Our Terms of Business
Reservations of all holiday accommodation whether made by telephone, email, in person, in writing or from the internet are accepted by Big House Holidays, hereinafter referred to as BHH, on the following conditions. BHH is one of a small group of locally focused brands owned by The Original Cottage Company, which is a family owned private limited company incorporated in England (registered number 06951692) with a registered address at Bank House, Market Place, Reepham, Norwich, NR10 4JJ. VAT No. 595 2110 44.
1. CONTRACT OF HIRE
The hiring contract will be between you the Hirer and the Owner of the property for which the booking is made and shall be deemed to be made subject to these Conditions of Hire and governed by English Law. BHH act as Agents for owners, and are not Principals. The Contract of Hire is not effective until BHH despatch to the Hirer written confirmation of the booking. The contract is for the hire of the property for holiday purposes only. We do not accept bookings from Hirers under 18 years of age.
2. INITIAL PAYMENT
Bookings will be confirmed upon receipt by BHH of the required deposit payment of one third of the total holiday cost, comprising cottage rental, booking fee and any additional charges. If the booking is made within eight weeks of the holiday commencement date, the full accommodation rental will be required at the time of booking. Deposits can be paid by debit card or credit card, BACS transfer or cheque. In the case of web bookings, these can be paid online through our secure payment system.
3. BALANCE PAYMENT
The Balance of the Hire will be due for payment eight weeks before the holiday commencement date. On receipt of the Balance Payment, advice on key collection arrangements and directions to the property will be sent to the Hirer. The Owner/BHH reserves the right to cancel a holiday where full payment has not been received less than 28 days before the holiday commencement date. The deposit paid on the booking is non-returnable.
4. METHOD OF PAYMENT
Cheques should be made payable to Big House Holidays. Credit Card payments are subject to a surcharge of 1.49% plus VAT. There is no charge for Debit Card payments.
5. VALUE ADDED TAX
Where VAT applies to the property rental, it is included in the quoted price at the prevailing rate. BHH’s Confirmation of Booking is not a VAT invoice. All BHH charges and VAT inclusive rentals include VAT at the prevailing rate and are subject to change if the rate changes.
6. CONFIRMATION OF BOOKING
Once BHH has issued a Confirmation of Booking, the Hirer is responsible for the total published price of the property and extras as shown on the confirmation. Amendments to bookings, where applicable, will be subject to an administration fee of £25. The Agents reserve the right to adjust prices quoted in the brochure, on our website or on details to properties, due to errors or omissions or changes in VAT.
7. BOOKING CANCELLATION
If you are forced to cancel your holiday you must inform BHH as soon as possible. The day we receive your notice to cancel is the date on which we will cancel your booking with the owner. Depending on your reason for cancellation, you may, at our discretion, receive a refund of all money you have paid to us for your booking less the booking fee (if applicable), any credit-card charges, and a handling charge of £60. See Cancellation/Curtailment Policy for details of where we would normally make such a refund. In all other cases, you will remain liable for full payment unless we are able to re-let all or part of the period booked, in which case BHH will consider a refund, less the booking fee (if applicable), any credit-card charges, and a handling charge of £90. See Cancellation/Curtailment Policy for full details.
8. BOOKING FEE
BHH charges a booking fee of £20 per booking, payable at the time of booking.
The use of accommodation and amenities, where offered, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, rowing boats, beach huts etc, is entirely at the users’ risk and no responsibility can be accepted for injury, or loss or damage to users’ or visitors’ belongings. However, BHH do not seek to exclude or limit legal liability for the negligence of their servants or agents.
10. PARTY NUMBERS
In no circumstances may more than the maximum number of persons as stated in the cottage brochure or website occupy a property. Owners reserve the right to refuse admittance if this condition is not observed. Only those listed on the booking may occupy the premises. The person who completes the booking, i.e. the lead name, certifies that he or she is authorised to agree to the Booking Conditions on behalf of all members of the party, including any changes. The lead name must be over 18 years and a member of the party occupying the property. The lead name agrees to take responsibility for all members of the party. The Owner/BHH reserve the right to refuse or revoke any bookings from parties that may in their opinion (and at their sole discretion) be unsuitable for the property concerned.
11. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
For the whole of the period included within your booking, you will be responsible for the property and will be expected to take all reasonable care of it. If a property is not left clean and tidy, any additional cleaning costs will be charged to the hirer. The property details aim to give accurate descriptions of the properties. Should there be any specific health or mobility difficulties which may affect a party member; this must be pointed out at the initial reservation stage so that the suitability of the property can be assessed. The property and all equipment and utensils must be left clean and tidy at the end of the hire period. At no time should a pet be left alone unsupervised at the property. The property must be vacated by 10.00 am on the day of departure, along with any parking provision.
