The following will normally answer any queries that you may have about the the holiday accommodation, the facilities, the services provided and the contract terms.
This concerns specifically the holiday rentals within the Vendee-Gites.com scheme.
For properties that are indicated as being under the management of a partner agency or company, you can use this for basic guidance but there may be differences, so please refer to their specific terms of rental.
Click on each topic below to see the answer.
Are my holiday dates available ?
The calendar shown on the property page is updated in real time (within an hour of any change), including any options currently held awaiting confirmation. If the period is Green it is available. If it is Yellow then you can ask to be placed second in line if the option held falls through. If it is Red, then the dates have already been taken. You will also see that there is an availability summary in the menu that allows you to check across all our properties at a glance.
Can we do other than a Saturday to Saturday rental ?
July / August - no it's not possible, only the standard changeover day.
Note that a few properties are Friday to Friday and if this is the case it is shown on the availability calendar.
June and September - may be possible on some properties - please ask.
April, May, October - possible on most properties - please ask.
Can we have 10 or 12 night rental ?
July / August - no it's not possible, only full weeks, 7, 14, 21 nights.
June and September - may be possible on some properties - please ask.
April, May, October - possible on most properties, if open - please ask.
What price for these dates ?
Please note that if you have seen the property on another website, their pricing display may not correctly calculate the price due to the limitations of their system.
Consult the pricing table on the property page and find the dates that correspond. This rental price per 7 nights is shown, in Euros. If there are two prices shown, the lower price is for smaller groups (up to the number of people stated at the top of the pricing table). Outside July / August, if you are looking for 10 - 12 nights we will quote you a specific price where this is possible - please ask.
Can I book on-line ?
Sorry, we don't normally participate in the automated booking schemes proposed by some of the major publicity sites. There are good reasons for this and we much prefer the personal contact with our clients.
Is the swimming pool sole use ?
On the summary page and the property page (top left), if it is marked "Private Pool", then it is for sole use. If it is shared in any way it is marked "Shared Pool" and the sharing is described in the property text.
Is the swimming pool heated ?
On the summary page and the property page (top left), if it is marked "Heated Pool", then it is heated throughout the season. If there are any date restrictions, this is described in the property text.
Is there internet at the property ?
On the property page (top left), if it is marked "Internet WiFi", then the property has WiFi available. If there are any specific conditions, this is described in the property text.
How far is it to the nearest beach, to amenities ?
On the property page (top left), the distances to the nearest beach and the nearest amenities is marked. From the property page you can go to the "Local info and more photos" page which gives full details of this.
Are sheets and towels included in the rental ?
On the property page, just below the pricing table, you will find the list of charges. If sheets and towels are included in the rental price this will be marked here.
Can we add more people, extra beds, etc. ?
The sleeping capacity is indicated on the summary page and on the property page (top left). You are not allowed to exceed this number. A baby in cot may be allowed over this number if agreed by the owner.
How do I make a reservation ?
You can use the contact form available from the link on the property page - we will reply within a few hours. You can also telephone us if your prefer. Note that we can hold an option open for you for 3 days, while you decide or while you arrange your travel. Confirmation of the reservation will then be by making your payment, followed by completing the Booking Form (Letting Contract). Full details of the booking procedure are shown on "How to Book".
Is the payment method secure ?
Our card payments transit via the normal card payment interface of a major bank. The security is the same as making a purchase in a shop, and better than many on-line payment systems. We can also accept a bank transfer in Euros if you prefer that method.
When will the payment be due ?
An initial deposit of 25% to secure the reservation (by card or by bank transfer). The remainder at 8 weeks before the holiday dates (same method). Reservations within the 8 weeks of the rented dates require the full payment
How do I find a Booking Form ?
Each property has its own Booking Form (Letting Contract) in PDF format. This is available from the link on the property details page (in the Menu or in the 'How to book' section). Once you have made your reservation you need to print this form to complete and return to us.
Please ensure that the property is fully suitable for your party's needs and expectations, particularly as regards young children. Study the information carefully. In most cases, this will be sufficient to make a fully informed decision. However, if there are any specific criteria that are important to you don't hesitate to ask the appropriate questions before booking and we will reply as honestly as possible. Unlike many web sites, we know the properties and can be your eyes and ears, but we can't second-guess the things that might be vital to you...
Please make sure that you have read and understood the Terms and Conditions. These are available from a link on the property details or here. In signing the Letting Contract you are accepting these Terms and Conditions. Note that the letting contract is between you and the property owner (or in some cases this can be a management agency and in which case other terms and conditions may apply).
Bookings are Saturday to Saturday, unless stated otherwise. Please note that you are asked to arrive no earlier than 5pm. Departures are no later than 10am. This timing is essential to allow the owner to correctly prepare the property and carry out maintenance. As indicated on your arrival instructions, please send a text message or e-mail to the owner/caretaker contact to advise them of your approximate arrival time and arrange key collection. If you are to arrive later than 8pm, you must let the owner or caretaker know so that specific arrangements can be made. The contact details are shown on your arrival instructions.
