VRBO guest's second payment is way past due and check-in date is almost here

VRBO shut down their community forum so I’m hoping a VRBO host in this forum can help me. I have a guest who only paid the first installment of 2 payments on VRBO. He is already past the due date for the second payment and the arrival date is within a week. My cancellation policy is no refund within 2 weeks of check in. He has not responded to the payment reminder emails. My question is:

If he doesn’t pay the 2nd installment, does VRBO automatically cancel his reservation and pay me his deposit after the check-in day? His reservation is for 1 week and I want to open my calendar up for other renters. I don’t want to cancel it myself since I may get dinged and not get paid.

I searched but could not find the answer. I want to check with you guys first before calling VRBO.
Thanks in advance.

First - text or (gasp!) call the person. Lots of the emails through Vrbo go ignored or end up in spam.

It’s your responsibility to collect the second payment, not Vrbo’s. If you don’t do anything, the guest can show up (or not) without paying the balance and Vrbo will release the funds they did pay.

If you cancel their reservation for non-payment, you’ll probably get dinged. It’s crazy, I know, but that’s what I’ve heard from other hosts on a Facebook Vrbo forum. I’ll check that forum and see if there is any other advice.


Here’s what I found on the other forum:
Your guest might think their credit card is automatically charged for the second payment on Vrbo. It is not. So contact them some other way besides email.

One trick some hosts suggest is to change the reservation to a single day (still within the no-refund period) to open up your calendar.

If you have an uploaded rental agreement on Vrbo that states you can cancel and keep the deposit for non-payment, the Vrbo CS agent might let you cancel at no penalty to you. But I’d call to do that and not just cancel through the dashboard.


Thanks PitonView, that was very helpful tips!

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If a guest doesn’t pay the 2nd payment, VRBO can’t do anything about it, except pay you what they have collected (50%), and then you do not have let the guests in without payment, at that point how they pay you doesn’t matter. So you will collect at least 50% and at worst end up with an empty place.

I have one last guest with VRBO who I am praying doesn’t cancel before 60 days, in the future is No Refund period.

Update - The guest finally called me a week before check in and said he tried to make the 2nd payment on VRBO on his phone but it didn’t work. I told him to do it on a PC or call them directly and yes, he did make the final payment. Thanks all.


Happy to hear it ended well.

Now is the time to consider when you want the second payment when considering how much time you need to get a replacement booking. We have second payment and no refunds at 60 days prior (fly-to location and larger home). Our contract also has the clause that, if they have not paid in full as of 55 days before check in, that’s considered to be the same as a cancellation by the GUEST. That means we keep their money and open the dates to see if we can get it booked by someone else… Of course, I try really hard to get them to pay before the 55 days and sometimes give them a few more days if they are communicating.


Same thing happened to me. Luckily I checked my bank account on the day they were checking out and quickly emailed them and they apologised and made the payment. But still … Vrbo knows their 2nd payment didn’t go through but they still allow them to travel?? Very weird. With 350+ guests on airbnb nothing like that has ever happened. I’m trying to split my guests over 2 platforms so want more Vrbo guests, but there are definitely some glitches! I think the guests assume the 2nd payment is taken from their card automatically, but actually it has to be done manually.


Yes. You actually have to (and get to) run your own business with Vrbo compared to AirBnB.

Hi, I am curious why not change it be 1 payment option if the second payment is so annoying?

It’s not a problem now that I know about it. In the future I won’t send them the pre arrival email with all the checkin details until the second payment has been made.
Having used Airbnb for so long which works so smoothly, it hadn’t occurred to me that VRBO would let the guests check in without having made payment.

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If they also have booked on Airbnb before, that would be an easy assumption for them to make.

I thought VRBO sent check-in details to the guests before their check-in dates.

I had a guest who did not make her second payment through VRBO and I was never notified by VRBO. Months went by. Then a family member notified me that she died from cancer and the family could not pay the 50% balance due. It was too late to get another booking so I let them go to my beach house anyway. This was a huge financial loss from me, but I was never informed by VRBO that the second payment was not made or I would have canceled them and opened up that prime week to be rented by another family.

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It’s unfortunate this happened to you. It almost sounds like a scam - not being able to pay the second payment due to a death in the family.

You’ve learned the hard way that Vrbo doesn’t manage your business for you. It’s up to you to monitor payments. I suspect most Vrbo guests assume the second payment will be automatically charged to their credit card and it’s not - they have to submit a payment.

Set up one one-time payment requiring the guest to pay in full at the time their bookings were confirmed.

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