Vacation House Rental and Return Fee

Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,615
Vacation House Rental and Return Fee

I have a question regarding the rental process of a vacation house, as I've never done it before and am not sure if what happened to me is typical, as we normally stay in hotels.

I made reservations for several days at a vacation house in Whistler for this summer. I am not sure if the people I dealt with are the actual owners of the property or just the property managers. First via email, then by telephone we corresponded regarding availability, rates and policies.

I was informed that a deposit equalling 1 night's stay was required to hold the reservation, with full payment for the entire stay being due 2 months prior to our first night's stay. Cancellation after final payment had been made would result in forfeit of the 1 night's deposit. A rental policy was faxed to me, which I read, executed and returned. The rental policy also stated the above mentioned policy re deposit, full payment, etc.

We ended up having to cancel our reservations due to cancellation of our trip up to Whistler - and I called and informed them last week. Our cancellation was 1.5 months prior to the final payment being due - plenty of time before any monetary penalties would be incurred, I thought. On the phone, the woman I had been corresponding with said it was no problem, and she would refund the money.

A few days later via email, I was informed by the woman's husband that they were placing the return on the deposit back on my credit card, but "There is a $100.00 admin fee for the return service."

Huh?! There had been no mention whatsoever in our numerous email correspondences or in the rental policy about a return service fee for the cancellation of the reservation. I knew I would forfeit the cost of one night's rental if I cancelled anytime after the 60 days prior to our reservation - but this "administrative fee" came out of the blue.

I tried calling for several days, leaving numerous messages on their voicemail, as well as sending an email to clarify this - but haven't received any response at all.

I am probably going to dispute this charge with my credit card, but I wanted to know first if this "administrative fee" is typical and I should have known about it beforehand. Am I upset about nothing?
chepar is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 982
Whistler is being hit hard this season with cancellations because of poor conditions and rumours of poor conditions.
I've never heard of any such administrative fee and have rented vacation accommodation in BC for decades.
I hope your CC company sees fit to take your side in this ugly little dispute.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
We rent vacation homes quite often. A few times that administrative fee has been mentioned in our contract. It has not been mentioned most of the times though. I would copy all your correspondence and provide that to the cc company and you should not have a problem.
mms is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,615
Thanks for the replies, as I've never had experience with this type of rental before.

I have no problem with them charging whatever fees they want to - but I felt it should have been disclosed in their rental policy, at the least. Had I known about that particular fee, I probably would have looked somewhere else to rent.

With no mention in the 2+ weeks of correspondence prior to my making the reservation AND no mention of it in the rental policy/agreement - it just felt kind of . . . sneaky.

That coupled with their refusal to respond to any of my calls or emails just made me more upset. I had absolutely no problem contacting them prior to this.

This has left a bad taste in my mouth - it may be a while before I attempt to do this sort of rental again. Luckily I still have copies of all email correspondences and the rental agreement to provide to the cc company.
chepar is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
chepar--I would be upset too, but please don't give up on house rentals just yet. They are a fantastic way to visit an area. Kind of ironic, but in todays mail was the paperwork for a house we are renting this summer. I read the fine print and there is a $25 non-refundable fee if we cancel 14 days before the arrival date. I really think any reputable person or agency would be upfront in their fees.
mms is offline  

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