Unique Cottages Terms and Conditions

Please remember a reservation is a legal contract and properties should only be used for holiday purposes unless otherwise agreed in writing. They should not be used for stag parties, hen parties, weddings or any special event without prior discussion and written agreement.

1. Definition of Terms

Unique Cottages is a trading name of Ecosse Unique Limited. The company is registered in Scotland, no. SC 150813. The registered address is Thorncroft, Monksford Road, Newtown St Boswells, Roxburghshire TD6 0SB. Parties applying to rent properties are referred to as 'the Clients' until the commencement of their let when they are referred to as 'the Tenants'. Ecosse Unique, referred to as 'the Agent', will act only as agent for the owners of the properties, 'the Owners'. Contracts to let the property are therefore between the Owners of the property and the Clients/Tenants, and the Agent acts solely on behalf of the Owners. These terms set out the terms of the contract between the Clients/Tenants and the Owners, and the contractual rights and obligations between the Clients/Tenants and the Agent.

2. Deposits

When a booking is made more than 6 weeks before the tenancy is due to commence, a deposit of one-third of the total rental, plus the Booking Fee (as detailed at the time of booking) must be paid to confirm the booking. If a booking is made 6 weeks or less before the tenancy is due to commence, the full rent, together with any additional charges, must be paid at the time the booking is made. If the Agent does not accept a booking, then all monies paid will be refunded immediately.

3. Balance and Rental

Once a booking has been accepted by the Agent, the Clients must pay the balance of rental, together with any additional charges, six weeks before the tenancy commences. If the balance has not been paid by this time the Agent reserves the right to cancel the booking, in which case a cancellation charge will apply. The Agent is not obliged to send reminders - the date on which the balance is due is clearly indicated on the Booking Confirmation.

The majority of the Agent's cottage owners are not VAT registered and therefore no tax is payable, but where VAT is payable this is included in the weekly rent. The Agent reserves the right to amend prices quoted on the web sites or in their brochure due to any errors, omissions or changes in the rate of VAT.

4. UK Bookings

Payments will be accepted by cheques made payable to 'Unique Cottages Ltd', by credit card, debit card or cash. The Agent cannot accept post-dated cheques and cash should only be sent by recorded delivery. Any charges imposed on the Agent by their Bank for handling dishonoureed cheques, bank transfers or other payments will be passed on to the clients who are liable to reimburse the Agent in respect of these charges within 7 days of notification from the Agent. If a payment by Direct Debit is not honoured then the Client should pay the deposit and balance as outlined in paragraphs 2 and 3.

5. Overseas Bookings

Overseas Clients may pay by sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank, or by Mastercard, Amex or Visa. Any charges for overseas payments will be passed on to the Clients.

6. Authority to Sign

The person completing the booking form certifies that:

a. He/she is authorised to agree the booking conditions on behalf of all persons included on the booking form, including those who may be added/substituted at a later date.

b. He/she is over 18 years of age and is a member of the party intending to occupy the property.

c. He/she agrees to take responsibility for the party occupying the property.

7. Eligibility

Bookings will not be accepted without prior consent from the Agent from:

a. Groups of single persons under the age of 21.

b. All male or all female parties comprising more than 6 people.

8. Tenancy Agreement

The tenancy gives the Tenants the right to occupy the property for a holiday within the meaning of Schedule 1 paragraph 9 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.

Properties are let for a maximum of 4 weeks. Lettings commence at 4pm (unless otherwise stated) on the first day of the tenancy and end at 10am on the departure date unless otherwise agreed. The tenancy period cannot be extended without the Agent's permission. Tenants will be liable for any cost whatsoever incurred as a result of an unauthorised extension.

9. Linen

Tenants should bring their own bed linen and towels unless these are stated as 'included' in the property description. Bed linen and towels can be hired and, where supplied, linen is changed between tenancies, and weekly during tenancies. Tenants should always bring their own beach towels.

10 Extras at the Cottages

Unless otherwise stated in the main cottage description electricity, gas and other fuels are charged at current rates.

11. Pets

Pets are accepted at properties only with the prior consent of the Agent or Owners and are to be kept under control at all times and exercised off the premises. Neither the Agent nor the Owners can accept responsibility for their safety. The pet owner must bring a basket or dog bed for their dogs to sleep in. They should not be allowed in the bedrooms or on the furniture, or be left unsupervised in the property due to the risk of damage to furniture etc. Tenants are responsible for cleaning up any fouling which their pets may cause around the property – if this is not appropriately dealt with additional cleaning charges will be applied. A weekly charge will be made for each pet and in some cases an increased refundable damage deposit may be required. Where a description states that pets are not accepted this does not mean that there have never been any pets at the property.

12 The Tenants' Obligations

a. To pay for all gas, electricity, fuel and other charges not stated as included in the rental.
b. To report to and pay the Owners for any losses or damage to the property caused by the Tenants or a member of their party (reasonable wear and tear excluded).
c. To take good care of the property and leave it in a clean and tidy condition at the end of the tenancy. No cleaning service is provided during the tenancy unless specifically stated but this can sometimes be arranged.
d. To allow the Owners and Agent reasonable access to the property.
e. To not exceed the total number of people as stipulated in the description of the property, and not to transfer possession of the property or share it except with members of the party stated in the booking.
f. To notify the Agent prior to the commencement of the tenancy of any changes to party numbers.
g. To not undertake any illegal activities, cause undue noise or disruption or become a nuisance to occupants of any adjoining/neighbouring premises - no loud music and strictly no bonfires, fireworks or Chinese lanterns without prior consent.
h. To ensure that a cot is only occupied by a child of 24 months or less.
i. Not to smoke in a non-smoking property or bring pets to a property where pets are not accepted. The Owners reserve the right to charge Tenants for additional cleaning that may be required if any of the above Obligations are breached.

13. Alteration of a Booking

When the Agent has accepted a booking, the cottage booked can only be changed for another by treating the original booking as a cancellation (see following paragraph 14). The dates of the holiday may be changed providing the same cottage is available for the new dates and the Owners are agreeable to the change. In either case a re-booking fee of £40 is payable.

14. Cancellations

All cancellations must be notified to the Agent initially by telephone and confirmed in writing within 7 days of the event that gives rise to the cancellation. If two or more consecutive weeks are booked at more than one property this is considered to be two holidays.

Cancellation Refund Protection is available at the time of booking for all properties sleeping no more than seven persons (excluding babies) made through the Agent with rentals up to and including £849 per week. This applies to UK residents only aged 75 or under at the commencement of the holiday. You have 7 days from the date of booking (unless the holiday start date is sooner) to add or remove Cancellation Refund Protection from your reservation. After this period any premium paid is non-refundable.

In the event that a holiday is not covered by our cancellation refund plan, then a cancellation charge is payable, the amount of which is determined by how many days before the holiday start date, that the cancellation notice is received by the Agent in writing.

No. of days before Holiday start date that notification is received Cancellation Charge (as percentage of the rental cost of the holiday):

- 0 to 13 days = 100%
- 14 to 27 days = 85%
- 28 to 42 days = 65%
- 43 days or more = Deposit.

The Cancellation Refund Plan promises that full payment, less an administration fee, will be refunded in the event of death, injury, illness (see note 1 below) or summons for jury service of any member of the party or close relative or business associate of the Clients being aged under 75 at the commencement of the holiday, which, in the Agent's opinion, reasonably prevents the Clients from fulfilling the booking. Close relatives comprise husband, wife and their children, long-term partner (being a proven relationship for at least two years), father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother and sister. This does not cover any accident, injury or illness which may occur during your stay.

Written confirmation of the cancellation must be supported by a completed claim form with documentary proof of the reason for cancellation and, in the case of illness or death, be signed by a qualified medical doctor and returned within 28 days from receipt of the Cancellation Notice. When claims under the Cancellation Refund Plan are accepted by the Agent, no further payment will be due for the holiday and all previous payments, less the administration charge of £40, will be refunded in full.

