Booking Conditions

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  1. In these Booking Conditions, the following terms have the following meanings:
    1. Big Skies means Big Skies Estates Ltd, company number 1180375, trading as Big Skies Holiday Cottages.
    2. Booking means a booking for a Property, made by you, whether made by email, on the Big Skies website, or by telephone.
    3. Booking Acceptance means acceptance of the Booking request issued by Big Skies in writing. 
    4. Booking Conditions means the terms and conditions of these booking conditions
    5. Deposit: the non-refundable deposit, set out in clause 3. 
    6. Contract means the contract between you and the Owner for the short term hire of the Property, as amended from time to time between you and Big Skies or the Owner. 
    7. Hire Fee means the total fee for hire of the Property, including any additional charges (e.g. in relation to pets), and including VAT or other sales tax if applicable, but excluding the booking fee, as confirmed in the Booking Acceptance.  
    8. Hire Period means the period for hire of the Property as stated in the Booking Acceptance. 
    9. Owner means the owner of the Property
    10. Property means the Property identified by you in a booking for hire
    11. you means the person who makes a Booking 
  1. References to written or writing shall include email. 
  1. Big Skies arranges short term holiday rentals of the Property as an agent of the Owner. The Contract is between you and the Owner, and it includes and is subject to these Booking Conditions. Except where stated otherwise, Big Skies has no obligation to you under these Booking Conditions. 
  1. When you make a Booking, you are making an offer to enter into a Contract in accordance with these Booking Conditions. 
  1. Your Booking will be accepted, and the Contract will come into effect and become legally binding, Big Skies issues written confirmation of the Booking to you (whether by post or by email). Until that time, the Booking is conditional and the Owner and Big Skies are permitted to refuse the Booking. 
  1. The Contract is a licence to you and your guests to stay in the Property during the Hire Period.  Neither you nor your guests have any right to remain in the Property after the period of hire and shall not be entitled to any statutory security of tenure.
  1. You may not assign or transfer the Contract to any other person without the prior written consent of Big Skies.
  1. When making your Booking, you must pay a booking fee to cover administrative costs. The booking fee will be stated in the Booking Acceptance. This fee is non-refundable. 
  1. If when making your Booking, the start date of the Hire Period is more than 8 weeks away, you must pay a non-refundable Deposit to secure the Booking. The amount of the Deposit is 30% of the Hire Fee.
  1. If when making your Booking, the start date of the Hire Period is less than 8 weeks away, you must pay the full Hire Fee at the time of making the Booking. 
  1. If you have not paid the full balance of the Hire Fee at the time of making the Booking, the remaining balance is due for payment 8 weeks before the start of the Hire Period. The Owner or Big Skies may cancel your Booking and retain the Deposit where the full payment has not been received in cleared funds on time. 
  1. If you pay the Deposit with a credit card or debit card, you give consent to Big Skies to automatically charge the balance of the cost of the hire of the property to that card when the balance becomes due for payment, unless you notify Big Skies otherwise.
  1. Where VAT or other sales tax applies to any element of the Hire Fee, it is charged at the prevailing rate and included in the Hire Fee. The Booking Acceptance  is not a VAT invoice. 
  1. To cancel the booking, you must notify Big Skies in writing. 
  1. If you cancel the Booking, a cancellation charge is payable depending on how far in advance of the Hire Period Big Skies receives notice of cancellation. The cancellation charge is as follows: 
Time when Big Skies receives notice of cancellation Cancellation charge 
4 weeks or less before the start of the Hire Period100% of the Hire Fee
4 – 8 weeks before the start of the Hire Period50% if the Hire Fee 
More than 8 weeks before the start of the Hire PeriodThe amount of the Deposit
  1. If Big Skies or the Owner is able to re-hire the Property for the Hire Period in respect of which you have cancelled, the cancellation charge will be refunded less (a) the costs and expenses incurred in re-hiring the Property and (b) any shortfall between the Hire Fee you were required to pay, and the hire fee charged on re-hiring the Property. 
