Travels and transportation
Your rights when renting a hotel room or holiday home
When you rent a hotel room or a holiday home or apartment, you may be entitled to a price reduction if there are faults or deficiencies, or the standard is lower than expected.
Your rights depend on how you booked the holiday home, and you must also lodge a complaint about faults or deficiencies quickly and in writing. It also makes a difference whether the hotel or holiday home is part of a package tour, or you booked it directly.
You are not always entitled to get your money back if you change your mind
There is no statutory right to change your mind in relation to renting hotel or holiday accommodation. If you want to know your rights beforehand, consult the lessor’s website and terms and conditions before you pay.
Check these things before booking:
- Does the lessor offer free cancellation or the like?
- Do you have to pay any fees in addition to the price?
- Does the accommodation fulfil any special requirements you may have?
- If necessary, send an email to the lessor with any questions well before you book.
- It is also a good idea to look for online reviews of the site.
How to determine if it is a private or commercial lessor
Be aware of whether the lessor is a private individual or a company. If you rent a holiday home from a private individual, you will generally have fewer rights.
Whether the lessor is viewed as a private individual or a company will depend on factors such as whether the person is renting out their own home because they are on holiday, or systematically renting out the home to earn money. This will be an individual assessment in each case.
This assessment may also take note of how often the home is rented out, and this can be difficult to assess as a lessee.
When renting from a private individual, you should pay special attention to whom you have to contact if there are any faults or deficiencies during your stay.
You can contact European Consumer Centre Denmark if you are unsure about whether or not the lessor was a private individual. European Consumer Centre Denmark’s help is free of charge. See contact information here.
The lessor must provide what you have been promised
You can lodge a complaint with the lessor if any facilities such as a pool, balcony etc. that you were promised when you paid for the accommodation are absent.
If there is a fault or deficiency, you may be entitled to a reduction in the price if this is not remedied. If the hotel or lessor has done what they could to remedy the fault or deficiency, this will affect any reduction in the price.
A decision by a Danish complaints board has shown that the lessee may be entitled to complain about problems such as noise, if quiet surroundings have been promised. In this case, the lessee received a price reduction of DKK 6,000 for their holiday stay.
How to lodge a complaint about faults or deficiencies
Regardless of how you booked your stay, it is important that the site and the party through whom you made the booking get the opportunity to correct any faults or deficiencies. You may therefore be in a weaker position to demand a price reduction if you do not lodge a complaint immediately.
You should always read the agreement terms carefully, so you know who to lodge a complaint with if there are faults or deficiencies.
The agreement terms must state how to correctly lodge a complaint. You can normally find information about lodging complaints in the general terms and conditions.
If multiple parties are involved, you must complain in writing to all of them as soon as you become aware of a fault or deficiency. For example, the hotel where you are staying and the booking portal you used to find and book the hotel.
Ensure you have written documentation of your complaint. If you call or talk to someone, immediately follow up on your complaint with an email stating the essence of the complaint and what has been agreed.
In some cases, the Complaints Board for Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (Ankenævnet for Hotel, Restaurant og Turisme) may be able to assist. Read about the Complaints Board here (in English).
You have booked a hotel or holiday home directly: Who to lodge a complaint with
It is important that you lodge a complaint quickly and directly with the hotel or lessor when you become aware of a problem. If you have booked through a booking site, you must also lodge a complaint with this site.
If they are not willing to meet your requirements, and the lessor is a company in another EU country, Norway, Iceland or the UK, you can contact European Consumer Centre Denmark for legal assistance and guidance. European Consumer Centre Denmark’s help is free of charge. See contact information here.
In some cases, the Danish Holiday Home Association’s Board of Appeal can help you.
For package tours: Who to lodge a complaint with
If your stay at a hotel or holiday home is part of a package tour, you must start by lodging a complaint with both the hotel/holiday home and tour operator. You must lodge your complaint as soon as possible, because they need to have time to address the problem. If you are not satisfied with their solution, you can complain to Pakkerejse-Ankenævnet (the package tour appeals board) if it is a Danish travel agency.
If the travel agency is from another EU country, Norway, Iceland or the UK, you can contact European Consumer Centre Denmark’s team of lawyers, who are ready to help you. Our help is free of charge. See contact information here.
You can read more about your rights in relation to package tours here.
You have booked a holiday home with a private lessor: Who to lodge a complaint with
If you plan to lodge a complaint about a private holiday home lessor abroad, it is important that you lodge a complaint directly with the lessor when you become aware of the problem.
If you have booked through a booking site, you must also lodge a complaint with this site. If they are just intermediaries, they may have some conditions or insurance cover that can help you, but intermediaries are generally not responsible for conditions in a privately rented home.
You can read more about lodging complaints in relation to sharing economy services at the Consumer Rights in Denmark website, forbrug.dk.
When the hotel or holiday home has been rented out to others
If you arrive at your accommodation and your hotel room or holiday home is not available, your options will depend on how you booked it.
A mistake has been made
If it is a mistake that the room or home has been rented out to others, you are entitled to receive similar accommodation – at no cost to you. This applies whether you have booked directly, or through a travel agency.
If you have booked through a travel agency, you must contact the agency. If you booked online directly, you must contact both the accommodation and the booking portal.
Whoever you entered into the agreement with must find similar accommodation for you at no extra cost to you. It must not cost you extra even if it is a more expensive option.
If the alternative accommodation is of lower quality than what you booked, you may be entitled to a price reduction. Make sure you get written documentation of your complaint and how it was addressed.
If you cannot accept the new accommodation, you are entitled to a refund. In this case, it is up to you to find new accommodation.
It is due to a travel delay
If you have booked a holiday home and travel separately, it is your responsibility to inform your host in good time that you have been delayed.
If you are delayed, you must therefore contact the hotel or holiday home lessor and the booking portal as soon as possible and keep them updated. If you are delayed and fail to inform the hotel or lessor, they may be entitled to offer the room/holiday home to other guests.
If a transport company is to blame for the delay, you may be able to make a claim against the company in some cases. Even in this case, you should make sure to inform the hotel or lessor that you are delayed.