Tips and Tricks Travel

5 Practical Tips in Booking a Rental Condominium Unit

How was your weekend? Mine was an absolute blast because it was (1) Kadayawan weekend and (2) one of my best friends, Christine, was home! We haven’t seen Tine in over a year as she’s been working as an English teacher in Japan so we were really excited to spend a weekend with her.


The theme of our bridal shower was obvious haha
From left to right: George, Christine (the bride), me, and Hazel

We originally had a room booked at Banana Beach at Tagum. However, not all things go according to plan. We had to cancel our reservation at the last minute (thank you Hijo staff for being so considerate and awesome!) and I spent Thursday — 2 days before our get-together/bridal shower — looking for a new accommodation. A difficult feat. 

As aforementioned, it was Kadayawan weekend, which means Davao City would be teeming with tourists. Every hotel and rental condos were fully booked! Then I finally stumbled upon one condominium unit at Palmetto Place Condominium which was available. I immediately grabbed it and paid for it in full.

Well… let’s just stay that while the amenities of the condominium itself were great, our room left a lot to be desired. I have been booking accommodations for friends, family, even neighbours for years, but I learned a lot from that experience. Here are 5 things you should look for when booking a rental condominium unit.

1. Make sure you can easily contact the condominium unit owner.

This was my number 1 issue with the unit we rented last weekend. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say we never heard from the owner for the entire duration of our stay! Terrible, terrible property management skills.

The entrance of Palmetto Place Picture grabbed from Hazel

The entrance of Palmetto Place
Picture grabbed from Hazel

On the contrary, the owner of the Camella Northpoint rental condo unit we stayed in a couple of months ago was in constant contact with us.

2. Don’t forget to check condominium policies.

Not all condominiums are built the same. For example, in Camella Northpoint, only the first three guests can use the swimming pool for free. The fourth person has to pay P150. In Palmetto Place, all 4 of us were able to use the pool for free. Also, you have to check whether you can bring in guests for a small party. And, whatever your plans are, you have to be considerate of your neighbours.

Getting ready for a wild night of... dinner. And Uno and Bluff. Picture grabbed from Hazel

Getting ready for a wild night of… dinner. And Uno and Bluff.
Picture grabbed from Hazel

3. Confirm with the owner these things:

  • If he or she can provide these things: toiletries, a wi-fi connection, and towels.
  • If the towels and the sheets are freshly laundered.
  • If use of the condominium facilities e.g. swimming pool and gym is free.
  • If there are nearby convenience stores and restaurants.


Don’t hesitate to ask for on-the-spot pictures if necessary. Sometimes, the pictures they post on their listings are not always 100% accurate!

4. Never assume that the condominium’s tap water is potable.

One of my friends made a grave mistake. You see, it’s not uncommon in Davao City to drink tap water because most of the tap water here is potable. We weren’t able to buy mineral water prior to checking in, and she got thirsty, so she drank the water inside a pitcher stored in the fridge. She had diarrhoea a couple of hours later. Good thing it was just mild!

WE didn't drink the tap water, at least :P

What a trip!

So here’s another lesson: Never consume anything stored in the fridge unless you personally brought it with you. (Obvious exemptions are snacks in unopened packs, etc. Confirm with the owner if you can consume them.)

5. Befriend the condominium guards, especially the building guards.

Unlike hotels, there are no front desks and receptionists to guide you upon your arrival at a condominium. The owner of the Camella Northpoint unit that we rented 2 months ago was personally there to take us to his unit, but this time, the owner of the Palmetto Place unit was MIA. Great thing the guards were so helpful. We were only able to enter the rental unit because of their help!

This bridal shower/ reunion happened, thanks to the guards! Picture grabbed from George

This bridal shower/ reunion wouldn’t have happened without the help of the guards!
Picture grabbed from George

Also, being friendly to the building guards is a good way to ensure that the security of your unit will be looked after.

Have you tried booking a rental condominium unit? How was your experience?

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  • Reply Joy Mendiola August 27, 2016 at 3:55 am

    very nice post! will take note of your tips as we plan to go in davao. mag condo na lang kesa hotel

  • Reply Larisse Espinueva October 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Seems like an enjoyable stay. I usually go for hotels but I may try to go for rentable condos in the future. Sorry about your friend though on the water. Personally, I never assume any form of tap water as potable these days. Lol. Mahirap na. :p

    • Reply Maan October 10, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Potable tap water in Davao City is not an anomaly 🙂 It feels weird to even ask whether the tap water in a certain area is drinkable here.

  • Reply Sunny Batra August 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Nice Article, you discuss all important points which need to check out before renting a condo unit.

  • Reply Penelope Smith January 29, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I liked what you said about how you should always confirm that it has wifi and towels at the unit. That does seem like a very important thing to do before you get there. I know that I wouldn’t want to figure out how to get internet at a condo I was renting.

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