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Profiteering?

(29 Posts)
Daisymae Wed 07-Apr-21 16:17:30

We have had to cancel our holiday cottage due to ill health. Have given 3 months notice to the letting company but told that we will have to pay if the holiday company are unable to re let. Fair enough its in the terms and conditions. We booked last year but I have just had a look on the website and notice that the cost they are advertising it for has risen by £260 for the week. That's an increase of over 20%. Of course this is going to make it more difficult to book but guess they don't care as they will either get the money we have paid or they will get a 22% uplift. They have also said that if they have to discount to get a booking we will have the pay the difference. Not feeling too fair on anyone TBH.

Aveline Wed 07-Apr-21 16:22:31

So the owners of the place have to carry the risk of a void? Its their business, in many cases their livelihood. Its a pity that you're ill and can't take up your booking. Do you have holiday insurance? Surely cancellation due to illness is exactly what they'd cover?

suziewoozie Wed 07-Apr-21 16:36:46

Humm I think you’ve got a case here .I had to deal with something similar last year but they put it back on at the same price and relet it at once. All we lost was the £40 booking fee which was quite fair. From advice I received at the time, the owners have a legal duty to mitigate their losses before they can claim money from you. Putting it on at a higher price is imo not doing this. Also, if they couldn’t relet you are not liable for the whole amount but their losses which have to be evidenced. Have you paid the whole amount? What are the dates? If you want, I’ll try snd find the sources I used when fighting my case.

suziewoozie Wed 07-Apr-21 16:37:46

Have you got a screen shot of the new price? Useful evidence

NotSpaghetti Wed 07-Apr-21 16:47:07

If it's in your terms and conditions then I would think that's fair enough.
I expect they will let it (especially if in the UK) and all will be well.
If it's not let ahead of time I suppose they will first discount the 22% so you won't be liable. If they have to discount below your price then I expect that is where the costs to you might kick in. That seems fair to me as it means you don't lose the whole sum.

suziewoozie Wed 07-Apr-21 16:55:04

No - ts and cs can be unfair and therefore not legally binding. Trust me - I was a walking encyclopaedia on this last year and also had great advice from Which Legal of which I’m a member. Yes of course if they can only let it at less than you were due to pay but what wouldn’t be OK would be to discount it at last minute after advertising it for ages at increased price and not price you would have paid. The magic phrase is mitigating losses

Daisymae Wed 07-Apr-21 17:06:57

suzie - yes we are also members of Which legal and you make an interesting point about mitigating losses. I dont have a problem with being liable for the let, it just the whopping increase that seems to be unfair. That combined with the fact that we are also liable if they have to discount. Which at those rates I would think is a possibility. Of course there's a shortage this year so its quite likely it will be re let at the higher rate. I am going to screen shot the increases.

Daisymae Wed 07-Apr-21 17:08:50

Aveline, no the insurance doesn't cover our reasons for being unable to go. As I said I am ok with covering the cost of the let but its a huge increase and they are saying we are liable if they have to discount.

vampirequeen Wed 07-Apr-21 21:01:21

Surely they can only charge you for the price you contracted for.

suziewoozie Wed 07-Apr-21 23:20:21

vampirequeen

Surely they can only charge you for the price you contracted for.

Yes but it’s more complicated than that. They have a duty in law to mitigate their losses which includes doing all they reasonably can to relet it. They have put it back on the market at a higher price, thus, theoretically , making it harder to relet. I’m guessing there’s an excellent chance it’ll be relet but that’s a different issues.

Aepgirl Thu 08-Apr-21 10:41:58

The price of holiday cottages inUK has rocketed, and the demand is sky high, so I would be very surprised if the company you booked with cannot relet the property. Keep an eye open, however, because they may not tell you this.
I once had to cancel 2 of the 6 theatre tickets I had booked because of the hospitalisation of one of my friends. When I went to the show these two seats had been resold by the theatre (I asked the people using them) but the theatre denied that this had happened.

Paperbackwriter Thu 08-Apr-21 10:52:22

If they put it on at a higher price and succeed in re-letting it, then there is surely a case for them splitting the extra profit with you!
(OK, I know that's not going to happen, but in theory...)

