Holidaymaker frequently asked questions

Renting a holiday home FAQs

Finding and booking a holiday home, how to rent safely, security deposits and giving feedback after your stay are all covered in these frequently asked questions. They should guide you through the process and help you have a great holiday.

Question about a holiday home? Please contact the advertiser directly - you can find their contact details on the home's advert page.

Expand sectionFinding a place to stay

How does the Holiday Lettings website work?

We advertise holiday homes for short term rental all over the world. The adverts on the site are created and managed by individual advertisers and you should be able to find all the details about your stay on the advert. If not, feel free to send the advertiser an email to ask any questions.

Our advertisers are private holiday home owners, property managers or lettings agents. All enquiries you make via the website are sent on to the property owner, manager or agent.


How do I search for a holiday home?

Search via the main search box on the homepage or do a destination or Home ID search on the top right of every page.

You can filter your search to find the perfect place to stay by:

  • Location. Just pick the country, region or town from the list. If you can't find where you're looking for on our drop down lists, try putting your destination into the 'search site' box at the top of the website.
  • Dates to find accommodation that's available for your preferred holiday dates.
  • Budget. Enter a minimum and/or maximum budget for your accommodation.
  • Group size. Just two of you travelling or a big group of friends? Select the group size to find a property that will have the right number of beds for your group.
  • Facilities. Use the tick boxes at the bottom to filter your search to help you find properties that fit your requirements, from those with a Jacuzzi to ski properties.

If your search comes up with no results, we'll suggest alternatives. If you get lots of results back, use the filters on the right hand side of the page. You can also order the search results by price.

We recommend identifying 5-10 properties in case your first choice is not available. Once you've found a holiday home that you're interested in, send a booking request (if the owner has this facility) or email the owner and they'll respond directly. Find out more about making a booking.


How do I know if a property is available?

To view the calendar, click on 'Availability' at the top of the advert page or scroll down to see a snapshot of the calendar. Any dates marked in green are available and those in red are booked. Dates marked in pink indicate that a booking is pending.

Check the calendar before contacting the advertiser if your dates are limited and you didn't specify dates in your original search. It helps the advertiser if you include your preferred holiday dates when you send your enquiry.


Why is the advert I'd been looking at no longer visible?

As an advertising service we remove adverts from the site for a number of reasons.

  • Most often this will be at the advertiser's request because the property is fully booked, or because they have decided that they will not rent it out beyond the present season.
  • We may also remove adverts whilst we await an overdue subscription payment for the advertising. If you cannot find the property you have booked on the site, we would advise you contact the advertiser directly and they should be able to reassure you as to why the advert has been removed.

How do I find out more about the local area?

Most adverts will have a description of the local area, but if you've got any specific questions, feel free to email the advertiser via the advert.

Each advert has an interactive map showing the general location of the home (indicated by a house symbol). You'll also be able to see local attractions (indicated by a star symbol) and local restaurants (indicated by a cutlery symbol). You can switch the icons on or off by clicking on the tick box to the left of the map.

To see the review rating and address of the attraction or the restaurant, you can click on the corresponding symbol and a small pop up window will appear. You can find out more information by clicking on the name of the place. This will take you to a TripAdvisor page for the attraction or restaurant.


What if I have questions before I book?

You can email the owner through the contact form on the advert. If a phone number is displayed, call them to talk through any questions you may have. When emailing, please allow at least five working days for the advertiser to get back to you.

Unfortunately we're unable to help with any queries about individual properties as we don't own or manage any of the lets on the website.


How do I save my favourite properties?

When you've found a holiday home (or several) that you're interested in, you can save homes for future reference. You can also send your favourite homes to friends as well as sending one enquiry to all the advertisers in your list at once, saving you time.

To create your Shortlist, click on the 'Add to Shortlist' link found at the top of the advert, or on its summary on our search results pages. We'll need your email address and a password so we can save your Shortlist for you. You can then save the properties you're interested in and access them by clicking on the 'My Shortlist' link on the left hand side of every page.


Can Holiday Lettings help me with my travel arrangements?

Speak to the advertiser as they are usually best placed to give you all the travel advice you need - from low cost airfares to driving directions.

We also have a Travel Services Directory to help you source flights, transport companies, car hire and travel insurance, should you need any of these services.

As your booking is made directly with the advertiser, all arrangements for directions and key exchange are handled between you and the advertiser. Contact them to clarify arrangements if they are at all unclear.


Expand sectionBooking and paying for your stay

How do I make a booking?

