Holiday lettings - Unsafe property
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It is your right to be provided with safe accommodation in the UK. If you book a property that you feel is unsafe (e.g. missing railings or electrical hazards), you should inform the rental company immediately. The rental firm should rectify any hazards immediately or provide you with alternative accommodation immediately. You can use resolver once you have left the property to complain about any issues you suffered at the accommodation.
You should know
- These rights are for where you have booked accommodation only and not purchased as part of a package.
- If you have an issue, we recommend that you raise the issue immediately whilst at the rental property, so you are giving the rental firm a chance to put right any problems.
- Always be fair and reasonable in your approach to the firm and focus on how to resolve the issue.
- You may be able to claim against your credit card if you paid by credit card.
- If you booked via a travel agent or independent website they are only liable if they mis-booked or provided incorrect information.
If you booked your accommodation in the UK, then you have protection under the Supply of Services and Goods Act. This means the service they give and the quality of the property must be reasonable and services delivered with reasonable skill.
The key word in this is ‘reasonable’. Reasonable is based on a number of factors, but the key one is what you paid for your accommodation. The higher the rating or the higher the cost, the higher your expectation of quality should be.
The rental firm should always offer the facilities that they describe either verbally, in a brochure or online. If they say you have access to a swimming pool and it is not available then you have a reason to complain.
Keep a record
If you experience an issue then gather as much information as possible. Your smart phone is a great way to do this. Try and take photos or videos at the time of the issue as well as keeping any receipts or records of money you had to spend.
If you cannot resolve the issue whilst you are staying at the rental property then you should raise the issue within 28 days of returning home. When you email the rental firm through resolver, try to attach as much supporting information as possible such as your invoice, photos etc to help express your issue clearly to the rental firm.
Booked through an agent/website
If you booked through an agent or website, you should still raise your issue with the rental firm directly. They do need to ensure the information provided is accurate. If you feel the issue was caused by the website or the agent mis-booking then you should raise the issue with them and not the rental company.
Where the rental property agent or owner is a member of any association you should notify them as soon as possible as they may well be able to arbitrate in your dispute.
Paid by credit card
If you paid by credit card even if it was only the deposit and you spent more than £100 on your credit card then you can make a claim against your credit card company. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act the Credit Card company is jointly liable and you can make a claim from them.
Paid by debit card
If you paid by debit card you may be able to use Chargeback to recover money. This is dependent on the bank and at their discretion based on the situation.
Is there an ombudsman?
For rental firms there is no ombudsman to take your case to for independent assessment.
What if the rental firm does not address your issue?
As a final resort if you issue is not addressed then you could consider mediation with the rental firm. There are a limited number of companies offering mediation. This delivers an independent assessment and tries to find a reasonable solution to the issue. If mediation is unavailable or you cannot resolve through mediation, you could take the rental firm to the small claims court if the accommodation was booked with a rental firm in the UK or if the company is registered in the UK. You can use Money Claims Online to register your case. Legal proceedings can be expensive and take a lot of time so consider. However, raising a case can show to the rental firm you are serious and you can cancel your case at any time. The courts often appoint a mediator before a court hearing, which is conducted on the telephone. If you booked a rental property in the European Union and it is unresolved after you have given the rental firm time to resolve the issue through resolver then the European Consumer Centre can help you to resolve your issue.
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