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Holiday cottage changing rules to allow pets

(104 Posts)
notwoof Mon 25-Mar-19 11:58:02

I've got a holiday place booked for August. I always book places that don't allow pets as DH is allergic to dogs.

Email today from holiday lettings place 'good news you cottage now allows pets'!

I don't care how well they clean it if a dog has been in there before us DH will have streaming eyes all week.

So now I don't want to stay there. Rang them and they basically said tough shit, if you cancel you lose all your money.

AIBU they changed the rules therefore they should let me cancel!?

chillpizza Mon 25-Mar-19 12:56:52

I always book pet free even as a pet owner. I don’t want to be staying in a place that smells of pets and has pet hair. It’s why when we visit haven type places we never book the cheap accommodation as it’s always had pets in.

NewAccount270219 Mon 25-Mar-19 12:57:03

Another one who thinks it's reasonable of them to change the rules but completely unreasonable of them to handle this in the way they have - they should either allow you to cancel or offer alternative accommodation. If you booked it for a specific reason and that's not there now then it's unreasonable to insist you pay anyway.

You are quite lucky they told you, though (even under the guise of good news) - they could easily not have.

Tinkobell Mon 25-Mar-19 12:58:05

If you paid credit card....even just the deposit the whole stay will Ben protected under the section 75 consumer act.

Mintychoc1 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:02:18

This isn't something small like changing the colour of the walls. Allergies are a medical condition and can be very serious. Hence the need to look for pet-free houses if you're allergic to animals. If you were disabled and used a wheelchair, would it be OK for them to say "good news, we've removed that unsightly wheelchair ramp that was by the front door"?
They should refund you fully, or the company should arrange a different property for you.

Tinkobell Mon 25-Mar-19 13:02:35

@chillpizza ...we have 2 lounges - one is pet friendly with leather sofas and the other is non pets. Of course you can't police what people do once they're through the door, but most agents charge an extra fee of £25 for a dog...we do and the money is spent on the cleaners time.

Lockheart Mon 25-Mar-19 13:07:35

@Mintychoc1 guide dog owners would probably love that the property is now pet-friendly, given how often they're (illegally) turned away.

To the best of my knowledge, allergy sufferers are not protected under law. Those with assistance dogs are, just like wheelchair users.

kingfisherblue33 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:09:26

God, Bookworm, how unsympathetic are you?! Why should OP's h have to take antihistamines for a week??

OP, YANBU at all. They should allow you to cancel or find you an alternative cottage. That wold be good customer service.

countrybump Mon 25-Mar-19 13:10:47

I'm not sure you can rely on a place not allowing pets as being pet free.

A relative has a holiday home that they rent out. When we use it (and when they use it) we take the dog. But it is listed as no pets allowed on the rental site. Because, they don't want dogs on the furniture or upstairs. Our dogs don't do that, but if you rent it out as accepting pets, you can't enforce where they are and aren't allowed in the property.

The house is always thoroughly cleaned after every visit, but someone with a severe allergy would probably know there had been a dog there.

If the allergy is that severe I think you need to enquire about whether the rental is totally pet free before you book. And like a PP says, assistance dogs will be allowed even if it states pet free.

All that aside though, I don't think it's fair for them to change their policy and not allow you to cancel and find somewhere else.

Elphame Mon 25-Mar-19 13:14:00

As the owner of a holiday cottage that welcomes dogs I would expect you to be allowed to cancel without penalty as it is a fundamental change.

Emphasise that your DH is highly allergic to dogs and the reason you booked was that it was a dog free cottage.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Mon 25-Mar-19 13:14:54

When we use it (and when they use it) we take the dog. But it is listed as no pets allowed on the rental site.

shock I cannot believe anyone would be so brazen, what happens if someone had booked it because a member of their family had sever allergies. Making the odd exception for guide dogs is one thing as they are protected by law. To knowingly go to a cottage that is supposed to be pet free and take your pets just because family own it is just mind boggling.

thedisorganisedmum Mon 25-Mar-19 13:17:37

take antihistamines
are you people for real?
If someone is allergic to pet, it means they can't breathe.

Fair enough to give plenty of warning about the change of rules, but then of course they should allow you to cancel, or at least offer an alternative.

If an assistance dog uses a pet-free rental, the next renters should be warned, people are not less allergic because it's working dog. hmm

I have 2 dogs at home, so I don't hate them!

thedisorganisedmum Mon 25-Mar-19 13:19:25

but someone with a severe allergy would probably know there had been a dog there.

That is the first time I would suggest for them to sue the owner if they suffer from any bad reaction because of the dogs!

You sound like these idiots eating peanuts in a place despite being told that another passenger is severely allergic to them.

