Booking Terms and Conditions

We last updated our booking terms and conditions on 1st November 2022.

These booking terms and conditions apply to all confirmed bookings created on or after 1st November 2022 and supersede all previous versions. For the previous versions of our booking terms and conditions see here.

Introduction and references

Home From Home (“the Website”) is a website owned and operated by The Travel Chapter Limited who shall be referred to as “we”, “us” or “our” in these terms and conditions.

To make it easier to read these terms and conditions there are a number of further definitions which we use:

  • “Deposit” means a deposit of 1/3rd of the total holiday accommodation cost (which includes any “extras” selected at the time of booking);
  • “Holidaymaker” means you and each person going on holiday with you on your booking;
  • “Owner” means the owner of the Property you book (as we do not own the properties on our Website);
  • “Property” means the holiday property you book through us; and
  • “You” means the lead person making a booking through us.

When you make a booking through us you are confirming that you and every Holidaymaker understands, agrees and accepts these terms and conditions. Please read them carefully, particularly section 13 headed “Limitation of Liabilities and Legal”.

1. Contract and Booking

We act as agents for the Owner. Therefore, when you make a booking through us the contract to occupy the Property is between you and the Owner.

In some cases we may also act as agent for other agencies who themselves act as agents for the Owner. In those cases the contract to occupy the Property is also between you and the Owner.

Bookings cannot be accepted from persons under 18 years of age.

The Properties are meant to be used for the purposes of a holiday, and certain group bookings, including for stag and hen dos, may not be allowed unless special arrangements (including the possible requirement for a safety deposit) are made with the Owner.

No bookings are valid until confirmed by us in writing (including by email).

Once a booking is confirmed it cannot be changed by you, unless agreed by the Owner, or by us on the Owner’s behalf. If we or the Owner agree to make requested changes to your booking (for example, changing the lead booker and/or the dates of your holiday) you will be required to pay £75 per change.

2. Booking Fees, Deposits, Balance Payments and Holiday Insurance

When making a booking you will be required to pay a booking fee to us which will be clearly identified as part of the overall price you pay. The booking fee is payable for the service we provide that allows you to book a Property.

If you make a booking more than 9 weeks before the holiday date you will be required to pay a Deposit when making the booking and the balance will be due no later than 9 weeks before the holiday is due to start.

If you make a booking within 9 weeks of the start of the holiday you will be required to pay for the holiday in full at the time of booking.

If available and you actively choose to take out holiday insurance through us it will be arranged by a third party insurance provider (and not by the Owner, nor by us or any other agencies or member(s) of our group); the cost of the holiday insurance (if available and selected) will also be payable at the time of booking.

We reserve the right (on behalf of the Owner) to cancel your holiday and re-let any holiday where any payment due is more than 7 days’ late. In these circumstances you will not be entitled to any refund.

The booking fee and Deposit are non-refundable unless we are unable to accept the booking on behalf of the Owner or the Property is unavailable at the time of the holiday (please see section 3).

At certain times of the year you may be eligible to secure your next holiday with a deposit which is less than the standard Deposit (of 1/3rd of the total accommodation cost). If eligible, we will give you details of any applicable terms before, or when, you make your booking.

3. Owner unable to make the Property available

If the Owner cannot make the Property available to you for your booking we will try to find you suitable alternative accommodation or we will arrange a refund from the Owner of all amounts you have paid towards the accommodation cost. We will not be responsible to pay any compensation or expenses as a consequence of such an event. The booking fee will be non-refundable in these circumstances as we will have performed our services to you at the point of booking.

4. Guest Cancellations

If you cancel prior to the holiday arrival date you may be due a partial refund from the Owner.

The refund will depend on the amount of notice you give us (as agent for the Owner) before the holiday start date.

If section 3 applies you will be entitled to a full refund of the accommodation costs from the Owner. In all other circumstances, the refund will be calculated as follows:

  • 21 or less days’ notice – No refund due
  • 22-35 days’ notice – 10% of the total accommodation cost
  • 36-49 days’ notice – 20% of the total accommodation cost
  • 50-63 days’ notice – 40% of the total accommodation cost
  • More than 63 days’ notice – your liability to pay the balance will be waived, however, the Deposit will not be refunded. If the holiday was paid in full and more than 63 days’ notice is provided then 2/3rds of the total accommodation cost will be refunded.

For the avoidance of doubt the booking fee and any holiday insurance premium (unless the holiday insurance is cancelled within 14 days of the booking) are non-refundable in all circumstances when you cancel a holiday. The Deposit is non-refundable in all circumstances when you cancel a holiday, unless section 3 applies.

If a refund is due we will aim to return the applicable amount within 10 working days of cancellation.

