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Worth Knowing - Belgium

Worth Knowing - Belgium

Info for your self catering vacation in Belgium

This page is full of useful information to prepare and plan you vacation in Belgium

1. Arrival and Departure

Your rental agreement will give you information concerning time of arrival and when the house must be vacated on the day of departure. The times of arrival and departure stated on your rental agreement shall be in force at any time. If not stated otherwise, the departure time from the holiday home is always 10 A.M. (10.00). You will receive the key to the holiday home on presentation of the original rental agreement.

The holiday home owner would like to know the time of your arrival although this is within the period stated. If you are delayed, please inform the holiday owner or his representative. Please use the slip from your rental documents. Please note that even if you should arrive earlier than stated at the holiday home, the key is handed out to you on the initially stated arrival time. Arrival at a later time than stated is only possible on prior inquiry and with acceptance from the holiday home owner. It is possible to come to an agreement regarding late arrival in return of a fee being paid to the holiday home owner. As dansommer solely acts as an agent, the holiday home owner is as a main rule in charge of handing out the key to the house. We ask for your understanding that language skills may be limmited.

2. Size and interior of the holiday home

The square meters stated in the house description are the outside measurements of the holiday home. The inside measurements might be up to 15 % smaller. Most holiday homes are individual, privately owned holiday homes. Hence the homes are decorated according to the owner’s taste.
The holiday homes contain duvets or blankets and pillows for the number of persons allowed in the holiday homes. The guests need to bring their own bed linen (sheet, pillowcase and duvet cover), tablecloths, towels, dishcloths, cleaning supplies, toilet paper etc. unless otherwise stated in the holiday home description or in the rental documents.
Some holiday homes have steep stairs or ladders without railing leading up to the first floor. In some holiday homes, the floor-to-ceiling height is lower than usual. If “garden furniture” is stated in the holiday home description, this usually includes one table and four garden chairs. Sun loungers, cushions and sunshades are usually not included as basic inventory in a holiday home. Quality garden furniture is guaranteed in some holiday homes. Please look for the symbol in the holiday home description.

3. Renovation

When a renovation year is stated in the house description, this does not necessarily mean that the whole house has been renovated. The term might mean that single rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen have been renovated.

4. Bedrooms and beds

The rooms in holiday homes are usually small, and the beds measure approx. 70/85 x 180/190 cm. A grand lit is a double bed which is approx. 130 cm wide and suitable for 2 persons. Double beds are approx. 140-180 cm wide. The mattresses are often made from foam rubber. The beds might be a pull-out bed, bed chairs or sofa beds. In a few cases, the mattress is in a wooden frame on the floor. The beds often have terry cloth sheets on them to protect the mattress. Please remember to always use this together with the bed linen. A loft sleeping place is an open loft room with sloping walls and mattresses on the floor. These are not suitable for adults/elderly guests but very popular among older children. A vertical ladder leads up to it. An annex is an addition or a small house, often with no heating.
Some houses have very limited closet space and a closet for each person cannot be expected.

5. Bathroom/toilet

A different and most often less modern standard is to be expected in the bathrooms. The shower is often connected to the sink or the bath tub. The holiday home might contain a sitting bathtub instead of a shower cubicle. The supply of hot water is often from a boiler which contains approx. 50 liters of water. This is often connected to an automatic electricity saving program and is never to be turned off. The houses are sometimes connected to a septic tank. Please never flush or throw diapers, cotton, sanitary towels and the like into the toilet.

6. Houses with swimming pool - (Indoor and outdoor) and whirlpools

When ordering a holiday home at least 3 days before arrival, the indoor swimming pool is heated up to approx. 24-25°C. Use of soap, shampoo and the like is not permitted in the swimming pool or whirlpool. Outdoor swimming pools are available from approx. 15 June – 31 August, depending on the weather.
Note that the outdoor pools usually do not have a heating element, but are only heated by air temperature.

