The Big House Co. Tone Dale House Wellington Somerset England TA21 0EZ

Booking Conditions

1.  General.  The Big House Co. (‘we’) means Ben and Victoria Fox trading as ‘The Big House Co.’ and acting as agent. Applicants means clients applying to reserve a property through The Big House Co.  Guests means Applicants when they have taken up residence in a property that they have booked. Booking Form means the booking form specified by The Big House Co to be used by all Applicants.  The Big House Co. is acting as agent for the Owners and not as principal.  This means the contractual relationship is between the Owner and the Applicant. The fees of The Big House Co. for making and administering bookings are included in the charges quoted.

2.  Reservation.  Applicants can reserve the property over the telephone but the Big House Co. accept no liability whatsoever for such reservations.  No contract exists unless the Big House Co. have received, within seven days the official Booking Form and the relevant payment in accordance with and subject to the provisions of Conditions 3 (a) and 3 (b) herein.

3.  Booking Procedure.  a)  The offer by the Applicants.  Booking may only be accepted if made in writing on the Big House Co. official Booking Form when all questions have been answered satisfactorily.  For bookings made more than 12 weeks prior to the stay commencement date a deposit of 1/3rd of the total charges for the Applicant’s booking (Booking Charges) plus 1/3rd of the  charges or estimated charges for extra services must be delivered with completed Booking Form.  If a booking is made less than 12 weeks before the stay commencement date the full Booking Charges together with any additional charges must be tendered at the time of delivery of the Booking Form.   In the event that The Big House Co. do not accept an Applicant’s offer all monies paid by way of deposit will be refunded immediately.  b)  References.   The Big House Co. reserve the right to request any personal details of the Applicants, from up to two referees from current and/or past employers, or a professional person i.e. their GP. c)  Acceptance by the Big House Co. following receipt of the Booking Form as above, the Big House Co. will accept or reject the Applicant’s offer and on acceptance then the Applicant  and the relevant Owner have entered into a direct contractual relationship for the occupation of the property.

4.  Final Payment and Cautionary Deposit.  The balance of Booking Charges and any additional charges is due 12 weeks before the start date of the stay.  The Cautionary Deposit of £1000 (see Condition 12 below) is due 4 weeks before the start of the Applicant’s stay. Non-payment by the due date will be treated as a cancellation and The Big House Co. may re-let the property without reference to the Applicant who remains liable for payment of the full amount of all sums due on the same basis as in the event of cancellation (see Condition 5 Below). 

Reminders are not sent – please send the balance by the due date.  The Applicant expressly authorises The Big House Co. (on behalf of the Owner) to deduct from their payment card the balance of any Booking Charges and/or additional payments and/or cautionary deposit if payment hasn’t been made by the Applicant at the relevant due date and/or for sums due to The Big House Co. if the property has not been able to be re-let under Condition 5 for either the whole or part of the Period. 

5.  Cancellation.

5.1      ALL APPLICANTS SHOULD TAKE OUT PERSONAL CANCELLATION INSURANCE TO COVER CANCELLATION FOR ANY REASON INLUDING COVID-19 REASONS WHICH INCLUDES COVER FOR BUT IS NOT EXCLUSIBVE TO IMPOSITION OF LOCKDOWNS (LOCAL OR NATIONAL), A REQUIREMENT TO EITHER ISOLATE OR QUARANTINE.

Any request to cancel a booking must be sent in writing to The Big House Co.  Whilst the Applicant remains liable to make the final payment by the due date shown on the Booking Form, The Big House Co. will attempt to re-let the property for the period of the booking the Applicant wishes to cancel (‘the Period’).  If the Big House Co. is able to re-let the property for either the whole or part of the Period then it will refund to the Applicant a sum which is equal to the amounts received from the new customer for the new booking (provided that this does not exceed the Applicant’s Booking Charges) less 1. An administration charge of £125 and 2. All other costs and expenses reasonably incurred by The Big House Co. as a result of the Applicant’s request to cancel.  The Big House Co. has absolute and sole discretion to decide to accept a booking for part of the Period rather than the whole Period. 

Please note that neither The Big House Co. nor any Owner, will be responsible for any additional fees, costs or expenses that Applicants incur in relation to a cancelled booking (including Booking Charges, travel costs or event tickets). Applicants are therefore strongly advised to take out adequate travel insurance to cover any booking made via The Big House Co.

