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                                   Booking Terms and Conditions

General
1. These booking conditions, published in July 2017, override any previous conditions issued by The Independent Traveller.
2. The booking contract is subject to English Law.
3. We, The Independent Traveller, act as a booking agent for the owners or managers of accommodation (referred to as ‘the owners’) making contracts between you, the booker, and the owner of the property you book.
4. A contract between the owner and the tenant is only binding when we, the Agency, have issued a confirmation as agent for the owner.

Arrivals and departures
1. Unless otherwise advised by us properties are available on your arrival day from 2 pm in London and from 3 pm in all other areas.  Your tenancy does not start until these times and though earlier check ins are often available, any earlier occupation or leaving of luggage is entirely at the owner’s discretion and at your own risk.
2. Some London properties can be booked from the previous day for an earlier check-in.  Please ask when booking.
3. Arrival times:
London: we always need full arrival details (flight number, airport and time, or similar train/bus information) in order to give full arrival instructions.  Most London owners do not live on site and this information is vital.  We cannot guarantee entry to a property without arrival details.
Other areas: we ask guests to advise owners directly of their approximate arrival time.
4. Departures: please depart by 10 am.

Ownership of the properties
1. The Agency does not own any of the properties and their use is subject to the ‘rules of the house’ advised by owners.
2. Owners or managers have the right to enter the property at any reasonable time should the need arise for maintenance or other urgent matters. They will contact you, the guest, in advance to arrange unless an emergency issue.

Tenants’ responsibilities
1. Tenants are asked to take reasonable care of the property during their stay and leave it and any equipment or furnishings clean and tidy on departure.  In the  event of breakage or damage please notify the owner or their representative.
2. Costs for breakages, damage, extra cleaning beyond the normal time allotted between tenants, and any extra services ( for exampke extra cleaning ) where not included in the rent,   are payable by the tenant.  Telephone usage is payable by the tenant
3. The number in the party must not exceed those people stated on the booking form.  If you wish to add extra person(s) and the property description allows the extra numbers, please advise us first.  In certain properties there may be an extra charge.  In no circumstances should the number of persons exceed the number stated in the description. For security reasons we are obliged by law to have all names of persons occupying the property.

4. Wifi usage.  Wifi is free for general use but the excessive downloading of films is not included and may incur an extra charge

Accuracy of descriptions
Descriptions are given in good faith and are as accurate as is reasonably possible.  Where owners advise any changes or alterations we advise the tenant accordingly.  If facilities offered have been withdrawn or altered due to reasons beyond the owners’ and/or our control we can accept no responsibility.

Complaints
If you have any difficulties, queries or require maintenance, or have any complaints, please notify the owner or their representative immediately.  Most are nearby or only a telephone call/text  away and will usually be anxious to put things right or do what they can to help.  If your complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction you should refer any problems to us at the time of your visit.  Complaints reported after your departure cannot be investigated or rectified.  Where answerphones are in use do leave a message as they will be checked regularly.  No compensation can be considered for complaints only notified after your departure.

Alternative accommodation
In the unlikely event of the property you have booked becoming unavailable due to circumstances beyond our control, we will endeavour to offer a similar or better alternative.  If the alternative is not acceptable then all monies will be refunded, whereupon the liability to the owner or Agency will cease.

Payment
The deposit required is 25% of the total payment.  This deposit is non-refundable.  If the start of your stay is less than 8 weeks away, then full payment is due.  Payment can be made by:

Credit Card (Visa, Master Card); all credit cards have a 2% administration charge. Debit cards : no charge
Sterling cheque or draft.
Bank transfer (please ask us for details, but please note that our bank charges £12 for overseas transfers, which will be added to your invoice)

Confirmation
On receipt of your deposit we will send you a confirmation of your booking and an invoice.  Any alterations after this will incur a £30 surcharge.  Arrival details and key instructions will be sent after receipt of your final payment.
Security deposit
We require a  security deposit of £250 for short stays (we normally hold these by credit card ) .  For longer stays of more  than 3 weeks the security deposit may be more, always by pre-arrangement with you.  This is to cover any damage/breakage that may occur or extra cleaning that may be necessary, and for any telephone charges.  It means that the owner can keep rates low while keeping the property up to standard, rather than charge higher rates to everyone for the occasional problem.  Security deposits are refunded a week after your departure form short stays and as soon as possible after this for longer rentals of 4 weeks or more.

Liability
1. The Agency cannot accept any liability for loss, damage or expenses of any kind sustained by any member of the tenant’s party in connection with the property booked, except where such loss, damage or additional expenses are the result of the proven negligence of the Agency.
2. The Agency cannot accept liability for happenings outside its reasonable control, such as the breakdown of domestic appliances, plumbing, wiring, infestation by pests, or damage resulting from exceptional weather conditions, or from actions taken by local councils and public utilities (such as road mending and other maintenance/building works), or from irregular actions taken by neighbouring property owners (such as building work or maintenance), or the owner’s negligence, resulting in loss, accident or injury.

Cancellation Insurance 
We strongly advise all travellers to take out cancellation insurance,  as unforeseen circumstances may make it necessary for you to cancel your trip..  This will save you from financial loss, provided the reason for cancellation is covered by the policy. This is widely available .

We suggest you take out travel insurance within  a week of booking your apartment.  See our  advice on cancellation on our Home Page   Clients travelling with no cancellation insurance do so entirely at their own risk.

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