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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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We are a small caravan site a couple booked for a holiday

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we are a small caravan site a couple booked for a holiday but their car broke down they paid a deposit and the balance on our web site we state that deposits are non returnable but they are claiming the balance back.
do they have any legal right in their claim and do we have a legal right to say the deposit is non returnable
headiton holidays

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long after paying did the couple request the balance back? Also, please can you tell me what your cancellation terms are, which the couple would have been made aware of. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
did you receive my answer which was over 3 weeks we have no fixed terms for the balance
tom mchendry

Hello sorry no I only received your response today. Can I just check how long before they were due to stay did they cancel?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
over 3 weeks
tom mchendry

Did you have the opportunity to re-advertise the available spaces and did you find a replacement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no they notified us 11.00 pm on day before arrival
they were not clea r as to when they would arrive if at all so we could not re-advertise
tom mchendry
Thank you. Generally, when a person places an order for something, be it a service or an item, and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the other side. It is implied that the service provider has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the customer wants to proceed with the contract.Unless the service provider subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the customer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit.In this case they cancelled the contract just before it was due to commence, ie when they were supposed to start their stay. This left you with no opportunity to re-advertise the room and reduce your losses which are the loss of income for the stay they would have paid for. Had they given you sufficient time for you to find a replacement then you would not have suffered losses and would not have been expected to retain the deposit. However, in this case they had no cancellation clause allowing them to cancel the booking that late on and it also gave you no chance to find a replacement booking so you should be entitled to keep the deposit to cover your losses from their no show.I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I assume when you say deposit you mean the deposit and balance therefore they have no claim on any of their payments
Tom mchendry

Yes the full sum they paid, after all it is what you would have received from them had they proceeded with the booking and these are your losses if you had to refund them for not staying and you could not have recouped these because the cancellation was at such short notice and did not allow you to re-advertise

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