I rented a property in the Algarve for 8 days in February 2019. I advised the property owner that I might have to cancel because my husband was unexpectedly seriously ill. Ultimately I did have to cancel and I acknowledge it was too late for a full refund in terms of the cancellation policy. The property owner was not at all cooperative in helping me cancel the reservation.
In the end the reservation was cancelled and the property owner re-listed it and was successful in re- renting it for the whole period of time.
I expected a refund or at minimum a partial refund. HomeAway has no provision for such a situation i.e. reimbursing a client in the event the owner suffers no financial loss.
HomeAway was not helpful at all.
Ultimately I reported the matter to the Better Business Bureau. HomeAway responded to them and stated that although they do not mediate such matters they try to get the parties to settle.
HomeAway took no responsibility at all and states that they are not a "party" to this matter despite all email communication going to them and all payments made to them. D
The property owner never attempted to settle. In fact she basically rarely responded to me at all.
The property owner has been unjustly enriched. She has received twice the financial benefit. Legally, unjust enrichment would normally result in, in a case like this, the owner being required to refund my money.
HomeAway has no policy or guidelines to remedy such a situation. They should revise their policy guidelines to address situations where the owner successfully re-rents a property no matter the cancellation policy.
It should be noted that a "policy" is just that: A POLICY. It is not a binding contract. As such, it should be seen as a guideline that can be revised, or expanded. It is not cast in stone.
I recommend looking for a more reputable vacation rental company. If anything goes wrong with your reservation you will get no help from the company or, as in this case, the property owner.