Whirlpool: If the holiday home has a whirlpool where the water is not to be let out, we fill it up with water before your arrival. If you know before arrival that you do not wish to use the whirlpool, please let the local dansommer office know before your arrival and you will save electricity costs.

Tips for saving electricity in holiday homes with indoor swimming pools:

  • always keep the doors and windows of the pool room closed
  • place the pool cover over the pool when it is not in use
  • do not turn off the dehumidifier. This can lead to a much too high air humidity in the pool area
  • set the floor heating to a constant temperature – avoid regulating
  • if there are bedrooms that are not in use, keep the doors to these rooms closed and turn the heat down to 5°C.

7. TV, satellite dish and Internet

Many of our dansommer holiday homes offer internet access. Internet is an extra service, that the home owner puts at your disposal and because of the challenges due to insufficient connection in the holiday home areas and varying data volume and speed, dansommer can not be held responsible for poor signal, problems with antennas and cables and other force majeure. We would like to inform you that the internet may only be used by tenants of 18 years or older with consideration of applicable laws. dansommer is obliged to inform investigating authorities in case of any legal offence. Please note that there might be a separate fee regarding the use of internet, which can be paid on site (if applicable). dansommer is more than happy to inform you about any additional internet fees shouldn’t there be any information in the respective property description. 
You will find a TV in most dansommer holiday homes and in many cases, dansommer also offers additional TV equipment, which can be used to watch DVDs or play video games. While many of our holiday homes have a satellite TV with German channels, there might be some holiday homes that don’t. Please be aware that is not guaranteed that you can watch all TV programs in your holiday home and that the reception quality may vary depending on the location of the property. It is not allowed to agree on any changes to the TV contract without the home owner’s knowledge and consent.

8. The grounds

The holiday home grounds are often nature plots. The square meters stated might not all be usable but may consist of heath, tall grass, wild meadows etc. where nature is left on its own. In some cases, the holiday home owner has a vegetable garden on the property and therefore the whole ground might not be available for use. The access road to the house is rarely asphalted and can most often not be used by sports cars or lowered vehicles. In some areas, the roads are in considerably worse condition than in your home country.
Please note that the ground belonging to new holiday homes might not have had time for grass, bushes etc. to grow up and the driveway might still need the final gravel.
When it is specified in the catalogue that the house is fenced, it does not mean that the fence can be closed so pets can run freely on the grounds without being on leash.
Regarding stays in Southern Europe and Polen: Garages in Southern Europe are primarily suitable for small cars.

9. Distances

All distance indications are estimated measures in linear distance from the property to the closest shore/coast (sea, fjord, river or lake) and should only be considered as means of orientation. Not necessarily the nearest beach or swimming facility.
The distance stated for grocery shopping states the distance to the nearest grocery store, mini market or supermarket. Please note that some stores are only open during the peak season and that the distance to the nearest stores might be considerably longer in the middle season and off-season. dansommer cannot be held accountable for stores or restaurants closing down.

10. Deposit

Unless otherwise stated in the holiday home description or in the rental documents, you will be charged a deposit on arrival. The amount depends on the type of holiday home and will appear on your rental documents. Refund of your deposit will usually take place on departure, but for some houses, including large houses and houses in holiday parks, the deposit will be transferred to you approx. 3 weeks after your departure. Please remember to bring the IBAN and Swift/BIC of your bank account. Charges and fees in connection with the transfer will be deducted from the deposit. If you have a catalogue, look for the lightning pictograms. If a purple lightning pictogram is indicated, electricity (minus heating) is inclusive all year. If a red lightning pictogram is indicated, electricity (minus heating) is only inclusive during the summer season. In all other houses, electricity, oil, water, gas etc. will be deducted from your deposit on departure. Compensation for damages caused during your stay and for insufficient cleaning on departure will also be deducted from your deposit. If these costs exceed the deposit, the tenant will be invoiced the amount due plus an invoice fee.
If a holiday home is rented out to a youth group the usual deposit can be increased by EUR 475,- pr. person and up to the total number of persons allowed, regardless of how many people are actually staying in the holiday home. A youth group is defined as a group of at least 6 persons, primarily under 21 years of age.
If the holiday home is rented out during Christmas/New Year the deposit can be increased by EUR 100,- a person. A mandatory cleaning service can be demanded in connection with these bookings.
Payment for garbage bags can be charged in Belgium.

