I booked a holiday apartment last week through Booking.com but have since found out that it's illegal. I had to pay a 50% deposit. I have tonight contacted the apartment and Booking.com asking for my money back, but I think I've got a hell of a fight on my hands. Can anyone help?
I doubt very much that you will get any real assistance from booking.com now because they are just intermediaries (their terms and conditions basically state as much). Such sites do not check that their listings are all above board. If you booked through booking.com it depends on their attitude now.
Did you pay the deposit by credit card, I would try the credit card also.
It may be that ultimately you have unfortunately lost this money.
I found out that 99% of new york holiday rentals are illegal via Trip Advisor. The apartment I booked is supposedly a purpose built block especially for tourists, and the apartment owner even states that it is a legal and licensed premises, yet on Trip Advisor we're being told it's no such thing. Yes I paid £700 on credit card.
If you paid on credit card then the credit card company shares joint liability - if you can prove the transaction was incorrect then they can refund you and force them to return the money even if they don't want to. However, they will only pay out if you can prove you aren't getting what you paid for. How sure are you that the information that the flat is illegal is actually true? Can you check with the relevant authorities in New York?
We got our money back in this situation. But you have to br determined. We first contacted the credit card company and blocked the payment. This was on the basis that the company would not guarantee that we could get the appartment advertised.we stuck to our guns and it worked. Good luck. What I find really annoying is that tripadvisor were allowing these companies to advertise on their pages.