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11755 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 26, 2012 4:15 AM by abroaduni RSS
New Member 1 posts since
Aug 29, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 29, 2011 1:53 PM

Refuse to return deposit

My family stayed at rented apartment in Sunny Isles, FL. The stay was very good. The key issue is that I am trying to receive the securty deposit from the owner but have not been able to get any answers for more than 1 month now... what could I do?

  • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
    May 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2011 4:09 PM (in response to akriger)
    Refuse to return deposit

    Hi akriger,

    I’m sorry you’ve been unsuccessful at hearing back from the owner. I see  you’ve already contacted our Customer Support about this issue and I’d  like to assure you that our Trust and Security team has begun looking  into it. I’d also like to encourage you to try all methods of  communication with the owner, if you haven’t already, and remind you to  check your junk mail.

    If you purchased our Carefree Rental Guarantee, you’ll receive further instructions to ensure you qualify for reimbursement.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Kind regards,

    Travis

    • New Member 14 posts since
      Feb 11, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 29, 2011 8:37 PM (in response to travis)
      Refuse to return deposit

      Hi!  I'm also a VRBO property owner and am concerned about the failure of any VRBO property owner/manager to refund the security deposit promptly.  I just learned from someone who booked my cabin that she was formerly taken advantage of by a VRBO owner in Florida to the tune of $500 bucks!  She learned from another previous renter of the same property the same thing had happened to him.  Justifiably, she wanted to know what my policy is re: the refund of the security deposit.

       

      I'd like to think these renters can get help from HomeAway / VRBO in getting their deposits back.  How should they approach this?  An email address or other contact information would be greatly appreciated!   I'll be looking forward to your reply.

       

      Thanks!

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2011 6:29 AM (in response to akriger)
    Refuse to return deposit

    I'm eager to see that HA/VRBO's response will be.  I think I've seen some sort of blurb on the ads that they're not parties to the contract and it's between owner and the guest, so I suspect other than sending a little e-mail to the owner, VRBO will be able to do nothing.  Other than the guest doing a review about "slow to return the security deposit" or not at all, the only thing they could do is sue in small claims court.  If they're not local, that will certainly be a hassle. 

     

    As an owner, I lay out my return of deposit criteria right in the contract - within 20 days of return of the keys.  In practice, my thank you note w/deposit enclosed is done within a day or two of getting the keys back.  I just don't want to be holding on to other people's money!!

    • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
      May 2, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 31, 2011 10:13 AM (in response to marym)
      Refuse to return deposit

      If a guest has any issues with an owner wrongfully withholding their  security deposit, they should contact our Customer Support to report it. As an  advertising venue, HomeAway is not involved in any transactions between  an owner and a guest.

      Whenever we receive a complaint, we encourage the  two parties to work toward a mutual resolution. We also document all  information and closely monitor any account that receives complaints. If  an account has a pattern of complaints, we’ll take appropriate action  and dismiss the owner from our sites.

      I hope this information is useful and please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Travis

      • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
        Feb 10, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 31, 2011 11:55 AM (in response to travis)
        Refuse to return deposit

        Thanks travis.  I don't think HA/VRBO can ever say too much about what goes into your process.  This is the first time I've heard that you document complaints about an owner, including action/dismissal of owners.  Please tell me you take appropriate action for abusive guests as well....?

      • New Member 2 posts since
        Aug 31, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 31, 2011 3:12 PM (in response to travis)
        Refuse to return deposit

        Yes, Travis, let me add my thanks for making us aware of the existence of what appears to be reasonable policies and procedures.

      • New Member 14 posts since
        Feb 11, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 31, 2011 10:35 PM (in response to travis)
        Refuse to return deposit

        Thanks, Travis!  I'm glad to know VRBO/HomeAway monitors this as a bad experience such as this hurts all of us!  I bend over backwards for my renters and I'm sure that's true of most owners. 

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Aug 31, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2011 3:09 PM (in response to akriger)
    Refuse to return deposit

    akriger, I'm sorry to learn of your experience.  It reflects poorly on the rest of us owners, who advertise on HomeAway.

     

    Since you were a guest, I suspect you signed a lease (or, should have) provided by the landlord.  Check to see specifically what it says about timing of return or notice of intent to retain part or all of it.  Also, check to see what the lease says about venue for litigation.  If-as I suspect-it states it would be where either the house or the owner is located, small claims court is probably not a viable option for you. 

     

    As a retired property mgmt exec, whose operations included multi-family properties in FL, I know that there's a statewide applicable Landlord-Tenant law.  There may also be applicable resort rental law (for short term rentals) as there is in the Carolinas where our own properties are located.  If so, there's provisions in most for assessment of punitive damages against the landloard enforced by the state.  Most often, it's double the deposit amount.  Check with the state of Florida.

     

    Again, I'm sorry to learn of your experience and hope you get quick resolution to your situation.

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2011 4:41 PM (in response to akriger)
    Refuse to return deposit

    Very unfortunate that you are not getting a response to your inquiries. 

     

    As someone already pointed out,, if you signed a lease (and there should always be a lease), one of the provisions should be when and how the security deposit is returned and the conditions under which your security deposit could be held back. 

     

    I hope this works out for you, but note that next time you rent (and don't let this put you off renting, we have rented amazing properties throughout the States and Europe) the lease should contain information about all financial aspects of your rental (and so much more, but that would be going off topic . . . ).

     

    It would be beneficial for potential renters to acquaint themselves with a standard rental lease and standard rental / financial provisions.

     

    Good luck!  I hope you are able to resolve this to your satisfaction.

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Dec 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2012 4:15 AM (in response to akriger)
    Re: Refuse to return deposit

    You should contact with customer support team and request them to take action against the home owner.Well,thanks for sharing your accommodation info.

     

    Good luck!!!!

     

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