Know your holiday accommodation rights

As many families head off on school holidays today, NSW Fair Trading is reminding consumers of their rights in relation to holiday accommodation.

Since January 2015, Fair Trading has received almost 1,500 complaints from consumers about accommodation providers. Complaints generally relate to unsatisfactory conditions, cancellations, undisclosed fees and charges, and refunds.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said a dream family holiday can quickly turn into a nightmare when accommodation plans go awry.

“You may have booked what you think is the perfect accommodation, but there’s still a lot that can go wrong when you arrive,” he said.

“The property might be double-booked or not as advertised. Consumers could also find that facilities and appliances don’t work, or there is pre-existing damage at the property. You might also find unexpected charges and levies on your bill.

“It’s important that consumers know they have rights if something goes wrong with their holiday accommodation, whether it is a hotel, motel, resort, serviced apartment, or shared accommodation booked through a peer-economy platform such as Airbnb.”

Under the Australian Consumer Law, accommodation services must be safe and of acceptable quality; match the description provided when you booked it; and be advertised in a manner that is not false or misleading. In addition, accommodation providers must properly display their terms and conditions.

Tips for consumers include:

·       Make sure you are paying the amount you were quoted, and check all goods and services offered are included in the final price;
·       In serviced accommodation, be wary of add-ons or in-house services like room service, the mini bar and pay-to-view movies;
·       Always review your final account before checking out to ensure you have only been charged for what you have used;
·       Bring any identified problem to the attention of the responsible service provider or managing agent as soon as possible.

For more tips and information about holiday accommodation or rentals, or to lodge a complaint about an accommodation provider, visit

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