11. Variable consumption costs

Costs for heating which are not included in the rental amount are settled directly with the holiday home owner or his or her representative before departure. Use of heating (season of the year, time of the day, max temperature) is regulated by the legislation in force from time to time. In general it is to be expected that heating is available from November to April and that the holiday homes cannot be heated during the remaining months of the year. Heating costs which are indicated as inclusive in the holiday home description are also limited to the above period. The tenant shall pay for energy consumption during the whole of tenancy, even if the tenant has not used the holiday home during the whole tenancy.

12. Cleaning and Mandatory

It is an implicitness that holiday homes have to be left cleaned for the next tenants. The holiday home has to be left until 10 o´clock on the day of departure. If the holiday home should not be left cleaned, there will be an additional charge for the extra cleaning or a recalculation of the extra costs with the deposit. 
Please consider that cleansing material is not part of the equipment of the holiday home. 
In case the final cleaning, bed linen or linen/towels are mandatory and are not included in the rental price, the price for these mandatory costs will be shown in the house information and will be added to the rental price. Even though cleaning has been ordered or cleaning is mandatory in the holiday home, you have to leave the holiday home tidy, which means that furniture has to be positioned, the kitchen has to be cleaned, the dishwasher must be emptied and the fridge must be cleaned in addition to the trash that needs to be removed from the holiday home. 
The owner of the holiday home or his representative can, if the tenants are characterized as a youth group, demand the cleaning to be mandatory or, in case where the rental period exceeds 21 days, demand cleaning to be mandatory after 14 days and on a weekly basis afterwards.

13. Pets

Some holiday home owners do not want guests to bring pets into the holiday home. This will be indicated by a symbol in the holiday home description. dansommer cannot guarantee that there has never been a pet in the holiday home. We firmly request that you respect this rule. If dansommer should find out that the rule is being broken, the guests will be asked to remove the pet immediately.
Pets are allowed in holiday homes when indicated by a dog symbol. If you wish to bring your pets, please inform us of this when booking the holiday home. Please bring all necessary vaccination documentation (ask your veterinarian).
Please note that you initially only are allowed to bring two pets with you to the holiday home. However, in Southern Europe only one pet is allowed, unless anything else is stated. Should you want to bring additional pets, this can only happen, by us asking the holiday home owner for his/her explicit consent."
Holiday with Horse dansommer takes no responsibility for injuries to the horse during transportation to and from the holiday home or damages to the interior of the house and buildings. We recommend that you take out liability insurance before arrival.

14. Non smoking

Smoking is not permitted in the holiday home unless otherwise specifically stated. This does not however mean that there has never been any smoking in the holiday home.

15. Catalogue information

The information for both catalogue and website replaces all of our prior information and shall serve as the basis for your reservations.

16. Insects, Mice and Allergies

Please note that there might be other sources to allergies in holiday homes even if pets are not allowed. One example is house mites. In holiday homes located in free nature, insects can be found. The same applies to silverfish, ants, wasps, bedbugs, woodlice, and martens. Cobwebs are made in a very short time, even if the house has been thoroughly cleaned. dansommer cannot be held responsible for this. Instances with mice being present cannot be prevented. Please inform the holiday home owner or his or her representative or the local dansommer office in case of large insect incidents in order for us to remedy the problem.
Allergies in general: dansommer takes no responsibility for the tenant’s allergic reactions in any holiday home."

17. Construction Noise/ Military Maneuvers

dansommer cannot control construction activities in the area. There might be noise from construction activities near the holiday home. Please always bear in mind that modern society must go on, also in holiday areas. Furthermore, you might experience noise from airfields.

