My self-catering accommodation isn't what was promised, what can I do?

Holiday cottages and other self-catering accommodation are a popular way to holiday. 

If yours is different than what was promised or is dirty or unsafe, read our guide to your rights.

Package holidays

If your holiday is a package, you're covered by the Package Travel Regulations (PTR)

A package holiday is a holiday at an inclusive price with a pre-arranged combination of the following components: transport, accommodation or other services not connected to transport or accommodation.

You may be entitled to compensation if the accommodation isn't up to the standard that you expected based on the information provided online or in a brochure. 

Remember that a holiday will not necessarily be a package and may in fact be two or more separate contracts. 

For example, if a travel agent books your flights and then you add a hotel you would have one contract with the airline, and one with the hotel and this wouldn't be considered a package holiday. 

Accommodation through an agent

If you book your accommodation separately - even if this is through an agent - your contract could either be with the property owner, or it could be with the trader you've used to make the booking.

Check the terms and conditions to make sure you know who your contract is with.  

If you have a problem with your accommodation, you should always complain at the earliest possible opportunity to give the owner/trader a chance to put things right. 

There is no hard and fast rule with who will be responsible for your contract. It should be in the small print, or in the terms as laid out in your booking process. 

It's also advisable to take photographs or video as evidence to support your complaint.  

Similarly to package holidays, you may be entitled to compensation if the accommodation isn't up to the standard you expected based on the information provided online or in a brochure.

UK accommodation

If you book self-catering accommodation in the UK, before the 1 October 2015 you have some protection from the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

If you book self-catering accommodation in the UK, after the 1 October 2015 you have some protection from the Consumer Rights Act.

Both require the property owner or holiday company to provide the accommodation with reasonable care and skill, therefore you should expect the accommodation to be clean and safe. 

In addition to the protection provided by the both acts, you're also entitled to the accommodation promised and as it was described to you. 

So if you were told the cottage you rented offers air conditioning or a heated pool and you turn up and the pool hasn't been built yet, you would be entitled to compensation. 

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.

Live Chat Software by Click4Assistance UK