Where a booking has been taken with a deposit which is less than our standard Deposit (1/3 of the total accommodation cost) and paragraph 3 (Owner unable to make the Property available) does not apply, you will be liable to pay the difference between the reduced deposit and our standard Deposit within 10 days of cancelling the booking.

5. Holidaymakers’ responsibilities

You will ensure that you and all Holidaymakers will:

  • Act responsibly and carefully whilst at the Property, abiding by any property specific house rules and leave the Property, and all things in or at it, in the same state of repair and cleanliness as at the start of the holiday;
  • Report to the Owner any damage or breakages made during the holiday occupancy and pay for damage (wear and tear accepted);
  • Not smoke at the Property nor allow anyone else to smoke at the Property;
  • Not allow more than the maximum number of people or pets to stay at the Property as stated on the Website;
  • At all times comply with any applicable laws and local or Government guidance, and ensure that no Holidaymaker or their guests (if allowed at the Property) or pets (if allowed at the Property) do anything which is illegal, or may cause unreasonable damage, noise, behaviour or disturbance;
  • Not enter the Property before the stated arrival date and time and will leave the Property before the stated departure date and time;
  • Treat people with respect and not act in a way which is abusive, violent, destructive, menacing, or harassing towards an Owner, any member of their team, any member of the community in which the property is situated, or any of our employees, directors, consultants or other party acting on our behalf;
  • Secure the Property (including all windows and doors) whenever leaving the Property.

We and the Owner will be entitled to make a reasonable charge where Holidaymakers have failed to comply with these responsibilities. In serious cases, Holidaymakers may have to leave the Property early without any compensation or refund.

6. Owner’s responsibilities

The Owner will ensure that:

  • The Property is cleaned and ready for the Holidaymakers by the stated arrival date and time;
  • Suitable arrangements are made for you to access the Property;
  • They treat all Holidaymakers with respect and not act in a way which is abusive, violent, destructive, menacing, or harassing towards any Holidaymaker at their Property;
  • They can be easily contacted (at reasonable times) or will provide you with an alternative first point of contact should you have any concerns or queries during your stay;
  • They, and the Property, comply with all applicable laws and regulations (including health and safety regulations);
  • Adequate liability insurance is in place in respect of the Holidaymakers’ stay; and
  • All Holidaymakers will have exclusive access to the Property for the duration of the holiday (although all Holidaymakers will allow the Owner or any representative, including us, access to the Property if reasonably required).

However, the Owner and we will not be responsible, nor liable to you (or any Holidaymakers) for any events outside the Owner’s or our reasonable control, such as the breakdown of domestic appliances, plumbing, wiring, temporary invasion of pests, building works at adjacent properties, damage resulting from exceptional weather conditions or other unforeseeable circumstances.

7. Pets

Dogs are only allowed at Properties (at an additional charge which will be identified at the time of booking) where this is specifically stated in the Property description; additional dog restrictions may be contained in the “Need to Know”/Property information section – please read this section carefully.

Registered assistance dogs are allowed in all Properties.

You must notify us of the intended presence of any assistance dogs, with evidence of registration, prior to making a booking.

If any Holidaymaker has an allergy to dogs, please be aware that neither our Owners nor we can guarantee that a dog has not stayed in a particular Property. Neither we nor our Owners can accept responsibility for any suffering which may occur as a result of such animals having been present in a Property.

The following dog terms apply:

  • Dogs must be under strict control at all times while in or at the Property;
  • Any fouling must be cleared up without delay;
  • The dog owner must bring the dog's bed or basket for sleeping in;
  • Dogs must not be left alone in or at the Property or elsewhere at any time;
  • Dogs must not lie on beds or furnishings, and hair must be cleared up before departing;
  • Dog owners must ensure that their pets are free from parasites and fleas before they occupy the Property. Failure to do so may incur subsequent charges;
  • Young dogs (e.g. puppies less than 6 months’ old) must be declared to us at the time of booking and authorised by the Owner;
  • You will be liable for any damage caused by any Holidaymakers’ dogs. Any damage is to be reported to the Owner (or their representative) immediately. Any additional cleaning required, that may incur an additional charge, will be at the Owner's discretion.

Pets other than dogs may be allowed at the Owner’s discretion. This must be approved prior to making a booking and can be arranged by telephoning the Reservations department.

If you break these terms, the Owner (including their representative) or we may notify you that you have broken these terms and may cancel the booking and ask that the Holidaymakers leave the Property before the end of the holiday period without compensation, or that they pay an additional reasonable charge.

8. Ferries

For certain Properties you may be able book a ferry crossing at preferential rates directly with selected ferry operators.

We do not offer nor arrange any ‘package’ holidays or ‘linked travel arrangements’, both as defined in the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. We will not, and will not be able to, provide a discount code or link with preferential rates until at least 24 hours after the corresponding holiday booking has been confirmed.

