Home > Holidays > Holiday Lets: Is the Contract With Owner or Agent?

Holiday Lets: Is the Contract With Owner or Agent?

Author: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 17 September 2012 | commentsComment
 
Accommodation Holiday Property Agent

If you are thinking of making a complaint about holiday accommodation, it can be difficult to know who you legally have the complaint against. You might have booked a holiday cottage/villa or self catering accommodation through an agent, but it's owned by an individual who you have had absolutely no contact with so far. So how do you know who to complain to, and who is legally responsible for the upkeep of, and any problems with, holiday accommodation?

Contract Law - Agents.

Under contract law, you usually have a contract whoever it is that you pay your money to. So if you were to find a hotel online, book a room and pay for it directly, it's easy to see that you have a contract with the owners of the hotel. They are bound by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act and the related Supply of Goods and Services Act to provide you with a holiday that fits the description made of it in the brochure, to supply all services with reasonable skill and care, and provide a holiday that is of 'satisfactory quality'.

The waters become muddier when you book a holiday cottage or other holiday accommodation through an agent. You might see a holiday let advertised, and have to book it through a third party. In this case, the third party is acting as the property owner's agent, and although you are paying them the money, the contract for the holiday let is formed between you and the property owner. If you check the booking conditions of any of the big holiday cottage booking agencies, you will usually find right at the start of their booking conditions, an explanation of this along the lines of:

"We, Acme Holiday Company Limited , act as agent in booking your holiday accommodation and any other related services. Your contract will be with your accommodation owner or other service provider."

What if the Holiday Accommodation is Not as Described?

This is a tricky situation in that morally you could say that both parties are liable. For example, if you spot holiday accommodation in a brochure that clearly states there is a cot available for a baby - but on arrival the cot is sadly absent, you have every right to complain as you booked the accommodation on the basis of information provided by the agent. You should notify the agent of the error, and they will have to prove that any such information was passed onto them in good faith. Legally, although the contract is still with the property owner, if the owner can prove that they passed on the correct information about their holiday accommodation to the agent, but the agent misinformed you, they can take action themselves against the agency. The correct way to deal with this sort of issue is to notify the booking agent but address any complaints to the owner. The agent should give you the owner's details when you make your booking.

It will always be the owner of the accommodation that is liable for any compensation - in this scenario for example, perhaps you would have had to buy a travel cot because you needed somewhere for your child to sleep. If the mistake was made as a result of an error by the booking agent, the owner then has the option of recovering the cost from the booking agent, as the owner will have his or her own contract with the agent.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment...
Why not be the first to Leave a Comment?
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Notify:
  Notify me by email when a response is posted
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • catlady
    Re: Council Houses - Your Right to Buy
    My Mom has lived in her 3 bed Council house since they were built just after WW2, she is now 93 & wants us to buy the…
    2 September 2014
  • silky
    Re: Buying a New Car: Your Rights
    Hi, I bought a new Peugeot 308 on 1 Sept last year and have had a fault from the first two months. The car keeps stalling, it…
    2 September 2014
  • Eva80
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    Hi I bought a Zafira 1.6 exclusive 09 plate from vauxhall dealer in Warrington. I have had the car for going on 13 months. My…
    2 September 2014
  • ericweric
    Re: Housing Insurance for a Rented Property
    I have applied for the right to buy. The council have agreed but the valuation is extortionate. I dont know what…
    31 August 2014
  • Angelic24
    Re: When Your Hair Do Goes Wrong
    I went to put micro extensions and paid 90£ for the application and 22£ for a 10 m consultation! after 5 weeks only I had to go…
    28 August 2014
  • littlejack
    Re: Dealing With Cowboy Builders
    Some 15-20 years ago, I must say it is a long time, but I remember having a roof repair, a gully, that had cracks in its…
    27 August 2014
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ConsumerRightsExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.