Gîtes in France  – How to rent a gîte

Security Deposits

What is the Security Deposit?

A Security Deposit is a sum that is paid by the Guest, and held by the Owner of agent for the duration of the booking.

It is to cover any damage that may occur, or other items such as additional cleaning that may be necessary after Guests have left the property.

When is it paid?

Security Deposits are normally paid to Halcyon Leisure with the final payment of the rental – for further information, see the article on Paying for your booking.
It is not possible for Guests to pay this in cash on arrival.

How much is the Security Deposit?

The Security Deposit varies from property to property: Smaller properties may be around £300-400, but a large chateau with antique furniture and fittings may be over £1000. Please see the current price list for details of the Security Deposit at the properties you are considering renting.

What happens after the booking ends?

Policies vary, but for HL Holidays bookings, the Property Managers are given three days to register a claim against the Security Deposit, and to supply supporting evidence such as photographs etc. They may also request that HL Holidays retain the Security Deposit until costs can be determined.

When is the Security Deposit repaid?

If there is no deduction to be made from the Security Deposit, the full amount is refunded to the Guest, or if there are deductions requested these will be made and the Guest advised.

HL Holidays Security Deposit refunds to Guests are processed every Wednesday, and payments made as soon as possible thereafter.

Generally over 95 % of Security Deposits are refunded without deductions.

What might cause a deduction to be made? 

Most Property Managers are quite reasonable in the case of small breakages such as cups and other crockery items and accept this as fair wear and tear unless the breakages are excessive.
Examples where deductions have been claimed are:

  •  Guests have applied sun tan products and then sat on sofas and soft chairs, staining the covers which have needed dry cleaning as a result
  • Guests were still in bed when the Management team arrived just after 10am, forcing the Cleaning team to wait for over an hour. They requested  a small charge be made for Waiting time.
  • Guests have failed to clean properly or failed to remove rubbish from the property – Please see the section on Cleaning to understand how to avoid deductions for cleaning.

Besides cleaning, the majority of Security Deposit deductions relate to damage to towels or bed linen. This usually arises from a failure to remove excess sun blocker or make up using disposable wipes.

What if I break something major that cannot be repaired immediately?

Guests will be advised that the Deposit will be held until the cost of repair or replacement can be established – Often this is due to specialists being needed who may be unavailable within the Claim window.
Once the cost is known, the balance of the Security Deposit is refunded.

Is the cost of damage limited to the Security Deposit?

No – If the value of damage is over the Security Deposit, a bill will be issued for the balance, and action to recover the money may follow if it is not paid. In recent years this has not happened.

I dispute the amount charged – what can I do?

You will be informed of any deduction, and given a chance to give your version of the matter.

For HL Holidays bookings, HL will act as intermediaries between Guests and Owners in these matters: We check the value of all claims before asking the Guests for their version of events, and in all cases to date have successfully brokered a settlement between the parties.

We hope this article answers your questions on Security Deposits: For further information or discussion of your self catering holiday needs please contact HL Holidays

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