When booking your holiday on Holiday Lettings, there are a few different ways to book and pay depending on how the advertiser has chosen to take payments. Find out more

  • Payments managed by the owner.

Some owners choose to manage all payments themselves so you can book and pay directly with the owner. You'll know when this is the case as you'll see this message on the owner's advert:

  • Payments managed by the owner plus online bookings.

Some owners who are managing payments themselves also choose to take online payments using our secure payment platform.You can send a booking request and the advertiser will have 48 hours to accept or decline it. Either way, you'll get confirmation. You can also send an email first and the owner will respond by emailing or sending you quote. The quote will contain a link that takes you to a secure page where you can make payment with a credit or debit card, or a PayPal account if you have one.

When you're paying for a holiday home using the payment methods above, your payment isn't protected by us (see more info about Payment Protection) – but don't worry. These owners have been verified by our team so you can make payments directly to the owner.

Thousands of people use Holiday Lettings each year to find holidays at thousands of destinations worldwide and it's very rare for something to go wrong. However, it's always good to use common sense when making payments directly to the owner. Find out more about Verified Owners and how to make payments safely.

  • Payments managed by Holiday Lettings.

Some owners have chosen to manage all of their payments through us and therefore only take payments online through their advert. Click on the 'get the price and book' button to send the owner a booking request. They'll have 48 hours to accept or decline your request. When paying for your holiday with owners that have chosen to manage their payments with Holiday Lettings, you'll benefit from Payment Protection. Homes that benefit from Payment Protection will have this displayed on their adverts:

To qualify for Payment Protection, you must pay online through our site. If you've been asked to pay via an alternative payment method, please contact us immediately by emailing: book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk or call: +44(0)1865 312000.

Find out more about how to pay for your stay.


How do I pay for my booking?

There are a few different ways to book and pay depending on how the owner has chosen to take payments. Find out more about how to book and make a payment.


Is my holiday protected?

Although we don't offer insurance, some owners who have chosen to take all of their payments online through us will have this Payment Protection stamp on their listings:

If you book one of these homes you'll benefit from Payment Protection. Find out more.

When you book a home through Holiday Lettings, you're not automatically protected against loss of expenditure. For example, should your chosen airline go out of business, we do not offer any kind of protection or insurance for this.

Our best advice is to check the small print of your travel insurance policy or find an insurance provider that will cover you against such occurrences. Furthermore, ensure you request a booking contract from the advertiser so you're aware of your rights and those of the person advertising the property.


What's Payment Protection?

You'll see this Payment Protection stamp on certain adverts on Holiday Lettings. Booking one of these homes? When you see this stamp, you must pay for your stay online on Holiday Lettings. We hold the money until approximately 48 hours after check-in, after which we transfer it to the holiday home owner.

The Payment Protection terms and conditions detail in full the situations that can be claimed for.

If you have exhausted efforts to resolve the matter with the property owner/manager and are still unable to access the property, please contact us within 24 hours of check-in by calling +44 (0)1865 312061. You will then need to submit a claim form within 10 days of the start of the holiday. Instructions for submitting the form are detailed on the document itself.

Remember: to qualify for Payment Protection you must have paid online through our site.


What's a Verified Owner?

This Verified Owner stamp will appear on some adverts on Holiday Lettings. When you see this stamp, it means that this holiday home owner has either been verified by our team or has been advertising with us for at least two years, so you can make payments direct to the owner. The owner may ask for payments via various methods, such as bank transfer or by sending you a quote so you can pay online.


How do I negotiate the price?

Contact the owner or property manager via their advert to find out if they're willing to negotiate on price. This may be possible for last minute or mid-week stays.

If Payment Protection is provided for that property, you must pay for the booking via the advert to benefit from this.

See our late deals and early deals pages for the latest accommodation offers.


What is a quote?

If an owner takes payments online via Holiday Lettings, they have the option to send you a quote in response to an enquiry. When they send a quote, it's an easy way for you to pay for your stay safely and securely through our payment platform.

All you'll need to do is check that you're happy that all of the details in the quote, paying careful attention to the booking contract and cancellation policy. When you're ready, click 'Pay now'. You'll be directed to the secure payment page to see a recap of your booking before making a payment. If you have any questions about your quote, you can contact the advertiser directly by return email, or using the telephone number on their advert (if displayed).


How do I book safely?

On Holiday Lettings we have two types of advert – those with owners who have chosen to manage all payments through us and those who have chosen to manage payments themselves.

