VRBO Problem - Owner Living in House


Jul 10th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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VRBO Problem - Owner Living in House

We currently have a situation, showed up for a VRBO rental that was completely paid for (2 weeks) and the owner is living in one of the bedrooms downstairs in the house (not a different house on the property) that we rented. The fridge was full of his food/leftovers, etc...

This was never mentioned in the description of the property. We did not know what to say at learning this and promptly disappeared and have not returned. We've since found other accommodations.

How do we go about getting a refund from this guy, are there any mechanisms through VRBO that we can pursue. The VRBO site is very owner oriented on this matter. I have demanded a refund from the owner due to this.

Any advice on what to do?
mdjtlj is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,647
Not sure what recourse you have - except perhaps small claims court. How did you pay? Can you contact the credit card company or Paypal and dispute the charge?

I think as long as you have dated screen shots showing the details you can get money back - but it may be difficult if you paid cash and don't want to go back to sue him.

Did you ask for a refund on the spot?

If not, the sooner you get a request in writing/dated the stronger your position.
nytraveler is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Without researching this very much, I'd guess your options are limited. AFAIK, VRBO disavows responsibility for the suitability of rentals; it's pretty much a buyer-beware situation. I've used VRBO but almost never contract for a place that requires you to pay the full amount in advance, unless the place comes highly recommended by someone I know.

Maybe have your lawyer write the owner a letter demanding a refund, and see if that gets some results. And write a bad review on VRBO.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 12:06 PM
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That's the first problem right there. First thing you should have done was talked to the owner about the situation, not disappear and avoid the issue. Perhaps you could have worked out a solution but it's too late now.
WhereAreWe is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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As above, when you left without saying anything you significantly decreased your chances of any kind of resolution in your favor.
suze is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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I would be pi$$ed. Doubt you'll get any financial satisfaction from, but certainly report him and leave a review about this. Maybe it will at least get the property kicked off the site.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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I would do as Brian suggests. VRBO will not likely intervene on your behalf with the owner, but you can do some good by reporting your experience. I think small claims court, in the state where the rental is located, would be the best option for actually getting our money back.

I do wonder why you did not speak with the owner. Was he not there? How did you know it was him and not some errant child or friend of his? Maybe the Internet has caused people to forget how to address each other face to face.

But maybe he was confused about your arrival date and his being there was a simple mistake. Maybe he thought you might be OK with his staying there, but would have left upon learning you didn't like the situation. You'll never know, will you?
NewbE is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Do you have a rental agreement? What does it say? Any emails?

How did you pay? Credit card? Check? Paypal? What percentage did you pay? A down payment or everything?

Did you buy the VRBO Rental Guarantee insurance?

Are you still in Montana? What has the owner said when you asked for a refund? If you didn't, why not?
mlgb is offline  
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