Any ferry bookings will be in accordance with the terms of carriage of the relevant ferry operator.

The ferry company alone are responsible for the safety of all Holidaymakers during the crossing subject to and in accordance with the relevant ferry company's terms of carriage.

We accept no responsibility for personal injury to, or death of, any Holidaymakers, or loss of or consequential loss or damage to their property, or for other matters over which we have no control, except to the extent such personal injury or death is caused by our negligence or wilful default.

9. VAT and IPT

All prices quoted include VAT and Insurance Premium Tax where applicable.

10. Literature and descriptions/amenities

We have compiled the information in our brochure and on our Website as accurately as possible. However, facilities may be altered or withdrawn for reasons outside our control, in which case we cannot accept responsibility.

We make every effort to ensure that the Property details supplied to us by the Owners are accurately reproduced and that the pricing and availability of the Property is correct. Mistakes may occur from time to time, and we reserve the right to rectify errors (including any pricing errors) within 5 business days of you making your booking.

Where Wi-Fi is an advertised facility, please note that its provision is subject to availability and network conditions. It may not be available 24 hours a day and is provided for leisure, not business, purposes.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and we want to ensure they can be catered for wherever possible. Not all Properties will have a suitable and safe place to charge vehicles, so it is recommended you check prior to booking. If you are keeping an electric vehicle at the Property, you must use designated charging points (where available) and manufacturer approved cables for charging any vehicles at the Property. The Owner reserves the right to refuse to allow electric vehicles to be charged if they do not believe, in their reasonable opinion, that it is suitable or safe to do so.

If you choose to holiday in an older property, remember that much of its character and charm is due to its age. Some of our Properties are well over 100 years old and were built long before the days of damp proof courses and cavity walls so some may show signs of damp, particularly in long spells of wet weather. If you have any concerns, please talk to us at the time of making your booking. Also, please remember that should traditional property features (steep stairs or low beams, for example) be a problem for any member of your party, you must consider and mention this prior to booking.

Please remember that properties in the country do attract spiders and therefore cobwebs. It does not mean that the Property is dirty or has not been cleaned as cobwebs can be spun almost as quickly as they have been cleaned away. Some of our properties, particularly in remote areas, may have a private water supply from a spring or well water, which is regularly tested. In rural areas please be tolerant of the sounds and scents that you may encounter, they are all a part of the countryside experience.

Confirmation should be requested prior to booking if there is any particular detail or facility that is important to you. When you make a booking the Holidaymakers accept that minor differences between text/photographs/illustrations in the brochure and on the Website and the actual Property may arise. We cannot accept responsibility should the Property not conform to a Holidaymaker's standards.

11. Complaints procedure

If you have any complaint concerning a Property, the matter should be taken up with the Owner (or the local point of contact provided to you in the travel directions) first. The Owner should do their best to resolve your complaint, where possible. It is important to raise any complaint while you are still at the Property.

If you are not satisfied with the response given by the Owner, please then contact us (via the Customer Service Department) with full details so we can investigate further. We will then liaise with the Owner to try to resolve any unresolved complaints.

12. Communication with you and data

As part of a booking we may introduce Holidaymakers to the goods and/or services of third parties. We shall not be treated as an agent for any such third parties, and any contract for the supply of such goods and/or services shall be between the provider and the relevant Holidaymaker.

Please see our Privacy Policy which explains how we will process your personal data.

All electronic data transferred pursuant to these terms and conditions remains our property and may not be replicated in part or whole without our prior written permission. Electronic data will not be preserved indefinitely by us.

13. Limitation of Liabilities and Legal – Please pay particular attention to this section

The contract to occupy the Property is made on the basis that the Property is to be occupied by the Holidaymakers for a holiday (as mentioned in the Housing Act 1988 Schedule 1 paragraph 9 or similar legislation in other jurisdictions).

When making a booking, you acknowledge on behalf of all Holidaymakers that the tenancy granted by these terms and conditions is not an assured tenancy and that no statutory periodic tenancy will arise when it ends.

Once you have made a booking there is no “cooling off” period as the contract you have made is for accommodation services for a specific period of performance. You can see further details in the section “When you don’t get 14 days to cancel” on the citizen’s advice bureau website here.

We accept no responsibility for personal injury to, or death of, Holidaymakers or anyone they invite to the Property, or loss of or consequential loss or damage to their property, or for other matters over which we have no control.

If either you or an Owner fails to comply with these terms and conditions you or the Owner will be liable (only) for losses which are a foreseeable consequence of the failure to comply with the applicable terms. Losses are foreseeable where they were contemplated by you and the Owner at the time you made the booking.

