Cottages & Castles Terms & Conditions
BOOKING TERMS AND TERMS OF HIRE
In these booking terms and terms of hire the following terms will have the following meanings: “the Agent”– Cottages & Castles Limited, (company number 297083) and having its registered office at 59 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2JG; “booking” – the hire of the Property for the period specified in the booking contract; “the booking contract” – the contract between the Owner and the Hirer comprising the online or telephone booking and these booking terms and terms of hire; “Hirer”- the person or persons entering into the booking contract with the Owner; “the deposit” – 30% of the total hire charge; “hire charge” – the amount payable for the hire of the Property as specified in the online or telephone booking; “the Owner”- the owner or owners of the Property; “the Property”- the property identified in the booking contract; and “property description – the description of the Property in the Agent’s brochure or on the Agent’s website.
2. BOOKING YOUR HOLIDAY
Online booking: a Hirer can reserve and pay for a property at any time online. To book online visit cottages-and-castles.co.uk. By telephone: a Hirer can use the booking line number on this page to check availability and reserve and pay for a property. Booking a P coded property: a booking for a P coded property can be made by telephone subject to availability.
A reservation of a property only becomes a confirmed booking when payment of the deposit is received. If a booking is made more than 6 weeks before the start date of the booking, the deposit must either be paid when the Property is reserved or within 3 days of the reservation. Credit and debit card payments can be accepted by telephone and online. All credit or debit card numbers are encrypted for security reasons. Cheques are accepted for telephone reservations. If payment of the deposit is not made within 3 days, the reservation of the Property will automatically be cancelled.
4. BALANCE OF HIRE CHARGE
The balance of the hire charge is payable no later than 6 weeks before the start of the booking. The date by which the Agent needs to receive the balance of the hire charge is clearly stated in the confirmation of the booking and no reminder will be sent. If a booking is made less than 6 weeks before the start of the booking then payment of the full hire charge is required within 3 days of the date the reservation of the Property is made.
5. OVERSEAS HIRERS
It is recommended that any overseas Hirer books online. If a telephone booking is made, the Agent allows 7 days for receipt of payment of the deposit after the date of the reservation. An overseas Hirer must make payment by credit or debit card. Payment method includes the payment of the Good Housekeeping Deposit (where applicable). The refund of the Good Housekeeping Deposit will be made only to the same card as used to make the payment. All bank charges must be paid by the Hirer.
6. AUTHORITY TO BOOK
By completing the booking the Hirer confirms that: he/she has the authority to accept these booking terms and terms of hire on behalf of all persons included in the booking including those that may be substituted at a later date to the effect that all persons occupying the Property during the booking will be bound by and will implement the booking contract; he/she is over 18 years of age and is one of the persons who will be occupying the Property during the booking; and he/she will be responsible for all persons occupying the Property during the booking.
(a) The Agent will not be required to accept a booking nor the Owner honour a booking for the Property from groups of single persons who are all under the age of 21 or all male or female groups comprising more than 6 people. Any such booking may be arranged only by calling the booking office direct and getting approval from Cottages & Castles. The Owner will be entitled to request the Hirer to immediately leave the Property if the occupants are all under the age of 21 or are a female or male group exceeding 6 in number. The Hirer will not be entitled to any refund of the hire charge in these circumstances.
(b) The Agent may accept a booking for the Property from groups of single persons who are all under the age of 21 or all male or female groups comprising more than 6 people when the booking is made by contacting the sales office and the Owner of the property gives permission for the booking to proceed.
8. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING DEPOSIT
An Owner may require a Good Housekeeping Deposit to be paid. This requirement is either identified in the property description or the Hirer will be advised when the booking is made. If it is a requirement of the booking contract that a Good Housekeeping Deposit is paid and if it is not paid, the Owner will be entitled to refuse the Hirer entry to the Property. The Hirer will not be entitled to any refund of the hire charge in these circumstances.
Any Good Housekeeping Deposit which is made direct to the owner, is payable 6 weeks before the start date of the booking. Details of who the Good Housekeeping Deposit is payable to will be included in the letter that the Hirer will receive with travel directions. The Agent recommends to the Owner that any Good Housekeeping Deposit paid to the Owner is banked when received. Any Good Housekeeping Deposit will be returned to the Hirer by the Owner within 10 working days.
Any Good Housekeeping Deposit requested by the Agent on behalf of the owner, will be authorised by the agent on the credit card provided by the Hirer if booking online. Any Good Housekeeping Deposit authorised by the Agent, will be released 10 working days after the end of the booking less any deductions for any loss suffered by the Owner as a result of any breach of the booking contract by the Hirer. Any Good Housekeeping Deposit requested by the agent on behalf of the owner, that is requested over the phone or by email, will be paid by credit card. The payment will be returned to the same credit card within 10 working days of the end of the holiday booking less any deductions for any loss suffered by the Owner as a result of any breach of the booking contract by the Hirer.
