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Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

Oxford, United...
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Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

Who can we contact if we're having a dispute over a refund of our deposit?

To cut a long story short, the apartment we stayed at in Sete have kept a substantial part of our deposit from us - We gave them 500 euros and have just returned under 200 - which we disagree with.

We were there for nine days and as a result had to use two separate apartments from them (the second one we were only in for two nights and didn't even unpack or use any of the facilities other than the shower - literally a place to lay our heads).

However, after we checked out they sent an email saying we'd have to pay 200 euros (100 for each apartment) for the cleaning of these apartments.

Unfortunately we were a bit naive and didn't take any pictures when we went, but we left both places in an tidy manner. As mentioned, we barely made any impression on the second one, so it seems very suspicious that they'd see fit to charge an identical amount for both.

They rest of the deposit they kept they said was the wash the 'two' sets of linen from both apartments. We also disagreed with this as we had to hire the linen from them before moving into the first apartment and then simply kept the same sets for use in the second place. Again, it just seems as if they're taking us for a ride.

After the initial email we of course raised all this with them and asked if they could be more specific about how these costs had been calculated. However, they've simply ignored two or three of these email and today just sent across about 180 euros.

We accept it's very unlikely that they will give us a full refund, but I just want to know if there is anywhere that this can be taken? We've responded to their initial email again today saying that we're not happy and that if they don't respond we will phone them, but I don't think this is going to have much effect.

Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jack

Bedoin, France
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1. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

Doesn't sound good. Wasn't the cleaning fee noted in your rental agreement, along with the cost of renting the bedding? Are you saying that they are telling you each apartment cleaning fee is 100€ but they are charging you an additional 80€ for washing the bedding you rented?

This is where your rental contract T&C's are vital.

It would help others avoid this owner if you post a link to the property.

Oxford, United...
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1 review
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2. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

As mentioned, bit naive when it came to all of this and think we assumed that if we left the apartment as we found it (or at least in a state that is highly acceptable after a weeks living) we'd be returned our deposit - so couldn't say for certain what was in the T&Cs unfortunately.

Although yes, they're trying to charge us an extra 80 euro for cleaning linen that we had already rented off of them.

Could ask them for a copy of there rental agreement to check whether they hide a fixed 100 euro cleaning fee and linen cleaning fee in there.

Lesson learnt certainly and I think we all accept that we're going to have to take a bit of a hit.

What's not acceptable is the fact that they seem like they see us as an easy target to take a bit of extra money from (particularly with regards to charging us for the cleaning of two sets of laundry, when we only hire one). Similarly, the fact that they just ignore to our questioning is also an issue.

Happily warn others off them - http://www.vacances-sete.com/

Edited: 13 August 2013, 11:50
Bedoin, France
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4,908 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

"Could ask them for a copy of there rental agreement to check whether they hide a fixed 100 euro cleaning fee and linen cleaning fee in there."

Are you saying you don't have a rental contract with all the details clearly spelled out? This is where problems arrive, no contract, little or no recourse.

The link you posted is an agency. So you rented the unit from this agency? They have a detailed page of rental conditions. One states that the rental is not considered firm until they have received a signed contract.

" La réservation devient ferme lorsque l’agence de location de vacances L’ADRESSE, AGENCE LA CORNICHE SETE reçoit un acompte de 25% du prix total du séjour majoré des frais de dossier (hors supplément animal, taxe de séjour) et un exemplaire du contrat signé par le client, avant la date limite indiquée au contrat."

Do you have this contract? The T&C's should be included in it. They list a variety of conditions on their website (but a contract should state them clearly for each individual rental).

http://www.vacances-sete.com/CGV

I feel bad that this has happened to you. You certainly aren't the first (though I have no idea about this particular rental). Have you tried to contact the agency to discuss the issue with them? If not, I surely would.

Other than that, all you can do is - what you've done. Post your unpleasant experience on every forum you can.

Oxford, United...
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4. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

Thanks for that. There's a couple of item we can pull out there with regards to washing linen as basic cleaning fees.

To clarify, yes, we rented both apartments from this agency and it is they who are being extremely non-responsive.

Will wait to see if they come back today and if not, will contact again with some more specific points. The issue seems to be getting them to play ball, which is why I was hoping there might be some organisation we might be able to report them to, or at least scare them with by dropping their name in an email...

Bedoin, France
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4,908 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

" The issue seems to be getting them to play ball"

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

If I have understood your posts, the issue is an owner keeping a portion of the deposit money for charges that were not disclosed to you (not damages).

There are several organizations that help long term tenants with disputes. However, I am not aware of an organization that assists with vacation rental disputes. I'm fairly confident there is such an avenue, but I just don't know it. You could contact the Tourist Office in the town where this agency operates and ask them if there is an organization to file a complaint against an agency.

You still have not said whether you have an actual contract. The agency's site implies that you could not have rented with them without one. If you plan to file a complaint, the contract is your only back-up to any unauthorized charges, etc.

Edited: 13 August 2013, 13:00
Oxford, United...
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6. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

Sorry, by play ball i mean simply respond to our questioning of why they have taken so much. They just seem to be ignoring our complaints.

The issue is our opinion that they are overcharging us for cleaning and washing of linen - rather than the fact that these were hidden. It's more a case of us feeling hard done by, rather than a contractual issue. Which I appreciate will make it harder for us.

I will have a look back through to see the contract that we signed to double check everything though.

Local tourist board seems like a good idea, so we might ask them for advice.

7. Re: Issue with Deposit - French hotel not paying back in full

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