36 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2019 4:16 PM by wildiris RSS

    HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?

    carolinabreezeonwb New Member

      Our market is family reunions, large family vacations and such. Most of our guests book a year in advance. With the new HomeAway Payments policy in place we had a guest book for Oct 2020: After not seeing the money in our account after 15 days went back and checked the Payment schedule. Below:


      Payment 1 of 2

      Guest Paid: 10/19/19 - Susan E. - Visa

      Your rental agreement was accepted on 10/19/19 at 7:05 AM by Susan E. from IP address: XX.XXX.XXX.XX

      Your payout will be disbursed on 10/22/20, and will be deposited into your account in 5-7 business days.


      October 2020? October 2020? So Susan’s credit card is charged and she pays for the reservation now. But I’m not going to see this money for 1 year? How much money is HomeAway getting to float from property owners for this length of time? It just doesn’t seem ethical. We have been getting paid shortly after a guest books for years until this new payment system.


      Member Since: 2013

      Chargebacks: 0

      Rating: Exceptional! 5/5

      Cancellation Policy: Canceled bookings will not receive a refund


      Jul 2017 HomeAway Payments Advanced Funding option

      Sept 2019 Yapstone's fee-based Advanced Payments service

      Oct 2019 HomeAway Payments


        • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
          casitacynthiasantafe Contributor

          Outrageous and truly and transparently unethical. A terrible way to treat a longtime customer (you). This kind of behaviour will drive more and more owners to market their properties elsewhere.

           

          I think the new terms and conditions say that payments for bookings made more than a year in advance will be held until after the guest checks in. What's their rationale for this, I wonder? (I only open my calendar one year in advance on HomeAway, although I take direct bookings farther out.)

          • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
            green_mango Active Contributor

            If you are on HA's new "Early Payouts" then you need to escalate - but it sounds like you're on check-in payments unfortunately.  What a lot of owners suggest doing is blocking off your far out dates on VRBO and keep the dates open on your #bookdirect website so that guests can book there really far out and you have more control over the process.  Just use VRBO closer to the time to fill in gaps/vacancies. 

              • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                mareblue Contributor

                anybody knows how can i find  if i am on Early Payouts??

                my property is in europe ,i am in europe  73 percent of my business are coming directly from my website and

                from home away  i have annualy  2-4 bookings but i have no itention to let them keeping my money for a year or six months etc etc

                my policy is no refund 50% on booking  the rest 60 days before arrival

                therefore there is no room to have HA use me

                any help pls??

              • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                timthek Active Contributor

                Block your calendar. Tell VRBO that you will not open your calendar until they pay you when the guest pays. Money talks. If they want to collect their booking fees they need bookings.

                • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                  utahdream Contributor

                  With all due respect i think this is a good policy. This is not your money until you have provided the service. so it’s not earned. In accounting terms this is unearned revenue, a form of liability. A lot of things can happen in a year. People pass away, houses burn down (God forbid). HomeAway is effectively escrowing the funds and this will protect both the host (from themselves really as you should not be considering this your spending money until after it’s earned) and the guests from such situations. It might seem frustrating, but just remember this money is no more yours than the salary your employer will pay you a year from now.

                    • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                      ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                      I beg to differ.  I have always accepted a deposit from my prospective guests, and held that payment and the guest final payment until the service is performed, i.e., the guest has visited.  My state law (NC) requires that I hold any funds paid in advance of the service in an interest free account in a bank that is licensed to do business in my state (NC).  I have had guests cancel and request a refund of the monies being held, and I have been able to provide those funds as per the contract that the guest and I have entered into.

                       

                      I do not believe that a third party, like Vrbo, has any right to hold those funds.  They consistently state that they are not part of the transaction and that they are not a party to our rental agreements or contracts, yet they insert themselves into the payment process and deny us, the "merchant" to the contracted monies paid by our client/guest.

                       

                      You stated that a lot can happen in a year....as a long time consumer of Vrbo, yes, a LOT CAN happen in a year.  Including Vrbo disappearing in a merger.  What does the guest do then?  What do you do then?

