Why is this important?
Building work spoils your holiday
Most hotels and holiday properties carry out minor repairs and maintenance work all the time and this won’t normally affect your holiday. However, major building work can spoil your holiday.
Read this page to find out what you can do if there’s major building works at your holiday destination.
What you need to know
If you booked a package holiday you will be protected by special regulations. If you organised your holiday yourself, booking flights, accommodation and services separately then you are an independent traveller. As an independent traveller if you booked your holiday in the UK you are protected by general consumer law.
If you're not sure whether you're an independent traveller or booked a package holiday, see Are you a package holidaymaker or an independent traveller?
Before you travel
If you find out that there is building work going on at your hotel or holiday resort before you travel, you should contact your holiday company.
If you booked a package holiday, this will normally be your tour operator. If you booked independently, you should contact the hotel or travel company directly.
Find out the extent of the building work and the affect it’s likely to have on your holiday. Think about a solution you’d be happy with, for example changing your accommodation or a discount on the price of your holiday. Try to come to an agreement with the holiday company
Check if the company is a member of The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). You can do this by looking at your brochure or holiday paperwork or on the ABTA website. If the company is a member of ABTA, remind them that they must follow the code of conduct about building work.
This means that if they know about building work that’s likely to affect your holiday, they should tell you before you make your booking. They should give you accurate information about the building work so you can decide whether you want go ahead.
If an ABTA member finds out about building work after you’ve made your booking, they must let you know as quickly as possible. They should offer you the chance to transfer your booking to alternative holiday accommodation. If transferring means a big change to your holiday they should offer you the choice of:
- cancelling your booking and getting your money back
- transferring your booking to a different holiday.
Your holiday company should make sure they deliver the holiday they promised. Major building works which mean a lot of noise and dust might mean they aren’t meeting their side of your holiday contract. Your contract includes:
- information you were given when you booked the holiday
- information printed in your holiday brochure or on the company’s website.
For example, you were told that your accommodation was quiet and peaceful but when you arrived there was a building site next door. In this case you could argue that your holiday contract has been broken and you haven’t got the holiday you were promised. You will be in a stronger position if:
- your holiday was described using words like peaceful, quiet or tranquil
- you explained that peace and quiet were very important to you when you booked the holiday.
If you’re on a package holiday, you have extra protection from the package travel regulations. This means you’re entitled to compensation if your brochure was misleading or you didn’t get the holiday you were promised.
You should complain as soon as you realise that the building work is a problem. Do not leave the complaint until the end of your holiday. If you don’t give your holiday company a chance to sort things out, it might affect any claim for money back or compensation you make later. Try and negotiate with your holiday company. They may not be able to stop the building work so think about other solutions you’d be happy with.
If you accept financial compensation while you’re on holiday it might affect any claims you make when you get home so don’t accept compensation unless you think it’s fair.
If you aren’t happy with the holiday company’s response you will need to take your complaint further when you get home.
Collect as much evidence about the building work as you can. Evidence will be things like:
- a diary of when the noise or dust affected you
- photos or video footage – if you want to use these in court the judge might ask to see all your holiday photos
- names and addresses of other holidaymakers who can support your case
- receipts for any money you spent because of the building work.
Other useful information
Trade associations which may be able to help with complaints about holidays include:
Telephone: 0901 201 5050
Telephone: 020 8744 9280