Frequently asked questions

  1. What are your check-in and check-out times?
  2. What do you provide?
  3. I would prefer to speak with someone?
  4. Can I check the availability of a property?
  5. Do you visit all the properties personally?
  6. How do I book?
  7. How do I book a property online?
  8. Why should I use an Agency like yours rather than going direct?
  9. Can you help me with Car Hire?
  10. I want to get married in one of your houses - can you help?
  11. I've made a reservation...now what?
  12. When will I receive confirmation of my reservation?
  13. How do I confirm my booking and pay my deposit?
  14. I've lost my confirmation email...now what?
  15. How much deposit do I have to pay?
  16. How long do I have to confirm my booking and pay my deposit?
  17. Where can I find your booking conditions?
  18. What is your cancellation policy?
  19. How can I pay my deposit?
  20. What credit cards do you accept?
  21. Are you bonded?
  22. May I pay by cheque?
  23. May I pay by bank transfer?
  24. What currencies do you accept?
  25. I've confirmed my booking and paid my deposit...now what?
  26. When I pay you ask me to confirm you can use my card for further payments, what's this!?
  27. How do I pay my final balance?
  28. How long do I have to pay my final balance?
  29. How can I pay my final balance?
  30. I've paid my final balance...now what?
  31. Do I need holiday insurance?
  32. When should I arrive at/leave the property?
  33. I am trying to book a short break, but the website says I can't.
  34. I am trying to book a property for next year, but the site won't let me?
  35. Where do your reviews come from?

What are your check-in and check out times?

For most houses the check-in time is between 5 and 8pm, while the check out time is 10 am. This is to allow the owners to clean and prepare the house for you. If you are arriving early it is sometimes possible to drop off your bags - please ask your agent. If you arriving late please warn us; some owners will accommodate late arrivals, others may charge or refuse beyond a certain time.

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What do you provide?

Clean bed and bath linen is provided at least once a week, while pool towels are sometimes provided and sometimes not – this will be detailed in the property features list. Usually there will be a shower or bath towel, a hand towel and a bidet towel per person. Face flannels (wash cloths) are thought of as personal in Europe, and are not provided. The rent includes electricity, gas and hot water for general use, but unless stated heating and air-conditioning are excluded, and must be paid to the owner before departure.

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I would prefer to speak to someone?

If you prefer to make your reservation or manage your booking by telephone you can contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent to discuss your choices and requirements. We always prefer to talk to you if we can as we have visited all the houses and know the areas well, so can give you good first hand advice,

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Can I check the availability of a property?

Yes, the website allows you to view up to date property descriptions with photos, prices and most importantly availability. Once you have clicked the green ‘Select your dates’ button, in the top right of each property page, you will be shown an availability calendar for that property. Find and select your desired arrival date, specify how long you would like to stay and click ‘Reserve this property’ to begin our simple booking process.

If you'd prefer to only see available properties when searching, simply use the ‘Dates’ filter on the search page to search by a specific arrival date and duration.

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Do you visit all the properties personally?

We do. We visit the properties, we know the owners and we know the area. If one of us hasn't seen a particular property you're interested in, then another one of us will have. We also re-visit the properties approximately twice a year, at the beginning and at the end of the season.

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How do I book?

You can book your chosen property online or on the telephone. We are normally happy to hold a property for you for up to 48 hours at no cost while you check flights, or make sure all the family is in agreement. When you are ready simply login to the site and pay the deposit, or ring us and we can manage the payment over the phone. There are no charges for credit or debit card payments.

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How do I book a property online?

If you have found a property searching with a specific arrival date, you will be shown on the property page if the property is available for reservation. To make a reservation, click the green ‘Select your dates’ button to start our simple booking process. When searching with an arrival date and duration, only available properties will be returned. You can select dates from 1 to 3 weeks and can reserve them without payment - we will hold them for up to 48 hours.

We aim to confirm all reservation requests within 48 hours, however most properties can be confirmed much quicker and many are instant. We will contact you by phone or email once your reservation has been approved, to explain how to confirm the booking and pay your deposit.

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Why should I use an Agency like yours rather than going direct?

We visit the properties, and we know the area well - we can help make sure you find absolutely the right place for your holidays. We also make sure the houses meet our standards, so you know you're not going to visit a building site, and we have English-speaking agents on the ground so that, if anything happens, you can turn to a familiar voice.