                       

                      Vrbo is welcome to collect their service fees at the time of the booking.  They should release our funds to us, and WE SHOULD CONTROL our legal and fiduciary responsibility to our contracted guest.

                        • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                          utahdream Contributor

                          In a perfect world, may be. But not all hosts are as disciplined, law abiding and responsible as you are. I used HA 10 years ago for the first time, back then we were taking payments directly through a credit card processor. I used to spend it right away even though I understood I'd be on the hook for the rental or the money. I was just to young and too stupid to care (i honored all of my bookings though so there was never an issue). But that was risky behavior. It's very easy to imagine a situation where an irresponsible host spends the prepayments and then is unable to deliver. It can be due to an accident or something outside of their control, may be the local laws change and not longer allow VRs, etc. It is a good policy for guests to have this comfort. As a renter, I would much rather deal with professional customer service of a large entity than a Joe Schmo out in Carolinas. As an owner, I would much rather have homeaway deal with as much financial issues as possible so that I don't have to. And, I believe HA can set any terms and conditions they want for their business. Also, with interest rates at zero, I don't think anybody is (or would be) making a killing on this float. Lastly, companies don't "disappear" in a merger. HA/VRBO are owned by Expedia, a publicly traded company with $14B market cap. I trust it that it's not going anywhere with my prepayments.

                            • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                              ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                              When I first listed with HomeAway, back in 2005, ALL of my guests LIKED dealing with "Joe Schmo out in Carolinas" because that is what the website was...a whole collection of Joes renting out their personal vacation homes.  People chatted with me, asked a lot of questions, and became GUESTS, not just some dude who wants to rent my house.  And when I could not accommodate a particular guest, I could call the gal down the road to see if she could.  Just saying.


                               

                                • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                  martyp Contributor

                                  I agree 100%!  Before February 2016, I called each and every prospective GUEST;   we developed a rapport.  I never had a problem, which was my goal.  My home is not one of hundreds of condominiums; my home is a HOME in the middle of a residential area.  I wanted to keep my rental a low key operation.  ... so low key that the only ones in my subdivision that knew I had a short term rental home were the two neighbors on each side of me.  I never had a problem because I was able to actually talk to and vet each applicant ... before they became GUESTS.

                                   

                                  Since Feb 2016, I have had several renters (no longer guests) who have violated my rental agreement.  I have had a renter who not only had a dog, but a LARGE unleashed dog. I have had a business event with 14 cars. I have had a party that exceeded my legal occupancy limit and an idiot who drove his car around the side yard, OVER MY SEPTIC TANK, and down back to the dock. They broke one of my kitchen cabinets, and hid beer cans around the house (one up in the chandelier.   Fortunately, someone in her party also left an iPhone in the sheets.  She never called me about it and I deliberately waited 3 months before calling her to ask her if the iPhone was hers.

                                   

                                  VRBO used to mean VR-By-OWNER ... now it is a cold and meaningless Verbo.  VRBO has lost all heart and warmth.

                            • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                              u0999 Premier Contributor

                              With all due respect, this is not HA's money either - they are not the ones providing services. They are not an FDIC insured bank to be allowed to hold money that are not theirs. You are assuming that they are escrowng the money - there isn't really any proof of that. A lot can happen you know...Companies go under all the time. Also remember social security trust fund.. where is that money?

                                • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                  utahdream Contributor

                                  The money is on Expedia's balance sheet. They are definitely holding it in proper financial institutions:

                                   

                                  from Expedia's 10K SEC filing (page 82 of the pdf)

                                   

                                  https://ir.expediagroup.com/static-files/6fe46568-4ba4-43c9-98ef-eda3591c6892

                                   

                                  Cash, Restricted Cash, and Cash Equivalents


                                  Our cash and cash equivalents include cash and liquid financial instruments, including money market funds and time deposit investments, with maturities of three months or less when purchased. Restricted cash includes cash and cash equivalents that is restricted through legal contracts, regulations or our intention to use the cash for a specific purpose. Our restricted cash primarily relates to certain traveler deposits and to a lesser extent collateral for office leases. The following table reconciles cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash reported in our consolidated balance sheets to the total amount presented in our consolidated statements of cash flows: December 31, 2018 December 31, 2017 (in millions) Cash and cash equivalents $ 2,443 $ 2,847 Restricted cash and cash equivalents 259 69

