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Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

New Jersey
posts: 1,142
reviews: 13
Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

We have rented through vrbo numerous times and it's always worked out great but I'm always nervous plunking down a lot of the total cost way before our travel dates, with little or no recourse if something happens to force us to cancel. If you go through the resort/condo itself is the cancellation policy any better?

Macomb, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
posts: 3,847
reviews: 1
1. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

There is no set policy for condo owners. Each may handle it differently. Find an owner who will work with you. Or get trip insurance.

Knoxville, Tennessee
posts: 2,232
reviews: 21
2. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

As kiddos said, cancellation policies vary from owner to owner, property to property (even if booking directly) as will the payment schedule so just make sure you know what it is. Some will collect an "administrative fee" if you cancel before the final payment is due, others only if they can not re-rent the property. Once a final payment is made, usually you will not receive any refund so make sure you can either afford to lose your money or have trip insurance to cover the cancellation. None of us can know what will happen in say 3 or 6 months so it is a gamble when booking in advance, but if you want to lock in a particular property, it's the chance you need to take. Unlike a hotel, condo owners can not afford to let people cancel at the last minute, especially when they may have turned down another potential renter for the same time frame. Even hotels/resorts in many places are instituting stricter cancellation policies. Cancelling before 6 PM on arrival day is no longer an option in many places, even local hotels.

Edited: 6:30 pm, June 24, 2013
Annapolis, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
posts: 4,412
reviews: 16
3. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

Thanks for the credit, Barb, but it was NorthSideSue who offered the insight. She is on the inside track on this issue, not me : )

Knoxville, Tennessee
posts: 2,232
reviews: 21
4. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

Oops! Kiddos, I'm just so used to you being a wealth of info I didn't look closely . Sorry Northside Sue!

Brooklyn, New York
posts: 45
reviews: 32
5. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

I would always book direct with the condo. We stayed at the Meridian on SMB twice and it was good to be in direct contact with the property manager. We even got a free night that way!

Knoxville, Tennessee
posts: 2,232
reviews: 21
6. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

Price can play into this as renting directly through an owner may yield some savings over renting directly with the condo complex. Just make sure that policies (cancellation, check-in/check-out, etc.) and amenities will be the same when doing a price comparison. You may get daily housekeeping when renting directly thru the condo where owners may provide more limited housekeeping during your stay, if at all. Owners may be more willing to negotiate price, particularly if bookings are slow and/or the have some open nights between existing bookings. You can always ask.

Also make sure there will be an on-island contact when booking thru an owner. If you have a problem, it can be difficult to get it resolved when the owner is thousands of miles away compared to just being able to go to the complex's front office.

Everyone just needs to do what they are most comfortable with.

Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,935
reviews: 85
7. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

I definitely recommend understanding the cancellation policy that the condo owner or management company has put in place, and getting trip insurance. The other thing would be to pay using a credit card. That way, if you are worried that the owner may not fulfill the agreed-upon cancellation policy, you have some recourse with the credit card company to not lose your money.

Knoxville, Tennessee
posts: 2,232
reviews: 21
8. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

Some owners will take Paypal, which also gives you some protection but as with credit cards, you may have to pay the transaction fees. Check before making any payment.

9. Re: Cancellation Policies when renting a condo

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