An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the holiday accommodation sector has seen the owner of Hoseasons and Cottages.com agree to refund customers whose bookings were cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Vacation Rentals was one of a number of companies reported to the CMA's Covid-19 taskforce, which continues to investigate other accommodation providers, enquiries it has said may ultimately lead to court action.
The watchdog said 4,500 reports have been received about UK holiday rental companies, with common complaints including a refusal to provide full refunds or offering only vouchers instead of cash refunds.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: "Our Covid-19 Taskforce is working hard to ensure that consumers get what they are entitled to, so it's good news that Vacation Rentals has agreed to offer people the refunds they are due. We welcome this step and other holiday lets firms must now follow suit.
"We know the pandemic is presenting businesses with challenges too, but it's not right that people are being left hundreds or even thousands of pounds out of pocket – on top of having to sacrifice their holidays. Consumer protection law exists for a reason; businesses must observe the law or face the possibility of enforcement action."