Case Study – Unacceptable Holiday Accomodation


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We recently received an email similar to the following:

What can I do as a tourist who rented a property for a holiday in Benidorm for 2 weeks which I had to vacate without even staying for 1 night due to a very low level of hygiene.

We were travelling with our toddler and booked the property because it was explicitly advertised as non-smoking. Furthermore, the owner also confirmed via email that he would arrange for a cot. He agreed and said he would buy one, so we booked it.

We arrived late in the afternoon and we noticed the smell of stale cigarette smoke inside the property which was a an immediate worry due to our baby. Even more worrying was there was no cot and the mattress of our bed was filthy.

I emailed the owner straight away saying that I could not stay there with a very small child and that I felt he had not delivered what had been agreed.

He stated that I should have stayed in the property and given his contact in Spain a chance to fix the problems before leaving. This wasn’t possible as the property manager did not speak English and we struggled to communicate about the very basic things, such as how to open the door and where to leave the car.

As it was late and approaching bed time, I was very worried about finding alternative accommodation at short notice in peak season. So, we left to find somewhere else and emailed the owner.

He did not reply until after after I emailed him a 3rd time a few days later to fix the problem. This wouldn’t have been possible for reasons.

1. The property manager spoke no English .

2. There is nothing he could have done to remove the harmful chemicals from inside the property so quickly and before our holiday was over.

He has apologised and offered me a free stay next year, but after I politely declined, he has refused to refund my money and only if I leave him a good review.

Surely this bribery is against the law and the condition of the rental property is exactly what the new regulations in Valencia are seeking to avoid.

Can I pursue him legally for my money and could you help? How much would it cost and do I need to file a report with the police first?

The tourist license number is not advertised on the web site, but he is still advertising as a non smoking property. I paid over 2,500€ for the accomodation”

For those interested, this was not a case we could help with as at quite a distance from us but we advised that for cases like this, there is the option of making an official complaint through the official channels (the OMIC) but this is not possible online.

It has to be done at the local Consumer office, and he could also complain to the General Directorate of Tourism of the Valencian Community, which isthe official tourist body.

Also he could write officially to the office address of the website they rented through with a recorded letter to make a claim, and if he paid by credit card approach the credit card company back home.

Plus  an official solicitor’s letter from a firm near the location. Of course, if he has travel insurance he should contact them.

A property has to be fit for use, and he would have a claim, and also bribery is against the law.

If you wish to find out if you have any type of legal case please contact us.

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