Where you see this Payment Protection stamp the owner has chosen to take all of their payments online through us. If you book one of these homes you'll benefit from Payment Protection: we hold your money securely from the time you book until approximately 48 hours after you've checked in, when we transfer it to the owner. If you're asked to pay offline on this type of advert, alert us at book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk immediately.

Note: A legitimate advertiser will never ask for payment into a Holiday Lettings bank account. If you're asked to make a bank transfer into an account that has the name 'Holiday Lettings' attached to it, please inform us immediately by emailing: book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk.

Where you see this Verified Owner stamp the owner has chosen to manage all payments themselves. These owners take payments in a variety of ways, such as bank transfer or online payment through our system.

When booking with a Verified Owner, rest assured that our team has carried out a number of security checks before allowing the listing to go live. However, if you're booking with a Verified Owner it's still worth doing a few checks yourself to make sure your holiday goes without any hitches:

  • Call the owner or manager for extra reassurance or to ask any further questions. Most owners list a number on their listing near the enquiry form. If they don't, you can email them to ask for one.
  • Check the details of the listing and look out for any inconsistencies. Check the home's full address on Google maps and check that the holiday dates that you've booked are marked as such on their calendar. Read any reviews on the advert, if it has them, and you could even carry out a few online searches of the owner's name to see if they're mentioned on any other websites.
  • Check how long the home has been listed on the site – the longer it's been listed, the more people have probably holidayed there without any problems.
  • Sign a booking contract containing details of the terms of the let as well as the payment and cancellation policies. If you're not asked to do this, ask for a contract (we do provide sample contracts for owners).
  • Collect the owner's contact details (full name, landline and mobile numbers, and their own address, plus a trading address if they're a property manager). Check that they'll be contactable on these numbers while you're on holiday in case you need to get in touch.
  • Pay within reasonable timeframes to protect your money. Expect to pay the booking deposit (usually up to 25% of the total) when you confirm your booking and sign the contract, then pay the balance around eight weeks before your holiday (or later). If you're asked to settle the bill earlier, please email book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk and we'll investigate this for you.
  • Make payments safely according to the options available on the listing and the above steps. If you've sent a booking request to the owner or the owner has sent you a quote in response to your enquiry, you'll be able to pay either by card or PayPal (subject to PayPal's payment limits). If you're asked to pay by bank transfer, cheque or cash on arrival, please take extra care and follow the steps outlined above. Never pay by a wire transfer as this type of payment is untraceable. You should also be suspicious if you're asked to pay a person other than the one you've been dealing with or a bank account in an obscure country. Note: We will never ask for payment into a Holiday Lettings bank account. If you're asked to make a bank transfer into an account that has the name 'Holiday Lettings' attached to it, please inform us immediately by emailing: book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk.
  • Check your insurance protects you if something goes wrong with accommodation or flights that are booked independently, e.g. if the airline goes out of business or the accommodation doesn't meet your requirements. Check the small print or look for an insurer that covers you against such things.
  • Save your correspondence with the owner or manager so that you can refer back to it at any time.

If something sounds too good to be true, or you notice something suspicious and decide not to book a holiday at a particular home, it's important that you alert us as soon as possible with your reasons for this. Please contact us on +44 (0)1865 312000 and select option five or email book.safe@holidaylettings.co.uk and we'll look into it for you.

Holiday Lettings doesn't own, manage or inspect any of the properties listed and cannot verify any of the advert details. We make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, legality, performance or suitability of the adverts. We accept no liability arising from reliance upon this information made by any user of the site. You should conduct your own research and familiarise yourself with our terms and conditions.


Is my holiday insured with Payment Protection?

No, you'll still need to arrange travel insurance. Payment Protection doesn't offer any cover for other costs relating to your stay that have not been included in your payment made online through our site.


Expand sectionProblems or cancellations

How do I complain about my stay?

If your holiday didn't meet your expectations, contact the owner immediately. The sooner you raise your concerns the sooner they can be resolved. Do not leave it until you get home unless you've already tried your best to contact them. We would advise you to refer to your booking contract as guidance which should outline all the terms and conditions of the booking.

As an advertising website, Holiday Lettings can't get involved in matters that occurred during your stay. We ask advertisers and holidaymakers to correspond directly with each other in order to come to a resolution.


I need to cancel. How do I get a refund?

If you paid online through our site, how cancellations are dealt with depends on the owner's cancellation policy. You would have seen this displayed at the time of making the booking and received details in your booking receipt. Find out more about cancellation policies when paying online.