Covid-19 Cancellation Terms

5.3      For the following Covid-19 Cancellation Terms to apply you must pay your balance in accordance with Condition 4. Non-payment by the due date of any amount due under Condition 4 will mean that these Covid-19 cancellation terms do not apply (even if cancellation is for a Covid -19 related reason) and the cancellation terms in Condition 5.2 will apply to your cancellation.  

If a cancellation request is made where the Property has to close for some or all of your Booking for reasons related to Covid-19, you will be offered a refund (less bank charges incurred by us in refunding the amount) or a change of date.

If a cancellation request is made because, at the commencement of your stay, more than 40% of your Guests in your party:

1.    will not be able to leave their primary residence because of a local or regional lockdown, but the Property is open for business;

2.    will be in mandatory self-isolation following a direction from a public health officer; or

3.    will have been required to enter into mandatory self-isolation when returning to the UK from certain countries (provided that the requirement to self-isolate was imposed after the consumer had entered into the relevant contract and could not have been reasonably anticipated by the Guest(s))

then we will use reasonable endeavours to mediate between the Owner and the Applicant to help to find a solution that is reasonable to both parties.  If an agreement cannot be reached 7 days before the start of the stay then, provided that the Applicant has used reasonable endeavours to agree a mediated solution, the Applicant will be able to choose new dates for the Applicant’s Booking or request a refund. 

If less than 40% of your Guests are affected then we deem that the contract is not radically different, and therefore will not be frustrated. This means that the Booking shall continue, however we will liaise with the Owner and agree with them an appropriate level of partial refund of Booking Charges to take into account matters including but not limited to reduced laundry and cleaning costs which can fairly and reasonably be attributed to the reduced number of Guests staying at the Property.

If, where appropriate, you choose new dates, any price increase for those dates will be paid by Guests and any reduction in price for new dates, will be reimbursed by us (less bank charges).

Please note that we will have to deduct bank charges from any amounts returned to Guests.

Before obtaining a refund from us and the Owner, Guests must use reasonable endeavours to obtain the refund amount from their holiday insurance.  On request, Guests must inform us of the efforts made to obtain payment from their holiday insurers.

6.  Price and Property descriptions. The Big House Co. reserve the right to amend the prices quoted on their website due to errors or omissions or changes in the VAT rate.  The Big House Co. makes every effort to ensure that the Owner provides an up-to-date true and accurate description of the property but the enquirer accepts that minor differences may arise between the description or photographs and the actual property. All distances are approximate. The Applicant is responsible for ensuring the selected property is suitable for their needs and for making any specific requirements or needs known to the Big House Co. Property descriptions may include property specific rules and restrictions and by submitting a Booking Form the Applicant is agreeing to comply with these rules and restrictions.

7.  Method of Payment.  Payment should be made to The Big House Co. by bank transfer, credit or debit card. Any charges raised against The Big House Co. by their bank for handling direct debit payments will be passed on to the Applicant.

8.  Authority to Sign.  The Applicant acknowledges that he/she /they are authorised to sign the Booking Form on behalf of all persons who will occupy the property and that those persons are aware of the booking conditions.  The Applicant shall be a member of the party occupying the property and each member of the party must be listed on the Booking Form with their full name, address and age.

9.  The Stay.  The Guest and their party will occupy the booked property under a licence and there is no relationship of landlord and tenant between the owner and the Guest.  This is a limited licence granted by the owner to the Guest and their party to enter, occupy and use the property for the duration of the stay, during which time the owner (only where and to the extent permitted by applicable law) retains the right to re-enter the property.  If the Guest and/or any of the party stays past the agreed check-out time without the Owner’s consent, the Guest no longer has a licence to stay in the property and the Owner is entitled to make the Guest leave in a manner consistent with applicable law.

10.  Applicant‘s Obligations.  The Applicants agree on behalf of themselves and all of the members of the party: a) To pay for any losses or damages to the property, however caused. Reasonable wear & tear excluded.   b)  To take good care of the property and leave it in a tidy condition at the end of the stay.  c)  Not to smoke (or cook) anywhere other than permitted areas of the property.  d) Not to bring any pets to the property unless by prior arrangement. e) To self-cater, or to book catering through reputable caterers or via The Big House Co. or Owner. f) No fireworks permitted. g) To allow the Owner or person employed by the Owner reasonable access for the purposes of inspection or repair h) Not to cause annoyance or nuisance to local residents. i) To comply with the security and safety precautions and rubbish disposal instructions in the property. j) To leave on time. The Applicant will be liable for any extra costs incurred for staying beyond the departure time. k) At the end of the holiday to return the property keys from whence they came or otherwise as instructed by the Big House Co. or the Owner and to pay the cost of replacement of any such keys or change of locks as result of the Applicant’s failure to return the keys. l) Not to arrive before the arrival time without specific agreement. m) not to allow more than the maximum number of persons stated in the property details to occupy the property and grounds at any time. n) Not to smoke indoors. 