                                   

                                  Also, on page 25:

                                   

                                  As it relates to deposits, as of December 31, 2018, we held cash in bank depository accounts of approximately $1.7 billion (primarily in Bank of America, The Bank of TokyoMitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Bank plc, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) and held term deposits of approximately $566 million at financial institutions including, HSBC, National Australia Bank, and The Bank of Nova Scotia. Additionally, majority-owned subsidiaries held cash of approximately $134 million (primarily in BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank) and held term deposits of approximately $86 million at Deutsche Bank. As it relates to foreign exchange, as of December 31, 2018, we were party to forward contracts with a notional value of approximately $2.8 billion, the fair value of which was an asset of approximately $22 million. The counterparties to these contracts were primarily Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Barclays Bank, Bank of America, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Standard Chartered Bank, Societe Generale, and Wells Fargo

                                    • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                      feibus Senior Contributor

                                      But not necessarily collecting interest on the deposits, since in some jurisdictions -- like ashevillelookout's state -- that's illegal.  HA mods have said that deposit money was not being held in interest bearing accounts.

                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                                        You trust them, great. I do not trust anything that Expedia says or does.

                                          • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                            utahdream Contributor

                                            That's your prerogative. But, as a renter/guest, I am for sure a lot more inclined to entrust my deposit money to Expedia, a large public entity with properly filed audited financials regulated by the SEC and a bunch of other agencies, vs. Blue Mountain Vacation Rentals. As a guest, you are just a profile to me with may be an address in the boonies which I have no way of verifying. It is much more likely that a small host/mgmt company will disappear with my deposit without a trace vs. Expedia doing same, no offence and nothing personal - but you gotta understand that, right? Why would I trust an obscure entity which manages a few homes vs. a large public company? There's no way. In any case, if the host is disciplined and not going to spend the money until after delivering the rental, what difference does it make when they receive the money.

                                              • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                Enron was also a "a large public entity with properly filed audited financials regulated by the SEC and a bunch of other agencies". Expedia only owns website.  I also do not hold renter's money for a year (other than small deposit). As an owner, I would not trust Expedia to hold my money for a year, nothing personal. Just business. because next step in them holding our money will be them deciding when they can frivolously override our cancellation policies and refund a renter when renter calls and claims that their 3rd cousin's ex-wive's uncle died in Timbuktu 5th time this year and they now need to cancel and receive a full refund.  Mark my words.

                                                 

                                                Of course you can do as you please. YOU do not have to trust me. By all means. Except " Blue Mountain Vacation rentals" OWNS and provides accommodations.  Physical assets confirmed by county records.  I know some people put their unfounded trust in big all encompassing nannies.. companies.. gov-ts. I am not one of them.. I want my money in my bank account. I do not even trust ONE bank - never keep all the money in one single bank.

                                                  • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                    utahdream Contributor
                                                    I know some people put their unfounded trust in big all encompassing nannies.. companies.. gov-ts. I am not one of them.. I want my money in my bank account

                                                    Of course you want your money in your bank account, but until you delivered the service it is NOT your money. It is *my* (guest's) money. And as a guest, I want *my* money in Expedia's bank account, not yours. No offense - again this applies to any host. Expedia has > $2B in cash on their balance sheet, i will take that over a handful of properties in the woods. Again, YMMV. I am just giving you a customer's perspective. But yes, there are a lot of people who don't trust big companies, big government, big banks, some even stockpile supplies and ammo and prepare for the apocalypse. I tend to take things easy for the most part, and keep what money I have in a too big to fail, and prefer large impersonal entities with 1-800 numbers   Things have been for the most part ok so far. YMMV

                                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                        I am not sure - are you in a renter or owner? If you are and owner, I would think you would want money in your bank. And yes, money IS earned for those of us who have no-refunds policies. So there's that. 

                                                          • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                            utahdream Contributor

                                                            I am both. I rent my places and I stay in other people's places. I have over 20K in receivables for the upcoming winter season. I am perfectly ok getting them as the guests check in between now and March. I don't need to have them in my bank account right now. I only have one personal checking account and prefer not to deal with establishing another one to escrow unearned rentals.