All damages and breakages are the legal responsibility of you, the Hirer, and should be notified to the Owner or Agent, keyholder or housekeeper before the end of your holiday. The cost of damage or breakages shall be payable on demand. Normally, minor damage or breakages will not be charged but in circumstances where extra cleaning is required or there has been breakage or damage beyond what is reasonably to be expected, the Owner/BHH reserve the right to charge you for any additional costs incurred as a consequence and may, at their discretion, refuse further bookings.
Should you find on arrival any damaged or non-working items, they must be reported to the Owner or Agent/keyholder immediately, so that matters can be rectified. The Owner/BHH has the right to enter the property (without prior notice if this is not practical or possible) if special circumstances or emergencies arise (for example if repairs need to be carried out). Any Damages/Security Deposits charged by the Owner and administered by the Owner themselves or by BHH will be cashed on receipt to allow for bank clearance and reimbursed promptly after the holiday (less any penalties which may be incurred). BHH reserves the right to request payment of a security deposit should it be deemed necessary by the Owner. The Owner/BHH reserves the right to repossess the Holiday Home at any time, where you or any member of your party has caused damage. The Owner/BHH shall not be liable to make a refund of any remaining portion of the hire terms paid.
13. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
If you are dissatisfied with the service you receive, the Owner or keyholder must be notified immediately, so that investigation can be carried out and any necessary action taken. All complaints must also be notified to BHH immediately so that they can investigate the circumstances, and take any necessary action. In no circumstances can compensation be made for any complaints that are made after the hire has ended, or where the Hirer has denied the Agents or the Owners the opportunity to try to put matters right during the Hirer´s stay.
BHH takes every care to ensure the accuracy of the property descriptions. All information in our brochure and on our website is given in good faith and is believed to be correct at the time of going to press, but BHH cannot be held responsible for changes beyond their control, which may become known after publication of this literature. In addition, whilst we describe properties as non-smoking or no pets, this cannot be guaranteed. The description of a cottage shows what amenities that property has but generally does not state what is not in the property. Please be aware that if a property is advertised as having an enclosed garden, this does not necessarily mean a secure garden. It may be enclosed by hedging or open style fencing. Further, BHH cannot accept liability for happenings outside their reasonable control, such as breakdown of domestic appliances, plumbing, wiring, temporary invasion of pests, damage resulting from exceptional weather conditions or the Owner’s negligence resulting in loss, injury or accident.
In the event of any dispute between parties it shall be governed by the jurisdiction of the English courts only and any actions shall be heard in the court for the area in which the property is located unless otherwise agreed between the parties. However, it is hereby agreed and declared that all reasonable endeavours will be used to resolve the dispute arising between you and the Owner and/or BHH without immediate recourse to litigation. If not mutually resolved, it is further agreed that all reasonable endeavours will be used to resolve the dispute by a formally recognised alternative dispute resolution process i.e. mediation, arbitration or expert determination. In default of such agreement, the process and appointment of the independent professional will be determined by the President for the time being of the Law Society or the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In either case, all parties will contribute equally to the expense of such process, and, in default these expenses shall be capable of being recovered in any subsequent litigation.
The Hiring Contract is made on the understanding that the property and its facilities as published will be available for the dates stated. In the unlikely event that a property is not available through events arising outside the control of the Owner/BHH, then the Owner/BHH may be forced to cancel the booking. The Hirer will be advised as early as possible. Where possible, the Hirer will be offered suitable alternative accommodation, which, if not acceptable, will entitle the Hirer to a refund of all monies due. The Hirer will not as a result have any further claims against BHH or the Owner. Please note that reservation requests taken via our website are not confirmed bookings until we have contacted you and accepted a payment.
17. THIRD PARTY SUPPLIERS
BHH are committed to providing our customers with a good local service and in turn a memorable holiday. To help with this, we have negotiated some offers and deals from trusted companies for things that you can enjoy and experience whilst you are on holiday.
BHH is not a Principal in the matter of booking or buying goods or services from third party suppliers and so after BHH take your holiday booking, the contract of sale/hire for any additional goods and services from third parties is between the customer and The Supplier of the goods or services and The Supplier’s terms and conditions apply in these circumstances.
18. BEST PRICE GUARANTEE
We guarantee you always get the lowest price when you book your holiday property directly through us. To qualify for our Best Price Guarantee, you must find the same property, for the same party size, over the same date period and notify us within 24 hours of your booking, in writing by post or email. The lower price must be viewable by anyone prior to booking and bookable by anyone, i.e. not a negotiated rate, a member rate, an offer applicable to only part of your stay or an offer which requires a credit card number or code to see. This offer does not apply to any optional extras, service charges or other fees and excludes changes in currency conversion rates. We will then validate your claim within 48 hours. The same property must be available for booking at a qualifying lower price in the same currency when we validate your claim.
If your claim is successful, we will notify you in writing by post or email and refund the difference or adjust your outstanding balance. Only one claim may be submitted per booking.
BHH reserves the right to deny claims if we believe that the Best Price Guarantee is being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent. A claim may be invalidated if you make any changes to the reservation after the claim has been submitted and approved.
These Booking Conditions supersede all previous issues.