Booking Information - 'The Small Print'

The small print is not the easiest reading, but is important. Our Booking Information describes our policies and procedures and clarifies the contractual relationship between you and the owner of the holiday property. Use the links on the right hand side of the page to view the conditions governing your holiday booking. You may also want to vist the FAQs section of our website for further information about booking a holiday, the accommodation or what happens after you have booked a holiday.

Terms and Conditions

General

When renting a property through Devon and Dorset Cottages (a Toad Hall Cottages Company) part of the the contractual agreement is between you (referred to as ‘the Hirer’) and the owner(s) of the property (referred to as ‘the Owner(s)’). Devon and Dorset Cottages (referred to as ‘the Agent’) act as agent for the Owner(s) and are not Principals. Devon and Dorset reserve the right to provide the Owner(s) with the Hirer’s details as given on the booking form and on request will provide the Hirer with the Owner(s) contact details.

The contract is made and shall be deemed to be made subject to these terms and conditions of hire and shall be interpreted and governed by English law and jurisdiction. The contract is not binding until a booking confirmation has been despatched by the Agent.

The contract is for the hire of the property for holiday purposes only. Rentals are for the period specified on the booking confirmation and commence at 3:00pm on the first day of the rental and end at 10:00am on the day of departure unless otherwise notified – this period is referred to as ‘the Holiday’. The Hirer will be liable for any cost, of whatever nature, incurred due to an unauthorised extension of the Holiday.

The Hirer must be over 18 years of age and confirms that he or she is able to agree to the terms & conditions on behalf of all persons included in the party and named on the booking form. The Hirer agrees to accept responsibility for the entire party occupying the property. It is our policy not to accept bookings from groups of adults under the age of 25 and/or from all male or all female parties without an owner's prior agreement. This policy is merely to protect our property owners’ interests and is not intended to be discriminatory.

The Owner is obliged to provide the holiday accommodation in a clean and tidy condition and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the accommodation, facilities and services as described by the Agent in all promotional material, are provided and available to the Hirer as described.

Payments

Inital Payment

Bookings will be confirmed by the Agent upon receipt of the deposit payment and a valid booking request/form. The deposit payment will be one third of the rental cost. However, any booking made within six weeks of the start date of the Holiday must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Once the booking has been confirmed by the Agent, the Hirer becomes liable for payment of the full balance unless the terms of the Cancellation Protection Scheme (see below) are met. Should the Agent decide not to accept a booking request, for any reason, all monies paid by the Hirer will be refunded in full.

Balance payment

The full balance for the Holiday will be due (the Due Date) six weeks before the Holiday start date. This date will be advised to the Hirer on the booking confirmation and no reminder will be sent.

Payments can be made by cheque, debit card, credit card (credit cards are subject to a 1.7% non-refundable surcharge) or by bank transfer. Post-dated cheques are not accepted. Any charges raised against the Agent by their bank for dishonoured cheques, bank transfer charges or other payments will be passed on to the Hirer – any such charges must be reimbursed to the Agent within 7 days of notification. If paying by cheque, overseas Hirers must ensure that it is Sterling and drawn on a UK clearing bank. The Agent reserves the right to cancel the Holiday if, after making all reasonable efforts to contact the Hirer, the full balance payment has not been received one calendar month before the start date of the Holiday. Under such circumstances no refund of the deposit paid will be made.

VAT

Most Owners are not registered for VAT and therefore no tax is payable on the rental element. Where VAT is payable all prices are quoted inclusive of VAT at the current rate (20%) unless otherwise stated. Any change in the rate of VAT will be passed onto the Hirer where applicable. The booking confirmation is not a VAT invoice.

Changes to bookings

Once a booking has been confirmed by the Agent it can only be changed to another property by treating the original booking as a cancellation. In some cases it may be possible to change the dates of a Holiday subject to availability and the agreement of the property Owner(s). Any such request for change should be submitted to Devon and Dorset Cottages in writing and if accepted will be subject to a £30.00 (plus VAT) administration fee.

Hirer obligations

If the Hirer finds any items to be missing, damaged or not working on arrival at the property the Hirer must advise the Owner or caretaker immediately.