Nothing in these terms and conditions will limit our liability or an Owner’s liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our or the Owner’s negligence or the negligence of our or their employees, agents or subcontractors, or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

Any dispute, claim or other matter which may arise in relation to your booking will be governed by English law and you agree that any dispute will be dealt with exclusively by the courts of England and Wales.

14. Accidental Damage Deposit/Waiver

It is a requirement when booking certain specified properties with us, to pay either an Accidental Damage Deposit or an Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver.

The Accidental Damage Deposit is due with the balance and it will be cashed on receipt and held by us to be applied against the reasonable costs of miscellaneous repairs to and/or replacement of and/or additional cleaning of furnishings, kitchen equipment, crockery, glass, keys, bedding and towels damaged or soiled otherwise than by usual wear and tear during the period of the booking by you or other Holidaymakers. The balance of the Accidental Damage Deposit will be returned to you within 7 working days of the departure date. Where such costs exceed the Accidental Damage Deposit you agree to pay such excess to the Owner promptly and in any event within 14 days of being notified.

Where you have agreed to pay the Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver the Accidental Damage Deposit is not payable. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver is a non-refundable payment by you to us in lieu of the Accidental Damage Deposit. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver will normally, but at our sole discretion, cover the costs of making good any loss or damage to the Property and/or its contents caused through act or omission during the period of the booking by you or other Holidaymakers and up to the value of the Accidental Damage Deposit for the booked Property. Where any such damage caused exceeds this amount, you agree to pay to us, acting on behalf of the Owner, upon written demand, any reasonable costs incurred by us or on behalf of the Owner to make good any such loss or damage above the predetermined amount. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver is not available for any stay at a Property which exceeds 14 nights in any single booking. Criminal or wilful damage will not be covered by the Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver

Previous Terms and Conditions

Prior to November 1st 2022

Bookings of all holiday accommodation whether made by telephone, e-mail, in person, in writing or over the internet are accepted by Original Cottages (OC) acting as agent on behalf of the Owner on the following terms.

By making any Booking with us, you confirm that you accept these terms and conditions and agree to comply with and be bound by them.

These booking terms and conditions include a number of defined terms as follows:

Booking: a legally binding reservation for use of the Property, with a specified start and end date.

Contract of Hire: the legally binding contract between the Hirer and the Owner for the provision of the Property for the purposes of the Booking and related services.

Force Majeure Event: means (i) any event or circumstance not within a party’s reasonable control including, without limitation, acts of God, flood, drought, earthquake or other natural disaster; epidemic or pandemic (if so categorized by a national or international health organisation), terrorist attack, civil war, civil commotion or riots, war, threat of or preparation for war, armed conflict, imposition of sanctions, embargo, or breaking off of diplomatic relations, nuclear, chemical or biological contamination or sonic boom, any law or any legally enforceable action taken by a government or public authority, which affects (directly or indirectly) the ability of the relevant party to perform a contractual obligation, collapse of buildings, fire, explosion or accident, or any labour or trade dispute, strikes, industrial action or lockouts and (ii) any binding legislation or law passed by the UK government or a UK public authority as a consequence of any of the events listed in (i).

Guest Price: the total price payable (which includes VAT, if applicable) by the Hirer for a Booking, comprising the property rental plus a booking fee and any additional charges that may apply to that Booking (e.g. in relation to pets).

Hirer: the person (“You”) making the Booking under these terms and conditions and by doing so entering into the Contract of Hire with the Owner.

OC: one of a small group of locally focused brands owned by The Original Cottage Company Limited, which is a private limited company incorporated in England (registered number 06951692) with its registered address at Bank House, Market Place, Reepham, Norwich, NR10 4JJ. VAT No. 595 2110 44.

Owner: the owner of the Property which is the subject of the Contract of Hire.

Property: the holiday accommodation made available (subject to these terms and conditions) to the Hirer for use for the purposes of the Booking.

1. CONTRACT OF HIRE

The Original Cottage Company Limited trading as OC act only as agents for Owners, and are not principals and so the Contract of Hire is between the Hirer and the Owner of the property for which the Booking is made and shall be deemed to be made subject to these terms and conditions. For the avoidance of doubt, OC is not a party to the Contract of Hire. To the extent that OC carries out any functions in relation to a Property, it does so as an agent on behalf of the Owner.

The Booking is subject to these terms and conditions, which are governed by English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. The Contract of Hire is effective only from the date and time that OC dispatch to the Hirer a written “Confirmation of Booking.” The Confirmation of Booking will show your booking details, the amount you have paid and the amount you still owe for the booking. As soon as you receive your Confirmation of Booking, you must check the details carefully. If anything is not correct, you should tell OC immediately. The Owner/OC, acting reasonably, reserves the right to amend arrival (‘check in’) and departure (‘check out’) times so as to ensure the Property is ready for occupation, for example in response to a Force Majeure Event. So long as the Owner/OC is acting reasonably, the Hirer will not be entitled to a refund in relation to a change in arrival or departure times.