If the Hirer disputes any deductions, and the Agent has authorised the Good Housekeeping Deposit, then the Agent will hold the disputed deduction until agreement is reached between the Owner and the Hirer.
For any hirer booking a holiday from overseas, the Good Housekeeping Deposit (where applicable) must be authorised by credit or debit card. The release of the Good Housekeeping Deposit (where payable) will be released to the same card only.
9. CANCELLATION BY THE HIRER
The Agent operates a holiday protection scheme for all Properties other than the larger properties referenced with a P property code. The cost of this protection is included in the hire charge. The details of this scheme are set out on page  of the brochure and under the heading “Holiday Protection Scheme” on the website. Any cancellation must be made by phoning the Agent on 01738 451610 during office hours, 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm on Fridays, and then confirmed in writing. If a Hirer cancels a confirmed booking and the cancellation is not covered by the holiday protection scheme, the Hirer remains liable for payment of the balance of the hire charge if not already paid. On receipt of written confirmation of the cancellation the Agent will endeavour to re-let the Property. If the Agent is successful, the Hirer will receive a full refund of the hire charge after deduction of an administration charge of £60 exclusive of VAT and any other expenses incurred in re-letting the Property including any incentives or discounts. If the cancellation is covered by the holiday protection scheme then the hire charge under deduction of the deposit will be repaid to the Hirer. Any deposit will not be repaid but may be transferred to a booking at the Property for a different date in the 12 months after the original booking start date, subject to availability, but may not be transferred to a different property. If the new booking is at a higher rate than the original booking then the Hirer must pay the extra cost 6 weeks before the start date of the new booking. No refund will be made if the cost of the new booking is less than the deposit for the original booking.
The number of persons occupying the Property must not exceed the number stated in the property description. If the maximum number of occupants is found to exceed the permitted number, the Owner will be entitled to request the Hirer to immediately leave the Property. The Hirer will not be entitled to any refund of the hire charge in these circumstances.
11. SUITABILITY OF HIRER
The Owner may decline to hand over the Property if the Owner has justifiable grounds to believe that the Hirer or any of the persons included in the booking contract are not suitable to occupy the Property. If any booking is cancelled for this reason the hire charge will be immediately refunded to the Hirer. The Hirer will not be entitled to any compensation or damages for cancellation of the booking for this reason.
12. PERIOD OF HIRE
The Property is let on a weekly basis from Saturday to Saturday 4pm on the date of arrival until 10 am on the date of departure unless otherwise stated in the property description.
13. EQUIPMENT AND LINEN
The Property is furnished and equipped for the number of persons permitted to occupy the Property as stated in the property description. Major items of domestic equipment are listed in the property description. Details of equipment in the property description were correct at the time the property description was prepared. TV channel choice and TV reception may be poor depending on the location of the Property. The Property is supplied with pillows and duvets or blankets. Unless otherwise stated in the property description, the Hirer must bring duvet covers, pillowcases, towels and tea towels.
14. ACCURACY OF PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
While every effort is made by the Agent to ensure that the property description was accurate and all information was believed to be correct when the property description was prepared, the Agent will not be liable for any changes including those made by the Owner. Photographs of the Property are included for guidance only and the Agent does not guarantee that the photographs show all of the Property or its location and surroundings.
No pets are permitted at the Property unless there is a pet symbol in the property description. In some properties with a pet symbol pets may be restricted to kennels only. If a pet is permitted, details must be provided when the Property is reserved and an additional charge per week per pet must be paid. If a pet is permitted this will normally be restricted to one and the Hirer will be responsible for ensuring that any restrictions in the property description are complied with and the pet is kept under strict control at all times. If a pet is permitted in a Property it is not allowed on beds or furniture. The Hirer is responsible for removing all pet excrement from the Property. Registered guide and support dogs belonging to those with visual and / or hearing impairments are allowed in the Property. Details must be provided when the Property is reserved.
16. WATER SUPPLIES
Depending on the location of the Property, it may have a water supply from peaty ground which can make the water very brown. If the Hirer is concerned about the water then the Agent recommends boiling water for drinking or using bottled water.
17. HIRER’S OBLIGATIONS
The Hirer will; pay for all gas, electricity, fuel and other charges if not included in the booking; take good care of the Property and its contents and leave the Property and its contents in a clean and tidy condition; inform the Agent of any damage or breakages and pay the Owner at the end of the booking for any breakages or damage to the Property and its contents caused by the Hirer (reasonable wear and tear excluded); allow the Owner and the Agent (with or without workmen) access to the Property at reasonable times and on reasonable notice (other than emergencies) for inspection purposes and to carry out any repairs or maintenance ( routine maintenance and repairs will not be carried out during the booking); not cause undue noise or disruption or become a nuisance to the occupants of any neighbouring properties; not use the Property for any purpose other than that of a private holiday residence; not alter the Property or its contents or remove any contents from the Property; return all sets of keys tof the Property in accordance with the instructions given to the Hirer; not use any flammable materials, fireworks or candles in or on the Property; keep the Property secure during the booking; and comply with any specific conditions and restrictions relating to the Property and/or its contents contained in the property description and in any instructions held in the Property.
