18 Replies Latest reply: Sep 13, 2019 4:29 PM by twobitrentals RSS

    Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?

    aquasphere Contributor

      Is anyone NOT having anxiety about accepting the terms HA is requiring for HA Payments - that they may draw money out of my bank account at their discretion, without any warning or dollar limit?

       

      Suppose a guest books an extended rental for thousands of dollars, changes their mind (inside the cancellation period) and books another place for whatever reason, then makes up something wrong on check-in day and collects a full refund.  My bank account could go negative, mortgage and other payments could bounce, and now in addition to a loss of several thousand dollars I also have accumulating overdraft and late fees. 

       

      I have seen nothing in these T&C allowing the host to retain funds (and pay their bills) while the dispute is resolved or offer host protection from fraudulent guest complaints in any way.  I have just one small home.  I cannot absorb the loss of thousands of dollars without notice.  I am seriously afraid this business model has just imploded on me because there is no way I can manage the risk of losing an unknown amount of money at any time.

       

      What's a host to do????

        • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          I haven't heard anyone say they are comfortable with these terms. Apparently, Yapstone also has had these terms for at least a year. You may want to read these this threads.

          Update 7/26/19 -Check your listings! Yapstone banking info being removed, listings deactivated, forced to enroll in HA Payments to reactivate listings, other issues

          Yapstone should die.  Painfully.

           

           

          comment bydb.meyer 

           

          https://www.yapstone.com/legal/vacation-rental-property-owner-agreement-us/

           

          7/12/18 language:

          1. Check In Payments: Subject to bank processing delays and any fraud or risk holds imposed by YapStone, You will receive the Guest’s Payment (minus Fees) in Your or Payee’s bank account, as instructed by You, within 2-3 business days, of the day after the scheduled check-in date for the Guest at Your Property; provided however, in the event a Guest provides proper notice to the website that the Property was booked through within 24 hours of the scheduled check in that the Property is not as described, or there is some other issue with the Property, You authorize YapStone to return the Payment to the Guest.In addition, for risk and fraud reasons, YapStone will generally hold all disbursements scheduled to occur within the 30 days after Your first scheduled successful check-in date.
          • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
            green_mango Active Contributor

            Those are pretty much the terms for *any* credit card processor - that the processor can take back funds and hold them in the event of a dispute while the card holder's credit card company resolves the dispute with your input.  I just try to do my best to cover myself by having a solid rental agreement and solid communication with guests.  I've had one guest dispute two charges 60 days after their stay - the funds were removed by Square (my payment processor) during this time and then funds were returned when the dispute was resolved in my favor.  If you don't want any processor to be able to take back funds then you'd just have to do your own website and accept checks only - up to you, as I think that could easily be a bigger detriment to one's business.  I know the T&C sound crazy, but it's really pretty standard and very very rarely a problem.

            • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

              While I don’t want to be harsh.....I would think that everyone should be able to make their payments for at least a good portion of the year, if not longer without income from their VR. I would never presume to rely on guest payments to make whatever payments need to be made on my property, if they do that is just a bonus, but anything can happen from a recession to just lots more competition in the area popping up, what then? I am not saying them recouping money without a very long and strong communication between the guest and owner is acceptable, I am just saying that owners need to be prepared for just about anything as for those of us that have been here a while we have seen quite a bit of change that dramatically impacted our business over the years.

                • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                  db.meyer Senior Contributor

                  twobitrentals - I'd say it is a bit "harsh" to tell aquasphere how to manage their finances not knowing their circumstances, how they came to have a vacation rental nor the reason they need to rent it.  More to the issue aquasphere raised is the lack of T&Cs spelling out under which specific conditions HA/Payment Processor can refund dishonest "guests" and what recourse, if any, owners have to dispute the "complaint" and to ultimately receive "their" funds.  Like you, I do not rely on my rental income to pay my VR bills (no mortgage, $ in savings, etc.).  But, I would venture a guess that the vast majority of VR owners DO need their "timely" rental income to pay their mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc. and are also very nervous/concerned about this new clause in the Payments T&Cs.

                    • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                      Sorry you feel that way! My VR is not the only business that I have had in my lifetime and unless you are prepared to deal with the slow times (in whatever way they come along) you probably will be dealing with some “harsh” realities of running a business. Even LTR have “harsh” realities and I have done those too.

                       

                      It wasn’t  a personal comment to any one owner but an observation of running any business. I get that many think they are going to make lots of money on the STR business because of the way it is described by many a platform, but the reality of it is that there are many things to consider. There used to be 2 VR’s (including mine) in my area, now I can’t even keep count and they continue to come and go.

