Chapter 6

Vrbo Cancellation Policy for Owners

A Vrbo owner cancellation policy isn’t just important to have, it’s actually a must! It ensures that everyone involved is on the same page. Not only does it provide guests with all the necessary information regarding their booking, but it also covers you in case your guests don’t show up.

Without a proper cancellation policy in place, hosts can often be left empty-handed. Therefore, it’s the safest bet for vacation rental owners to do their research and prepare ahead of time. 

Disclaimer: Lodgify is not Vrbo

Lodgify is a vacation rental software that provides tools for hosts to independently increase their bookings and maximize their time. We know how crucial it is to be on listing sites – especially when you’re just getting started. And that’s why we’ve put together this Vrbo guide to help you navigate through their features.

If you’re a Lodgify customer and want to connect via API with Vrbo, please get in touch with our customer support team to request changes in cancellation policies. For more information: Connect Lodgify to Vrbo

If you’d like more information on how Vrbo is dealing with cancellations during the Covid-19 outbreak, please check out our blog post here: Coronavirus: How to Manage and Protect Your Vacation Rental.

Vrbo cancellation policies for hosts

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to decide what the cancellation policy on your rental home is. Vrbo includes six options that you can choose from when you first list your home. These options include the following policies:

  • No refund policy: The most strict option of all; bookings at your vacation rental are non-refundable. 
  • Strict (60-day) policy: Guests get a 100% refund if they cancel at least 60 days before their check-in date.
  • Firm (60/30-day) policy: Guests get a 100% refund if they cancel at least 60 days before their check-in date. If they cancel at least 30 days before check-in, they get a 50% refund (excluding the service fee). After 30 days, the booking will be non-refundable. 
  • Moderate (30/14-day) policy: Guests get a 100% refund if they cancel at least 30 days before their check-in date. If they cancel 14 days before check-in, they get a 50% refund (excluding the service fee). Cancellations less than 14 days before check-in are non-refundable. 
  • Relaxed (14/7-day) policy: Guests get a 100% refund if they cancel their booking at least 14 days before check-in. If they cancel at least 7 days before check-in, they get a 50% refund (excluding the service fee). Cancellations less than 7 days before the check-in date are non-refundable.
  • Custom policy: Vrbo also allows some properties to have custom cancellation policies. These policies have different terms and fees, which can be accessed by guests directly from the property page. Hosts should mention their custom rules in their property’s description in order to avoid confusion. 

You will have to take into consideration which option is best for your property. Stricter cancellation policies may protect you more as an owner but flexible cancellation options are usually more popular among potential guests. Finding a middle ground that benefits both you and your guests is ideal.

How to cancel a guest’s reservation

While it’s never ideal to cancel a guest’s reservation, there may be scenarios where you’re forced to do so. Here are the steps you need to follow: 

  • Log into your Vrbo owner login page
  • Click on the reservation listing you wish to cancel
  • Go to the Inbox 
  • Find the guest’s name in the All Messages drop-down menu
  • Click on Cancel booking
  • Choose the reason for the cancellation in the drop-down menu 
  • Review the refund amount and click Continue
  • Click Confirm  

It’s important to know that depending on your reason for canceling, you might qualify for a cancellation waiver. However, if you don’t receive a waiver, your ranking metrics will be negatively affected by your cancellation. 

How to approve a guest’s cancellation request

If a guest needs to cancel a reservation and your approval is needed, here’s what you need to do: 

  • Go to the My Trips section of your guests and check that they have requested the cancellation 
  • Click on the listing that the guest would like to cancel 
  • Click on the Inbox
  • Filter your conversation in the All Messages drop-down menu
  • Select the guest’s name
  • Click on Confirm cancellation 

How to adjust your Vrbo cancellation policy

If you’d like to change your cancellation policy for whatever reason, follow the next steps: 

  • Go to your Vrbo Dashboard
  • Select which listing you’d like to edit or adjust
  • Go to the Settings button, then the Rental Agreement and Cancellation Policy button and click
  • Select which policy you would like to use in the Cancellation Policy section and save the changes you’ve made

Can Vrbo owners choose to offer no refunds?

Guests can get refunds on their canceled booking depending on the cancellation policy that the Vrbo owner has chosen. Therefore, owners can choose to offer no refunds and all cancellation policies are at their discretion.

Vrbo cancellation policy due to weather

If a guest has to cancel due to natural disasters such as a hurricane, flood, or storm, they should get in contact with the owner. The owner and the guest must then come up with a solution, such as refunding the guest or rescheduling the stay for a different time.

Vrbo cancellation policy due to COVID-19

There are several practices that hosts should be aware of to handle COVID-19 cancellations. Here’s what Vrbo recommends: 

  • Applying a flexible or moderate cancellation policy to your vacation rental. Because of the constantly changing travel restrictions, guests are more likely to book properties that have flexible cancellation policies. 
  • Blocking your calendar or hiding your listing if your listing is directly affected by travel restrictions. Stay up-to-date with local laws and regulations so that you can avoid canceling on travelers last minute. 

Now that you have a deeper understanding of Vrbo’s cancellation policies, it’s time to learn about insurance and how to protect your property. 

How to Adjust the Vrbo Cancellation Policy from Lodgify

If you’re a Lodgify customer connected via API and want to adjust your Vrbo cancellation policies, please get in touch with our customer success team to request changes. For more information, check out our Knowledge base article here.