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Lost Deposit?

(7 Posts)
Grandadwasthatyou Mon 21-Jan-19 14:43:43

We have paid quite a large deposit on a family villa in Spain which we booked directly through the owner. This was intended for a week in the summer.
However we were in Spain for a short break recently and decided to check it out. We were so disappointed. It is nothing like the photos. The whole place stank of damp and cigarette smoke despite us booking it as a non smoking villa.

The furniture was dated and old fashioned certainly not the bit of luxury you look for when spending a lot of money to take the family away. There is no way we can stay there. I can imagine the disappointed look on my childrens faces if we went there.
Naturally I have asked for my deposit back but the owner simply pointed out the terms and conditions stating it is a non refundable deposit. Which is fair enough if the villa was as described and it's not as if we are just changing our minds for the sake of it.

I don't know what to do next. If it were in the UK I am fairly knowledgable about consumers rights, Trades Description Act etc but know nothing about Spain's consumer laws.

Can anybody be kind enough to point me in the right direction? I don't even know if I've posted in the right place!

OP’s posts: |
ReflectentMonatomism Mon 21-Jan-19 14:50:23

Sadly, the problem with saving money by cutting out the middle man is that you also reduce your comeback by cutting out the middle man. If you book accommodation through a UK company trading in the UK, then you are unambiguously dealing with UK laws in UK courts and tribunals, and that the middle man’s supplier (the property owner) is in another country is the middle man’s problem, not yours.

If you book directly with an owner in Spain, then you are relying on finding a combination of laws, venue and enforceability which you can prevail in. As it’s a deal for a Spanish property owned by a Spaniard, then the most likely venue is Spain. Good luck with that. There may be a distance selling regulations angle, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I’d not hold my breath even more after the end of March.

Good luck, but I think you may have just found out that the margin that UK-based agencies take isn’t just paying for their office party.

Grandadwasthatyou Mon 21-Jan-19 22:02:54

Thanks for your reply Reflectant.....lesson learned. I'm just pleased that we had the opportunity to check up on the villa beforehand. It would have been dreadful if we arrived there in the summer with the family all excited only to realise what a dump it was. And it was not a cheap villa either!
Moral of the story ..caveat emptor!

OP’s posts: |
N01cicles Tue 22-Jan-19 12:30:01

I would imagine a villa in Spain looks slightly different in the winter, to how it looks in the winter. How much time would you spend indoors in the summer ? I booked a holiday a couple of years ago via an online holiday company. Booked our own flights. Arrived at airport in the holiday destination, no transfers to hotel. Got taxi to hotel and it was a completely different hotel to the hotel in the photos. Complained on return home. Zero compensation. I will never use that holiday company ever again !

Grandadwasthatyou Tue 22-Jan-19 19:34:01

@N01cicles .... we wouldn't spend much time indoors naturally but our first impressions were that it was awful. DH was completely silent as we were looking around and I don't know how on earth they could advertise it as non smoking when the whole place smelt.
I've emailed the owner and said it wasn't as advertised but I don't hold out much hope. That's £1500 down the drain.
Such a shame when we work hard to give our families a lovely holiday. But as I've said I've learnt my lesson and will go through a reputable company in future.

OP’s posts: |
fuzzyduck1 Thu 24-Jan-19 14:25:49

£1500 Deposit!!! Wow for ONE week!!! Wow wow.

He saw you coming. How much was the total?

But you may as well wave goodbye to your money because a deposit is a deposit non returnable.

Lala241280 Mon 28-Jan-19 22:34:34

Expensive lesson to learn. .

Book through a travel agent next time there are good ones out there who will help in these situations

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