Hazlenutpie Mon 25-Mar-19 13:19:43

I think this is a change to their terms and conditions, therefore you should be due a full refund. You should definitely stick to your guns over this. Did you pay with a card? If so the card provider should be able to help you get a refund. If not I would take them through the small claims court.

We booked accommodation in Cornwall. They failed to tell us all their terms and conditions i.e. the pool was open to the public and we would have to pay for the use of it, just like everyone else. I queried this with the owner who told me that, of course I would have to pay, what did I expect? Would you expect to eat in a restaurant for nothing?

Anyway, we paid by card and the card provider agreed that we had been misled. They secured a full refund of the full price we'd paid.

NewAccount270219 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:20:32

If someone is allergic to pet, it means they can't breathe.

Well, it doesn't always. Lots of people's symptoms are more like hayfever - unpleasant but not life threatening, and they can be controlled with antihistamine. BUT you shouldn't have to put up with that on your holiday ,or take antihistamines (which do have side effects) when you've gone out of your way to avoid it, so it's irrelevant.

NewAccount270219 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:21:56

I'm not as sure as other posters, though, that 'we do not allow guests to bring pets' is always, or is intended to be, a cast-iron guarantee that there have never been pets in the property.

SapatSea Mon 25-Mar-19 13:26:02

Contact trading standards. The owners have changed their terms and conditions so you should be refunded. If they are with an umbrella agency(e.g. cottages4u) contact them too. It sucks.

We often used to arrive at "pet free" places to find hair everywhere and be given excuses such as it was "only 2 small, friendly dogs that had stayed". It doesn't matter if you're head and eyes swell to the size of a balloon and your throat closes up and tyou have to go to A&E and the holiday is ruined. I know people love their pets and don't understand about allergies but it is a serious issue. I always double check near the time and make sure when booking that I have a get out if an animal has been there. Dander (which often triggers the allergy) and particles linger for six months after a pet has been active in a room.

Everywhere (hotels, pubs, coffee shops etc) seem to be so much more "pet friendly" theses days which must be lovely for a pet owner, but it makes life really hard for some of us.

Roscommonet Mon 25-Mar-19 13:27:14

“Just take anti-histamines”? How ignorant!!!

My son would need to supplement the anti histamines with oral steroids and inhalers just to breathe! And my husband would be unable to see properly, not to mention the misery of generally feeling shit when your body reacts to something!

Hazlenutpie Mon 25-Mar-19 13:30:50

I would send them a recorded letter stating that as they have changed their terms and conditions, subsequent to your booking, you require a full refund.

Say you are quite happy to take them to court if they refuse.

greenelephantscarf Mon 25-Mar-19 13:31:24

Can he not take anti histamines in the week before holiday? If his allergy is streaming eyes surely anti histamines will be sufficient.

antihistamines don't work for allergic asthma as op describes her dh's allergy symptoms.

op yanbu
write to the landlord that due to change in t&c you are cancelling and that you expect the deposit back in full by (reasonable time)

Coronapop Mon 25-Mar-19 13:31:42

I think that if you have a copy of the T&Cs as at the time of booking stating no pets then you have a strong case, especially if you could get medical evidence if necessary. IME perseverance in this sort of situation helps, being firm and assertive and going to the highest level if necessary.
For future reference when booking I would make a point of stating in the special requests box or equivalent that pet free is critical to your booking.

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 13:48:37

I’m pretty sure that you should be legally able to cancel under either contract law or the Consumer Rights Act or a combo of the two. Problem is you might have to threaten legal action to enforce that though. Their attitude is shocking.

(Fellow dog allergy sufferer here, would be a problem for me too).

poobumwee Mon 25-Mar-19 13:52:01

YANBU they are
You booked on the understanding that pets are not available, due to an allergy.
they have now changed their terms and conditions. they should allow a full refund, if they don;t have an alternative cottage available. Speak to CAB too-they may be able to suggest some key phrases to add gravitas to your request

Epanoui Mon 25-Mar-19 14:01:50

@notwoof, has your DH tried fexofenadine? It is MUCH more effective than OTC antihistamines, non-drowsy and you can be on it long-term. Honestly, it has changed my life. I never realised how much time I spend checking for potential allergens until I didn't have to.

Epanoui Mon 25-Mar-19 14:02:14

You need to visit the GP for fexofenadine, btw, it is prescription only.

Epanoui Mon 25-Mar-19 14:04:18

Also, I meant to say that I have a reaction like your DH has to dogs, but to horses. I can't be in a room with someone who has touched a horse and not had a thorough wash without fexofenadine. With it, I simply don't get any reaction at all.

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