                                                              • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                                                                utahdream wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I am perfectly ok getting them as the guests check in between now and March.

                                                                I'm not going to jump into the argument of whether the money is the owners' or the guests', but a huge issue for many owners is the transition between early payouts and payment after check-in.  Cash flow is the life blood of a business, and an unanticipated interruption to that is stressful, to say the least.  Giving a year's notice (or at least six months) before changing policy would have gone a long way to let owners prepare - or diversify, as they wish. 

                                                            • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                              martyp Contributor

                                                              There are four entities:

                                                              1. Guest

                                                              2. Web page owner (VRBO)

                                                              3. credit card processor (today this is ALSO VRBO)

                                                              4. property owner

                                                               

                                                              I am one of the few who has read the "Accomodation Collection Fee Agreement".  It very clearly and distinctly states that the collected money is the owner's money.[1] When I book outside of VRBO, my credit card processor does NOT HOLD the money until the guest checks in ... Why should VRBO (the credit card processor) hold on to the owner's money?

                                                               

                                                              Notes:

                                                              1. Excerpt from the "agreement".

                                                               

                                                              2.3 Payments. You acknowledge and agree that: Your Property bookings are transactions solely between You and the relevant Guest and not with us or any of our affiliates; ... we are not a bank or other chartered depository institution; ...

                                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                        scottr Active Contributor

                                                        Go find the section that talks about funds received from partners - it will say it is used as working capital.

                                                  • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                    utahdream Contributor

                                                    One thing I would add, vacation rentals have exploded in popularity in recent years precisely because of how the platforms operate. When customers have single point of professional customer service, buyer-friendly policies, financial protections, an opportunity to search hundreds of properties, and the ease of use including on smartphones, this really creates and opens up the market. Ten-fifteen years ago VRs were a niche thing some people did but most never heard of. You would have to deal with a small mom-and-pop operator directly, sign a contract with them, send them checks, etc. you would really need to be motivated to do all of this. Today, you can browse hundreds of properties on your smartphone, book with a click of a button, check in with a smart lock, and have a 1-800 number to call if something is amiss. And the whole experience is totally seamless 95% of the time. It is no surprise that VR industry is expected to topple the hotel industry in 2020. https://ipropertymanagement.com/vacation-rental-industry-statistics

                                                     

                                                    Just saying... there's value to an intermediary. There seems to be a lot of people on this forum actively hating HA/VRBO - yet continuing to use them. Clearly this sales channel is extremely valuable or they wouldn't be here and would just take all bookings through their own site. Ever stop to think that things you don't like are the things that your customers might like and part of the reason why they are coming here, as opposed to twocabinsonthebeach dot com in the first place?

                                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                        puttermac10 Contributor

                                                        I think you are new here, those of us who have been around 6+ years have really been jerked around. We all started paying an annual fee for advertising and we handled the communication, payments...now we cannot connect directly with guests until they have paid (although this was promised for Premier Partners then changed after we all committed to the terms)...I don't want someone to process and hold my payments. I don't want someone else to answer the phone and discuss my property, I don't want someone else to collect and mess up my tax payments, I don't want someone else to try and figure out my location and put me with other listings nowhere near my area...I only want a place I can be seen and I can take it from there.  Additionally they started charging our guest booking fees making our bookings as expensive as a hotel without onsite live people.  Now I can't just send a guest a refund - VRBO does it and they have had times where it took over a month because the payment got "lost" - I would have just stopped payment and sent another check but now it is out of my hands.  People are leaving in droves that is a reason their revenue is down.  Most owners are building their business outside VRBO so they can cut the cord when the time is right.

                                                          • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                            utahdream Contributor

                                                            I have been on HA/VRBO since 2012 on and off so I remember the "good old days". Literally all of the things you listed I was relieved to not have to do anymore. I don't want to deal with setting up merchant CC account, I don't want to directly deal with clients beyond a welcome email, I do not want to pay a flat $500+ fee irrespective of the number of bookings that can be generated, etc. All I want is to sit back and watch my calendar fill up and see deposits drop into my checking account. The less I have to do - the better. Perhaps this is just the shift in the host demographics. Clearly it appears HA's new policies seem to **** off professional VR operators but work best for amateur providers such as myself. The time will tell what works best. May be a competitor will emerge to accommodate the preferences of professional operators.

