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Owners are selling their STR

I’ve been on VRBO for two decades and Air for about 6 years, as a host. Mostly my own homes but as you might remember, I manage one for a family for the last five years. They told me last week that they are going to put that home on the golf course up for sale. They expect it will take maybe 60 days to sell. I think otherwise due to their projected price point, but its not my decision.

The saddest part of all of this, besides the loss of income, is that they have stated that any renters in November or December will simply be out of luck and they will cancel their reservations (if the house sells in their expected timeframe). I exclaimed that was simply NOT RIGHT and their retort was “who cares. We won’t be having another rental again so we don’t care about our reputation”.

I have a week renter coming up from Southern CA for Thanksgiving. Then three renters that fill up all but 9 days in December.

I’m discouraged by the owners’ position. I know, its their home and I’m just an “agent”, but I do enjoy the job and handling all these guests and the great and not so great relationships that they bring by renting this home.

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Are the owners aware that they will be monetary penalized by Airbnb for all those cancellations? They might change their minds when they add up how much it will cost them. An option would be to give the incoming guests a heads up so they can cancel and book elsewhere.

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I would cancel them now and block the calendar for all dates going forward. Hand it back to the owner, don’t let them pull you down with them.

RR

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Tell them you will be giving notice effective the listing date.

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The guests may not be out in the cold. It appears when my neighbor sold his condo, his existing bookings were offered the opportunity book With the new owner.

However there is no guarantee the new owner will offer the property for STR.

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It’s a shame that you’ve lost your job. However, there’s not much you can do about it. At least you’re still able to enjoy offering hospitality via your own listings

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oh, I don’t know anything about penalties. Thanks very much! Off to research that.

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Are they listing it under their name and you are a co host or is the listing is under another your name?

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I had to pay Airbnb $50 for canceling a reservation. They deducted it from the following payout.

I’m pretty sure hosts have posted here before that selling a property qualifies the host for extenuating circumstances and reservations can be cancelled without penalty.

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Yes we did that a few years ago. I’m not 100% that it still applies but I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t. After all, they can’t deduct anything from future payments if there aren’t any.

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This is true. I had a friend that just went through the process. She had 12 reservations that were cancelled penalty free.

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@Ritz3 and @murphysranch - As others mentioned, the penalties may not apply in this case. We were involved in a situation like this and ABB waived the owner’s penalties.

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Once the house goes under contract, it will still be at least a month before the day of the Act of Sale (unless it’s a cash offer, in which case it would be more like 2 weeks). Why rush to cancel these reservations when the house hasn’t even been listed yet? Also, as the manager of their property, I think you’d be wise to find out the exact amount of the penalties they’ll be charged for the cancellations so you can pass that information to the sellers. Beyond that, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be at peace with “what is,” because these people have made a decision based on their circumstances, and it does you no good to wish the situation were different.

That could be a breach of contract, depending on the arrangement made between owner and manager.

I think that’s jumping the gun. The house will not change hands for at least a month. It takes time to get to the Act of Sale, and of course, there first has to be a buyer. Do confer with the owners to agree on a cut-off date, and block all dates after that, but no need to jump the gun on the current bookings until you have some idea when the Act of Sale will take place. You’ll still be able to give the upcoming guests a month’s notice if you have to cancel them.

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Many people only do the right thing when they are being watched, or it’s to their benefit. Unfortunately for many personal ethics are a sliding scale based on how much they can get away with. You’re very lucky you’ve never came up on the short stick with them in any of your dealings, sounds like they would have just as easily screwed you in something, but the circumstances just never surfaced. However, this exit with you might be when it happens, they could easily apply the same attitude to you, “never going to need your services again.” I’d be very careful with them during this parting of ways, they have shown their true ethics.

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Well what if one of those last guests causes damage?

Unless the home is perfect, lots of things may need to happen before listing, such as inspections, repairs, staging, etc. The last rental I sold my realtor did showings before listing.

No need. The exact amount is $0.

Yes, find out the exact date they will need to take full control. Keep reservations and even take new reservations that will complete before that date.

The owners aren’t going out of their way to accommodate everyone, but they aren’t cheating anyone, either. A few guests will be inconvenienced. @murphysranch is going to lose an income stream (hopefully temporarily) which you could compare to a typical corporate restructuring/layoff scenario. What is ethically wrong here?

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Communication is really important. Find out if the owner wants to keep accepting bookings until a certain date. If realtors may want to show the property, let guests know upfront. A booked up Airbnb can be used as a selling point, so don’t make blanket decisions like cancelling all bookings immediately without conferring with the owners to learn their intentions. To do so would almost seem retaliatory, and ultimately hurts all parties - the guests, the owners, and the host.

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