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Can you help me with Car Hire?

Yes we can. Ask your agent for a quote.

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I want to get married in one of your houses - can you help?

Yes we can. We have a number of excellent Wedding organisers who can follow you through the whole process and make sure the event goes off seamlessly. Getting married in Italy is a wonderful experience - some properties even have their own chapel. Have a look under Weddings and Family Reunions for some suggestions!

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I've made a reservation ... now what?

Once you have completed your reservation request, a reservation email will be sent to you. The property will then be held for you while we check and confirm your reservation. We aim to confirm all reservation requests within 48 hours, however most properties can be confirmed much more quickly. After this you will be asked to pay a deposit - if you need a couple of days to check flights that is fine. Also, if you have any questions please ring us or email us - we're always happy to help!

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When will I receive confirmation of my reservation?

Once the booking has been approved by the owner, we will send you another email that will link you to our secure site where you'll be able to confirm the booking and pay your deposit. We aim to confirm all reservation requests within 48 hours, however most properties can be confirmed much more quickly.

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How do I confirm my booking and pay my deposit?

You can confirm your booking and pay your deposit on our secure site at https://invitationto.com/users/sign_in . All information processed within this section is totally secure as shown by the security certificate in the menu bar of your browser. To confirm your booking, you will need your booking reference number and email address you made your reservation with. You can also ring us or email us and confirm via phone - or even send us a cheque!

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I've lost my confirmation email ... now what??

You can still confirm your booking and pay your deposit on our secure site at https://invitationto.com/users/sign_in . You will need your booking reference number and email address you made your reservation with. If you cannot remember these details you can ask for a new password - if the email is the same one you booked with you will then be able to login to your bookings panel. If you need help please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

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How much deposit do I have to pay?

Deposit on all our properties is 30% of the final balance. If you are booking within 10 weeks of your holiday then you will be required to pay the final balance in full when confirming your booking.

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How long do I have to confirm my booking and pay my deposit?

When your booking is confirmed and you receive your confirmation email you may go to the secure site and pay your deposit. If you would like a little longer while you check flights or other details please ask; we are happy to allow you a couple of days to make sure everything is OK.

If you are booking within 10 weeks of your holiday then you will be required to pay the final balance in full when confirming your booking.

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Where can I find your booking conditions?

Our booking conditions are in the footer off all pages- here's a handy link: Booking Conditions

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What is your cancellation policy?

Upon booking we require a 30% non-refundable deposit. The balance is then due 10 weeks before the beginning of your stay at the property. Once the balance is paid, this too is non-refundable - this is why we advise you to take out Travel Insurance. In practice, if you cannot come on the agreed dates but can move your booking, we will try to accommodate this, with the owner's consent.

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How can I pay my deposit?

When paying your deposit in our secure area you will be given a number of payment options. Our default payment provider for card transactions is SagePay. You can also arrange to pay by cheque or bank transfer and after doing so will be shown the relevant details allowing you to make payment.

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Which credit cards do you accept?

We take all card payments on our secure site through our payment provider SagePay. SagePay accepts the following cards: Visa, Visa Debit, Electron, MasterCard, Maestro and AMEX. No cards incur any extra charges.

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Are you bonded?

As we are not a package operator there is no requirement for us to be bonded – your contract is with the owner of the property and we act as agents. If we were to fail your contract with the owner would still stand and you could pay them your balance. However, if you want to protect your holiday the best way is to pay at least a small part by Credit Card as they effectively act as a bond that will cover your outlay in the event of our failure. After nearly 35 years in business, we like to think this is unlikely!

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May I pay by Cheque?

Yes! We accept cheques for deposit and final balance payments. When processing payment in our secure area, select Payment type - 'Cheque'.

After submitting you will see on screen your local agent details and the postal address your cheque should be sent to. If you have lost this address please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

All cheques made payable to 'Invitation to Tuscany'.

If paying your deposit by cheque, your booking is not confirmed until payment has cleared into our account. Once we have your payment, you will receive email confirmation stating that the payment has been received and that your booking has been confirmed.

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May I pay by bank transfer?

Yes! We accept bank transfers for deposit and final balance payments. When processing payment in our secure area, select Payment type - 'Bank transfer'.