Due to the requirements of holiday property owners' insurance in France it is mandatory that clients from other countries have adequate travel insurance covering all members of their party, including personal liability cover. This covers damage or injury that your party members may cause to a third party or to their property. In France, this is not normally covered by the property owners' insurance, as French residents are automatically covered by their home insurance. The owner therefore requires to seen documentary proof of this insurance cover, which you should present on arrival. Click here for a full explanation of this requirement.
This is the property owners' protection to cover the unlikely event of undeclared damage, unsatisfactory condition of the property, or failure to pay any additional local charges that were due (linen hire, heating, etc.). Property owners have different systems for this and you can find out what applies to each property in the property details and on your Booking Form, usually one of these methods:
1) A cheque is given (not cashed) which will be returned to you within 15 days of departure, or destroyed.
2) You sign a form giving your card details to cover up to the deposit amount. The details are destroyed after your stay.
3) You make a pre-authorisation on your card for the deposit amount using the owner's banking application. This transaction is then cancelled after your stay.
4) A cash sum will be held by the owner and returned to you on departure, or within 15 days.
Please ensure that you have what is required by the owner when you arrive. In accordance with French law, the property owner may refuse entry to the property if the renter in unable, or unwilling, to provide this deposit.
Note that this aspect is entirely handled by the owner and that we do not intervene in determining deductions nor can we reasonably (or legally) be requested to arbitrate for things that we have not been witness to.
Please note that you are not permitted to exceed the maximum sleeping capacity stated in the property details unless the owner has given specific agreement beforehand. Some properties may allow an additional cot, if stated in the property details, otherwise babies are included in this number. Tents and camping cars are not permitted.
External day visitors are permitted solely at the owners' discretion and you must therefore ask the owner or their representative beforehand, particularly with regard to use of the pool or other facilities.
If you have booked at a reduced price for low occupancy the sleeping capacity is limited to the agreed number (check the property details to see whether some bedrooms may be made unavailable).
The arrangements for bed linen and/or towels are stated in the property details together with the charges applicable (some are inclusive in the rental price). Linen charges are paid directly to the owner or their representative on arrival. One set of bed linen (and towels, if this is included) is supplied, irrespective of the duration of your stay. A further change of bed linen (and/or towels) may be available on request and if this is the case, it will normally be subject to an additional charge.
If this is not indicated in the property details, please ask.
1) Bed linen and towels supplied or hired. In this case you need only bring beach/pool towels.
2) Bed linen only supplied or hired. In this case you need to bring bath towels, beach/pool towels, tea towels.
3) If you bring you own bed linen, there will be pillows and either blankets or duvets supplied (if this is not marked in the property details please ask).
Bed linen is not normally provided for cots.
This is always a delicate question and whilst the vast majority of guests are sensible about this, the actions of a very small minority mean that we have to point out the obligations so that it is clear to all concerned. Owners may have one of four possible systems and this will be indicated in the property details and on the booking form:
1) No cleaning service is provided. You are required to leave the property clean and tidy on departure. The property owner is not expecting a full spring-clean and polish, just a reasonable effort, after which they will undertake to return the property to pristine condition for the incoming guests. In particular this will include kitchen and bathrooms, sweeping or vacuuming the floor, washing up, oven, fridge, bbq, bins, etc.
2) A cleaning service is provided as an option at extra charge. In this case, the service may be requested beforehand and the charge paid directly to the owner or their representative on arrival.
If this option is not taken, then 1. above applies.
3) A cleaning service is provided as a mandatory extra charge. In this case the charge should be paid directly to the owner or their representative on arrival.
4) Cleaning is included in the rental price.
Please note that where a cleaning service is provided at the end of your stay (optional, mandatory or inclusive) this covers 'normal' housework and does not dispense you from behaving in a reasonable manner.
For bookings outside the summer season (typically early May to end of September) you may require heating in the property. The property details give any additional cost applied for this. Usually this is a fixed price for a week, applied when the heating is "on" and available for use. The owner may use their discretion to reduce this charge if, for instance, there was a cold spell lasting only two or three days. Some properties may have heating charged at cost from a meter reading and some may be inclusive in the rental price, this is indicated in the property details where applicable. Any heating charges are paid directly to the owner or their representative.
In some areas the local authority applies a residence tax (Taxe de Séjour) to occupants of holiday properties for the duration of their stay. This is intended to help finance the additional infrastructure needed to cope with an increased population during the summer season. It is the responsibility of the property owner to collect this tax. The property details give the last know rate, where applicable. In recent years this has typically been 0.50 to 0.75 Euros per person per day, with young children generally not counted. The rate for the coming season is usually fixed by the local authorities in April/May.