                                                              • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                timthek Active Contributor

                                                                It sounds like you don't want to be in the VR business....you just want to collect money and happen to own a VR. You seem like you want to be just a passive owner.  To guests you are just a nameless faceless entity that happens to hold the title to a rental property. Many owners are not like that. They are involved and attentive and want to be in control of all aspects of their investment/property especially providing customer service far superior to that which they will get from VRBO. You talk about having that 800 number as if it is just that easy to pick up the phone and resolve an issue. I guess you haven't had to call VRBO before. I'd much rather have the owners cellphone number and be able to talk to the person who actually knows the house and who will actually facilitate addressing any problem I may have.

                                                                In addition, it sounds like you've bought into VRBOs fearmongering. Direct rentals are somehow risky and only bookings through VRBO are safe and protected. The reality is, guests who pay by credit card are as protected by their bank as they are by VRBOs bogus "guarantee". This false perception that VRBO is safer certainly is common among travelers but one that owners need to dispel not promote.

                                                                • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                                  utahdream wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  I have been on HA/VRBO since 2012 on and off so I remember the "good old days". Literally all of the things you listed I was relieved to not have to do anymore. I don't want to deal with setting up merchant CC account, I don't want to directly deal with clients beyond a welcome email, I do not want to pay a flat $500+ fee irrespective of the number of bookings that can be generated, etc. All I want is to sit back and watch my calendar fill up and see deposits drop into my checking account. The less I have to do - the better. Perhaps this is just the shift in the host demographics. Clearly it appears HA's new policies seem to **** off professional VR operators but work best for amateur providers such as myself. The time will tell what works best. May be a competitor will emerge to accommodate the preferences of professional operators.

                                                                  The section I made bold is IMO a major part of the reason for the many restrictions and bans on VRS. You mentioned in a previous post that you could/would not enforce rules. We all have a responsibility to our neighbors and community. Some of your comments are frightening.

                                                                  • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                    martyp Contributor

                                                                    I am glad that the system works for you.  My neighbor operates her vacation rental condo the same way you do. 

                                                                     

                                                                    HOWEVER, her situation and mine are very different.  Her condo unit is one of over 5,000 other vacation rentals in the city of Destin. Her single condo building holds more Vacation Rental units than my entire county.

                                                                     

                                                                    The vast multitude of units in my county are homes, cabins or cottages.   MY situation is a single home in a residential subdivision AND I am the only vacation rental in my subdivision.  I have a responsibility to my neighbors and my neighborhood.  I have a responsibility to vet a potential guest BEFORE I accept their reservation.

                                                                     

                                                                    It is great that VRBO has a system that you like, but VRBO has taken away a feature that is a necessity for me, the ability to protect my neighboors from abusive renters.

                                                                     

                                                                    Do an internet search of "short term rental ordinance".  You will find that Airbnb and VRBO have been instrumental in expanding the vacation rental business, BUT you will also find that they and irresponsible owners are the cause of the sever restrictive ordinances ... ordinances that will be detrimintal to the growth of  ABB and VRBO.

                                                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                        margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                                        Owning a condo does relieve utahdream of responsibility to neighbors and the community or to the STR industry as a whole.

                                                                        • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                          utahdream Contributor

                                                                          My condo is on a resort. the whole complex shoes up as a hotel on google maps and judging by the annual meeting i attended we have about 5 people living there full-time in over 100 units. All board members are absentee owners. Because it’s a resort property we pay higher taxes plus occupancy tax... I wouldn’t dream about running a VR out of a regular neighborhood. Like you said, it would be a lot more work to keep it hush-hush and a potential liability.

                                                                            • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                              wildiris Active Contributor

                                                                              utahdream wrote:


                                                                              I wouldn’t dream about running a VR out of a regular neighborhood. Like you said, it would be a lot more work to keep it hush-hush and a potential liability.