  1. Insurance: You are strongly advised to arrange holiday insurance that includes cover for cancellation (including for cancellation due to reasons beyond your or the Owner’s control) and your and your guests’ personal property. 
  1. In the unlikely event that the Property is not available or for fit for use as a result of events beyond the reasonable control of the Owner or Big Skies, the Booking may be cancelled by Big Skies (on behalf of the Owner) giving written notice of cancellation to you. 
  1. You will be entitled to a full refund of the Hire Fee (including the Deposit, but less the booking fee) where your Booking is cancelled in such circumstances. 
  1. In its absolute discretion, Big Skies may offer you suitable alternative accommodation. If you agree to hire alternative accommodation, you shall enter into a new contract with the owner of that Property for the hire of the Property.  
  1. Neither Big Skies nor the Owner shall be liable to you for any other costs, expenses, loss, injury or damage whatsoever which you or your guests suffer as a consequence of cancelling or varying the Booking in accordance with this clause.
  1. All damages and breakages that occur during the Hire Period are your legal responsibility and should be notified to Big Skies before the end of the Hire Period.  You are also legally responsible for the costs of carrying out any excess cleaning of the Property, replacing damaged bedding and towels damaged beyond normal wear and tear, replacing lost keys,  or removing excess rubbish or recycling from the Property after the end of the Hire Period. 
  1. Any damage or breakages that are discovered at the end of the Hire Period will be deemed to have been caused during the Hire Period unless you have notified the Owner or Big Skies of the damage when arriving at the Property. 
  1. Damage Waiver
    • Most Properties have the benefit of a damage waiver. 
    • Where a Property benefits from a damage waiver, you will not have to pay for any items accidentally damaged or broken during the Hire Period up to the value specified in the Booking Acceptance. 
    • The damage waiver does not cover charges for
      • excess cleaning;
      • removal of excess rubbish or recycling;
      • damage caused deliberately or recklessly;
      • other charges payable by you in accordance with these Booking Conditions, such as for late departure. 
  1. Security Deposit
  1. For those Properties without a damage waiver, the Owner requires a refundable security deposit for each Property for each Hire Period, the amount of which is specified in the Booking Confirmation details.  
  1. The Hirer will provide Big Skies with a debit or credit card details and pre-authorisation of the payment of the security deposit prior to the Hire Period commencing.  These details will be held by Big Skies, but no payment will be processed prior to the commencement of the Hire Period.
  1. After the end of the Hire Period, if you are responsible for any payments as specified in these Booking Conditions (including, but not limited to, charges for excess cleaning, removal of excess rubbish or recycling, damages or breakages or for late departure) then, on the instructions of the Owner, Big Skies will process a payment up to the full amount of the security deposit for the amounts due. 
  1. Excess Charges: If the amount of any excess charges, or other costs due for damage or breakages, exceed the security deposit, or exceed or are not included within the damage waiver, the balance will be payable to the Owner, as a debt, within 14 days of demand.
  1. Any amendments to the Booking are not effective until they are accepted in writing by Big Skies, and any additional sums due in respect of the amendments are paid to Big Skies in cleared funds.
  1. Big Skies and the Owner reserve the right to refuse Bookings from groups of people under the age of 21 years, and/or hen and stag parties. You must inform Big Skies at the point of Booking if your party constitutes such a group. 
  1. Big Skies and the Owner reserve the right to terminate the Contract immediately, and require you and your guests to leave the Property immediately if:
    • more guests are present at the Property than specified in the Booking;
    • in the opinion of either Big Skies or the Owner, your party is unsuitable for the Property concerned; 
    • it is deemed necessary by Big Skies or the Owner as a result of your behaviour, or any other material breach of these Booking Conditions. 
  1. In the event of such a cancellation, any refund of the Hire Fee shall be at the Owner’s discretion, and the Owner reserves the right not to issue any refund. 
  1. In no circumstances may more than the maximum number of persons occupy the Property than specified in the Booking Acceptance.  You must notify Big Skies as soon as possible if the number of guests staying at the Property will be different from the number specified in the Booking.  You must also notify Big Skies of the names and ages of the new guests.