Note 1: Illness - The following are NOT covered by the cancellation policy: pregnancy or related illness, epidemic or pandemic. Any medical condition or illness diagnosed or known about before, or at the time of, booking. Any self-inflicted illness or injury, or any injury which has occurred as a result of taking part in any risk sport. Any illness or injury which, in the opinion of the Agent, is not serious enough to prevent the person taking the holiday.

Please note the above cancellation refund plan covers only the cost of the property rental on bookings of a week or more. It does NOT cover any additional related expenses which may have been occurred and does NOT cover any event where our obligations are prevented or affected by reason of force majeure. Please refer to section 20.

15. Complaints

All complaints must first be referred to the Owners/Caretakers during the tenancy to allow remedial action to be taken. Should no satisfaction be received from the Owners/Caretakers, Tenants are asked to inform the Agents immediately so that an on-the-spot investigation can be made if necessary and remedial action taken if required. In no circumstances can compensation be made for complaints raised only after the tenancy has ended when the Tenant has denied the Owners or Agents the opportunity of investigating the complaint and endeavouring to put matters right during the tenancy.

16. Non-availability of Property

If for any reason beyond the Owner's control the property is unavailable on the day when the tenancy is due to begin (e.g. due to flooding, fire damage etc.) or the property becomes unsuitable for holiday letting, clients will receive a full refund of all rents and charges already paid. The Agent will make every effort to find a suitable alternative property but the Clients shall have no further claim against the Owners or Agent. Please also refer to section 20.

17. Liability

The Agent accepts no liability for any act, neglect or default on the part of the Owners or any other person not employed by them or under their control, nor for any accident, damage, loss, injury, expense or inconvenience to either person or property which the Tenants, or any other person, may suffer or incur arising from, or in any way connected with, the Tenancy. The Owners accept no liability for loss or damage to the Tenants' possessions on the Owners' land or property. Please also refer to section 20.

18. Breach of Contract

If Tenants breach any of the above terms and conditions the Owners or Agent reserve the right to re-enter the property and terminate the tenancy, without prejudice to the other rights and remedies of the owners.

19. Validity Clause

If any term or provision in these Booking Conditions shall in whole or in part be held to any extent to be illegal or unenforceable under any enactment or rule of law, that term or provisions or part shall, to that extent, be deemed not to form part of this agreement and the enforceability of the remainder of this agreement shall not be affected.

20. Force Majeure

The owner and the agent do not accept liability or pay compensation for any loss, damage or expense where our obligations are prevented or affected by reason of force majeure.

Force Majeure means any event which we or the owner providing the service could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid such as war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, epidemic, pandemic, industrial action, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, closure of airports or ports, technical problems with transport, governmental action and all other similar events.

21. Brochure/Web Descriptions

While every effort is made to make brochure and web site descriptions as accurate as possible, some of the information contained relates to factors which are beyond the control of the Agent, such as shops, public houses etc. Details of such establishments may change without the Agent's knowledge and cannot be absolutely relied upon.

22. Price Change

Unique Cottages reserves the right to amend prices quoted on the Web site due to errors or omissions but such changes shall be notified to the Guest as soon as possible and the Guest shall be able to cancel the booking if the amended price is significantly higher than the original price quoted.

23. Refundable Householder Deposits/Damage Deposits

To facilitate booking and when requested by an owner, Unique Cottages, as Agents, will collect refundable household deposits and then, providing no damage or breach of letting conditions is reported, will refund these 5 days after the end of your stay (should be in your account within 7 days). Unique Cottages 'in absentia' cannot accept responsibility should any dispute over damages or additional costs. This must be resolved between the owner and tenant themselves.

24. Discrepencies

This web site and these Booking Conditions replace and supersede all previous web sites and booking conditions, and in the case of any discrepancy between these booking conditions and the contents of any Unique Cottages brochures/web site, these conditions shall prevail.

25. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

The contract is deemed to have been made at Thorncroft, Monksford Road, Newtown St Boswells. The validity, construction and performance of this Agreement shall be governed by Scots' Law. The Clients and the Tenants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish courts.