You're right to not want someone staying at your rental who will not sign your rental agreement. I think that calling and speaking with the guest is very important. Hopefully, the guest just isn't paying attention to his emails (or doesn't see any urgency) and when you call him he will sign and return the rental agreement to you promptly.
Whether or not Vrbo penalizes you for cancelling this guest in the event that he continues to refuse to sign your rental agreement depends on how you have this in your listing. Do you include the requirement that guests sign your rental agreement as part of the "house rules" on your listing? My understanding is that if signing your rental agreement is one of your "house rules" then Vrbo will not penalize you. If it is not one of your house rules than you may be penalized.
One of my "house rules" on my listing is that all guests must sign and return my rental agreement to me within 48 hours of making the booking.
Thank you. I received an immediate response to the email I sent this morning so they may have just missed the message I sent earlier.
I do have the rental agreement as part of my house rules(72 hours) so it sounds like maybe I'm covered.
I've spoken via phone to all of our guests so far but I should probably add that as a requirement.
I don't have speaking with me on the phone as one of my house rules. When I receive a reservation I send a message via the Vrbo platform reminding them that the reservation isn't confirmed (even if it was an IB) until I receive a signed rental agreement from the guest. I tell the guest that I need to speak with them on the phone to obtain the necessary information to complete my rental agreement and ask them when it would be convenient for me to telephone them.
I usually call and they return it quickly. Unfortunately, I had a situation come up recently. I contacted the guest who told me she would "take it under review" to decide if she would or would not sign the RA. She then told me she is a "good customer of Expedia so they will support my decision" I explained that I no longer felt comfortable with renting to her so I would not be giving her access information to my home. I told her if she wanted a full refund she should cancel within 24 hrs. I sent her the following instructions to cancel, she canceled within a few minutes,
Log into your traveler account
Click My Trips
Select the reservation that needs to be cancelled
Click Request Cancellation
Even with an instant booking I give the guest 24-hours max to submit a signed rental agreement along with copies of their government issued ids.
Right after the booking is when I send the reminder, via VRBO, of my 24-hour mandatory requirement, "cos I'd hate for them to lose their reservation".
And failing a response, then start the phone call. I remind myself some guests work during normal business hours so I take that into consideration as to why they may not respond immediately.
Should there not be a response / phone call answer close to the 24 hour timeline is when I talk with CS. Fortunately I've only had to "force" a cancellation once in the past years.
Good luck to you.
If it's in your House Rules, and you cancel *and* refund 100% then you *may* be eligible for a Cancellation Waiver, but ultimately VRBO gets to decide on a case-by-case basis within 30 days - so if the waiver is declined, you won't know until afterwards, and you will get penalized in the metrics. Due to that variability I always suggest reaching out to the guest via phone call and then if they put in writing that they aren't signing you have a better case - but if they simply don't respond it's a gray area. You can always offer them a 100% refund if they initiate cancellation by X date - but again, that only works if they're responsive.