No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - Covid Experience

I recently had a guest claim 3 weeks ahead of time that 3 of his family members got Covid and that he deserved to be refunded all of his money for a weeklong stay at my VRBO. I offered him a full credit refund for future travel but not full cash.

He denied it and made a big ordeal out of it, but VRBO stood by my policy. I ended up giving him half of his money back and allowing him to only stay at my home for the first half of the stay, instead of the 2nd half.

Overheard his friend say that they were going to a bigger house over the weekend with a bigger pool after staying at my home.

Point of story: Don’t trust everyone and go ahead and ask for proof of documentation of someone being sick or even death in the family, and don’t feel bad for asking as I lost out on $600.


Such a shame they took advantage of you. Like you I try to work with guests who state they “need” to cancel.

As time passes I’ve become harder. I like the idea of refunding if rebook. We are all just living & learning.

NEVER. EVER. GIVE. REFUNDS. That’s what Air and BRBO take their cut for – working so you don’t havez to.


Ken H you are a hero on this. best

After many years of landlording I have learned that the excuse is most likely a lie, you have policies keep with your policies.

If someone contacts us to cancel inside of our cancellation window, we tell them to cancel immediately to open up the calendar for a potential to book their dates. If we do book the dates, we send them a refund. If the dates stay open, we do not.


Is anyone thinking of changing their listing allowing only vaccinated persons stay?
I am a fully vaccinated host and am seriously considering it. I am not looking for your opinion on getting vaccinated.

How would you enforce this?

Also, this has been discussed previously…have you seen those discussions?

First of all, I don’t know how you’d enforce that- you’d have to either ask them for proof or trust that they were telling the truth.

Secondly, I don’t see much value in it. Getting vaccinated protects you from getting super sick if you do contract the virus, and if you do get it, you can still pass it on to others. So a guest being vaccinated only means the same- if they got the virus, they won’t get super sick, but they can still pass the virus to others.

no, I could not find that discussion…How can I find it?
Then I would follow the airlines travel policy and request proof of their CDC vaccination. This is the card that one receives with all the valid info after their vaccinations. Staples will make copies of it and laminate the original for free. I was thinking about putting a document holder in an accessible area to both the host and the guest. Verify the info, return the doc and the guest can pick it up when they check out.

Be Present

The site has a search function. Click on the magnifying glass and type in vaccinations.

Please report back to us how this goes. I’m skeptical but hope it works for you.

Maybe you never get non-American guests. No one but Americans would have a CDC proof. Others might have a vax paper in a foreign language.

I would never let my vaccination card out of my possession. Until this pandemic is truly over, that card could be a ticket to a “normal” life and I wouldn’t risk losing it.


I totally agree. Yes, but a copy is ok.

Be Present

If you have all the business you want, then by all means you need to do what you are most comfortable with. By limiting your guests this way, they will just look to other booking options or report your listing. Not that it would do any good but guests report hosts for discrimination all the time. I personally have not reopened my shared listing (other than to direct book/returning guests) as I am still recuperating from a knee replacement and I had to say goodbye to one of my pugs recently and I’m quite brokenhearted. That said, I don’t know how you could enforce this with all the fake documents available these days nor do I think Air would back you. It might qualify under the Mrs Murphy exemption but I haven’t any clue.

My condolences on this loss. That stinks.

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I am sorry. I can emphasize. I still miss my beloved schnauzer. My two tiny brat-purse-dogs are very different. Our pets are such important family.

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