If you paid with an owner who manages all payments themselves, so didn't pay online though the advert, you'll need to refer to the booking contract that was agreed between you and the owner before your holiday started.


How do I get my damage deposit back?

Holiday Lettings is not involved in the damage deposit process, so you'll need to contact the advertiser directly with any questions over the return of your damage deposit. Firstly, refer to your booking contract which should outline a time frame in which damage deposits are returned. If this time frame has expired or you are unsure as to when you can expect to have your damage deposit returned, contact the advertiser directly.


What should I do if I'm having problems contacting the advertiser?

Firstly, try emailing the advertiser through the contact form on their advert. Allow some time (about five working days for them to get back to you). If a phone number is displayed on the advert, give the owner a call. If you've made a booking online with the owner, the contact details and telephone number for them will be in your booking confirmation email receipt.

Always check your junk folder in case the owner has already responded.


I've arrived at the home and there's a problem. What should I do?

It's very rare for something to go wrong. If you arrive at a property and have a problem, please contact the advertiser immediately. Some advertisers give the number for their local representative or a property manager for their guests to call in case of problems. Tell the advertiser about any problems you have as soon as you can so they can resolve the issue for you. Your booking is with the advertiser, so any problems need to be resolved with them.

If you've paid online with an advertiser who has Payment Protection, we still advise that you contact the advertiser first if there are any issues at check-in. In the majority of cases, the advertiser will be able to resolve any problems. For example, if the person greeting you is delayed, it could be a misunderstanding over check-in time or it could be due to other reasons, such as heavy traffic on the way to meet you.

However, if you're unable to contact the advertiser or resolve a matter with them that is covered by the Payment Protection terms of use, then please contact us within 24 hours of check-in by calling +44(0)1865 312061. You will then need to submit a claim form within 10 days of the start of the holiday. Instructions for submitting the form are detailed on the document itself.

Remember: to qualify for Payment Protection you must have paid online through our site.


Payment Protection - what can I claim for?

The Payment Protection terms and conditions detail in full the situations that can be claimed for.


How do I make a claim?

If you have exhausted efforts to resolve the matter with the property owner/manager and are still unable to access the property, please contact us within 24 hours of check-in by calling +44 (0)1865 312061.

You will then need to submit a claim form within 10 days of the start of the holiday. Instructions for submitting the form are detailed on the document itself. The Payment Protection terms and conditions detail in full the situations that can be claimed for.

Remember: to qualify for Payment Protection you must have paid online through our site to an advert with the Payment Protection stamp on it.


What should I do if I've been denied access?

If you're denied access to the property, please try to resolve the issue with the advertiser in the first instance. Some advertisers give the number for their local representative or a property manager for their guests to call in case of problems. Tell the advertiser about any problems you have as soon as you can so they can resolve the issue for you.

If you've paid online with an advertiser who has Payment Protection, we still advise that you contact the advertiser first if there are any issues at check-in. In the majority of cases, the advertiser will be able to resolve any problems. For example, if the person greeting you is delayed, it could be a misunderstanding over check-in time or it could be due to other reasons, such as heavy traffic on the way to meet you.

However, if you're unable to contact the advertiser or resolve a matter with them that is covered by the Payment Protection terms of use, then please contact us within 24 hours of check-in by calling +44(0)1865 312061. You will then need to submit a claim form within 10 days of the start of the holiday. Instructions for submitting the form are detailed on the document itself.

Remember: to qualify for Payment Protection you must have paid online through our site.


Expand sectionLeaving a review

How do I post a review?

You can leave a review for any home advertised on Holiday Lettings that you have stayed at since January 2011, whether you're the person who booked the home with the advertiser or one of the other guests in the party.

An advertiser may ask you to write a review of their property by sending you an email containing a link to their advert. Simply click on the link from the email to go ahead and write your review. You can also write a review by seeking out the advert yourself, either by its location or Home ID (you should see this in any emails we've sent to you about the property). Alternatively, ask the advertiser to send over a link to their advert. Once you've found the advert, you'll need to:

  • Click on 'write a review' at the top of the page. You'll then be taken to the review form (on TripAdvisor) for that home.
  • Complete all of the selections marked with a red asterisk and click on 'Submit'
  • If you're not already a TripAdvisor member, you will be asked to join so that TripAdvisor can contact you if necessary (you can sign up via your Facebook account if you prefer)
  • You'll receive an email acknowledgement from TripAdvisor so you know that your review was submitted correctly

Your review won't go live immediately. TripAdvisor need to check the reviews to make sure they meet the posting guidelines which can take a few weeks. The advertiser of the home will also need to first confirm that you stayed at the property. You can check the progress of your review by visiting the Help Centre on TripAdvisor and logging in with the details you gave at the time of writing the review.