After submitting you will see on screen the bank details required to make payment. If you have lost these details please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

If paying your deposit by bank transfer, your booking is not confirmed until payment has cleared into our account. Once we have your payment, you will receive email confirmation stating that the payment has been received and that your booking has been confirmed.

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Which currencies do you accept?

We accept £ Pounds Sterling (GBP) or € Euros (EUR) or $ US Dollars (USD) for website payments. When you select the currency for your booking, your price is then guaranteed for that currency and you will be protected from currency fluctuations. When you have paid your deposit payment, we must also receive your final balance payment in the same currency. This cannot be changed.

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I've confirmed my booking and paid my deposit...now what?

You can relax as your holiday is now fully booked! You have up until 10 weeks prior to your arrival date to pay your remaining balance. We will send you an email reminder if it gets close to this date and we are yet to receive full payment.

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When I pay you ask me to confirm you can use my card for further payments, what's this!?

We ask for your authority to charge your card for any items on the "extras bill" - these might be telephone usage, central heating or damage and breakages. Most of these costs are usually settled on site with the owner or their representative, but in some cases we might only get the costs involved after you have left. The "Security Card" allows you to avoid handing over a Cautionary Deposit, usually a large of amount of foreign currency that is handed back to you just before you leave the country. We never charge your card without first contacting you and discussing the charges. A small number of properties will still require a cash deposit – we detail this in the feature and “Things to Note” section for each property.

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How do I pay my final balance??

You can pay your final balance on our secure site at https://invitationto.com/clients/bookings. All information processed within this section is totally secure as shown by the security certificate in the menu bar of your browser. To pay your final balance, you will need your booking reference number and email address you made your reservation with. If you cannot remember these details or have lost them please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

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How long do I have to pay my final balance?

You have up until 10 weeks prior your arrival date to pay your remaining balance. If you balance is overdue, we will send you an email reminder prompting you to make payment.

If you are booking less than 10 weeks prior to arrival, you will be directed to pay your balance in full following your reservation request.

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How can I pay my final balance?

When paying your final balance in our secure area you can make payment by card (via SagePay), by cheque or by bank transfer. You must pay your final balance in the currency you paid your deposit in,

If you wish to process payment by cheque select Payment type - 'Cheque'. After submitting you will see on screen your local agent details and the postal address your cheque should be sent to. If you have lost this address please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

If you wish to process payment by bank transfer select Payment type - 'Bank transfer'. After submitting you will see on screen the bank details required to make payment. If you have lost these details please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be able to advise.

If paying by bank transfer or cheque, your final balance is not paid until payment has cleared into our account. Once we have your payment, you will receive email confirmation stating that the payment has been received and that your final balance has been cleared.

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I've paid my final balance ... now what??

You're done! You will receive confirmation of your booking and cleared balance by email.

If you need to arrange Car hire or anything else take advantage of our free concierge service and contact your agent. Or read more about the area on our ‘Local Secrets” blog.

If you wish to book any extra services please contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent and we will be happy to help.

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Do I need Holiday Insurance?

Holiday insurance is strongly recommended, please see our Booking conditions for full details.

EC residents should also get an EHIC form from a main Post Office, which enables them to use the health service facilities, which are very good in Tuscany. Also, under Italian law you must carry your licence, insurance and registration document with you at all times while driving.

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When should I arrive at/leave the property?

With some exceptions, rentals start between 5 and 8pm on the first day, and end by 10am on the last day of your holiday. Please respect these times. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and you must vacate your property before 10am on the day of your departure.

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Can I book a short break? (shorter than a week)

Short Breaks are accepted at many of our properties but only in certain seasons – the online calendar will show as green the days you can select as the end or beginning of your holiday. You can contact us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent to discuss any other requirements.

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I am trying to book a property for next year, but the site won't let me?

The holiday season availability information that the website uses has date boundaries. If you wish to book a holiday for dates not currently shown on the website, please call us on +44 (0)20 8444 9500 or contact a local agent.

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Where do your reviews come from?

After your stay we always ask how your trip went. We used to run reviews through Tripadvisor and then through Feefo, but our clients didn’t enjoy having to log in and create an online ID just to leave a review, so now we ask that you simply send us an email with your thoughts, and we publish those (with your permission). 

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