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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 17468
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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We booked a holiday let via Sykes Cottages but after less

Customer Question

We booked a holiday let via Sykes Cottages but after less than 2 days and having discovered multiple issues - no WiFi, bathroom light not working, cigarette ends in BBQ, extremely dirty bathroom, broken kitchen floor tiles - we complained to both Sykes and the property owner, ultimately leaving the property after only 2 nights. The owner verbally agreed to refund the remaining 5 nights of our stay but later refused any liability. Despite numerous attempts to resolve the matter with Sykes and the property owner, including sending a letter citing the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Sykes own terms and conditions and requesting a reply within 14 days, it has now been 21 days and neither party has responded. There are more factors involved, including the fact that our oldest daughter is autistic and the property owner was aware of this, which exacerbated the situation. As a result of the issues we were forced to spend extra money on hotel accommodation and have found the whole situation very stressful and upsetting. Any advice on how next to proceed would be much appreciated !
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Complained to Sykes and the property owner at the time, sending photos where relevant. When the property owner U-turned and Sykes said they would not pursue the matter further we sent each a letter requesting a refund and compensation for out of pocket expenses but have received no reply . This was over 21 days ago and the letters requested a response within 14 days.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Our autistic daughter left a games console at the property, whoch the owner eventually returned 3 weeks after we 1st requested it. It had been used, with different user profiles having been set up. This may not seem like a big deal but our daughter felt violated as she is very attached to the game and was extremely upset when she discovered the user profiles. The owner was aware that she's autistic and therefore we feel aggrieved that he would send he4 property back in this condition
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

You have done everything correctly and sent a letter quoting the correct law - they only have 14 days under the pre action protocol in which to reply (if your letter was compliant with the civil procedure rules - it should look like the attached).

Though as long as you have given them 14 days and a warning that court action will be pursued, you would be fine.

The booking agent is a limited company based in Chester, England.

You will either need access to an address in England & Wales to sue them, or you will need to use a law firm in England & Wales to pursue a small claims case (assuming your bank or credit card company cannot help - if you have not asked then please do as they may be able to recall the funds or if you used a credit card - £100 minimum - the card provider is jointly liable for this).

If you do have access to an address in England & Wales then you can start a claim on this site against the company :

http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

If not then you will need a small claims law firm as the legal system is different in Scotland.

Any of the following firms should be able to help for a fixed fee :

1. https://stormcatcher.co.uk/dispute-resolution-lawyers/small-claims-lawyer-service/

2. https://www.catalystlaw.co.uk

3. https://www.garrattssolicitors.co.uk

4. https://www.se-law.co.uk

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

I hope this helps

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question starting off with @JimLawyer.

I look forward to helping you again soon.

Thanks again,

Jim



Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi Jim, many thanks for your reply. Can you please resend the letter that you said was attached as I don't appear to have it? I'd like to ensure our letter was appropriate before approaching a law firm. Can I also enquire if there's an independent body/ombudsman that we could contact? We're not wealthy people so if there's a way that we can resolve this without incurring a fee that would be great!
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

(insert their name and address)          (insert date)

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

Dear Sirs,

Re: Claim for (insert sum)

I refer to the above matter. (Insert details of the dispute).

As a result of the above, you are in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and I now demand a full refund, plus a sum to cover additional expenses (say what these are and how much).

This letter is being sent to you in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol (“the Protocol”) contained within the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”). In particular, I refer you to paragraphs 13 to 16 of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols regarding the Court’s powers to impose sanctions for failing to comply with the provisions of the Protocol.

I therefore put you on notice of my intention to issue county court proceedings against your company for my losses should I not receive payment in full by 4 pm on (insert date 14 calendar days).

Should court proceedings be necessary I will claim the court issue fee and statutory interest. Should I succeed in obtaining a judgment, same will be transferred to the High Court for enforcement against you whereby further costs will be added to the judgment sum.

I trust the above will not be necessary and I therefore look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

(insert name)

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 13 days ago.

I hope that helps, - as for an independent body, it would be Trading Standards in this instance - who can be contacted via this site: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms



Customer: replied 7 days ago.
JimLawyer Hi Jim, thanks for your advice so far. On further investigation however, I realise that your advice regarding making a claim against Sykes Cottages may not be appropriate as they state clearly in their T&Cs that our rental agreement was between us and the property owner. He is based in Scotland an operates a separate glamping company. Can you please advise, then, on what our best course of action would be? As far as I can tell, he doesn't operate as a limited company so would that impact the role of Trading Standards in any way? TIA
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
To clarify the above, his glamping company exists separately from the properties that he has listed as holiday lets on Sykes - not sure how pertinent this would be to our claim.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

Hi, that's strange if you paid the agency then a contract should be between you and the agency. 
You will in that case need to send the letter before action to the owner in Scotland. If you need to issue a claim then you will need to use the paper method (N1 and N510 forms) as he is in Scotland. 
You can still report the agency to trading standards for misleading you.