Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
How long after checking in did you then check out? Also, did you notify reception that you were leaving?
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.
Many thanks for your patience. The first thing you need to check is what your booking terms and conditions stated in this regard. For example, was there a cancellation option which allowed you to cancel the hotel within the time you did and not incur any further charges. If there was no cancellation clause or you had passed the deadline to cancel, not fulfilling the booked duration would usually result in you being charged the full amount of the stay, whether you stayed there or not. That is because you have cancelled in violation of the booking terms and conditions. Of course you may have had your reasons for cancelling and that could have been due to a breach of contract on the hotel’s side, but at present that is just your opinion so it is effectively your word against theirs. You may have a valid point and be able to prove that they had not fulfilled their contractual obligations, for example in your case they did not provide you with the facility you had booked and I presume there was no contractual option for them to amend these without your consent. In such circumstances it is likely that you can have your money refunded, but it may not happen immediately and there may be a slight delay whilst the matter is investigated. Do not worry too much about deadlines at this stage, legally you have 6 years to make a claim so you can let them conduct their investigation but if the delays become unreasonable and they have still not refunded you, then you can take the matter further, such as through the small claims court.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if this matter remains unresolved, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Hi there, happy to continue answering follow up questions and clarify your rights, if you could please leave a positive rating in the meantime then I can continue, many thanks.
Thank you. Despite the fact that you showed up for one night, your booking was for more than a night so by not staying for the remainder you have effectively been a no show for the full booking period. Under their terms they probably could have charged you if you did not cancel within the specified cancellation period. Your argument however is that you did not just leave because you wanted t but because you had no choice due to the events that unfolded, which were the hotel’s fault, not yours. So you are basically arguing that it was their breach in the first place that forced you to leave the hotel and as such you should not be charged for the remaining nights.
If you have tried to resolve this but have had no luck, then whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand
4. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.