your arrival at the airport in Italy or when you are 1 hour's drive from the property please call the caretaker on the number on the voucher to confirm your arrival time. When you get to the property the local staff will welcome you and give you the keys and a tour of the premises.
What is the check-in time at the property?
Standard check in time is between 4pm and 7pm on the Saturday of your arrival.
Can I arrange a different check-in time outside the usual hours?
Standard check in time is between 4pm and 7pm on the Saturday of your arrival. If a different arrival time is anticipated, notification must be received in writing at Tuscany Now's offices well in advance or the owner/caretaker may not be available to permit entry.
Arrivals after 7:00pm may be subjected to a surcharge of €10 for each hour of delay. Access cannot be guaranteed after 10:00pm.
What happens if I am delayed and I cannot check in as planned?
If an unforeseen delay should occur, every effort should be made to contact the owner/caretaker at the telephone number provided in the Accommodation Voucher. Arrivals after 7:00pm may be subjected to a surcharge of €10 for each hour of delay. Access cannot be guaranteed after 10:00pm.
What is the checkout time at the property?
The property should be vacated by 10:00am on the final day of the rental period. The owner/caretaker will arrive at the villa at 9:00am for an inspection of the property and for presentation and payment of the Final Bill. It must be understood that to enable the property to be cleaned and made ready for the next group that cleaners may need to commence their work at 8am. Should departure prior to that be necessary, please notify the owner/caretaker at the beginning of the rental period in order to arrange an alternative time for the property inspection.
Can I arrange a different checkout time outside the usual hours?
Should departure prior to 10:00am be necessary, clients are requested to notify the owner/caretaker at the beginning of the rental period in order to arrange an alternative time for the property inspection. If you choose not to be present at the inspection, you will not be entitled to query the Final Bill, and you will be invoiced for the amount indicated plus the £75.00 administration fee.
12) Final Bill
What is the Final Bill?
The Final Bill (known in Italian as "Conto Finale") forms part of the Accommodation Voucher we send you 3 weeks before your holiday.
The Final Bill lists the Extra Services requested prior to the holiday that shall be settled locally at check-out. The local representative will note the details of any additional charges such as further Extra Services requested locally or repairs required as a result of damages caused by the rental party or costs for utilities. Costs which could not be specified at the time of departure will also be noted on The Final Bill, such as utilities for which the property is billed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and damages or lost articles for which the repair/replacement estimates have not been received in time.
The Final Bill is presented by the owner/caretaker at the conclusion of the rental period and is payable to him/her in cash only (Euros). Both the Party Leader and the owner/caretaker are required to sign the Final Bill.
How do I pay the Final Bill?
The Final Bill is presented by the owner/caretaker at the conclusion of the rental period and is payable to him/her in cash only (Euros).
What happens if I cannot pay the Final Bill at check out?
Under extreme circumstances only, the amount shown on the Final Bill may be paid to Tuscany Now via debit/credit card. We will then take care of reimbursing the owner/caretaker in Italy. A £75.00 administration fee will be added to the amount due.
The fee will be invoiced in UK sterling converting the Euros amount given by the owner/caretaker at the current exchange rate. Please note that in some areas the Italian telephone company issues bills only every other month, so it may be several weeks before the invoice is submitted.
What extras shall I expect to pay at the villa?
Items that are payable as extras are: Telephone usage (outgoing phone calls). Central heating and hot tub usage. Use of swimming pools out of season. Electricity consumption in excess of 330 Kw per week. All damages and breakerages including extra cleaning hours when the clients leave the house in a state that requires extra final cleaning than already included in the price. All the extra services ordered prior to and during the holiday. All the items, services and facilities listed as extras under the description of the property, if used (please refer to the description of the single property for full details).
Can you give me an indication of how much utilities cost?
The costs of utilities are unfortunately very high in Italy. For central heating expect charges from 50 to 300 Euros per day depending on the size and age of the house. You can get more details under the webpage of the property you have booked or in calling our office.
The electricity included in the rental fee is ample for the smaller villas, while for bigger properties expect to pay in excess of the 330 Kw per week. For 2014 extra electricity extra electricity usage is charge at 0.40 per Kw. From 2015 the extra charge will be 0.80 per kW.
Prepaid mobile phones are generally available for outgoing phone calls and are more convenient for local calls or calls within Italy. Their cost varies with the network, but it is in line with the cost for pay-as-you go mobiles. For long distance calls is much less expensive to use an international telephone card. Heating for swimming pools is either solar or electric; if the latter an additional charge may apply, as it does for hot tubs. Details of these costs are found on the webpage of the property you have booked.
Does Tuscany Now have insurance?
Tuscany Now has a Tour Operators Public Liability Insurance as required by law.
Do I need to get travel insurance for my holiday?
All our customers must hold travel insurance and shall purchase it independently of Tuscany Now. We are unable to provide customers with travel insurance cover. Travel insurance policies are usually quite cheap and generally cover for the same standard items, depending on the country of residence and/or personal situations there are several sources through which it can be obtained: credit card companies, home insurance companies, travel agencies, post office etc.
Is Tuscany Now ABTA or IATA bonded?
We are not bonded by any association.
Do you belong to any tour operator's body?
We are members of ABTOI, the Association of British Travel Organizers to Italy.