Cancellations, How Do They Work?

As we all know, sometimes life happens and our plans don’t pan out quite the way we were hoping or expecting them to.  This often happens in the vacation rental business – jobs are lost, accidents happen, blizzards come through that keep kids out of school for weeks in the winter that they’ve got to make up at the end of the school year.  When issues like this arise, they can, unfortunately, impact travel plans for many families.  As we have had several occurrences of this nature in the last few months, I thought that it would be helpful to address what happens on the owner’s side of a cancellation.

When a reservation is canceled, the guest acknowledges our cancellation policy that they will lose all funds paid unless the week is rebooked.  This means that the owner will receive the funds for all of the rent collected from the tenant.  If the final payment has not been made, the owner will get half of the rack rate for that week, or they will receive the full amount of rent if the reservation has been paid in full.  If the week is rebooked at a discount, the original tenant is responsible for the difference in cost between the rate that they booked the property for and the rate the new tenant.  For example, if tenant A has a canceled reservation with an owner rate of $1,000/week and the tenant B books that week for $800/week, then tenant A will be charged $200 so that the full rent that they agreed to pay is furnished to the owner.

There are special circumstances where we will reach out to owners to see if they would be amenable to the tenant moving their stay to another week, or perhaps to see if the owner would like to handle the cancellation differently and issue a refund where one normally would not be permitted.  As some of you are well aware, we have guests that come back year after year to the same property, developing a relationship with both the owners and Topsail Realty.  Due to that, we will sometimes reach out to the owner and leave it at your discretion as far as how the cancellation and refund will be handled.  We always strive to ensure that our owners are protected – your business is our business!

Jessica Scarborough, Accounting Administrator