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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6413
Experience:  Solicitor
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We let our property on an Airbnb style website called

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Dear sir/madam, We let our property on an Airbnb style website called Homeaway. The first (and only) guest rented it for four days, and organised a four day party for around 50 people at which it was ransacked. The mess included drugs, as well alcohol, vomit, cigarettes thought the flat and also the common parts. We incurred well over £1,000 to clean and clear. We received around £800 in rent, which partially covered the costs. Homeaway abrogated all responsibility, and we decided to write-off the additional cost, pull the property off Homeaway's website, and put it down to experience. We have now been told by Homeaway that the rental payment was allegedly fraudulent and that the credit card company were looking into it, but would likely require us to repay it. Homeaway have made it clear that they are not responsible (under their terms and conditions) even though they received the payment. Do we have any legal protection here? Many thanks, ***** *****

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought someone called "Jo" was going to deal with it. Seems odd that after I've paid someone else takes over. Please can you explain what happened? Thanks

My apologies. I responded to you by accident. I will opt out so that my colleague can assist you. Thank you

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Questions are listed and experts can pick them up. Do you still need assistance James? I can help you with this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben - your prompt reply was appreciated! Will the other person likely reply soon?

I can reply now and help if that assists you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jamie - I'm rather confused. This is the first time I've used this service. Originally someone called Jo was going to deal with it. She was a barrister who'd apparently dealt with disputes of this nature. I then paid. She's now disappeared. Ben then appeared. He's now opted out. And now you've appeared. What happened to Jo? Very happy for you to help instead if you can, James

I can assist this as this is a contractual dispute. Can you tell me if their terms in fact do allow them to reverse a transaction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Their terms are very long, and refer to their payment company terms also. I've reviewed briefly their terms. I couldn't find a specific provision regarding this but they are so heavily weighted in their favour that I'm sure somewhere in them (or the payment company's terms) they will be permitted to reverse a transaction (they seem to be allowed to do just about anything else!). We have photo ID and address of the main person hosting the party - we had to evict her and her party. The person who rented the property from us (who we met and gave the key to) was not present when we evicted them. We believe he had (unbeknown to us) sold tickets to this group of people (and probably supplied the drugs). We did not check the identity of this person. We are familiar with Airbnb and were expecting Homeaway to operate in a similar manner to them in a situation like this (i.e. help deal with this and cover the costs). We have discovered that Homeaway do not however. On various forums we have since discovered a lot of unsatisfied people with Homeaway. We are now trying to decide what (if anything) we can do. James

I assume AirBnB vets the client whereas this Homeaway does or did not?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is correct (from our experience). However we were under the impression that Homeaway did vet the client. They operate under people's false assumption that they are similar to their better known competitor (Airbnb) who have set the standards and expectations of hosts and guests. In fact they are very different.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They have now made it clear to us that they are simply a "marketing" company and have nothing to do with any contractual arrangement between host and guest. This is not made clear at time of listing a property or booking a stay.

Ah ok. Well potentially you have a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, as you could argue they have failed to act all reasonable skill and care.

Unless they say they only market, nothing more then I think you have a valid claim. In that case you do not have to pay back the £800 as you can argue they should have done more.

Indeed I would have also assumed they would vet clients as AirBnB do. But unless they expressly said that they only market, nothing more, then I think you have an arguable claim.

If you do not pay the money back then all they can do is issue a County Court claim. Given the value it would be a small claim so even if you lost then you wouldnt be liable for expensive Solicitor fees.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thats great advice - thanks Jamie

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance and good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will certainly do that. Is there any way we can pay you to draft a letter for us (coming from you as our solicitor) as think it would have more impact than the email correspondence we are currently in (where it feels we are being bullied by a large corporate legal outfit)?

Sadly I am not permitted to do that, as its against site rules.

But a local firm should be able to do this for you.

I hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

All the best! Please dont forget to rate before you go.

Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6413
Experience: Solicitor
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