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Accommodation deposit lost during Covid

edited 25 November 2020 at 6:18PM in Coronavirus Travel Help & Info
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RajulRajul Forumite
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edited 25 November 2020 at 6:18PM in Coronavirus Travel Help & Info
Hope somebody can help; we booked a cottage for May of this year, due to Covid the accommodation was shut and so we could not go .We paid £600 for a deposit, we have asked for this to be returned but this has failed to happen, we booked privately directly with the owners via a bank transfer. The owners now say they have no money in which to refund us. I have tried the bank who have been unable to help and also Action Fraud who also couldn't help. Does anybody else have any idea how I could get my money back?
Regards 

Replies

  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    Unfortunately, you're largely unprotected as you paid by bank transfer.

    Action Fraud won't be able to help, especially if the owners are in contact with you, as it's not a crime to have no money and there isn't anything to suggest that they don't own the property.

    The best idea may be to try to come up with a payment plan that you can both agree on, as this may be the quickest and easiest way to get the money that you are rightly owed. If this can't be done, then will be the time to take the matter to court.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • RajulRajul Forumite
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    Thanks for your response, so I should make contact, try to come to an arrangement for them to repay me in instalments and if this fails then look at small claims?
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    That would be what I'd do. Despite the fact that the money is repayable now, you're likely to get the money back a lot faster at £100/month or whatever you agree than going through the court system with the current huge backlog. Of course, if that fails, court will be a reasonable option, but attempting to arrange it between yourselves is likely the best 'common sense' option if you can afford to wait a few months for the money to come back.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Where was the cottage?
    Did the owners cancel or did you?
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    sheramber said:
    Where was the cottage?
    Did the owners cancel or did you?
    As the OP says 'due to Covid the accommodation was shut and so we could not go ', I (probably correctly) assume the owners.

    Where will be largely irrelevant (although due to the mention of Action Fraud, I assume in the UK), as the service that OP was paying for was not available.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • RajulRajul Forumite
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    Cottage in Devon. Technically the government cancelled as it was during the first lockdown when all holidays lets were closed. I made initial contact when I became aware of this to arrange a new date but was told they could not do this or offer a refund. 
  • nyermennyermen Forumite
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    This all seemed very familiar until the refusal to arrange to a new date. Either the property is no longer theirs (possibly with current circumstances) or they're trying it on.
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off £20k + Interest.
  • edited 24 November 2020 at 3:46PM
    macmanmacman Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2020 at 3:46PM
    One of your posts says 'no refund, no date change'. The other says 'no money to refund you'.  So which is it? Have they agreed a refund in principle?
    Given that 6m has elapsed, it's time to send and LBA and them small claims. 
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Indeed while there is some sympathy for both parties in the first instance it was a long and lucrative summer for Devon (I live there).
    So they should have been able to repay since then.
    Have you looked at the site you booked on to see if they are letting the cottage now? Bit late with another lockdown but the site should still be able to give you an idea.
    Also was this direct with the owners? VBidea to use Bank Transfer unless it's people you know and trust. This is usually used by scammers. And back to checking if that cottage is still up for rent and if it was the owners you paid to.
    Holiday rentals sometimes have the photo used/copied by the unscrupulous and the people you pay are not the owners.
    It all sounds very fishy to me. Do you have the name of the cottage or site you booked through?

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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