An increasing number of holiday property owners are demanding that a damage deposit of up to £250 be collected along with the balance of the rent due. Previously it was common practice to charge damage deposits for group gatherings celebrating a special occasion at a large country house where the risk of breakages and mess is inevitably much higher than it would be for a family break in a smaller property. Now owners of 2 to 3 bedroom cottages are following suit. In my experience the vast majority of guests will treat a smartly furnished well holiday cottage with the respect it deserves and if damage occurs more often than not it is down to a careless accident for which guests will own up to and pay for.
It seems rather harsh to make a charge for an event which may not occur. The old legal adage "innocent till proven guilty" comes to mind. The property owner or agency will have use of guest's cash for up to 5 weeks. Some mean spirited owners, it has to be said the minority, have deducted the replacement cost of 3 wine glasses and others have not made full refunds until 2 weeks after the departure date. This behaviour wouldn't exactly persuade the guest to book again.
Handle guests with care!