For the avoidance of doubt, if OC pays the deposit and/or full balance into its bank account, it will not mean OC have accepted a booking unless OC have issued the Hirer with a written Confirmation of Booking. Please do not make any other travel arrangements until OC have issued you with a written Confirmation of Booking. If you book with us, we will acknowledge that we have received your booking and then send a separate written Confirmation of Booking by e-mail to the e-mail address you have provided. It is your responsibility to let us know about any change to your e-mail address.

The contract is for the hire of the Property for holiday purposes only. OC does not accept Bookings from Hirers under 18 years of age and OC reserves the right to cancel a Booking made by anyone who is (or who OC reasonably believes to be) under 18 at the time the Booking was made.

If the Hirer wishes to take legal action against the Owner of the property in order to pursue their rights under the Contract of Hire, OC, shall, at the Hirer’s written request, provide the name and means of contacting the applicable Owner. The Hirer undertakes not to contact the Owner for any other reason unless requested to do so by OC.

2. INITIAL PAYMENT

Bookings will be reserved upon receipt by OC of the required deposit payment in cleared funds of one third of the total Guest Price. If the Booking is made less than nine weeks before the holiday commencement date, the full Guest Price will be required to be paid at the time the Booking is made. Deposits can be paid by debit card or credit card, BACS transfer or cheque. In the case of web bookings, these can be paid online through our secure payment system.

3. BALANCE PAYMENT

The balance of the Guest Price will be due for payment nine weeks before the holiday commencement date. On receipt of the full balance payment in cleared funds, advice on key collection arrangements and directions to the Property will be sent to the Hirer. The Owner reserves the right to cancel a Booking where full payment has not been received within 14 days after the due date as advised by OC. The deposit paid on the Booking is always non-returnable (subject to clause 16).

4. METHOD OF PAYMENT

Cheques should be made payable to Original Cottages with the booking reference written on the back. There is no charge for Debit or Credit Card payments.

5. VALUE ADDED TAX

Where VAT applies to the Property rental, it is included in the quoted price at the prevailing rate. OC’s Confirmation of Booking is not a VAT invoice. All OC charges and VAT inclusive rentals are subject to change if the rate changes.

6. CONFIRMATION OF BOOKING

Once OC has issued a written Confirmation of Booking, the Hirer is responsible for the total Guest Price as well as any extras as shown on the Confirmation of Booking. Amendments to bookings, where applicable and accepted by OC (on behalf of the Owner), will be subject to an administration fee of £50 for each amendment. OC reserves the right to adjust prices quoted in the brochure, on its website or on details to properties, due to errors or omissions or changes in the VAT rate.

7. BOOKING CANCELLATION

If you wish to cancel your Booking you must inform OC as soon as possible in writing (including by e-mail). The day OC receives your notice to cancel is the date on which OC will cancel your Booking with the Owner.

If, after you have booked and paid for your holiday you find that you cannot take it for the reasons that are set out below:

  • Death, illness, injury of you or any member of the travelling party or of any *relative or **close business associate (see definitions below), excluding pets. Doctors note/death certificate may be requested as proof of claim.
  • Disorganisation or disruption of any UK mainland public transport service due to strike, lock out, riot or civil commotion on which you rely to reach your holiday home. Tickets may be requested as proof of claim.
  • Any member of the travelling party being required to undertake jury service or appear as a witness at a court of law providing you have had your written request for an alternative date refused.
  • Police requiring the presence of any member of the travelling party following fire or theft at your home or place of business.
  • Accidental damage to any member of your travelling party’s home, occurring within 14 days of the planned departure date or during the holiday and rendering the home uninhabitable.
  • Any member of the travelling party receiving notification of redundancy within one month of the holiday start date, which qualifies for statutory payment under current legislation.

* Spouse, partner, child, parent, parent in law, brother, sister or fiancé(e)
** Co-Director or Business Partner

Exclusions:

  • Any recurring, chronic, or continuing illness or condition and pre-existing medical conditions or injuries.
  • Pregnancy or giving birth when the expected date of birth is within two months of the start of your holiday.
  • Epidemic or pandemic as declared by the World Health Organisation, Department of Health or DEFRA.
  • Drug addiction or alcoholism.
  • Failing to follow proper medical advice.
  • Certain hazardous sports or pastimes (definition available on request).
  • Travelling against medical advice.
  • Bad weather.
  • Disinclination to travel.
  • Divorce, separation or personal relationship breakdown.

OC will normally, but at its sole discretion (the decision of OC will be final in all cases), refund up to the cottage holiday rental you are liable to pay, less the booking fee (if applicable), and a handling charge of £90.

