Vacation Rental Guide / What is VRBO? / VRBO Cancellation Policy

What is VRBO cancellation policy?

A VRBO owner cancellation policy is not only important to have, but it is a must. You should notify those parties that wish to stay in your vacation rental of your cancellation policy with VRBO. This not only gives them the necessary information, but it also covers you should they not show up for the rental. Otherwise, it would leave you with an empty rental when it could have been rented out to other guests during the time that they canceled. It is the safest bet for vacation rental and short-term rental owners.

Which VRBO cancellation policy should owners choose?

There are five different cancellation policies that you can choose from. These policies vary from a more relaxed policy to a very strict one.

The policy that the owner chooses is up to them and their specific needs. Setting your vacation rental for one of these policies is ideal for an owner to make up any expenses from not renting the property during that time.

The firm and strict VRBO cancellation policy

Both the firm and strict VRBO cancellation policies are similar, though the strict policy is firmer.

For the firm VRBO host cancellation policy, if a traveler cancels up to 60 days prior to their stay, they are given a 100% full refund on their stay and not charged any fees. For those that cancel within the 30 days from staying mark, they receive half or 50% of the costs of the rental and booking fees are charged. This allows the owner to have the right to either give all of the money back or keep half depending on the time of the cancellation.

The strict VRBO host cancellation policy approach states that the traveler has up to 60 days to cancel their booking to receive their full 100% refund without being charged any booking fees. The owner then has the right to keep their down payment and fees otherwise.

Moderate (recommended)

If you’d like to be a little more relaxed on the policy for guests, the moderate policy provides the travelers with a way to cancel up to 30 days before their stay to get their complete refund, instead of  60 days. They can also cancel within 14 days to get 50% of their money back, but they are still charged booking fees. 


This again is a more relaxed VRBO rental cancellation policy for the traveler staying in the owner’s vacation rental as it gives them up to 14 days to cancel their reservation to receive a full 100% refund with no booking fees being charged. For a 50% or half refund of their reservation, they can cancel up to 7 days before their stay but booking fees are charged.

How CAN VRBO owners cancel reservations on VRBO

vrbo cancellation policy procedure

1. Log into their VRBO owner login page

2. Click on the reservation listing you wish to cancel

3. Go to the ‘Reservations’ button

4. Find the reservation you wish to cancel on the page and then scroll to the bottom where it says ‘Cancel Reservation’, click it and save

Those owners that wish to refund any of the guests for their cancellation must do so prior to canceling out the reservation in the system.

How VRBO hosts can adjust their cancellation policy

1. Go to your VRBO Dashboard

2. Select which listing you’d like to edit or adjust

3. Go to the ‘Settings’ button, then the ‘Rental Agreement and Cancellation Policy’ button and click

4. 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 or on the rental agreement that they’ve signed. Therefore, owners can choose to offer no refunds and all cancellation policies are at their discretion.

HomeAway also offers insurance for cancellations called Cancellation Protection Policy at an extra cost. You can read more about it here.

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.