We have considered renting an apartment. We are never quite sure how to handle the deposit. Some owners seem very firm about having a non-refundable deposit upfront. We can understand their need to guarantee bookings but we also know that plans change, flights get cancelled, and, perhaps the place will not be to our liking. Should we only book with owners and agencies that allow the deposit to be paid on arrival ? What is the standard procedure for this ? What is the simplest way to give the owners the security that they want without scarifying our ability to change plans, if necessary ?