Hotels - Property damaged

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For the hotel to be liable for damaged property, they need to be found negligent. Even if there are signs that say you are responsible for the security of your belongings and that they take no responsibility, they still have a duty of care.

If this duty of care was not met, then they are liable.

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 hotel, so you are giving the hotel a chance to sort out the issue
  • Always be fair and reasonable in your approach to the hotel; focus on how to resolve the issue
  • You may be able to claim against your credit card if you paid by credit card. Refunds will be processed to the same credit card used to make the booking
  • If you booked via a travel agent or independent website they are only liable if they misbooked or provide 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 room 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 room. The higher the star rating or the higher the room rate, the higher your expectation of quality should be.

As described

The hotel should have the facilities that they describe so if they say they have a swimming pool then they should. If not available then you have a reason to raise an issue. They may also have disclaimers on their website to provide you with specific details that may vary from hotel to hotel. 

Keep a record

If you experience an issue then collate as much information as possible. Your smart phone is a great way to do this; take photos or videos at the time of the issue as well as any receipts or records of money you had to spend.

If unresolved

If you cannot resolve the issue while you are staying at the hotel, then you should raise the issue within 28 days of returning home. When you email Customer Services 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 Customer Services department.

Booked through a travel agent/website

If you booked through a travel agent or website, you should still raise your issue with the hotel directly. They do need to ensure the information provided is accurate.

If you feel the issue was caused by the website's or travel agent's mis-booking then you should raise the issue with them and not the hotel. Where the travel agent is a member of ABTA, if your issue cannot be resolved then you need to escalate the issue to ABTA.

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 hotels there is no ombudsman to take your case to for independent assessment.

What if the hotel does not address your issue?

As a final resort if your issue is not addressed, you could consider mediation with the hotel. There are a limited number of companies offering mediation. These deliver an independent assessment and try to find a reasonable solution to the issue.

Alternatively you could take the hotel to court if the accommodation was booked with a hotel 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 carefully. However, raising a case can show to the hotel you are serious and you can cancel your case at any time.

If you booked for a hotel in the European Union and your issue is unresolved after you have given the hotel time to resolve the issue through Resolver, then the European Consumer Centre can help you to resolve your issue.

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Helping you with Property damaged

Resolver covers the issue Property Damaged for 128 companies and organisations:

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