I have set out below two templates; Template 1: for use by  those that have not received any refund and have not agreed to move dates and Template 2: for use by those that have received a partial refund.

You will see that there are square brackets in certain places in the templates. This indicates that you need to add information specific to your case (such as a date).

You simply need to cut and paste the template text below into a Word document.

Once you have completed the relevant template letter, you should email it to press@sykescottages.co.uk (as I know this email address is being monitored) with the following message: “I attach a letter before action in relation to my booking no [insert booking no]. Please can you i) immediately pass this letter to the property owner and ii) confirm, by return of email, that you have taken this action. Please note, if you fail to forward the attached to the property owner I join you into legal proceedings”.

TEMPLATE 1: FOR USE WHEN NO REFUND HAS BEEN GIVEN

To: The owner of the property known as

[insert property name]

c/o: Sykes Cottages Limited

By email only: press@sykescottages.co.uk

Dear Sirs

Holiday booked for [insert date] at [insert property name] (“the Booking”)

Letter of claim

I write further to the Booking made on [date booking made] via the Sykes Holiday Cottages (“Sykes”) website (“the Site”).

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has been necessary for the Booking to be cancelled, following which I expected to receive a full refund. However, despite formally asking Sykes for a refund, in the sum of £[insert amount] (“the Booking Amount”), I am yet to receive payment. In the circumstances, I am no longer prepared to leave this matter in abeyance and, unless payment of the Booking Amount is received in full, within 7 days of the date of this letter, I will be issuing legal proceedings in the small claims court against you personally, without further notice. This will result in a County Court judgment being registered against you.

This is my letter of claim, sent in accordance with the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (“the Practice Direction”).

I set out below details of my claim against you, and enclose copies of the key documentation which I consider to be central to that claim.

  1. Overview and basis of claim

1.1 At the point of making the Booking, I entered into a contract with you personally (“the Rental Contract”), as clearly set out within Sykes’ UK Booking Terms and Conditions (“the Terms”) (see: 1.4 and 3.2 of the Terms).

1.2 In accordance with the Rental Contract, I paid the Booking Amount. Your obligation was to then provide use of the Property, and therefore honour the Booking. However, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, you are no longer able to do this. Whilst I make no criticism of you for this, this does mean in law that the Rental Contract has been ‘frustrated’, and therefore should be brought to an end, and the Booking Amount refunded in full, in accordance with section 1(2) of The Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.

1.3 I note that the Terms contain a ‘force majeure’ clause at paragraph 25.6. However, I have taken legal advice, and understand that it has no effect in the current situation as: i) it is not descriptive enough; and, in any event ii) it fails to detail what happens with the Rental Contract in the event of a force majeure situation.

1.4 I also note that Sykes has been refusing to reimburse commission payments and other fees which property owners have paid to them. This is a matter between you and Sykes and you have no legal basis to withhold any such monies from the refund to be provided to me; I therefore expect to receive the Booking Amount in full, without any deductions.

2.Enclosures

2.1 I enclose with this letter of claim the following documents:

      • [any booking documents – state what they are – i.e. booking confirmation]
      • [any relevant correspondence you have had with Sykes – i.e. email dated xyz]

3. Next steps

3.1 As noted above, this letter is my letter of claim, sent in accordance with the Practice Direction.

3.2 Given that this is a straightforward claim, I do not consider there to be any need to obtain expert evidence.

3.3 There is no basis for you to dispute this matter, and therefore I do not consider this matter suitable for resolution by alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

3.4 I refer you to the Practice Direction and, in particular, to paragraph 15 which concerns the court’s power to impose sanctions for failure to comply with the Practice Direction.

3.5 You must now refund the Booking Amount in full.

Yours faithfully

 

[Your name]

Encs

 

TEMPLATE 2: FOR USE WHEN A PARTIAL REFUND HAS BEEN GIVEN

To: The owner of the property known as

[insert property name]

c/o: Sykes Cottages Limited

By email only: press@sykescottages.co.uk

Dear Sirs

Holiday booked for [insert date] at [insert property name] (“the Booking”)

Letter of claim

I write further to the Booking made on [date booking made] via the Sykes Holiday Cottages (“Sykes”) website (“the Site”).

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has been necessary for the Booking to be cancelled, following which I expected to receive a full refund. However, despite formally asking Sykes for a FULL refund, in the sum of £[insert amount] (“the Booking Amount”), I only received the sum of £[insert amount received]. I am entitled to a ‘full’ refund of the Booking Amount so unless I receive the balance in the sum of £[insert balance amount] within 7 days of the date of this letter, I will be issuing legal proceedings in the small claims court against you personally, without further notice. This will result in a County Court judgment being registered against you.

This is my letter of claim, sent in accordance with the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (“the Practice Direction”).

I set out below details of my claim against you, and enclose copies of the key documentation which I consider to be central to that claim.

  1. Overview and basis of claim

1.1 At the point of making the Booking, I entered into a contract with you personally (“the Rental Contract”), as clearly set out within Sykes’ UK Booking Terms and Conditions (“the Terms”) (see: 1.4 and 3.2 of the Terms).

1.2 In accordance with the Rental Contract, I paid the Booking Amount. Your obligation was to then provide use of the Property, and therefore honour the Booking. However, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, you are no longer able to do this. Whilst I make no criticism of you for this, this does mean in law that the Rental Contract has been ‘frustrated’, and therefore should be brought to an end, and the Booking Amount refunded in full, in accordance with section 1(2) of The Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.

1.3 I note that the Terms contain a ‘force majeure’ clause at paragraph 25.6. However, I have taken legal advice, and understand that it has no effect in the current situation as: i) it is not descriptive enough; and, in any event ii) it fails to detail what happens with the Rental Contract in the event of a force majeure situation.

1.4 I also note that Sykes has been refusing to reimburse commission payments and other fees which property owners have paid to them. This is a matter between you and Sykes and you have no legal basis to withhold any such monies from the refund to be provided to me; I therefore expect to receive the Booking Amount in full, without any deductions.

2. Enclosures

2.1 I enclose with this letter of claim the following documents:

      • [any booking documents – state what they aree. booking confirmation]
      • [any relevant correspondence you have had with Sykes – i.e. email dated xyz]

3. Next steps

3.1 As noted above, this letter is my letter of claim, sent in accordance with the Practice Direction.

3.2 Given that this is a straightforward claim, I do not consider there to be any need to obtain expert evidence.

3.3 There is no basis for you to dispute this matter, and therefore I do not consider this matter suitable for resolution by alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

3.4 I refer you to the Practice Direction and, in particular, to paragraph 15 which concerns the court’s power to impose sanctions for failure to comply with the Practice Direction.

3.5 You must now refund the Booking Amount in full.

Yours faithfully

 

[Your name]

Encs