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JimLawyer
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I'm having issues with my refund for villa rental in

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Hi, I'm having issues with my refund for villa rental in Lanzarote. Booked and paid for well before Covid was on the scene. Due to travel 17th March and the day before all flights to Spain and the Canaries were cancelled. We did not cancel the booking beforehand. I booked through Home Away and they said you would have to deal direct with the villa company, but that they would refund their agents fee, which they did. Contacted Lanz Luxury Villas (who have an English address and phone number) and asked for a refund. They said their booking conditions state no refunds or transfers but offered to move the booking. I then made a claim to AXA, who I have an annual multi trip policy with. This was taken out in May 2019. They have said it is down to the Villa company and quoted Government advice. Villa company refuted this and told me it was down to the travel insurance. Travel insurance have come back and said it is the villa providers responsibility. Going round in circles here. Who is responsible? Many thanks
JA: Where is this? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: I booked it on the 12th January 2019 and paid the balance on 19th January. Booked to go to a self catering villa in Lanzarote Playa Blance
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Due to travel 17th March and the day before all flights to Spain and the Canaries were cancelled. We did not cancel the booking beforehand. I booked through Home Away and they said I would have to deal direct with the villa company, but that they would refund their agents fee, which they did. Contacted Lanz Luxury Villas (who have an English address and phone number) and asked for a refund. They said their booking conditions state no refunds or transfers but offered to move the booking. I then made a claim to AXA, who I have an annual multi trip policy with. This was taken out in May 2019. They have said it is down to the Villa company and quoted Government advice. Villa company refuted this and told me it was down to the travel insurance. Travel insurance have come back and said it is the villa providers responsibility.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

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

If your trip was cancelled, the villa owner is liable to refund you - according to the European Commission. Breach of contract means that you are due a full refund. If you have disruption cover with the insurance policy, that "should" pay out. If not, then you have an option of suing the villa owner or the agency whom you booked with. Lanz Luxury Villas should now be approached for a refund. I attach a template letter which you can use to send. Hopefully this will result in a refund - you can threaten to report them to Trading Standards too (tel: 03454 040506).

If they still refuse, you can start a claim at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk but bear in mind this is a last resort - though a lot of other people have recently taken travel agencies to court due to similar situations.

If you booked by credit card then you can make a claim - you can contact the card provider and ask for a refund under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 - as they are jointly liable if you do not get the service you paid for. You can claim a full refund even if you only paid for part of the trip with the credit card as long as £100 or more was spent.

If you do have disruption cover, you may want to make a formal complaint to AXA too. If they refuse to pay out, you would argue the policy is not fit for purpose.

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi JimThanks for your response, could you help explain your statement "If your trip was cancelled, the villa owner is liable to refund you" Their argument is that they did not cancel the booking. As far as they are concerned the Villa was cleaned and available for use from the date agreed. I did not cancel the booking either but Easyjet were not able to fly due to the Spanish lockdown.It is interesting that LLV are denying that they need to refund me but they seem keen to offer a re booking of the villa at a later date?Ideally I would like to have sent you the email response from LLV to AXA letter stating LLV were liable for the refundDave Barnett

Sorry, I misunderstood - if the flights were cancelled then it's a force majeure situation. You can still send that if you wish -

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it is a force majeure situation, who is responsible for the cost of the villa (provider or travel insurer) . Or is my only option to claim section 75 from my bank?Many thanksDave
Hi, it’s the villa. As your contract is with them. Insurance is just a backup. But if the policy wording includes a pandemic / outbreak then the insurer should reimburse you. A S.75 refund is only available if you used a credit card. Thanks
I hope that makes sense?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that's fine - thanks
Thanks, ***** *****’s anything else please let me know. Have a good evening