18. Problems and Complaints

If you, contrary to our expectations, discover defects in the holiday home or the inventory on arrival, please inform our local representatives of this within 72 hours after the defect was discovered. This complaint should not be made through email but must always be made by telephone or personal appearance at the local dansommer office. Complaints concerning cleaning shall be reported immediately. If your complaint does not lead to a satisfactory solution within a reasonable time-limit, please inform our hotline telephone number +45 97 97 57 57 and we will seek to remedy the situation as soon as possible. A reduction in the rental price can only be claimed if the above instructions were kept and it was not possible to remedy the problem.
If the remedy requires an unreasonably large effort, the remedy might consist of a replacement house. This decision shall be made at dansommer’s discretion.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to get the name of the dansommer employee handling his or her case. The tenant shall contribute to the avoidance of worsening any damage, defects or consequential damage and shall also contribute to keeping any financial loss as small as possible for the holiday home owner and for dansommer.
In case of a complaint, the tenant shall grant dansommer a reasonable time-limit for a remedy or for the making good of the damage. Early departure without prior agreement with dansommer is for the tenant’s own account and risk. The tenant risks that the rental agreement will not be terminated and he or she risks losing the right for compensation as the tenant makes a remedy or the making good of the damage or a relocation impossible through his or her departure.
If, in your opinion, a complaint does not lead to a satisfactory solution during your stay, please send dansommer a written complaint so that we can attend to the matter. Please send the complaint no later than 14 days after your rental period to dansommer A/S, Virumgårdsvej 27, DK-2830 Virum or send an email to kundeservice@dansommer.dk. dansommer does not recognize complaints on the grounds that other tenants received a better holiday home than what is described in the catalogue. Any compensation will only include direct, financial damage. dansommer or the holiday home owner cannot be made responsible for indirect, economic damage (consequential damage) or any damage of a non-economic character (non-pecuniary loss).

19. Tips and General Information

Tourist Fee

In many regions in Europe a tourist fee/tax (city tax) is charged by the house owner. The fee will be charged upon arrival or departure and may vary from each municipality. In some regions of Europe, house owners will need the pasport in order to register the tennants.

Electricity and Water Supply

Problems with the electricity and water supply might occur during very hot summers or in periods with little rain. dansommer has no influence on these situations. In such cases, please contact the holiday home owner or his or her representative to get help. The water may have a brown color because of the upper layer of earth, however, this is harmless.

Insurance

Always remember to bring your vehicle registration documents for your car and a valid driver’s license.

Boat

If a boat is at your disposal at the holiday home, it can normally be used from May – September, depending on the weather conditions. Please note that the mandatory life jackets are not included in the equipment. The use of the boat is at your own risk.

Central Heating

Central heating means that the building has its own heat production such as a boiler with solid fuel such as coal or wood.

Garden Toys for Kids

Playing equipment can mean a swing, sandbox, seesaw, slide or a combination of these. Use of these is at your own risk.

Barbecue/Grill

Barbecue/Grills are available in many holiday homes. In some cases, the barbecue/grill can only be used after being cleaned, for example if it has not been used for a long time. This does not exempt you from cleaning the barbecue/grill before your departure.

Sauna

Please do not pour water on the sauna oven as this can lead to serious damage or power outage.

Solarium/Sun Beds

A sun bed is usually placed above one of the regular beds. For persons under the age of 18, we recommend not to use the sun bed.

GPS Coordinates

The GPS coordinates provided in the route description are not always directly to the holiday home and we make reservations for errors and omissions in the GPS coordinates provided. The coordinates are to the best possible location, which can be the nearest road, intersection or the like. If the key is not handed out directly at the holiday home, the GPS coordinates provided are directed towards the key holder’s address. We therefore kindly ask to check beforehand, whether the provided GPS coordinates are identical with the address of the holiday home.