Yammy Thu 08-Apr-21 11:14:42

Pre Covid we booked a fortnight in a cottage in Britain. Due to ongoing ill health, we were going to cancel about a month before the holiday and was told if they could not relet we would not get any of our money back[We had already paid the balance]. I asked what the chances of reletting would be and got a non-comital answer. We decided not to cancel and allowed a relation to go and come away as they liked.
These rules have always been there if you read the .small print
We are in the same position yet again last year we were offered the chance to defer the booking to this year now we are waiting to see if the country will be open to English travellers for our dates.
Beware if you name some illnesses as reasons not to travel your travel insurance will be much higher the following year, we have been caught with this as well.

icanhandthemback Thu 08-Apr-21 11:26:28

I'd be asking for a share in the profits! To be fair, they might have additional expenses to re-advertise it. I think, as long as you get your money back, you shouldn't be concerned with how they are making their money. You would have had the chance to take out insurance so if you didn't, doesn't the onus rest with you for any loss? Holiday Lets in this country are likely to be in much demand if international travel restrictions are in place so I would be less worried about it being more difficult to let. Perhaps you could assist by sharing the link on Social Media.

suziewoozie Thu 08-Apr-21 11:37:54

We don’t know the details but a lot of bookings carry an additional booking fee to cover agency fees etc. If it’s an individual letting, they have a website and changing the availability information must be the work of seconds. The OP is perfectly willing to pay up if the cottage can’t be relet ( why she’s not covered by insurance is not the issue). People running businesses like this are not doing it as a charity, have plenty of tax perks and have had access to grants and loans during covid.Owners have to know the law and follow it

GillT57 Thu 08-Apr-21 11:42:43

Maybe keep an eye on the property for the dates you have had to cancel, just to see whether it has been let or not? As others have said, demand will be high this year so likely to be let.

Alioop Thu 08-Apr-21 11:55:27

I had the same thing last year. We were not allowed to travel out of our area, but yet we were penalised for not going. We booked through a large letting company and the lady who we were renting off felt awful.

suziewoozie Thu 08-Apr-21 11:59:06

Yammy

Pre Covid we booked a fortnight in a cottage in Britain. Due to ongoing ill health, we were going to cancel about a month before the holiday and was told if they could not relet we would not get any of our money back[We had already paid the balance]. I asked what the chances of reletting would be and got a non-comital answer. We decided not to cancel and allowed a relation to go and come away as they liked.
These rules have always been there if you read the .small print
We are in the same position yet again last year we were offered the chance to defer the booking to this year now we are waiting to see if the country will be open to English travellers for our dates.
Beware if you name some illnesses as reasons not to travel your travel insurance will be much higher the following year, we have been caught with this as well.

Sorry but this is inaccurate and therefore not helpful. If you book a cottage and then have to cancel you are of course liable to pay up but and this is a big but the owners have first to mitigate their losses. This would mean readvertising in a timely manner ie as soon as they received your cancellation. Any reasonable evidenced costs of readvertisinv would of course be chargeable - as I said I paid the £40 agency fee. It doesn’t matter one jot what any small print says. Much of it is unfair and ignores basic consumer law. If the readverising is done properly and the cottage is not relet, then of course you pay up. Although there is still a debate to be had about what the actual loss is as it may not be the same as the rent ( but that’s another story)

Wibblywobbly Thu 08-Apr-21 12:13:32

This is why you should have travel insurance?

suziewoozie Thu 08-Apr-21 12:17:52

Travel insurance doesn’t cover everything but yes it covers a lot It’s not relevant or helpful in this particular situation and doesn’t let owners of cottages not following the law off the hook.

Jang Thu 08-Apr-21 12:17:59

I own a holiday apartment and have during CV allowed people to cancel either given them their money back or moved bookings for them... and have NOT inflated/increased my rental costs for this year.. It is my business but I want people to come back and not feel ripped off. Yes I have lost money but I have to take that hit on the chin.. as have all holiday/hospitality companies over this last year.

suziewoozie Thu 08-Apr-21 12:23:37

Jang what a refreshing post. Last year the big scandals involved the big companies like Sykes and the CMA eventually took very harsh action against these companies and made them refund individuals. This year, anything covid related in terms of government imposed restrictions is now much clearer in terms of renters’ rights.

Dottynan Thu 08-Apr-21 12:27:39

You are unlucky we had to cancel for ill health and received 100 per cent back. Suziewoozie might we have a good point

Buffy Thu 08-Apr-21 13:21:04

‘ Cornish Cottages on-line’ haven’t increased their prices at all. I should know as I’m an owner and have let through them for twenty years. They are very fair.

ALANaV Thu 08-Apr-21 14:04:12

There was an article in the Daily Mail yesterday on rights when cancelling bookings ....mostly concerned air travel and package holidays .....did you book with credit card ? you MAY be able to claim if the letting has to be cancelled through ill health .....you can also check where you booked it (online ? agent ?) website to see if it is being offered and if it is let again ...(in case the person letting it doesn't tell you !)....otherwise, it looks like a case of goodwill on the part of the owner ...good luck !