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Privately Owned Vacation Homes on Florida's Gulf Coast - independently owned, locally managed and operated

Terms and Conditions

1: Contract

The hiring contract is between Secret Places and the party leader or third party agent who must sign a booking form accepting the booking conditions on behalf of all persons named on the booking form including any names substituted or amended on the form by written agreement.

A contract exists when the required deposit has been paid and Secret Places have acknowledged the same by issue of a booking confirmation. The renter understands and consents to the use of the credit card details provided on the registration form or booking form without original signature, serving in place of an original signature and that the credit card authorisation cannot be revoked and will not terminate until 60 days after the rental property is vacated.

The contract is subject to United States Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts.

2: Confirmation

On receipt of the required deposit payment and the signed booking form a confirmation will be issued. Accommodation is reserved only for the persons named on the booking form. Any alterations, substitutions or additions to these details must be notified and agreed in advance of the commencement of the rental in writing. A charge may be levied for this service if notification is less than eight weeks before the rental commencement date. Bookings may not be assigned to another party except by express agreement with Secret Places in writing.

Once a confirmation has been issued the hirer is responsible for the total price of the property rental as shown on the confirmation. Signing of the booking form constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions by the client.

3: Balance of Payment

The balance of payment will be required in full before the hire is due to commence. This date will be communicated in writing to the hirer on their confirmation. Where payment in full has not been received by Secret Places by this date the reservation will be deemed cancelled and the deposit forfeit. Bookings made within 30 Days (USA/International) 60 Days (UK/N.Ireland) of the rental commencement date must be paid in full at the time of booking.

4: Price guarantee

All prices are subject to change without notice. Rentals paid for in full at the time of booking will not be subject to any increase or surcharge. Payment in US Dollars by credit card with a non-US or Canadian billing address will incur an additional Admin Charge.

5: Cancellation and/or date change

If the hirer wishes to cancel the booking this must be done in writing by email or fax and a confirmation of the instruction received back from Secret Places. Cancellation will only become effective from the date that written notification is received and acknowledged by Secret Places. No refunds are available for early departure.

Change of date (if available) will be subject to an administration charge.

In the event of cancellation, the following charges will apply:

Cancellation at any time = deposit forfeited
Payment in US$ - Cancellation at 30 days before rental start date = cancellation fee 
Payment in US$ - Cancellation less than 30 days before rental start date = cancellation fee + 100% of rental forfeited 
Payment in GBP/Euro - Cancellation at 60 days before rental start date = cancellation fee  
Payment in GBP/Euro - Cancellation less than 60 days before rental start date = cancellation fee + 100% of rental forfeited 
Payment is due in full irrespective of whether the hirer and/or any of the party reside in the rented property during the reserved period.

6: Liability

The rental home is subject to a high standard of maintenance of its fabric, fittings fixtures and services. Secret Places accept no liability whatsoever for any injury or loss sustained by guests or any other visitors to the home or swimming pool or for any loss or damage howsoever caused to any property brought to the premises.

7: Number of occupants

Under no circumstances may more than the maximum number of persons booking occupy the property except by prior written agreement. The designated maximum number of occupants for each property INCLUDES all children. The total number of occupants must be declared at time of booking. The right to refuse admittance is reserved should this condition be contravened.

Homes are located in residential areas/communities. Motor homes, boat trailers, travel trailers, jet skis etc are not allowed at the property and CANNOT be stored on the property overnight. Please seek local storage for such vehicles and equipment prior to arrival. Parking is restricted to driveways only with no overnight street parking allowed - guests are advised that in some properties garage space may be restricted due to the storage of homeowners own vehicle.

8: Hirer's responsibilities

The hirer undertakes to comply with Florida statute requirements and on arrival to register all guests staying in licensed homes in accordance with the instructions issued by Secret Places.

The client is responsible for the property during the period of rental and undertakes that all members of the party will take all reasonable steps to take care of it. All damage and breakages are the responsibility of the hirer and their replacement or repair costs are payable on demand.

On arrival at the property the managing agent will require a security deposit. This security deposit may be made in the form of a credit card imprint (VISA or MASTERCARD only)
Refusal to provide a security deposit may result in access to the property being denied or delayed.

