Paperwork & why it's important

| Owners

Already during this 2015 season, there have been numerous reports of damage being caused to Holiday Homes during rentals, & Holiday-Makers not quite getting what was expected on arrival...  

More & more booking or rental "issues" seem to be being aired in general advertising groups on social media sites recently. Please remember that this is NOT the best way to resolve any problems at all & usually results in a lot of bad feeling on both sides. Any difficulties should be dealt with privately between Guest & Owner. There are "specialist" groups on social media for various issues to be raised - but this should not be done on your "timeline" or in a general group!

ETK have put together a few handy tips to clarify how a private rental should work, to try & ensure a smooth booking for both parties involved and we now have a Documents Service where we create a lot of these for you for a very cheap price:


Booking forms should always be issued. These should clearly state:

  • Holiday Home details ("name" of the Holiday Home if it has one, name of the park, address of the park with postcode)
  • Arrival & Departure dates
  • Lead Guest details (name, home address, contact numbers, email - some parks ask for age-confirmation, so possibly guest's Date of Birth, or at least YEAR of birth)
  • Other party member details (name, ages)
  • Total cost of the booking + any deposit or damage bond fees
  • Owner's details (name, home address, contact numbers, email)
  • Lead Guest signature & date
  • Statement confirming that by signing the booking form, the Lead Guest is agreeing to all Terms & Conditions for the reservation

A few Owners & Guests have had problems contacting each other regarding bookings when "just" relying on social media for contact... DON'T just swap Facebook details! Not everyone is logged on 24/7 & messages can be missed. Make sure you have every point of contact possible covered, so communication can be made via email, telephone & even that old thing we call Royal Mail if necessary!

As an example of "how this can go wrong" - a situation arose recently whereby the Guest was unable to contact the Owner regarding a deposit return via social media (for whatever reason), the Guest became concerned, (which is understandable), but then decided to publicly announce the situation & made several posts stating that the Owner had "scammed" over the deposit return...   This turned out not to be the case at all - & was just simply a case of mis-communication between the parties involved.    


Terms & Conditions are imperative! Each Owner will have their own T&Cs relevant to their Holiday Home & their own "rules" for the booking. BUT: it is as important for the GUEST TO READ them, as it is for the Owner to issue them! They are not just in place to "cover the Owner's back" - but also to protect the Guest! These should clearly state:

  • Holiday Home details ("name" of the Holiday Home if it has one, name of the park, address of the park with postcode)
  • Deposit & Damage Bond details - what it covers, what it is for, if it is refundable & if so - the time-scale of the refund
  • Cancellation clause (not just if the Guest cancels - but also if the Owner has to cancel the booking)
  • Payment terms & consequences of late or non-payments
  • Complaints Procedures
  • What is "expected" of the Guest on departure & what will ocurr if the Holiday Home is left in an unacceptable condition (see deposit above!) 
  • Pet clauses
  • Smoking clauses
  • General Holiday Home "rules" during stay
  • Statement that site rules must also be observed during stay

Once the Guest has signed the booking form to confirm the T&Cs are accepted - there can be no "turning back!" which is WHY it is SO important that the Guest READS them!

As an example of "how this can go wrong" - very recently a Guest had asked an Owner for extended payment terms, which were agreed (although there was no obligation to do so), the Guest still failed to make the final payment when it was due - so the Owner cancelled the booking as per the T&Cs (which the Guest had signed to agree to.) Not only did the Guest lose the holiday, but also the funds paid thus far - which had all been stated in the T&Cs. So again, the Guest publicly posted that the Owner was a "scammer" - when in actual fact all the Owner had done was abide by the T&Cs set out at the very beginning of the reservation.

This whole situatiion would have been avoided if the Guest had simply read the T&Cs before signing to agree to them!

On the flip-side, there have also been some rather unnecessary deposit retentions occurring; whereby the Owner has made a partial or full deposit retention for a small amount of "mess" left behind in the Holiday Home... So: Owners, please use a "common sense" rule there - as Guests ARE on holiday & a "full" change-over clean should never be expected on departure.

Again - any specific cleaning requests required by the Owner should clearly be stated in the T&Cs! (So - Guests, READ THEM CAREFULLY!) 


Receipts should always be issued with every payment made by the Guest. These should clearly state:

  • Holiday Home details ("name" of the Holiday Home if it has one, name of the park, address of the park with postcode)
  • Lead Party Details
  • Booking reference
  • Arrival & Departure dates
  • Total cost of the booking
  • Payment received & date
  • Outstanding balance & payment due date
  • Owner's details 

Not only does issuing a receipt provide both parties with a record of payment & the outstanding monies due - it will also re-assure the Guest that the Owner is genuine...

As an example of "how this can go wrong" - already the scammers are out in force & one particular Guest happily handed over the full payment in cash for a "holiday" with no paperwork & no receipts. The "Owner" vanished & the Guest cannot even prove the payment was made.....

Obviously it damages the private let reputation in general to have derogatory comments plastered all over the social media sites, as Owner's rentals can suffer if accusations are made that are not warranted & Guests become concerned over attempting a private rental if they see such posts.

This can all be simply avoided if OWNERS ensure their paperwork is up-to-date & in line with their rental requirements & GUESTS read these before they just sign the booking forms!