In all other cases, if OC are able to re-let all or part of the period booked, OC will, at its sole discretion, consider a refund, less any shortfall in cost of the re-let booking, less the booking fee (if applicable) and less a handling charge of £90.

Please note that if you cancel your Booking you will remain legally liable for full payment, subject to your rights pursuant to clause 16.

We recommend that all guests consider taking out a travel insurance policy, which may provide comprehensive cover in the event of a cancellation.

8. BOOKING FEE

OC charges a booking fee for the services we provide that enable you to make a Booking. Subject to clause 16, the booking fee is non-refundable once the Booking has been confirmed.

9. PETS

If the property accepts pets, this will be clearly marked in the brochure or on the website property page. Bookings that include pets are taken on the condition that all flea and worming treatments are up to date and OC and/or the Owner reserve the right to ask for written evidence of such treatment. You are not permitted to leave pets unattended at the property at any time and Owners will require that pets remain on the ground floor and off furniture at all times – unless stated otherwise. You, as pet owner, will be responsible for removing any evidence left by your pet and reimbursing the Owner for any damage caused. Please show consideration for guests visiting after you have gone home and bear in mind that some popular beaches do not permit dogs during the summer months. For most properties, a charge per pet per Booking will be made. 

Guests With Allergies Relating to Pets:

Please note that an assistance dog may have stayed in a chosen property recently (even one that doesn’t allow pets as standard) and the Owner may have a dog or cat that sometimes stays at the property. The Owner cannot accept responsibility or liability for any suffering, damages or losses which may occur as a result of such animals having been present. The Owner and OC cannot guarantee and make no warranty that the property will be free from pet hair.

10. AMENITIES

The use of accommodation and amenities, where offered, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, rowing boats, beach huts etc, is entirely at the Hirer’s risk and the Owner excludes all responsibility or liability for injury, or loss or damage to Hirer’ or visitors’ belongings.

Further, neither the Owner nor OC will be liable to you, any member of your party or person visiting the Property during the period of your hire of it for any events outside the Owner’s or OC’s reasonable control, such as the breakdown of domestic appliances, plumbing, wiring, temporary invasion of pests, building works at adjacent properties, damage resulting from exceptional weather conditions or other unforeseeable circumstances or any Force Majeure Events. You also accept that OC in acting as agent for the owner will not be liable for any negligence on the part of the Owner resulting in loss, injury or accident.

Further, neither the Owner nor OC will be liable to you for the withdrawal/removal of any facilities/amenities from/in the Property resulting from a Force Majeure Event.

Where Wi-Fi is an advertised facility, please note that its provision is subject to availability and network conditions. It may not be available 24 hours a day and is provided for pleasure not for business purposes.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and we want to ensure they can be catered for wherever possible. Not all properties will have a suitable and safe place to charge vehicles, so it is recommended you check prior to finalising your Booking if this is an essential requirement. If you are keeping an electric vehicle at the property, you must use designated charging points (where available) only and manufacturer approved cables for charging any vehicle when at the property. The Owner reserves the right to (i) charge additional fees if charging is, in OC’s or the Owner’s opinion, excessive and/or (ii) refuse to allow electric vehicles to be charged if they do not think it is suitable/safe to do so.

Any damage to the electric system at the property through incorrect use, overload of the system or the use of a standard extension cable will be the responsibility of the Hirer. Should damage occur the costs of repair are the responsibility of the Hirer and are not covered by the accidental damage waiver.

11. PARTY NUMBERS/COMPOSITION

It is your sole responsibility to ensure that no more than the maximum numbers of persons, as stated in the brochure/website, occupy a Property during your Booking. The Owner/OC reserve the right to refuse admittance or to require you to ensure that some people leave the Property if they believe that you are in breach of this obligation. No refunds will be given if admittance has been refused for this reason. Further, where properties specify a minimum age limit for guests, in no circumstances may any persons under the specified age limit, as stated in the brochure/website, stay at that Property. The Owner/OC reserve the right to refuse admittance or to require proof of someone’s age if either believe that this restriction has been breached. No refunds will be given if admittance has been refused for this reason.

By completing a Booking, the Hirer certifies that they are authorised to agree to these Booking Conditions on behalf of all members of the party, including any changes. The Hirer must be over 18 years at the time a Booking is made and be a member of the party occupying the Property. The Hirer agrees to take responsibility for the acts and omissions of all members of the party in relation to the Booking and the Property. The Owner/OC reserve the right to refuse or revoke any bookings from parties that may in their opinion (and at their sole discretion) be unsuitable for the Property concerned.

12. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

For the duration of your stay at the Property, you will be responsible for the Property and will be expected to take all reasonable care of it. The Property and all equipment and utensils must be left clean and tidy at the end of the hire period. If a Property is not left clean and tidy, any additional cleaning costs will be charged to the Hirer. Should there be any specific health or mobility difficulties which may affect a party member; this must be pointed out at the initial reservation stage so that the suitability of the Property can be assessed. The Property (including any car parking spaces) must be vacated by 09.00 am on the day of departure.

13. DAMAGE

All damages and breakages are the legal responsibility of the Hirer and should be reported immediately and before the end of the holiday. The reasonable costs of miscellaneous repairs to and/or replacement of and/or additional cleaning of furnishings, kitchen equipment, crockery, glass, keys, bedding and towels damaged or soiled otherwise than by usual wear and tear during the period of the Booking by you or other members of your party shall be payable on demand to OC who may also, at their discretion, refuse further bookings. The Owner/OC has the right to enter the Property (without prior notice if this is not practical or possible) if special circumstances or emergencies arise (for example if repairs need to be carried out). The Owner/OC reserves the right to repossess the Property at any time where you or any member of your party has caused damage, and in such circumstances the Owner/OC shall not be liable to make a refund of any remaining portion of the Guest Price.

14. ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE DEPOSIT/WAIVER

It is a requirement when booking certain specified properties with OC, to pay either an Accidental Damage Deposit or an Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver.

14.1

The Accidental Damage Deposit is due with the balance of the Guest Price and it will be cashed on receipt and held by OC to be applied against the reasonable costs of miscellaneous repairs to and/or replacement of and/or additional cleaning of furnishings, kitchen equipment, crockery, glass, keys, bedding and towels damaged or soiled otherwise than by usual wear and tear during the period of the Booking by you or other members of your party. The balance of the Accidental Damage Deposit will be returned to you within 7 working days of the departure date. Where such costs exceed the Accidental Damage Deposit you agree to pay such excess to the Owner promptly and in any event within 14 days of being notified.

14.2

Where you have agreed to pay the Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver the Accidental Damage Deposit is not payable. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver is a non-refundable payment by you to OC in lieu of the Accidental Damage Deposit. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver will normally, but at OC’s sole discretion, cover the costs of making good any loss or damage to the Property and/or its contents caused through act or omission during the period of the Booking by you or other members of your party up to the value of the Accidental Damage Deposit for the booked Property. Where any such damage caused exceeds this amount, you agree to pay to OC, acting on behalf of the Owner, upon written demand, any reasonable costs incurred by or on behalf of OC or the Owner to make good any such loss or damage above the predetermined amount. The Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver is not available for any stay at a Property which exceeds 14 nights in any single booking. Criminal or wilful damage will not be covered by the Accidental Damage Deposit Waiver.

15. LITERATURE

The Owner/OC take every care to ensure the accuracy of the Property descriptions. All information in OC's brochure or other marketing material and on OC’s website is given in good faith and is believed to be correct at the time of going to press, but the Owner/OC cannot be held responsible for changes beyond their control, which may become known after publication of this literature. In addition, whilst properties may be described as non-smoking or no pets, this cannot be and is not guaranteed. Please be aware that if a Property is advertised as having an enclosed garden, this does not necessarily mean a secure garden. It may be enclosed by hedging or open style fencing. The Owner/OC’s description of a property shows what amenities that property has but generally does not state what is not in the self-catering property.

16. AVAILABILITY AND FORCE MAJEURE

The Contract of Hire is made on the understanding that the Property will be available for the dates stated. In the unlikely event that a Property is not available during the period of the Booking as a result of a Force Majeure Event or if the Hirer cannot legally travel to the Property as a result of a Force Majeure Event, then either (i) the Owner/OC may be forced to cancel the Booking and you will be advised as early as possible or (ii) you must write to OC as soon as possible to inform OC as to the Force Majeure Event and its effects on your ability to legally travel to the Property.

In the event of such a cancellation, or in the unlikely event that the Owner cannot/does not make the Property available for the Booking, the Hirer will have the choice of the following options:

  • to transfer the Booking to a later date and/or another property free of any administration charges, subject to availability - the Hirer will have to pay any difference in price if the cost of the new booking is higher or be reimbursed the difference if the cost of the new booking is lower;
  • to request a voucher with a redemption value equal to the amount previously paid for the Booking - the voucher terms and conditions will be available to the Hirer before they make their choice under this clause; or
  • to obtain a refund of the amount already paid for the Booking (after deducting any administrative charges that apply to a Booking, such as the booking fee).

The Hirer will have to contact OC in order to access these options.

The Hirer will not as a result have any further claims against OC or the Owner.

