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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22619
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi. I am managing a holiday home for a house owner. We do have

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Hi. I am managing a holiday home for a house owner. We do have terms and conditions in place regading refund etc. Just recently the male of a 10day rental broke his ankle in the snow when they were unloading the car. In this case there had been an extreme snowfall in our area and there was still approx 50 cm of snow sitting in the driveway. The clients were warned about this on arrival. They did have an appropriate carpark at the start of the drive. A track through the snow was made (ie footsteps, as the snow was too deep to clear) and they had to walk in to the house. The accident happened on doing this. Am I bound to refund them because of the snow situation even though our terms state that full payment is required on the first day of rental. I have offered them a refund for any days I can still book of this period and a voucher to claim their unused days at a later point in the year. Can you please advise on my legal position.

thank you.

Claudine Barnes [email protected]
03(NNN) NNN-NNNN

christhelawyer :

Hi Welcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear

christhelawyer :

If this was airline travel which they had booked then breaking your ankle just before getting on the plane would not entitle them to a refund-that is why people buy travel insurance.

christhelawyer :

Your situation is no different because it is holiday accommodation. You have no obligation to offer a refund, although you certainly can have sympathy with them and offer something like this.

christhelawyer :

So you offer is generous, and they should accept this.

Customer:

Thanks Chris.

Customer:

Just to make sure my terms are up to speed... which law would be applicable to this rental business that I can have a read through.

christhelawyer :

This is contract law, so there are no specific statutes which apply to your situation. I suggest that you look at the way airlines deal with this issue, and the insurance which is available for these events.

christhelawyer :

Consumer also has some useful material on this issue, relevant to your situation at http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/motel-bookings

christhelawyer :

I know you are not a motel, but the principles are the same

Customer:

thanks.

Customer:

So his claim with the following

Customer:

Because the lodge is accommodation that is rented out for money it is regarded as a workplace and therefore falls under the "Health and safety in employment act 1992".


We would like to draw your attention to clause 16 (2)


16 Duties of persons who control places of work



Customer:

is NOT applicable ?

christhelawyer : The next step is in two parts is this a place of work under the act?
christhelawyer : place of work means a place (whether or not within or forming part of a building, structure, or vehicle) where any person is to work, is working, for the time being works, or customarily works, for gain or reward; and, in relation to an employee, includes a place, or part of a place, under the control of the employer (not being domestic accommodation provided for the employee),—(a)where the employee comes or may come to eat, rest, or get first-aid or pay; or(b)where the employee comes or may come as part of the employee's duties to report in or out, get instructions, or deliver goods or vehicles; or(c)through which the employee may or must pass to reach a place of work
christhelawyer : You own the property but I assume you do not work there. I doubt if this is a place of work.
christhelawyer : the second step is whether you took care, and from your description, I believe you did.
christhelawyer : You pointed out the hazard and he took the risk. Even if this was a place of work, which I doubt, you took appropriate steps in my view.
Customer:

thank you very much

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