Private accommodation rentals come in many forms and can be booked in many ways both off- and on-line. Here are a few things to remember:
- Booking accommodation directly with and from a private owner is not covered by consumer law as it is a consumer-to-consumer transaction.
- Booking accommodation online via online travel agencies or third-party booking engines, holiday letting sites and meta-search engines involves several types of contracts, where responsibilities and liabilities are split between the booking platform and the hotel or private accommodation provider. make sure you read the platforms’ booking conditions carefully, along with any other specific information for the chosen accommodation. You can read more about third-party booking websites here.
The basic requirements that all accommodation rental providers – businesses and individuals – should abide by are:
- Price transparency: customers should be shown the total price of the booking upfront, so they are clear on the cost from the beginning
- Availability claims: providers should avoid creating a sense of urgency by claiming that accommodation may be booked out soon
- Fair advertising: no use of misleading click-through discount deals that are not genuine or not accurate by comparison
- Taxes and charges: tourist fees and cleaning charges, etc. should be listed in the total price of the consumer offer.
If you are unsure whether a marketing or business practice of cross-border accommodation providers complies with the basic consumer protection requirements, contact ECC Ireland with your question here.
Finally, be aware of accommodation rental scams online.