In accordance with the French legislation on swimming pool safety, all holiday property pools should be equipped with a safety system. This may be a fence and gate, a roller-blind cover, an alarm, or a full enclosure. We indicate in the property details what equipment the owner has stated as being installed. We do not accept any responsibility for compliance of this equipment with the relevant specifications or legislation. We point out that the safety authorities have expressed doubts concerning the effectiveness of certain pool alarms. If you are concerned about the pool safety equipment and any risks thereof you must ask for further information before booking and make a fully informed decision on whether the property is suitable for your needs. No safety system can replace the need for adequate supervision and due care with regard to children and non-swimmers.
A swimming pool is considered as heated when the temperature is maintained above 25°C in normal weather conditions. The preceived comfort is largely dependant on the outside temperature, so you will not have the same impression between early morning on a cloudy day and a baking hot afternoon. Heating is limited to a 28°C maximum. Allowing for a couple of degrees added by the sun, the water must not go over 30° as hygiene cannot be maintained at higher temperatures.
If a pool cover is provided, it may be essential to put this in place at night to allow the heating system to maintain the temperature. (This also helps significantly with unheated pools). Note that for rentals early or late in the season, if there is exceptionally cool weather the heating system may have difficulty keeping up.
Whilst not normally mentioned in the property description, the kitchen will have either a cooker, or a hob and separate oven, and also a fridge. Note that in France the oven may not necessarily have a grill function. In a few rare cases, there will only be a mini counter-top oven and in these cases it is indicated in the property description ("mini-oven" or "combined oven/microwave"). If a dishwasher and/or microwave oven, and/or washing machine and/or tumble dryer is present it is specifically mentioned. The washing machine and/or tumble dryer may be situated in the kitchen, in a utility room, in the bathroom or in a garage or outbuilding.
Whilst we encourage owners to provide a wide range of kitchen equipment, crockery and cutlery, there may be differences from what you would normally expect in your home country. There may be a running stock of cleaning and machine products but this up to the owners' discretion and is not guaranteed.
Please note that in France you very often find that there is no toilet in the bathroom and that it will be situated elsewhere in the house. In the property description the following convention is used :
Bathroom - bath and basin, no toilet (bath will often have a shower attachment, but not necessarily a screen or curtain).
Bathroom (bath and shower) - bath, separate shower cubicle, basin, no toilet.
Shower room - shower cubicle, basin, no toilet.
Bathroom with toilet - bath and basin and toilet (bath will often have a shower attachment, but not necessarily a screen or curtain).
Shower room with toilet - shower cubicle, basin and toilet.
Bathroom (bath and shower) with toilet - bath, separate shower cubicle, basin and toilet.
Separate toilet - toilet, with or without hand basin, situated elsewhere (indicated ground floor or first floor).
En-suite - the facilities are accessible directly from the bedroom or are situated in the bedroom (but may not necessarily be completely separated or with a door).
Since the French place greater importance in the dining area, the comfortable seating (settees, armchairs) may not seat the full number of the property sleeping capacity. Consult the photos of the property, or ask us, if this point is important to you.
Information on local amenities is provided for guidance only and is not contractual. Amenities may have closed or be unavailable at the time of your stay. Please bear in mind that in towns and villages that are not specifically tourist orientated, some establishments may close for a time during the summer for their own holidays.
We only deal with accommodation and can't offer travel bookings, but we may be able to give our clients access to preferential rates through certain travel brokers with whom we have agreements or make suggestions for travel suppliers. Please note that the Chez Nous Travel Service is now solely an on-line facility (usually offering a reduction of around 5% on Brittany Ferries and P&O routes). You no longer need a "booking reference" to get access to this facility.
See our travel page for more details.
The number of problems reported back to us is of a very low level, witness to the diligence of the property owners who particiatate in our website. Nevertheless, it is impossible to eliminate all possibility of a breakdown in the equipment or a defect that has gone unseen. If there is a problem you must contact the property owner, the caretaker, or the local mangement. In many instances a simple and rapid solution can be found with the minimum of inconvenience. The property owner will normally take all necessary steps to rectify the problem as soon as possible but may be at the mercy of local tradesmen or suppliers and in this case delays are inevitable.
It is not acceptable to collect a list of grievances for a letter of complaint once you return home. If the owner was not notified nor given the opportunity to rectify the problem, a subsequent complaint is unlikely to be considered favourably.
Note that your Letting Contract is between yourself and the property owner (or in a few cases a local management agency), the names of these parties being indicated on the contract. Your attention is drawn to the Terms and Conditions, that you accept in signing the Letting Contract. Accord Services is responsible for presenting the property details on behalf of the owner, for receiving the funds into a holding account and for dealing with the paperwork. In the unlikely event of a serious matter you must address your correspondence to the property owner (or the local management agency is this is the case). We would or course appreciate receiving a copy in order to be fully informed.
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