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Let down by villa owner

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mackay
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226 posts
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Let down by villa owner

Hi guys,

Just had an eail from the person we rented our unit through for Nice, holidaylettings.co.uk, a Chris Kingy, who advises us that as he now has a group booking we no longer have our unit despite paying a 25% deposit back in early January.

We had booked for 4 nights arriving thurs and leaving mon after race.

Surely our deposit we paid and the booking forms we filled out are a legally binding contract.

He has offeerd to refund our desposit if we do not wish to change dates (can we just move the Nice Ironman back a week guys) but has not made any effort to suggest likewise accom still available.

Does anyone have any tips for acomm for family of four from oz at this late stage?

Ohio, USA
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19,004 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Let down by villa owner

Do you mean this coming Thursday??? If so that is outrageous!

If not this weekend, when?

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Nice, Eze, Monaco
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1,777 posts
52 reviews
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2. Re: Let down by villa owner

That show you this company is not serious because they do not respect your contract and prefer another guest with more money

scandalous (if they do it one time, they will do it more times. I hate companies who do overbooking and move guests in case they are not interesting)

Ironman is in June ?

it's an important event in Nice and I think unfortunately most hotels are already fully booked

check apart'hotel :

citadines

sejoursdusud.com

hipark

....

they offer apartment until person

Ireland
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3,271 posts
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3. Re: Let down by villa owner

Look at Nice Excellior Suites:

http://www.excellior-nice.com/

I stayed there last year and many iron man athletes were there at the same time. It is on the promenade des anglais and the apartments are really nice. But do hurry, there are only a few apartments/studios left.

Guildford, United...
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6,208 posts
70 reviews
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4. Re: Let down by villa owner

You certainly had a legally binding contract. If you were based in the UK it would be well worth taking him to the small claims court but, otherwise, it is hard to see what you can do. Sad to say there are some nasty, grasping people in the world, some of whom own property in Nice.

Munich, Germany
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9,689 posts
67 reviews
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5. Re: Let down by villa owner

Nice_French_r

www.holidaylettings.co.uk is not a company. It is purely an advertising website used by private owners and some lettings/rental companies.

Sad to see this type of thing as I generally use websites like www.holiday-rentals.co.uk for my private rentals (although this year I have found a place on www.holidaylettings.co.uk in Marbella for this summer) and never had a problem. I've previously rented property in nice/Antibes and Spain without problems. These occurences, although unfortunate, appear rare.

As you haven't identified the exact property difficult to comment however here is an extract from holidaylettings info page -para 3 being the most relevant

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Protecting your holiday"

You should be aware that you are not automatically protected against loss of expenditure when booking flights and accommodation independently should, for example, your airline go out of business or your accommodation not meet your requirements.

ABTA represents travel agents and tour operators only. As holidaylettings.co.uk is an advertising portal and not an agent engaged in the holiday transaction, it is not a member of any travel organisations and therefore offers no protection against the holiday home booking you make.

Our best advice is to check the small print of your travel insurance policy or find an insurance provider that will cover you against such occurrences. Furthermore, ensure you request a booking contract relating to your holiday home rental so you are aware of your rights and those of the person advertising the property.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/hm_faq.aspx

Only thing you can do is put the word out about this owner - as you have here. Whether or not you can complain to www.holidaylettings.co.uk and maybe get his advert removed for false advertising.

I wouldn't let this put you off trying to find another property through www.holidaylettings.co.uk or www.holiday-rentals.co.uk as this "money grabber" is one amongst thousands of more honest renters.

Still appears to be plenty of property still available in June

Nice
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12,655 posts
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6. Re: Let down by villa owner

i had reason to have a look at holiday lettings t&cs earlier this week -it gives ZERO protection to clients and has no mechanisms for complaints,

Complaint about your stay

As an advertising website that does not take part in the booking process Holiday Lettings cannot get involved in matters that occurred during your stay. We ask advertisers and holidaymakers to correspond directly with each other in order to come to a resolution.

Giving feedback about your stay

If you have positive feedback regarding your stay at a property displayed on our website, please feel free to pass this directly on to the advertiser. Each advert has a guestbook section that allows advertisers to add guests' testimonials to our website.

- so only positive comments get online - holiday lettings don't get involved in disputes - great for dodgy owners -rubbish for renters.

Virginia
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2,033 posts
390 reviews
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7. Re: Let down by villa owner

Most companies around the world give ZERO protection to people when they book and pay deposits. Only the assurance that they will get a refund back if something happens and the lodging is not available.

You will get your refund back, but in the event there is a natural disaster or something happens and your lodging is no longer available (like the owner wrongfully decides to cancel your reservation because someone else has more money to pay), you cannot sue the company as was suggested in another post.

You could only take legal action if you pay a deposit and they cancel your booking and they didn't give your deposit back. But most don't have to do that, because credit card companies and banks can get the money back for you if that happens.

This thing happens rarely with hotels too. There is always a line for legal purposes in the fine print when you agree to the terms and conditions that says something to the effect of we may refund your deposit and cancel your booking at any time in the event of unforeseen circumstances - which are usually left pretty open to interpretation.

As rare as it is, it happens not just in Nice but all over the world. And almost everyone just checks the box and agrees to terms and conditions without reading them. And if you don't agree to the terms that in extreme circumstances they reserve the right to cancel your booking - they won't let you book.

Edited: 2:18 pm, March 31, 2011
Guildford, United...
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6,208 posts
70 reviews
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8. Re: Let down by villa owner

In the UK paying a deposit and receiving confirmation results in a legally binding contract with the owner. Provided you had evidence of the deposit paid and confirmation of the booking, and could show that you lost money, perhaps by having to book more expensive property or change flights, you would win a legal case (as would the owner if you decided to cancel and not pay the remainder of the rent). I would think the same applies in France. Complications arise when multiple juristictions are involved. For example when the owner is in France and you are in the UK or the USA. That is one of the reasons why I would always try to book property which is owned by someone whose main home is in the UK. The contract is with the owner of the property, not with the booking agency.

You will see that almost all commercial organisations letting accommodation require you to agree to pay the full rent whether or not you decide to go and recommend that you take out insurance to cover problems that may arise. Last year, owing to one of the many French transport strikes, people who had booked our flat were unable to get there and therefore claimed on their travel insurance, so we received the rent and they lost nothing.

Again as far as the UK is concerned there is a simple and very cheap system for small claims. From my experience of the French legal system I very much doubt if anything similar exists there. If I booked with someone who has their main home in Britain and they treated me as they have scoop, I would be happy to go to court. The fact that most people take no action in such circumstances means that ruthless people continue to behave in this way.

Guildford, United...
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9. Re: Let down by villa owner

I forgot to add, certainly in English law there is a concept of 'unreasonable conditions', so agreeing to a condition in the small print which allows them, for example, to cancel and let to someone else after confirming your booking would not be enforceable in law. What would be enforceable would be, for example, a condition allowing them to cancel due to destruction of the property.

mackay
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226 posts
16 reviews
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10. Re: Let down by villa owner

This is the reply we received when stating our dissappointment and requesting refund.

"I accept your disappointment and this is the very reason why a deposit is paid instead of the full amount in the event of emergencies. I have made no excuses about the situation, just stated what will need to be done."