  1. You are responsible for the Property and are expected to take all reasonable care of it.  You must comply with the following conditions at all times and are responsible for ensuring your guests also comply.
  1. You and your guests will comply with all reasonable rules and regulations relating to the property, which are notified to you on your arrival (including those in any handbook or guestbook for the Property).
  1. Cleaning: The Property must be left clean and tidy, all equipment and utensils etc. must be clean and put away at the end of the Hire Period.  Should the Property be found to require extra cleaning as a result of the condition in which it is left, then these additional costs will be charged to you.  
    • If a BBQ has been provided at the property, it must be thoroughly cleaned after use for the enjoyment of future guests.
  1. Bins & Recycling
    • You must put the correct recycling into the correct recycling bins.
    • You should note the day the general waste, recycling and food bins need to be put out, what items can and cannot be recycled, and where recycling should be taken.  There should be a notice in the kitchen telling you when this needs to be done.  If there is not, you should contact the Big Skies office.
    • You must take excess refuse away from the Property, including taking recycling that cannot be put into the recycling bins (such as glass bottles). 
    • If the above conditions are not complied with, a call out fee of £48 to collect and dispose of any refuse/bottles will be charged.
  1. Environment
    • At the end of your stay, you should turn all the lights off, electrical appliances off at the wall and turn down heating thermostats to an economic level.  
  1. Smoking: Smoking (including smoking of e-cigarettes and vaping) is not permitted in any Property
  1. PETS
  1. Pets are only permitted where this is expressly stated in the details of the Property and where you have specified that you wish to bring pets when completing the Booking details. 
  1. All pets must have fully up-to-date flea and worming treatments, and Big Skies may refuse you permission to keep your pet at the Property where you cannot provide evidence such treatments are fully up-to-date. 
  1. An additional charge per pet will apply, at the rate specified in the Booking Acceptance details. 
  1. Pets are not permitted on furniture, upstairs or on beds.  Every effort must be made to minimize additional mess created by having your pet on holiday and any extra costs incurred as a result of pets will be charged to you. All damage caused by your pet will be charged to you. 
  1. Under no circumstances must a pet be left unattended in the Property.  The Owner accepts no responsibility for pets left unattended.
  1. Guests with allergies should be aware that the Owner cannot guarantee that there have been no dogs or other pets at the Property, or that the Property is free from pet hair. The Owner does not accept any liability for any suffering which may occur as a result of such pets having been present
  1. Big Skies or the Owner may repossess the Property at any time and terminate the hire of the Property where you or a member of your party has caused excessive damage or is found or reasonably suspected to be conducting themselves in an illegal, offensive or immoral fashion, or are causing a nuisance to other persons.  
  1. In such circumstances you shall not be entitled to any refund of the Hire Price.
  1. You shall permit Big Skies and the Owner to access the Property at reasonable times during the Hire Period for inspection or to carry out maintenance, and Big Skies and/or the Owner shall retain keys for the Property for this purpose.
  1. Changeover Days
    • Arrival and departure dates will be confirmed in your Booking Acceptance. Unless stated otherwise in the Booking Acceptance, you can arrive at the Property after 4pm on the date of arrival and must depart by 10am on the date of departure. 
      • You must not arrive early, unless previously arranged, as time is needed to thoroughly clean the Property between lets. You and your guests must leave the Property by 10am on departure day for the same reason.  
      • If housekeepers are delayed due to late departure by you or your guests, you will be a late leaving charge of £50.
  1. Key Collection
    • You will be contacted a week prior to the start of the Hire Period with key instructions and directions for the booked Property. Keys are usually collected from the office at Holt, from a key safe at the Property or by separate arrangement.  Keys must be returned either to the office or key safe on the day of departure.  
  1. Left Luggage
    • If you leave something behind at the Property, please contact Big Skies as soon as possible, so that the housekeeper can be aware and attempt to locate the missing property for you.
