Terms and Conditions

Your booking
A deposit of 25% is payable by cheque within 5 days of your provisional booking. Provisional bookings will be accepted by letter, phone or email. On receipt of your deposit and completed booking form the booking will be confirmed in writing. The balance of rental is to be paid promptly at least six weeks prior to arrival date together with a returnable security deposit of £50. If any outstanding balance is not received within one week of the due date it shall be deemed as a cancellation of the contract. Bookings within six weeks of arrival date are payable in full, including £50 security deposit, detailed below.

Security deposit
The security deposit of £50 covers the cost of any minor damage or breakages in or to the accommodation, any additional electricity costs, along with any additional costs that may result which are caused by you or any member of your party. The security deposit will be refunded to you one week after your holiday as long as you or your party has not caused any damage or loss, the cottage has been left in a clean and tidy condition and you have not used any additional electricity above that allotted (see below).

What the booking includes
Your booking secures the use of the property and all its facilities for the agreed rental period. Bedding and towels are provided but we ask that you bring beach-towels if required.

The booking fee includes £4 per night of electricity which will cover normal electricity use at most times of the year. However you should note that you are likely to use more than this amount in winter when all the heating is on. Any electricity used above the agreed amount will be charged at cost, and deducted from the security deposit. Electric heating is supplemented by a multi-fuel stove in the sitting room. A starter-basket of fuel for the fire is also provided.

Letting period
Unless agreed otherwise Birch Cottage is available from 4.00 pm on the day of arrival and we ask that you vacate the cottage by 10.00 am on the day of departure. This window allows the property to be cleaned and prepared properly.

Cancellation of booking
If you are required to cancel a booking for any reason we ask that we be notified by telephone or email immediately and if initial contact is made by telephone it must be confirmed in writing within 5 days.

In the event of a cancellation we will make every effort to re-let the property. If we successfully re-let the property for the same amount we will refund all moneys you have paid minus a £50 administration charge.

If we are unable to re-let the property, cancellation costs will be made as follows:
  • More than 12 weeks before booking commences your deposit will be returned to you
  • Between 12 and 6 weeks before booking commences your deposit will be forfeited
  • Less than 6 weeks before booking commences you will be liable to pay the full rental and a refund will not be provided
To minimise any cost or the inconvenience in the event you have to cancel your holiday at Birch Cottage, Helmsdale we would strongly advise you to take out holiday insurance as you may have to forfeit the full cost of your holiday.

Adverse travel conditions
Travel to the north of Scotland can occasionally be disrupted due to bad weather. Where there are plane, road or train disruptions due to weather conditions, technical fault/breakdown or any form of industrial action, we cannot be held responsible for non-arrival and, in these circumstances, no refunds will be given.

Smoking policy
We do not allow smoking in the accommodation.

Pets
We no longer accept dogs. By prior arrangement we may be able to accommodate other pets. For example a small hutch can be made available in the garden for a rabbit or guinea pig.

Occupancy
Except with the prior written consent of us, the occupancy should not exceed the number stated on the booking form. We reserve the right to terminate the letting forthwith in the event of breach of this condition.

Details of which bedrooms are required must be agreed at time of booking (as access to the other bedrooms will not be available).

Lost property
If property is left behind in your accommodation, we will do everything we can to return the item, however we cannot be held responsible for loss or damage.

Personal property and breakages/damage
We recommend you take out holiday insurance to cover loss or damage to personal effects or the cottage as well as cancellation and curtailment insurance. While our holiday cottage is situated in an area of very low crime, vehicles, accessories and contents are left at their owner’s risk. We will not be responsible for any loss or damage or any injury to persons caused by others.

Any breakages/damages should be reported prior to departure and may be charged for by deduction from the security deposit paid or request for additional payment.

Cleaning
The property will be cleaned prior to your entry. We would request that you respect the following guests and leave the property in a clean and tidy condition on departure. Property left in a dirty or inappropriate manner will result in additional cleaning surcharge which will be deducted from the security deposit paid.

Cottage inspection/repairs
We, or others on our behalf, retain the right of entry to the cottage at all reasonable times for purposes of inspection or to carry out necessary repairs. We will make every effort to inform you of any proposals to visit if required during your stay.

To improve the facilities within the cottage we reserve the right to alter or amend the facilities made available at the cottage.

Special requests
If you have any special requests regarding your holiday accommodation please advise us when making your booking and confirm your request in writing. We will endeavour to meet your requests.

Complaints procedure
In the event of there being any cause for complaint concerning the accommodation please tell us promptly so we can try to resolve the problem as soon as possible. If you do not give us the chance to put right any problems within our control, we will not be held responsible for the problem. We will not be responsible for complaints made to us if you have not followed the procedure set out above.