Input needed on cancellation policy

I’ve got a private rental request for a 30 day rental so I’m giving them a LTR lease for 10/15-11/15. I do these a couple times a year but this year is different

Situation: guest lives in Canada. Rental in USA. Border closed except for essential travel. Guest hopeful closure to be lifted.

I gave guest opportunity to cancel now with full refund including deposit (which they haven’t sent) since no signed lease in hand & no deposit made, I’m creating a new lease
Requiring payment in full by 9/1; non-refundable after 9/15 (30 days prior to reservation start).

Does that sound reasonable?

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I take a full month’s deposit when they sign the lease and the rent on move-in. If they have to cancel, you just keep the deposit (which in this case covers your whole 30 days term with them). Or am I missing something?


That’s what I would do. I’m not sure how much your deposit is, but either way, as they would only be cancelling due to the travel restriction I would refund rent/deposit as long as they cancelled within your date parameters.

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I suspect that Canada is going to keep their borders closed for a long time to come, especially for US visitors because of the high infection rate in the States. And if Canada keeps the border closed, the US is likely to do tit-for-tat, even though Canada has done quite well in keeping the numbers down.

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I second the doubt that the border will be open by Oct 15.

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I do too. They were good guests last year and I want to be respectful so I decided to involve them in the decision. I think once they realize there are deposit dollars at risk, they will postpone/cancel.

"I’m glad you are still interested in the rental. We need to get a signed contract for the rental 10/15/20-11/15/20.

The usual contract requires a non-refundable payment 60 days before the reservation. These are odd times. To recognize the uncertainty which of these deposit options would you like? All are in USD.

  1. $500 non-refundable deposit due September 1. Balance due, $650 (=$1150-$500) on or before day of check-in 10/15.

  2. $1,150 payment in full by September 1, 2020. If not paid then reservation cancelled.

    If paid, the reservation is confirmed, then if necessary to cancel, then you would be refunded for any nights booked & paid by someone else.

This way I am not paid twice for the same nights. For example, you cancel after payment. Then, I am able to rent 10/15-10/31 so I would refund your payment for those nights.

  1. Book through Airbnb. They require full payment up-front. To receive a refund, you must cancel by 9/13/20. They also offer a last minute full refund option for extenuating circumstances confirmed with a physician note that you cannot travel due to personal illness or quarantine.

The reason for the 30 to 45 day advance cancellation notice requirement is because this is peak time for people booking 30 day or more rentals for the months of October - May. 10/15/20-11/15/20 are currently unavailable and reserved for you. If you cancel, lead time is needed to get re-booked.

Please let me know which option you would like."


Excellent way to handle it. I’m sure there are many Canadians who love to get away in the winter to US destinations who are going to have a long, hard winter.

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yep-It is common for me to get Canadian snowbird golfer bookings for January & early February. They then go to Florida and rent April from me as they travel back home. this way they can play different courses in the different locations. My area is 1/2 of the travel distance from Ontario to Miami. They stay with me going to Miami and on the way home.