This deposit will be held as security against loss or damage to the property, excess cleaning costs or other attributable charges. The hirer will not refuse legitimate charges made against the security deposit. Charges may be incurred for

* Property damage, staining and / or breakages
* Excessive cleaning or garbage left behind
* Excessive utility use

This list is not exclusive.

The deposit will be returned or the credit card imprint destroyed within 21 days of the end of the rental period subject to an inspection by the managing agent. 

Where the costs of any damage/repairs etc are less than the security deposit, the costs will be deducted from the deposit. Costs in excess of this amount will be invoiced and payable in full within seven days.

If any equipment in the home fails during the period of hire it must be reported immediately to the managing agent. Secret Places will not be held responsible for any equipment failure in the home, provided that reasonable arrangements are taken for its timely repair or replacement.

9: Arrival & Departure time

Check in times are after 4.00pm on the day of arrival
Check out times are before 11.00am/10.00 am on the day of departure dependent on location

10: Force Majeure

No liability can be accepted for events which are force majeure, that is to say beyond our control, e.g. war, threat of war, riots, civil commotion, terrorist activities, industrial disputes, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, hurricanes or adverse weather conditions.

11: Conditions of Carriage

These booking conditions are subject to the conditions of carriage of the hirer's road, rail airline or sea carrier taking them to or from the property and these may contain further conditions which limit or exclude responsibility.

12: Brochure & Website

The website is a guide to the quality and description of the property and its facilities. Secret Places reserve the right to make modifications and changes without notice which are shown to be necessary in the light of operating conditions. No liability is accepted for unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions in any photography, video or text concerning the property.

13: Building Work / Construction

Secret Places will always inform clients prior to confirming a reservation if it is known that general building/construction work is present or planned in the immediate area of the property. Secret Places cannot be held responsible for building/construction work in the area which commences after confirmation of the booking. Relocation to alternative properties, compensation or refunds are not available.

Secret Places reserve the right to substitute alternative accommodation in the event of unforeseen circumstances which may render the original property unsuitable for rental, this may include if a property has been sold or is no longer participating in our rental program.

14: General Provisions

The following general provisions respecting the property should be noted:

Although we love animals all our properties are designated as "non pet friendly" by their homeowners. Any guests ignoring this rule may be asked to leave.

Where pool heating is provided by solar energy water temperature is determined by the ambient air temperature. Therefore no guarantee with respect to pool water temperature is possible or implied.

Swimming Pools are cleaned and serviced weekly. No responsibility can be accepted for dust, dirt or other incursion entering the pool water between cleans.

The property is subject to regular insecticide treatment and as far as possible is screened against insect incursion. These treatments may leave some dead insects inside the property and this shall not be taken as a sign of any infestation.

For the benefit of all of our guests the property is designated as NON SMOKING and hirers should note that any contravention of this injunction will render them liable to excess cleaning charges associated with ridding the property of smoke, ash and odours that may have permeated the furnishings.

The rental property is situated in a mixed residential area and guests are therefore requested and expected to behave appropriately by avoiding noise or nuisance to other residents. Under State and Local laws nude or topless sunbathing is not permitted.

Mandatory evacuation - If state or local authorities order a mandatory evacuation of any area that Secret Places offers properties, due to a hurricane evacuation or other natural catastrophe, no refund of any monies paid will be available, nor will a stay be allowed at a later date. Secret Places strongly recommends trip interruption insurance.

15: Insurance

The client is strongly advised to take out adequate travel insurance cover. No responsibility is accepted for any death, injury, illness or loss or damage to property, including motor vehicles howsoever caused.

16: Compensation

Any claim for compensation, including for "loss of enjoyment" must be reported whilst the clients are still in occupation. No claims will be entertained unless reported directly whilst the clients are still in occupation and good evidence exists that the managing agent have been given reasonable opportunity to rectify any issue giving rise to complaint.

The managing agent will endeavour to help guests with any problems they may encounter, however clients must be aware that the owners are not representatives or agents of any third party, including their tour operator and car hire company, and cannot be held responsible for any aspects of their vacation not directly related to the property rental.

In any claim for compensation the liability of the owner/agent shall not exceed the total amount paid by the hirer for the rental of the property.

Once your booking is confirmed, all agreements of the rental policy are in force. You understand that by booking your selected property you have agreed to follow the outlined terms and conditions above.