    • Big Skies will return left items by post on request, but a £15 minimum charge will apply to cover administration, packing & postage.
  1. Neither Big Skies nor the Owner excludes or limits in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so and nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude or limit the liability of Big Skies for death or personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation. 
  1. Big Skies acts as agent on behalf of the Owner and is not liable to you or any of your guests under or in connection with the Contract or for any acts or omissions of the Owner or its other agents or representatives.
  1. Subject to clause 13.1, the Owner and/or Big Skies shall not be liable to you or your guests (for breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation or otherwise) for:
    • any loss or damage caused by any events outside of their reasonable control (including but not limited to the breakdown of domestic appliances, plumbing, wiring, temporary invasion of pests, damage resulting from exceptional weather conditions or the other’s negligence);
    • any loss or damage arising from the use by you or your guests of the Property and its amenities (including swimming pools, hot tubs, rowing boats and beach huts); 
    • you or your guests being unable to use any amenities at the Property resulting from events beyond their reasonable control;
    • noise or other nuisance caused by third parties such as neighbours to the Property;
    • any other loss or damage arising as a result of our breach of these terms or our duty to you, unless that loss or damage is foreseeable. 
  1. The Owner and/or Big Skies shall not be liable to you or your guests (for breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation or otherwise) for any delay or non-performance, to the extent caused by any events outside of their reasonable control.
  1. The maximum aggregate liability of Big Skies and the Owner combined to you or any third party, in respect of this or any other Contract, however arising, shall be limited to the Hire Price. 
  1. All descriptions of the property made by Big Skies are for guidance only, and photographs, maps and floor plans are for illustrative purposes only.  Big Skies provides all information in good faith and uses reasonable efforts to ensure that information is correct at the time of publication, but changes may occur after the date of publication. 
  1. Properties described as non-smoking or no pets may change status after information has been published. If a Property is advertised as having an enclosed garden, this does not mean the garden is necessarily secure for pets.
  1. Whilst the description of the Property typically describes what is present, it does not state what is not present in the Property. 
  1. Neither the Owner nor Big Skies warrants or represents that the descriptions or other information supplied is accurate at the time of booking or at the time of the Hire Period.
  1. Big Skies will process your personal data in accordance with its privacy policy, which can be found here.  
  1. Your party names and contact details will be shared with the Owner to assist the Owner to manage your booking and provide the best experience. If you request that we pass on supplementary information to the Owner, such as information about disabilities, we will do so with your consent. 
  1. No person (other than Big Skies and its assignees) who is not a party to this Contract shall have any rights under or connection with it. Big Skies shall be entitled to enforce this Contract as if it were a party to it. 
  1. Big Skies may assign any rights it has under this Contract to any purchaser of its business or any successor to its business. 
  1. This Contract and any disputes arising from it shall be governed by the law of England and Wales. 
  1. If you live in England, you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Contract and matters arising out of it in the English courts. If you live in Scotland, you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Contract and matters arising out of it in either the Scottish or the English courts. If you live in Northern Ireland, you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Contract and matters arising out of it in either the Northern Irish or the English courts.
  1. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this agreement (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision shall, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this agreement shall not be affected. If any invalid, unenforceable or illegal provision of this agreement would be valid, enforceable and legal if some part of it were deleted, the provision shall apply with the minimum modification necessary to make it legal, valid and enforceable.
    • If you are unhappy with your booking or the way it has been handled, you should inform Big Skies immediately, and Big Skies will endeavour to put the matter right as soon as possible.
    • If any problems arise during the holiday, you  should contact Big Skies immediately.  Big Skies, in conjunction with the Owner, will endeavour to put the matter right as soon as possible.
    • Although Big Skies has authority to act on the Owner’s behalf to resolve any disputes, Big Skies is not legally responsible for any issues with the Property, or for satisfactorily resolving any complaints.
    • You must raise any complaints with Big Skies during your stay and permit Big Skies and/or the Owner the chance to investigate and resolve any complaint. Big Skies cannot properly investigate any complaints made at a later time.
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