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LHH Scotland cottage booking refund

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I Have a query regarding non-refundable deposits. I read that due to The Consumer Contracts Regulations (2013) any refunds were due within 14 days. I’ve a cottage booked with LHH Scotland for the last week in July that I have to cancel (my parents are both 80 & will have just come out of 3 months of shielding).
LHH say I can cancel but they will keep the £435 non-refundable deposit and I should contact my insurer if I wish to make a claim. They say Consumer Contracts Regulations do not apply. My insurer says that I cannot claim if I cancel the holiday. 

As we do not know what the restrictions will be in Scotland at the end of July, I am at a loss at what to do. LHH says as soon as holidays are allowed, they will invoice me for the outstanding £1,000. I asked them if they could put the week up for re-let and hopefully, I could be refunded if this was successful but they said I had to pay the full balance in order for them to do so. However, they also said that if I cancelled, they would be able to re-let it themselves while still keeping my deposit. This was meant to be a surprise for my father's 80th birthday and i do not mind paying for admin fees but I feel keeping £435 for a week that will not be used is excessive, maybe this is what usually happens, I've never booked a holiday property before.

Do I take the gamble that the restrictions will still be in place, so LHH cancel and I can then claim from my insurance or do I just cancel now and lose the deposit with no chance of a claim but saving having to pay the balance. 
Sorry if this is a stupid question. I paid by credit card but not sure if they will reimburse as I will cancel.
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  • TedberTedber Forumite
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    Hi Millie,    There has been some discussion about these non refundable deposits but it still isn't clear what the outcome would be if you challenged them in court.    I don't think I would cancel it myself.   Not sure who LHH are?  but if they are only invoicing you for the balance when 'holidays are allowed' then I think I would just hang on to see what happens?   You and your dad and family may be enjoying a lovely break in beautiful Scotland OR the holiday may be cancelled and you will be entitled to a refund.

    I can't see why your parents would not be able to go if they are not ill and we have the all clear to visit holiday homes.  I would imagine wherever it is would be pretty safe with lots of open spaces (unless you are going to the cities that is).

    So I wouldn't give up but I wouldn't cancel as voluntary cancellation would mean you probably would not get your deposit back or be able to make a claim via insurance.   Not a certainty mind, just my thoughts going by what others are experiencing.

  • Life__Goes__OnLife__Goes__On Forumite
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    The Consumer Contracts Regulations (2013) wouldn't apply to your case, as it would be in the  same class as a hotel booking,  you wouldn't get the 14 days cooling off period.  I doubt you booked it within the last 14 days anyway.
    All you can do is wait and see what happens, if it remains closed then you should get a refund.
    If you cancel then you can't claim via your credit card.

    New User name as MSE gave me a number in my old one.
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  • edited 4 June at 7:43AM
    MillypussMillypuss Forumite
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    edited 4 June at 7:43AM
    Thank you Tedber and Life_Goes_On   I will not be able to go as my parents both have underlying health issues and it is a 4-bed property that we don't need now my sister cannot come due to Australian restrictions and the fact her family would be quarantined in the UK for 14-days if she did manage to fly over. I was just concerned that if I don't cancel then the minute it is announced we can take these sort of holidays, I get hit with a £1,000 bill which I must pay
    OR they might not open up these holidays until August, in which case I could ask my insurers for a refund but it is just such a gamble waiting to see.


    I appreciate it is not the fault of LHH Scotland but I think cancelling is my only option here as the whole spirit of an 80th birthday surprise break would be lost with the three of us rattling round a cottage with no restaurants/pubs open in the area. It is just galling to know that LHH can retain such a large sum and provide no service. I cannot see how this is fair at all. If the market does reopen, they will certainly be able to re-let this property. It shows on their website as fully booked for July/Aug. However, it would appear to be the modus operandi of most of these holiday letting companies.

  • HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
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    Millypuss said:

    I Have a query regarding non-refundable deposits. I read that due to The Consumer Contracts Regulations (2013) any refunds were due within 14 days. I’ve a cottage booked with LHH Scotland for the last week in July that I have to cancel (my parents are both 80 & will have just come out of 3 months of shielding).
    LHH say I can cancel but they will keep the £435 non-refundable deposit and I should contact my insurer if I wish to make a claim. They say Consumer Contracts Regulations do not apply. My insurer says that I cannot claim if I cancel the holiday. 

    As we do not know what the restrictions will be in Scotland at the end of July, I am at a loss at what to do. LHH says as soon as holidays are allowed, they will invoice me for the outstanding £1,000. I asked them if they could put the week up for re-let and hopefully, I could be refunded if this was successful but they said I had to pay the full balance in order for them to do so. However, they also said that if I cancelled, they would be able to re-let it themselves while still keeping my deposit. This was meant to be a surprise for my father's 80th birthday and i do not mind paying for admin fees but I feel keeping £435 for a week that will not be used is excessive, maybe this is what usually happens, I've never booked a holiday property before.

    Do I take the gamble that the restrictions will still be in place, so LHH cancel and I can then claim from my insurance or do I just cancel now and lose the deposit with no chance of a claim but saving having to pay the balance. 
    Sorry if this is a stupid question. I paid by credit card but not sure if they will reimburse as I will cancel.
    From the LHH site T&Cs  Below:

    10. CANCELLATION BY YOU – PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ARE PROTECTED BY CANCELLATION INSURANCE

    If you have to cancel your reservation you must telephone the Company on the number shown on your booking confirmation as soon as the reason for the cancellation occurs. You must also confirm your cancellation by post or by email. The day on which the company receives the telephone cancellation is the day on which your reservation is cancelled.

    Deposits and balances are refunded on LHH successfully re-letting your week(s).

    Please note that should you cancel your reservation prior to the balance due date, the balance still remains payable by you and is refunded (less an administration fee of £50) if the Company has been able to re-let the holiday subsequent to your cancellation. You may also leave the booking and forfeit the deposit paid but will not be entitled to a refund if the dates are re-let. The Company advises that you ensure that your holiday insurance covers you for this. If you cancel your reservation and chose not to pay the balance by the due date and the Company subsequently re-lets your week the deposit is non-refundable.

    If you have paid in full you have the right to reinstate your booking up to one week before. If you opt to reinstate your reservation an administration fee of £25 will be charged.


    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • MillypussMillypuss Forumite
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    Thanks Hasbeen for that, I had checked it out before, I just wanted to know if they could keep the full 'non-refundable'  £435 deposit. Some websites were saying that unfairly high deposits could be reclaimed and I wanted to know if anyone had managed to do this. These are also unprecedented times and if there had been no virus, we would all certainly be going.

    It is all just one big gamble. 
    Do you wait to see if holidays are still restricted on your dates to enable you to claim from insurance? 
    Do you pay the full balance in the hope they can re-let it if holidays available?
    I will just have to suck this up and lose the deposit, won't be booking a holiday home again, some nightmare stories out there.
  • TedberTedber Forumite
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    Millypuss said:
    Thanks Hasbeen for that, I had checked it out before, I just wanted to know if they could keep the full 'non-refundable'  £435 deposit. Some websites were saying that unfairly high deposits could be reclaimed and I wanted to know if anyone had managed to do this. These are also unprecedented times and if there had been no virus, we would all certainly be going.

    It is all just one big gamble. 
    Do you wait to see if holidays are still restricted on your dates to enable you to claim from insurance? 
    Do you pay the full balance in the hope they can re-let it if holidays available?
    I will just have to suck this up and lose the deposit, won't be booking a holiday home again, some nightmare stories out there.
    Hi again Milly,  Yes unfortunately this situation is unprecedented in our history so nobody has all the answers.   You will have to do what you think is best for you.  As has been said if you cancel then it is unlikely your insurance will cover you and again unlikely you can claim back the money.     