Any breach of these provisions will constitute a breach of contract.  Thereupon the Big House Co. or Owners may terminate the booking forthwith in which event all monies paid by the Applicant will be forfeited and the Guest and their party may be required to vacate the property.  

The Owners or the Big House Co. reserve the right to repossess the property at any time where damage, or nuisance has been caused by the Applicant or any member of the party.  In such an event the Owners shall not be liable to make any refund whatsoever.

11.  The Big House Co liability. The Big House Co. acting as agent, shall not be liable for any damage or injury caused to the Guest or any of their party in respect of the property or any amenity provided by the Owner or for any loss or damage to the personal belongings of the Guest or any of their party howsoever arising. The Big House Co. is not liable for any act, neglect or omission on the part of the Owner, the Owner’s representative or any other person not directly in the Big House Co.’s employ. The Big House Co. is not liable for errors or misrepresentation in the property details or other information which has been provided by the Owner or failure of the Owner to keep the property and contents in good condition. Where the information published in the Big House Co.’s literature or on their website contradicts the terms herein, these terms and conditions will apply. 

12 Cautionary Deposit.  Applicants may be required to lodge a cautionary deposit of £1000 with The Big House Co. or where directed to the property Owner 4 weeks prior to the stay.  The Applicant is responsible to pay the cost for all damage caused by the Applicant, or Applicant’s party, to the structure, grounds, and fittings or contents (fair wear and tear excluded). This is irrespective of whether any cautionary deposit paid is sufficient to cover this. This sum will be held to cover any losses, damage and additional cleaning charges that may arise if the property is left in an unsatisfactory condition.  Charges for extra services may be deducted from this deposit in addition to charges that may have to be applied due to any alteration in vat or other expenses.  This deposit less any deductions will be refunded within fourteen days after the stay ends.  The Big House Co. accepts these cautionary deposits as agent on behalf of the Owner and therefore cannot act on the Applicant’s behalf in any dispute between the Owner and Applicant; such disputes must be taken up directly with the Owner of the property subject to the terms of the Dispute Resolution Condition.

13.  Duration and Times of Stays.  Stays commence at 4 pm on the first day of the booking and end at 10 am on the date of departure unless otherwise notified.

14.  Non-Availability of Property.  If for any reason beyond the control of The Big House Co. and the Owners the property is not available on the date booked (owing to fire damage, for example)  the Big House Co. will endeavour to find an alternative arrangement at one of their other properties. Any alternative will be offered to the Applicant and the Applicant will have 72 hours from the time of the offer to accept this alternative offer.  If it is not possible to find an alternative or an alternative offer has not been accepted by the Applicant within the 72 hour period then The Big House Co. will offer an alternative date for the stay at the property.  If an alternative date can’t be mutually agreed then the Applicant may have a credit note to use on a new booking.  If neither of those options are reasonably acceptable to the Applicant then all Booking Charges paid in advance by the Applicant will be refunded in full but the Applicant shall have no further claim against The Big House Co. and the Owner. Any refund of extra services will be refunded to the extent that the Big House Co. receives a refund from the third party service providers.  Applicants are strongly advised to take out adequate travel insurance to cover any booking made via The Big House Co to cover these costs.

15.  Swimming Pools, Saunas, Hot tubs (where applicable) the Guest and their party agree that the use of these facilities, which are unsupervised, are at the Guest and their party’s own risk in all respects.  The Guest and their party agree to observe the regulations governing the use of these facilities which form part of these conditions.

16.  Discrepancies.  In the event of discrepancy between these booking conditions and any other contents of any brochure or website, these conditions shall prevail.

17.  All bookings are for fixed periods.  There is no right for Applicants to postpone or defer the booking other than as set out in Condition 14.  Unless otherwise agreed by The Big House Co. in writing, any postponement of a booking will be deemed for the purposes of these terms to be a cancellation of the original booking followed by a new booking for the new period and the provision of these terms relating to cancellations shall apply to the original booking.