17. PROPERTIES WITH CHARACTER

If you choose to holiday in an older property, remember that much of its character and charm is due to its age. Some of our properties are well over 100 years old and were built long before the days of damp proof courses and cavity walls so some may show signs of damp, particularly in long spells of wet weather. The Owner/OC will do their best to ensure that the background heating is kept on sufficiently to compensate, even when the Property is empty. Condensation can be alleviated by opening windows and allowing the air to circulate. If you have any concerns, please talk to us at the time of making your Booking. Also, please remember that should traditional property features (steep stairs or low beams, for example) be a problem for any member of your party, you must consider and mention this prior to booking.

Please remember that properties in the country do attract spiders and therefore cobwebs. It does not mean that the Property is dirty or has not been cleaned as cobwebs can be spun almost as quickly as they have been cleaned away! Some of our properties, particularly in remote areas, may have a private water supply from a spring or well water, which is regularly tested. In rural areas please be tolerant of the sounds and scents that you may encounter, they are all a part of the countryside experience!

18. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

We aim to provide a high level of customer service and want all of our guests to be completely happy with their holiday. In the unlikely event that you have any issues with your accommodation, please get in touch with us as soon as possible during your stay so that we can do our best to put it right.

If the Hirer wishes to make a complaint about anything connected with the hire of the Property, they should contact OC as soon as reasonably possible prior to departure. In the event the Hirer does not have phone reception at the location where they are staying, the Hirer must make reasonable efforts to make a call from a nearby public telephone, send us an e-mail or visit our office. OC will then either pass the complaint on to the Owner of the Property to deal with or it may consider the complaint and take action to resolve this itself (on behalf of the Owner) as soon as reasonably practicable.

Please note that OC has the authority to act on the Owner’s behalf to resolve any dispute, but OC is not liable if one or both parties are dissatisfied with the outcome.

Compensation will not be considered for any complaints that are made after the hire has ended, or where the Hirer has denied OC or the Owner the opportunity to investigate, address or remedy the issue during the Hirer’s stay.

Neither OC or the Owner can accept responsibility or liability for work taking place outside the boundary of the Property, or for noise or nuisance resulting from third party activity over which OC or the Owner have no control.

19. BEST PRICE GUARANTEE

We guarantee you always get the lowest price when you book your holiday property directly through us. To qualify for our Best Price Guarantee, you must find the same property, for the same party size, over the same date period and notify us within 24 hours of your booking. The lower price must be viewable by anyone prior to booking and bookable by anyone, i.e. not a negotiated rate, a member rate, an offer applicable to only part of your stay or an offer which requires a credit card number or code to see. This Best Price Guarantee does not apply to any optional extras, service charges or other fees and excludes changes in currency conversion rates. The same property must be available for booking at a qualifying lower price in the same currency when we validate your claim.

We will assess your claim within 48 hours of receipt of all required information. If your claim is successful, we will notify you in writing by e-mail and refund the difference or adjust your outstanding balance. Only one claim may be submitted per Booking.

OC reserves the right to reject claims under this clause 19, if we believe that the Best Price Guarantee is being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent. A claim may be invalidated if you make any changes to the Booking after the claim has been submitted and approved.

20. DATA PROTECTION

OC will process your data in accordance with its Privacy Policy which can be found here and its Cookie Policy which can be found here. These policies form part of these terms and conditions so please take the time to read them.

The Privacy Policy also details your rights and how to contact OC in relation to any data protection queries.

At all times your data will be held securely and protected in line with OC’s obligations under UK data protection legislation. Your party names and contact details will only be shared with the Owner in order to allow the Owner to manage your holiday and give you the best possible experience.
If you request that we pass on supplementary information that you wish to provide to the Owner, for any reason, then we will do so. OC will securely hold that information on your behalf as part of your booking record unless you ask us to delete it. Any such information is provided at your sole request and discretion, and OC bears no responsibility for its accuracy or contents.

21. OUR LIABILITY

As OC act only as agents for the Owner, OC cannot accept any legal responsibility for any act or neglect on their part or of anyone representing or employed by them. Further, OC cannot accept any liability for any problems or faults with or in any Property. The Owner is solely responsible for providing the accommodation and for the safety of all guests. OC accepts no responsibility for personal injury to, or death of, any guests, or loss of or consequential loss or damage to their property, or for other matters over which OC has no control, except to the extent such personal injury or death is caused by the negligence or wilful default of OC.

Other than in relation to any liability which it is not possible to exclude at law, the Owner’s and OC’s liability for any claims arising out of or in relation to the Contract of Hire is limited to the amounts paid by the Hirer pursuant to the Contract of Hire.

22. LEGAL

Each of the paragraphs in these terms and conditions operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

In the event of any dispute between parties it shall be referred to the jurisdiction of the English courts only and any actions shall be heard in the court for the area in which the property is situated.