                                                                              I have an individual home in a neighborhood.  It's my second home in a vacation area.  Our family uses it several weeks a year and we rent it out for several weeks when we aren't staying there ourselves.  I'm not sure what you mean with the above language, but you make it sound as though it's something illegal or shameful that I have to keep "hush-hush."  I'm not running a bordello, for crying out loud.  My neighbors (who are also my friends) all know that we rent out our house.  One set of neighbors even rented it themselves a few years ago.

                                                                               

                                                                              Also, I fail to understand why you believe a VR in a "regular neighborhood" is a "potential liability."  I have a good rental agreement (which I know you believe is unnecessary - to each his own) and I have liability insurance.  Unlike you, I have a lot of communication with my guests and I do expect them to honor my house rules.  I suspect I may have less "potential liability" from my guests than you have with your business model.

                                                                                • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                                  utahdream Contributor
                                                                                  Also, I fail to understand why you believe a VR in a "regular neighborhood" is a "potential liability."

                                                                                  Because it it likely running aloof of zoning laws and a few ordinances. Because your guests can do something that will expose you to a liability which your insurance won't cover (even if it is a commercial insurance), exposing you to liability. Etc. I don't disagree with your other points. Yes the blowback against vacation rentals is partially driven by "bad actors". But it is also a problem of people taking what has to be residential properties for LT tenants, families, etc. and turning hem into de-facto hotels. Just another brick in the wall between families and home ownership. There's that. It's one thing when it is a cabin in woods or a cottage on the beach, or a resort condo - those are vacation destinations. It is one thing when a family rents out spare bedrooms during a film festival in town. But taking whole resi properties and turning them into hotels? In an actual neighborhood, with kids being dropped off from school etc.? Different story.

                                                                                    • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                                      green_mango Active Contributor

                                                                                      Nope, not me utahdream -  I'm a rule follower.  Our VR is our 2nd home in a neighborhood that is a mix of full time residents and 2nd homes.  Not running aloof of zoning laws.  Not breaking a single, or even a few ordinances. 

                                                                                      Guests can do anything, anywhere to expose owners to liability - home or condo, I haven't noticed a trend one way or the other.

                                                                                      I promise, our 2nd home isn't a de facto hotel and isn't another brick in the wall between families and home ownership.

                                                                                      So many assumptions....

                                                                                      • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                                        wildiris Active Contributor

                                                                                        utahdream wrote:

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Also, I fail to understand why you believe a VR in a "regular neighborhood" is a "potential liability."

                                                                                        Because it it likely running aloof of zoning laws and a few ordinances. Because your guests can do something that will expose you to a liability which your insurance won't cover (even if it is a commercial insurance), exposing you to liability. Etc. I don't disagree with your other points. Yes the blowback against vacation rentals is partially driven by "bad actors". But it is also a problem of people taking what has to be residential properties for LT tenants, families, etc. and turning hem into de-facto hotels. Just another brick in the wall between families and home ownership. There's that. It's one thing when it is a cabin in woods or a cottage on the beach, or a resort condo - those are vacation destinations. It is one thing when a family rents out spare bedrooms during a film festival in town. But taking whole resi properties and turning them into hotels? In an actual neighborhood, with kids being dropped off from school etc.? Different story.

                                                                                        1)  No, I am not "likely running aloof of zoning laws and a few ordinances."  To be clear, I am not running afoul (I think "aloof" was a typo) of any zoning law or ordinances.

                                                                                        2)  All rentals have the potential of exposing the owner to liability, whether it is a rental of a free-standing house or a condominium unit.  You fail to explain the basis for your belief that you have less of a risk because your vacation rental is in a condo-hotel type resort property.  If anything, the fact that a vacation rental shares common walls, floors, or ceilings with another unit in the resort increases the risk of liability if one of your guests creates a situation where water, smoke or flame escapes your unit and damages a neighboring unit.

                                                                            • Re: HomeAway holding on to OUR money for 1 year?
                                                                              scottr Active Contributor

                                                                              Treating VHRs like hotels, will topple the VHR industry, not the hotel industry.  Apples and Oranges, IMHO.