Any complaint or problem relating to the Property should immediately be notified to the Owner or any caretaker or key holder identified in the booking so that an opportunity is given to rectify the problem or deal with the complaint. No refund will be considered if the Owner has not been given the opportunity to rectify any problem during the booking. If the Hirer has a complaint about the Agent then this should be made in writing to the Agent who will provide the Hirer with details of the Agent’s complaint procedure.
19. LIABILITY OF THE AGENT
The Agent is booking agent for the Owner and when the Hirer books a Property the booking contract is made between the Owner and the Hirer. The Agent has no liability for implementation of the booking contract or for the acts or omissions of the Owner or other person or party represented or employed by the Owner. The Agent has no liability for the condition of the Property and /or the contents of the Property which are the sole responsibility of the Owner.
20. AVAILABILITY OF PROPERTY
If an Owner is prevented because of circumstances outwith the control of the Owner from making the Property available to the Hirer, the hire charge will immediately be refunded in full to the Hirer. The Hirer will not be entitled to any compensation or damages for cancellation of a booking for this reason.
21. HOLIDAY LETTING
By entering into the booking contract the Hirer agrees that the booking contract confers a right to occupy the Property for a holiday only and is not an assured tenancy by virtue the provisions of Section 12 ( schedule 4 paragraph 8 ) of the Housing ( Scotland ) Act 1988.
All sums in the booking contract are expressed inclusive of value added tax unless otherwise stated. If value added tax is applicable it will be added at the rate applicable at the date of invoice.
23. GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION
The Owner and the Hirer agree that the booking contract shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Scotland and the Owner and the Hirer agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.
24. LAST MINUTE AND SPECIAL BREAKS
If the Hirer makes a short or special break booking online it is the responsibility of the Hirer to speak to the contact person named in the travel details to arrange access to the Property before starting their journey. In no circumstances should the Hirer commence their journey to the Property unless arrangements have been made with the contact person to get access to the Property.
25. WIFI AND INTERNET CONNECTION
Where a property is advertised as having internet connection, there is no guarantee as to the speed or bandwidth. Rural areas of Scotland can be erratic and/or suffer outages which are outwith the owner's control. The owner does not accept responsibility for such events but will endeavour to rectify the situation with the provider where possible.
HOLIDAY PROTECTION SCHEME
Cottages & Castles Ltd. (acting as agents for property owners) provides a guarantee for tenants who have to cancel their holiday at a cottage.
If it is necessary to cancel your holiday, for any of the reasons A 1-5 below, you may do so at any time up until the close of business on the last working day before your tenancy commences and we will refund your balance. Your deposit is not refundable. If you have made a late booking and paid in full you will receive your payment minus the normal deposit sum (usually 30%).
There is no charge for this holiday protection – it is included in the cost of your holiday. Please note that the protection does not apply to holidays in our properties with codes beginning with P (usually castles, mansions and lodges).
Deposits may be transferred to a different date for a holiday at the same property within 12 months of the original holiday date, subject to availability, but not, however, for a different property. If the new booking is at a higher rate the tenant must pay the extra cost. No refund will be made if the new date is at a lower rate.
1. Death, accidental bodily injury, or illness (excluding pre-existing or chronic illness/conditions, or illness arising through epidemics or pandemics)
a) the Proposer and/or persons with whom he/she has arranged to travel.
b) any close relative or business associate of the Proposer or of any person with whom he/she has arranged to travel or arranged to meet at the specified holiday establishment. We will require appropriate documentary evidence of illness or bodily injury from a registered medical practitioner. This evidence must state that the Proposer is unfit to travel.
2. Jury service, witness call or unemployment through redundancy of the Proposer after the date of booking and prior to the commencement date of the holiday.
3. Fire or theft which is the subject of an insurance claim at the Insured’s main residence or business premises within seven days before commencement of the holiday.
4. Unforeseen occupational posting; which gives rise to a period of complete exemption from UK Income Tax on earnings;
UNEXPECTED OCCUPATIONAL POSTING BY HM FORCES OR HM POLICE. For cancellation due to unexpected occupational posting by HM Forces or cancellation of leave by HM Police - it is essential that you attach documentary evidence from your commanding officer to confirm this.
5. Cancellation or curtailment of scheduled transport services due to strikes, riots or civil commotion, but limited to the cost of alternative transport up to £50 per person for the outward journey only.
But not, however:
1. Disinclination to travel.
2. Failure of public or private transport.
3. Suicide, attempted suicide, insanity, the influence of intoxicating liquor or the effect of drugs not taken in accordance with treatment prescribed and directed by a qualified medical practitioner or booking a holiday which is or would be against the advice of a registered medical practitioner.
4. Pregnancy unless problems occur which prevent the person travelling. A verification must be signed by a registered medical practitioner to this effect
5. Any loss which is otherwise insured.
6. Holiday accommodation booked outside Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands