I’m a California attorney from a top law school with 20+ years of experience.
As a home owner, I’ve rented out our family home while we travelled. As a traveler (both on business trips and vacation), I’ve rented homes and rooms on temporary vacation rental sites such as VRBO, airbnb and HomeAway.
I’ve enjoyed the benefits on both sides of the deal. But, with more experiences, I came to realize that these vacation rental services are not without their problems – sometimes, big problems.
As both an owner and renter, I’ve been surprised how little the vacation rental website (VRBO, airbnb, HomeAway) actually does to protect my interests. Most of my experiences with these temporary rental sites have been positive. However, after two really bad experiences – and ZER0 help from the website/corporation – I vowed to dedicate a few weeks of my legal time to writing practical legal guides designed to help others who have suffered through an unfair experience or been taken advantage of and who need immediate, affordable, reliable legal advice.
When I decided to devote some time to writing this guide, I started talking to friends when they’d ask me what I was working on. I learned that many others also had some really bad experiences and valid complaints with temporary rentals found via VRBO, airbnb and HomeAway. Such as:
Airbnb Complaints – VRBO Complaints
• A friend rented out her Sacramento apartment via airbnb (for 1 night) to a “business traveler” who seemed polite and responsible. But, when my friend returned to her apartment, she found that her leather couch was ruined by what seemed to be cat scratches or some type of sharp cuts. In addition, her front door was left unlocked and the renter denied knowing anything about the damage to the couch.
• Two friends (with a young child) arraigned, via VRBO, to rent a winter cabin near Mt. Shasta for the month of December. The cabin is snowed in from November – March. The VRBO listing stated that the cabin came with a parking spot approximately 1/4 mile from the cabin. (My friends like “rustic”.)
After they rented the cabin via VRBO, the owner emailed them a PDF parking permit, and told them to print it out and leave it on their dashboard when they parked. On their first visit, they parked in the lot, put the permit on their dash, and used a sled to get their food and other personal items to the cabin. They enjoyed a cozy night in the cabin, but when they returned to their car the following day, they not only found a $75 ticket, they also found a note on their windshield stating that their permit was invalid and that they would be towed if they parked in the lot again.
The owner of the cabin made up story and after story. But, in the end, it turned out that she had no pass for the parking spot, and hence, the cabin was only accessible by backpacking or snowmobile! This destroyed my friends’ Christmas plans, because without a “nearby” parking spot, they were effectively unable to access the cabin. To add insult to injury, they had to remove their belongings from the cabin via multiple backpacking trips (while paying a baby sitter), and they suffered a huge amount of stress, frustration, and anger. Moreover, when they tried to post their experienced review and complaint on VRBO, the company rejected it, telling them that it was “a personal problem” rather than something that might affect other VRBO renters of the property!! Hearing their story was a major impetus for creating this guide!
• From an Internet forum: Two friends rented a condo in Costa Rica through VRBO, but upon arriving, found that the owner had double-booked it. After just completing a long flight, they needed to scramble for new lodging. This not how you want to start your “vacation.” When they went to post a review to VRBO, the company (VRBO) refused to post it! Why? because according to VRBO policy, the fact that the two friends did not actually stay in the condo, disqualifies them from being allowed to post a review! So their VRBO complaint was rejected.
Vacation Rental Complaints
Stories like these, along with my own bad experience with VRBO (though still seemingly the aberration in terms of temporary rentals), showed me that there was a need for a practical legal guide for how to deal with these sorts of frustrating breakdowns. We need to be able to do more that just post a complaint, especially when people are reporting that airbnb and VRBO won’t even post their legitimate complaints.
What rights do you have? What’s the best way to respond if you are the victim of a VRBO scam or airbnb scam? What can you do to protect yourself, your home, or your family vacation? How do you protect your interests?
If you came here because you just got ripped off by a VRBO, airbnb, HomeAway, or other temporary rental, you came to the right place. I’m considering creating two practical legal guides that will help you shed your stress and anger, and right the wrong. My goal is to protect your interests and also to push these temporary rental sites to truly care about the user experience.
Each guide will provide you (in plain English) with the law you need to know to protect your interests and resolve the situation without too much additional stress, including sample letters, sample emails or txts, as well as more formal complaints should you need to bring out the heavy artillery. This is 100% practical tactical legal info.
If this is something you’d buy for $49.00 right now (with a 15 day 100% money back guarantee), please help me by clicking either OWNER GUIDE or RENTER GUIDE (depending on which one you most need right now). These votes will determine which vacation rental legal guide I write first, and I’ll give you 25 percent off the price for helping me decide which to write first.
Thanks, and lets fight the bastards and help improve the system. Click to vote for the vacation rental law guide that you most need below (enter your email [zero spam promise] to be notified when the Guide is released):