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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7656
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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We stayed in a holiday let in Swansea for 4 weeks. Each

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We stayed in a holiday let in Swansea for 4 weeks. Each Monday the owners came over to change the bed sheets and towels. On leaving they are refusing to return the deposit of £250. They have provided photos of how the house was left. Not all these photos are date stamped. The photos that were not date stamped were taken while we were still in the property and was not the condition the house was left like. The photos were taken 7 days before we left and taken when the owners came over to change bed sheets and towels. Are they allowed to carry out an inspection of the property without informing us? Are they allowed to take photos of our personal belongings without informing us? Have they Brocken any law

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) happy to help you today.

In terms of privacy laws they wouldn't really apply as you consented to use the holiday let - and the deposit is likely to be in their terms and conditions with something about taking evidence to justify them keeping the deposit. However if they have taken it and the deduction was unreasonable, you should consider a small claim against them.

Would you like further details?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Yes. They came into the cottage to change bed sheets and towels. If we had known they were going to take photos and inspect the property we would have ensured it was tidy. If a landlord wishes to inspect a property I thought they had to give 24 hours notice

That's for an assured shorthold tenancy (quiet enjoyment and they have to give notice, which is as you say, normally 24 hours).

Really they should have given you some notice and not simply invaded your privacy - I think there is an argument for that.

I would recommend that you send the holiday let owner a formal letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (who can be contacted on 03454 040506).

You will need to register at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (£25 in your case) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

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