                       

                      I did acknowledge the topic she was referring to, but it does go along with every aspect of running a business, platforms can change, competition can change, guests can change, laws can change, it isn’t easy....I completely get that.....and I don’t like it either, but what are you going to do, unless you have repeat business year after year, you have to deal with the change whether we like it or not......or get out. And find something more enjoyable with more control of the business overall.

                    • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                      To me it has never been about the cash flow. It has been about 3rd party (OTA) making decisions on when to refund the renter on a whim (and I say on a whim because reasons described for potential refunds are very vague and open to interpretation).

                    • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                      erika Contributor

                      Look what's happened to all of us here on the forum and in calls to customer service etc. Are they giving you any faith that they will handle customer complaints properly and fairly? they don't even respond on their forum or return phone calls. I would not use any bank account with overdraft and I would remove the funds immediately just as is necessary with PayPal because of their horrible reputation. But I am not sure I will be continuing to use this platform.

                      • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                        sage Senior Contributor

                        they may draw money out of my bank account at their discretion, without any warning or dollar limit?

                        This is just standard practice for any credit card processing service. Or any electronic transfer of funds. Or banking in general. I think you would find that the amount of money that could be clawed back is limited to the dollar amount that had been deposited. Of course there will be no advance warning -- there are too many people who, if warned of a pending clawback, might empty their own bank account to prevent the credit card issuer from pulling back money pending resolution of a dispute.

                         

                        While this relates to chargebacks, it reminds me of the recent story of a Pennsylvania couple charged with theft because a bank made an erroneous deposit to their bank account, and when the bank attempted to reverse the deposit, most of the money had been spent. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49643015  You may think the money is yours once it has appeared as a deposit to your account, but deposits are always subject to revision. Think also of the scams in which a prospective guest would send a cashier's check for more than the amount owed and ask for the excess payment to be refunded, but some weeks later it turns out the check was a forgery. The deposit of that check will be reversed and the money pulled out of your bank account. Without warning. Or if you deposit a check to your bank account and it later bounces, what had appeared to be a deposit of funds to your bank account will be reversed. Without warning.

                         

                        As part of the deal for taking credit card payments one must agree to standard practices including those relating to chargebacks which include that in the event of a dispute any deposit of funds will be reversed pending resolution. If concerned that one might have a problem covering personal expenses due to funds being clawed back in the event of a chargeback, a solution would be to have separate accounts for the business activities and personal payments. If the payments from guests are deposited to the business account, the credit card companies will not be able to pull money from the personal account.

                          • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                            u0999 Premier Contributor

                            "standard practices including those relating to chargebacks which include that in the event of a dispute any deposit of funds will be reversed pending resolution." That is just it any cc provider has chageback/chargeback appeal process defined. here it seems it is very vague with no defined process in place.

                            • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                              My business account is a sweep account which holds -0- funds at all times unless I transfer money in or I receive a payment from the platforms or paypal, which is immediately swept into my personal account. This was not done because of charge back, but rather the “HACK” by yapstone which included my bank account information and all my personal information. Since that time, I changed accounts closed the one hacked and have a password at my bank to speak to anyone about my account information (my bank said any scammer/hacker only needs my SS# to move funds from any bank) Seriously, what is a person to do. So, while my intent was NOT to have a zero balance, sounds like it is the perfect set up to discuss anyone who wants a chargeback. I do understand that the platforms can take from future payments too, but in my mind I have provided “some“ protection from another hack or would-be charge-backs without a discussion first. (Sad we have to do all this to protect our interest in our properties/finances)

                            • Re: Anyone nervous about giving permission to HA to draw money from your bank account without warning or limits?
                              erika Contributor

                              Sage, it is not the way any processor runs things, no it is not. My processor puts the money in my account the next day and doesn't attempt to interfere in running my business.

                               

                              Are chargebacks possible? sure but they are rare for most established businesses or rentals. Any house on VRBO with a long and clean track record should easily be exempted from most of this baloney at the outset.

                               

                              In addition, as others have noted, there have to be clear standards and safeguards for something like this. It's one thing if a new listing turns out to be a scam. It's quite another if a guest really just "changed their mind" about a non-refundable booking and is now looking for any way to get out of it. The guest is perfectly capable of buying trip insurance. The owner cannot insure the risk of flakey or dishonest guests.

                               

                              Please don't make excuses for the inexcusable debacle going on here. The corporate arrogance and utter lack of empathy on display here should not be tolerated.