18.  Data. The Applicant acknowledges that the Big House Co. will take personal information such as the enquirer’s name, contact information etc. This will be used by the Big House Co. to process the booking and for marketing purposes such as sending brochures, supplements, newsletters, special offers. The Big House Co. will not pass this information on to third parties other than (a) in relation to bookings – the Owner and the Owner’s employees (such as the Owner’s cleaner and caretaker) or (b) in relation to marketing by the Big House Co. and their data management – companies/individuals employed by the Big House Co. to undertake on the Big House Co.’s behalf such tasks as sending brochures, managing/analysing data. The Big House Co. will also take details necessary to process card payments associated with bookings and will only pass this information on to the bank handling card payments or (c) as required by law.

19.  Pets.  Pets are only permitted where specified in the property details although some properties will accept an assistance dog. In most cases the number of pets is restricted to a maximum of two (unless a lesser amount is mentioned in the description) and a greater number will only be accepted by written agreement. Additional payments are normally required for each pet at a rate per week (or part thereof). Specific owners rules may apply (e.g. to be excluded from certain areas) and in all cases Guests are to comply with the following rules: (i) pets are to be kept under control at all times, exercised off the premises and never left alone in the property. (ii) pets are to be kept off the furniture and are not permitted in bedrooms. (iii) pets are not to be allowed to mess in the garden and all “accidents” are to be cleaned up immediately. (iv) all pets must be free of any pests and/or parasites (v) all pet hair must be removed from the property and its contents before departure. There will be a charge made on discovery of evidence of contravention of these conditions following the Guest’s departure. It should be noted that even where pets are not accepted The Big House Co. cannot categorically guarantee that there have been no pets at the property or in the grounds.

20.  Matters beyond the Owner’s control. Neither the Owner nor the Big House Co. can be held responsible for matters beyond their control such as: (i) noise, nuisance or disturbance resulting from building works, noisy neighbours or local events, etc. (ii) disruption of service from utility suppliers (iii) closure of shops or amenities described in the property details (iv) weather, war, terrorism, earthquakes, acts of government epidemic and pandemic or anything else beyond the Owner’s or The Big House Co.’s control.

21.  Problems or complaints. Since the contractual relationship is between the Applicant and the Owner any problems or deficiencies with the accommodation or contents should be reported to the Owner, Owner’s representative (caretaker) or Owner’s housekeeper (as appropriate) immediately or at least within 24 hours. Any complaints about the accommodation or failure on the part of the Owner, caretaker or housekeeper to rectify problems must be reported to The Big House Co. within 24 hours. In both cases a prompt notification by the Applicant is required to enable remedial action to be taken. Applicants will not be entitled to any redress if they deny the Owner or The Big House Co. the opportunity to take remedial action. On no account will complaints be accepted or correspondence entered into where complaints are made after the end of the occupancy since neither the Owner nor The Big House Co. was given the opportunity to take remedial action. Out-of-hours telephone numbers are provided to enable prompt reporting of problems or deficiencies. 

Where a problem or complaint has been escalated to the Big House Co. we will investigate the issue and respond to the Guest and/or the Owner as soon as is reasonably practicable. We will use our reasonable endeavours to mediate and resolve any dispute within 7 days after it is first notified to us, but we give no warranty or undertaking that we will successfully mediate any dispute during this 7-day time period, or at all.

If after 7 days from the date of notification the dispute has not been resolved, then the Guest and the Owner may agree to professional mediation. Please note that The Big House Co. is not obliged to use an alternative dispute resolution entity to resolve disputes with consumers, but we do choose to offer such a service via Hunt ADR Limited.  The reasonable cost of resolving a dispute using Hunt ADR Ltd to be borne jointly by the Guest & the Owner where appropriate.

Guests agree to cooperate with and assist The Big House Co. in good faith in resolving a problem or dispute.

The Guest agrees not to issue proceedings against the Owner or initiate a chargeback on the payment card until the expiry of any mediation proceedings carried out in accordance with this Condition 21.

22. Corona Virus. It is the Guest’s responsibility to ensure that their party’s proposed use and occupation of any house that they book will not breach any Government laws or guidelines relating to Covid-19.  By booking Guests warrant to The Big House Co. and their Owners that their occupation won’t cause such a breach.  Neither The Big House Co. nor the Owners of the properties have any liability in relation to any breach of such guidelines and/or laws.