    Whilst I understand what you are saying,  in the previous thread it does rather sound like it isn't convenient for you to go now regardless?  with your family not travelling from Australia?   This obviously would not be taken into account by your insurers or your agents.   Also saying your mum and dad have underlying conditions - I assume they had these underlying conditions when you booked?   Therefore, in theory if we are given the green light to go ahead at the time of your holiday this should not stop them from going?   Unless, they have a new illness that could be covered by insurance?   Although again it would only possibly cover them for not being able to go and would maybe pay for their or his/her portion?    

    As for the fairness or unfairness of keeping the deposit I don't think it has been tried and tested yet in a court as to whether a voluntary cancellation, in these circumstances, should be exempt of non-refundable status?    So it really is very much a 'try it and see' as nobody has yet been able to travel to whatever they have booked and decided not to.   The situation just hasn't arisen (due to pandemic).     I believe there WAS a test case in court, prior to the current situation, when somebody was able to prove that the cottage/room had been re-let and was successful in claiming their non refundable deposit back.   I doubt in the current situation people will be looking to book a cottage for next month though.    
  • ChrissmChrissm Forumite
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    I hope I’m not “butting in” on this thread but I’m in a very similar position with LLH Scotland.  I have/had a holiday home booked for one week in Scotland the first week of July.  We have paid a £452 deposit when booking but in early April received an email from LLH saying because we couldn’t travel due to the restrictions we couldn’t continue with the booking. LLH quickly pointed out that they were not cancelling our booking and that it was due to the unforeseen circumstances and as such we wouldn’t be getting our deposit back.  I’ve put several arguments to them (mainly moral ones) but they insist I use my travel insurer and that they will not issue a refund.  What sticks in my throat is apart from some admin costs, my deposit is pure profit, and is at least morally wrong.  If I have no legal recourse my last option is to name and shame through social media.
    Do I have any other options?
  • edited 8 June at 9:34AM
    TedberTedber Forumite
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    edited 8 June at 9:34AM
    Hi Chrissm,   So they have cancelled your holiday and not offered to rebook you?    Very naughty.   Previous is slightly different as holiday not been cancelled - yet!  (they should get refunded when it is cancelled)  Assuming you have paid by card, I would try a chargeback from your bank on the basis they have cancelled so therefore not provided the services you paid for.   I haven't come across this before where companies cancel completely and don't actually let you pay the balance though without knowing if the holiday will or will not go ahead?   
  • Life__Goes__OnLife__Goes__On Forumite
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    Chrissm said:
    I hope I’m not “butting in” on this thread but I’m in a very similar position with LLH Scotland.  I have/had a holiday home booked for one week in Scotland the first week of July.  We have paid a £452 deposit when booking but in early April received an email from LLH saying because we couldn’t travel due to the restrictions we couldn’t continue with the booking. LLH quickly pointed out that they were not cancelling our booking and that it was due to the unforeseen circumstances and as such we wouldn’t be getting our deposit back.  I’ve put several arguments to them (mainly moral ones) but they insist I use my travel insurer and that they will not issue a refund.  What sticks in my throat is apart from some admin costs, my deposit is pure profit, and is at least morally wrong.  If I have no legal recourse my last option is to name and shame through social media.
    Do I have any other options?
      Basically they are try to thieve your money.
    Forget about moral issue, legally they have cancelled, as no one knew the rules in early April  about if you were able to go.



    New User name as MSE gave me a number in my old one.
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  • bradders101bradders101 Forumite
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    Hi Millypuss. Thanks for highlighting your plight. I have a booking with LHH for September in Scotland for a group of 20 of us. I am waiting with crossed fingers that it will go ahead but I know there's no way the entire group will be able to make it now under the changed corcumstances and the fact that half of the group are flying from other countries. I hadn't taken out holiday insurance for the trip as I already live in Scotland so it hadn't occured to me!
    Would you advise that I take out insurance now in case they do cancel - as if I understand correctly this will be the only way to get the deposit back?
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