What are my rights if I canceled a vacation rental within 48 hours of making the reservation and 5 months away from the vacation itself but was not given my deposit back?

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What are my rights if I canceled a vacation rental within 48 hours of making the reservation and 5 months away from the vacation itself but was not given my deposit back?

The rental agreement states that the reservation is refundable up to 50% of the full price of the rental, which happens to be the amount of the deposit. I am out $1200 (50%) of the full price.

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Once you enter into an agreement for a rental, the other party does not need to give you any money back unless they have a refund or cancellation policy of some type--that is, the law does not require refunds for cancellations by the guests/customers. If there is a cancellation policy, they don't have to give you back any more than their policy requires.

You say that the deposit was $1,200, which is 50% of the full price--which means taht the full price would be $2,400--and that if you cancel, you are supposed to get 50% of the full price back. In that case, they are doing the correct thing by holding the deposit: you owe them half of $2,400, or $1,200; they are therefore keeping the $1,200. It would make no sense for them to return the deposit to you, then have to sue you for $1,200.


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