Why hasn't my review been published yet?

Your review won't go live on the advert immediately. The advertiser of the home will need to first confirm that you stayed at their property.The advertiser has five days to confirm your stay. Rest assured that they won't see your review at this stage. If they don't respond within five days your review will still go live on their advert.

TripAdvisor will also need to check your review to make sure it meets their review guidelines.


What if my review gets rejected?

There could be two reasons why a review is rejected:

  • The advertiser denied your stay at their home. If you did stay there, you will have an opportunity to resubmit it. You will get an email from TripAdvisor about this.
  • Your review was rejected by TripAdvisor because it didn't meet their guidelines. You may get an email explaining why it was rejected and you can rewrite, and resubmit, the review.

TripAdvisor check every review and every response to a review that is posted.

They may not approve a review if it:

  • Contains personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses
  • Uses profanity, threats, accusations or insults
  • Advertises or includes a commercial URL

See TripAdvisor's review guidelines for more details. You can also contact TripAdvisor directly by visiting the Help Centre using the log in details you provided at the time when you submitted the review.


Someone's responded to my review

The advertiser has the opportunity to leave a response to any review they receive on their advert. They may want to do this to say thank you or to explain any issues that were raised.


Can I edit my review?

It's not possible to change a review once it's gone live. If you want to make any changes, contact TripAdvisor directly via the Help Centre. You can ask for the review to be removed so that you can resubmit a new one.


Can I leave more than one review?

You can't review the same holiday twice so think carefully before submitting your review. You are able to review the home again for a different stay, as long as it's been three months since your last holiday at that home.

Other guests who stayed in the home with you, such as a family member or friend, can also write a review as they may have other feedback to give. However, the same applies; it must be three months since the last stay.


Is my review anonymous?

Yes, but you will need to give your name when you submit your review so that the advertiser can confirm that you genuinely stayed at their home. They won't be able to see your review at this point – they will only have your name and your date of stay.

If an advertiser doesn't have your name, they are likely to deny your review. This will slow down the process and could mean that your review will never be posted.


Why can't I see any reviews?

This may be because the property hasn't received any reviews yet, or you may have JavaScript turned off in your browser. To turn on JavaScript you need to follow instructions based on what type of browser you are using. Here are instructions for Internet Explorer and Firefox:

  • From the Tools menu of Internet Explorer, select the Internet Options. Click on the Security tab. Make sure the Internet globe icon is highlighted. Click on the Custom Level button to bring up the security options for your browser. Search through the menu for the Active scripting option. Make sure Enable is selected. Click the OK button.
  • From the Tools menu of Firefox (Windows), go to > Options > Content > Enable JavaScript option. Click OK to close this window.
  • Firefox (Mac). Choose Preferences under menu bar. Select the Content > Enable JavaScript option. Close this window.

Refreshing the page should then display the button


Why do I need to sign up to TripAdvisor to post a review?

As with the vast majority of websites where comments and opinions can be published, you'll need to sign up to write a review to ensure that the process is fair for all involved. TripAdvisor need to check that every review meets its posting guidelines and should they require any further detail regarding your review, they may need to contact you.

Signing up to TripAdvisor is a quick and simple process with only a few details (such as name, email address, etc) needed. You can also sign in via your Facebook account, which is even quicker.


How is the overall score calculated?

The overall rating for a property (displayed at the top of the advert) is a pure average taken from all the review scores given for that property.


What does the review score mean?

When choosing the right holiday home, it's a good idea to see if the advert has any reviews as this can give you an indication if this is the right place for you. The overall TripAdvisor traveller rating (displayed at the top of the advert) is an average rating of all of the reviews shown on the advert. The higher the score, the more positive previous guests' experiences have been.


Where can I give feedback about my stay?

If you have feedback about your stay at a home, leave a TripAdvisor review by selecting the link at the top of the advert.

Leaving a review is a great way of sharing your experience with other holidaymakers.


What are reviews?

You can rate and review a holiday home that you've stayed in to share your experience with other holidaymakers. It's also a good way of telling the advertiser whether you enjoyed your stay and any improvements they can make.

Your review will appear on the home's advert on our website. Many of our adverts are also listed on the TripAdvisor network. If you review a home that is on the network, it will also appear on the listing on TripAdvisor.

Our reviews are powered by TripAdvisor. They will check and approve any review that you post.


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