The Hirer is expected to take all reasonable care of the property during the Holiday. The Hirer is responsible for the property during the period of occupation and should leave it and its contents clean and tidy at the end of the Holiday. The Hirer will be expected to pay for any loss or damage to the property or its contents caused by themselves or a member of their party (excluding reasonable wear and tear) during the Holiday. Any such loss or damage should be advised to the Owner or caretaker at the earliest opportunity. The Owner, or Agent on behalf of the Owner, reserve the right to charge the Hirer for any additional costs incurred as a consequence of failing to observe these obligations and may also at their discretion refuse future bookings from the Hirer. In addition the Hirer; must permit the Owner or the Agent reasonable access to the property if required with good reason; must not exceed the total number of people allowed at the property (a cot may only be occupied by an infant aged 24 months or under); must ensure that all members of the party are named on the booking form; must comply with any reasonable house rules stipulated by the Owner(s); must not be a nuisance or become an annoyance to occupants of adjoining premises.

Refundable Security Deposits

A number of Owners do require that Devon and Dorset Cottages take a refundable security deposit from the Hirer on their behalf. Where this is the case it is clearly stated in the property description or will be advised at the time of booking. In addition all bookings over the Christmas and New Year period are subject to a minimum £100.00 refundable security deposit. Payment of the security deposit will be taken with the final balance payment for the Holiday and, if no deductions are to be made, will be refunded within 7 days of the departure date. Refunds may be withheld for up to 1 calendar month to allow for the administration of associated costs if deductions need to be made.

Liability

Devon and Dorset Cottages will not be liable for any act, neglect or default on the part of the Owner(s), nor any other person not in the Agent’s employ or within their control, nor for any inconvenience, accident, damage, injury, loss or expense, whether to person or property, that may be suffered or occur or that arises out of or is in any way connected with the rental of the property. In addition The Agent and Owner(s) accept no liability for loss or damage to the Hirer’s possessions and/or vehicle while on the Owner(s)’ property or land.

Devon and Dorset Cottages has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the details contained in its promotional material regarding the properties, facilities and surrounding area are correct and all information is provided in good faith. The Agent does not accept responsibility for any error or omissions or wrongly worded description made as a result of inaccurate information supplied by the Owner or any other party or for changes or modifications that have been made without its knowledge. The Agent undertakes, where possible, to make its best endeavours to advise the Hirer of any changes or modifications that could reasonably be expected to materially affect the Holiday as soon as it becomes aware of them. The Agent reserves the right to change prices quoted before a booking is confirmed due to errors or omissions.

If for any reason beyond the Owner(s)’ reasonable control, a property is not available on the date booked or is deemed no longer suitable for holiday letting (for instance due to but not restricted to flooding, fire, significant damage, failure of utilities etc.) the Agent will endeavour to find suitable alternative accommodation for the Hirer. However if no suitable alternative is available or acceptable to the Hirer all monies paid by the Hirer will be refunded in full and this shall be the extent of the Agent and the Owner(s)’ liability. The Hirer will have no further claims whatsoever against the Agent or Owner(s).

When making a booking it is essential to ensure that any points of particular interest to the party are confirmed in advance. Where a property is described as ‘no smoking’ or ‘no pets’ this cannot be guaranteed. Be aware that ‘enclosed garden’ does not necessarily mean it is secure in terms of pets or children. If you or any member of your party has special needs or requirements please confirm the suitability of a particular property by speaking to or emailing Devon and Dorset Cottages before making a booking. Ultimately the choice of property is your own responsibility.

The Owner(s) and/or the Agent can accept no responsibility for items left behind in a property after you have vacated. If this happens you should contact the Owner(s) or caretaker of the property at the earliest opportunity. Any unclaimed items will be disposed of after 14 days.

Pets

Where pets are permitted at a property it is only with the prior consent of the Owner and the Agent. A weekly charge must be paid for each pet and they are allowed on the following conditions only; they are to be kept under control at all times and exercised off the premises; they are not allowed in the bedrooms or on the furniture; they are at no time to be left unattended in the property; the Hirer must accept full responsibility for their pet’s safety at all times; any faeces must be removed from the outside area and disposed of appropriately. Where a property description does not permit pets this does not guarantee that there have been no pets kept at the property.

Internet access and Sky TV

At properties where Broadband and/or Wi-fi and/or Sky TV are mentioned as available in the description, owners are unable to guarantee that it will be available during your stay. Technical problems can sometimes occur and internet connection speed and service can vary. At some properties bandwidth is restricted so may not offer sufficient capacity for downloading music, films and television programmes. Please respect download limits and do not exceed a reasonable level of usage.

