One of the first steps in listing your properties on HomeAway is to become well-versed in all of the policies that exist on the site. Whether it’s knowing how to calculate fees and taxes or protecting your listing with insurance and cancellations, there is quite a bit to be aware of. Here is a summary of the basic HomeAway policies that property managers should know:
HomeAway Host Fees
How much is the HomeAway service fee?
Before getting setup with your account, you need to understand how HomeAway charges fees for hosts to list their properties. Property owners can choose a subscription-based payment system or go through HomeAway’s pay-per-booking payment option.
How are HomeAway fees calculated?
For hosts choosing the annual subscription payment option, HomeAway offers this service for an annual fee of $499. This subscription includes 12 months of service, access to HomeAway’s Reservation Manager, which helps for online bookings and other tools for managing each listing, and the ability to add up to 50 photos to each listing.
If the host decides to sign up for the pay-per-booking option, they are required to pay 8% commission on each reservation that is made using HomeAway.
Does HomeAway have hidden fees?
HomeAway charges a service fee for any bookings made through the HomeAway or VRBO platforms that can vary based on the cost of the reservation. For a better understanding of HomeAway’s fees, click here.
HomeAway Cleaning Fee
Hosts listing their properties on HomeAway have the option to set additional fees and name them accordingly. Therefore, hosts may opt to have additional services added to the cost of the reservation that will be shown to the travelers as “cleaning fee,” “pet fee” or “maintenance fee”.
How do taxes work on HomeAway, for both hosts and guests?
Taxes vary across many different areas and jurisdictions and hosts would be wise to have a better understanding of how property management taxes work in their area.
In certain locations, however, HomeAway has made agreements with local governments to manage taxes on behalf of the hosts. Once a booking has been made for a listing in one of these areas, the taxes will automatically be displayed as part of the process. The applicable taxes will also appear in the reservation receipt.
Another tax that may apply is value added tax, or VAT. Currently the countries where HomeAway collects VAT for listings include: Japan, Australia, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union.
HomeAway hosts who receive income from a source in the United States will need to provide HomeAway with their taxpayer details.
HomeAway Security Deposit
Does HomeAway take a security deposit?
On the HomeAway system, the amount required for a security deposit is entirely up to the host or homeowner. Generally, HomeAway suggests security deposits of around $500 or 10% of the total weekly rental rate, whichever is greater. It’s best to do a little research of comparable listings in your area and see what kind of deposit they’re asking for.
How does the security deposit work on HomeAway?
HomeAway accepts the security deposit as an entirely separate payment from the rental fees that will be automatically refunded to the guest a maximum of 14 days after the reservation has ended, as long as the host does not make any damage claims.
Does HomeAway provide insurance?
HomeAway offers $1M in Liability Insurance that protects owners and property managers for any reservations that were processed using the HomeAway platform checkout system. There is no added cost for this insurance and it will cover the host or owner for $1,000,000 in primary liability coverage.
This coverage applies worldwide.
Do you need extra insurance for HomeAway?
It never hurts to be too careful as a property manager. While the $1M Liability Insurance does cover hosts and owners for substantial damages, there is always added benefit in acquiring extra insurance for your listings, as the world of property management may often be unpredictable.
HomeAway Cancellation Policy
What is the cancellation policy on HomeAway?
When it comes to cancelling a reservation on the platform, HomeAway provides hosts with several options:
- Firm – Using this option, hosts allow guests to cancel a reservation up to 60 days in advance to receive a full refund of their payment and the owner is not charged any fees for the reservation. Guests who only cancel up to 30 days in advance of the reservation can receive 50% of their payment and the owner is charged booking fees for the time of the reservation.
- Strict – This option is very straightforward. Guests have only 60 days to receive a 100% refund of the money paid for the reservation. The owner is also not charged any booking fees when a reservation with a strict policy is cancelled.
- Moderate – This option is less stringent than the previous two. Guests have the option to cancel up to 30 days before their reservation and will receive a 100% refund of their payment. The owners are also not charged fees for this reservation. The guests also have the option to cancel up to 14 days in advance to receive a 50% refund. The owners are charged for the reservation with this cancellation option.
- Relaxed – The most lenient cancellation policy allows guests to cancel up to 14 days before their reservation and receive a 100% refund of their payment. The owners are also not charged fees for this reservation. The guests also have the option to cancel up to 7 days in advance to receive a 50% refund. The owners are charged for the reservation with this cancellation option.
- No refund policy – the host may choose to offer no refund for any cancellations of any kind.