Holiday home rentals can be a great way for travellers to enjoy a fabulous and memorable experience whilst holidaying. However, cancellations of these reservations can cause a number of problems for both guests and property owners.
Our advice would be to always use cancellations as a last resort. Cancellations are at times unavoidable but if they can be avoided it can save a lot of stress for owners and guests alike.
Below are some issues to be aware of when considering cancelling bookings.
- Expenses: In many cases, cancelling a holiday home booking will result in expenses for alternative accommodation or travel arrangements. In the case of an owner cancellation, those costs need to be absorbed by the owner. Furthermore, if the cancelled booking has come through a 3rd party platform, they charge penalty fees of € 100 or more for owner cancellations.
- Confusion and inconvenience: Cancelling a reservation can be confusing and inconvenient for both guests and property owners. Guests may have spent a long time searching for your property and organised their travel plans according to the availability. Cancelling a booking can leave them having to scramble to find alternative accommodation and that can often be very difficult.
- Damage to reputation: Cancelling a reservation can damage the reputation of the advertiser and also the property owner. This is particularly the case when a booking has come through a platform such as Airbnb where owner cancellations are displayed in the review section of the property's listing. Owners can look unreliable. Furthermore, the third party platforms (for example Airbnb, VRBO) push listings down their rankings in the case that owners cancel reservations.
- Legal issues: In some cases, cancellations of holiday home reservations can lead to legal disputes between guests and property owners. This can be time-consuming and costly for both parties. It's important that owners understand that they are entering into legally binding contracts when accepting holiday rental bookings.
- Strained relationships: Cancelling a reservation can strain the relationship between guests and property owners, especially if the cancellation is last-minute or causes significant inconvenience for the other party. Sometimes guests might book the same property year after year; and a cancellation may be the end of that relationship.
- Loss of valuable time: For guests, cancelling a reservation can mean losing out on valuable time during their holiday that they have been looking forward to. This can be especially frustrating if the cancellation was not planned and the guest is unable to find a suitable alternative accommodation.
- Disruption of travel plans: Cancelling a holiday home reservation can disrupt a guest's travel plans, such as flights and transportation arrangements. This can be inconvenient and costly for the guest, who may have to make last-minute changes to their itinerary.
Given the numerous problems involved with cancelling reservations, cancellations should always be a measure of last resort. It's essential that availability calendars are kept up-to-date to avoid double-bookings. We always request that owners notify us as soon as possible if they know that for any reason their property won't be available. By doing that, cancellations and the problems associated with them can largely be avoided.