Prime Holiday Lettings collapses: your rights

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The company's Facebook page

Prime Holiday Lettings was based in Aldeburgh, and rented out large, luxury properties worth a total of £9 million on the east coast. Last week it suddenly shut the doors, and entered voluntary liquidation. Since then, customers have come forward to complain that the company had taken thousands of pounds from them in forward bookings just weeks before it closed without warning.

So what are your rights?

The BBC said that the closure was linked to the repossession of 11 properties owned by the company owner's husband. They added that the owner and her husband had run a number of businesses before - more than 30 of which had gone into voluntary liquidation.

They quoted a spokesperson from Suffolk Police who said: "Several people have been in touch to report they had paid large sums of money into bank accounts registered to the company in recent weeks." They added that an investigation was being carried out.

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reported that one customer had only just paid £1,500 to the company, after receiving a demand for full payment in advance - with the threat that if they didn't pay they would loose their booking. Another family had just handed over £2,000 for a week in a property sleeping 12 people.

The size and the nature of many of these houses means that many customers had let them for special events, which are now in disarray. One couple had booked a property for their daughter's hen party, while another had booked for a 50th birthday party, and another had booked for her father's 90th birthday.

She wrote on the company's Facebook page: "Thanks to Prime Holiday Lettings they have ruined the plans for my fathers 90th birthday celebration and a once in a lifetime family reunion."

Your rights

Those who have lost money may still see some of their cash, as the liquidation process will work out whether the firm has any assets - and will distribute any cash among those who are out of pocket. There is a creditors meeting on 24 April, where those who have lost money should find out more about their chances of repayment. However, there are no guarantees that there are sufficient assets to return a penny of this money.

Other than this, if you paid by credit card (as long as at least £100 of the payment was on a card) then your credit card company is jointly responsible under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. It means you will be able to claim the money back from the credit card company and leave them to worry about chasing the liquidators.

If you paid by debit card, you can ask your card provider for a refund using the chargeback scheme - which means your bank can try to get the cash back from the company's payment processing bank. However, you'll need to do this within 120 days of making the payment

Alternatively, if you have travel insurance, then you may be able to make a claim on your insurance. However, you'll need to check the policy for exclusions relating to businesses going under.