Complaints

Any complaints regarding the Holiday should be made to the owner or caretaker as soon as possible. If you have difficulties, please do not suffer in silence or resolve to write when you get home. Mention problems that are spoiling your holiday to owners or caretakers and action can be taken to put things right. If the matter is not resolved or dealt with to your satisfaction then the complaint should be referred to Devon and Dorset Cottages at the earliest opportunity in order that it can be investigated. The Owner and Agent reserve the right to investigate and resolve complaints during the Holiday and to be given the opportunity to put things right without recourse to refund or compensation. Complaints made once a property has been vacated will not be entered into. Devon and Dorset Cottages will be happy to assist wherever possible in dealing with complaints but ultimately any resolution will be between the Hirer and the Owner.

Breach of Contract

Failure by the Hirer and party to comply with these terms and conditions will result in a breach of the contract and the Owner, or the Agent on the Owner(s)’ behalf, reserves the right to enter the property and terminate the Holiday and ask the Hirer and party to leave.

Validity

These terms & conditions supersede all previously published terms & conditions. If for any reason a court of law finds any one of these conditions to be unenforceable or illegal then that condition will be removed and the remaining conditions will continue to have full force and effect.


Cancellations

Cancellation Protection Scheme

No additional charge is made for this scheme.

A booking can only be cancelled before the start date of the Holiday.

Any cancellation must be notified by telephone to the Agent immediately and confirmed by letter or email within 7 days of the event leading to the cancellation. Supporting evidence of the claim such as a doctor’s letter, medical certificate, death certificate or court correspondence will be required.

Cover

A full refund of all monies paid less a £50.00 cancellation administration charge will be made to the Hirer if the cancellation is due to any of the following reasons; death, serious illness or serious injury of any of the parties named on the booking form or any close relative of the named parties (spouse, child, parent, parent–in-law, sibling, civil partner, partner living at the same address or fiancé) which reasonably prevents the named party from being able to take the holiday and as long as the individual causing the cancellation (whether a member of the party or close relative) is under 80 years of age; a summons for Jury service or summons to appear in a court of law as a witness served on any named member of the party providing a written request for a change of dates has been refused; the cancellation of previously agreed leave for members of the armed forces or emergency services.


Exclusions

Bookings from Hirers not resident in the UK.

Any bookings where the total holiday cost is in excess of £2,000 (two thousand pounds)

Any recurring or chronic illness, injury or medical condition known about at the time of booking.

Pregnancy or associated medical conditions.

An epidemic or pandemic as declared by the World Health Organisation or any UK government department.

Divorce, separation or personal relationship breakdown.

The Cancellation Protection Scheme is operated by the Agent and their decision is final.

If you require more comprehensive medical and cancellation cover, or you are aware of any circumstances that will exclude you from the inclusive Cancellation Protection Scheme as outlined above, we strongly advise that you take out separate independent holiday insurance. If you do need to cancel your Holiday and you are not covered by this scheme you will in all circumstances be liable to pay the full balance of the Holiday by the Due Date.

Cancellations not covered by the Protection Scheme

In the event that you are not covered by the scheme and you need to cancel the Agent will attempt to re-sell the Holiday on your behalf. If the Holiday is successfully re-sold the Agent will refund to you any monies paid less a £50.00 administration fee and any additional costs associated with the new booking, including but not restricted to, any discount offered to secure the new booking.

In any case full payment for the Holiday must be made by the Due Date.


Gradings

Gradings and holidaymaker ratings

Many of our owners choose to have their holiday cottages independently quality graded by VisitBritain. The star grading awarded by VisitBritain reflects the quality of the holiday accommodation – basically the more stars the better the quality – ranging from good quality at 3 stars to excellent quality at 5 stars.

We only accept properties that would achieve a minimum of 3 stars under the scheme. Generally you can expect:

3 stars - Good overall level of quality. Good standard of maintenance and decoration. Ample space and good quality furniture.

4 stars - Very good overall level of quality. Very good care and attention to detail.

5 stars - Excellent overall level of quality. High levels of decor, fixtures and fittings, together with excellent standards of management efficiency and guest services.

For those owners that decide not to use the independent quality grading we have included our own quality assessment showing a number of ticks for the property. Our tick system is based on the same criteria as the star grading system and indicates a similar level of quality as that indicated by the same number of stars.

Featured Towns

Holiday cottages in towns and villages on the Dorset and Devon border

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