Vacation Rental Agreements should be prepared by a real estate attorney. The agreement should include clauses that address cancellations. Here is an example: “If cancellation is more than sixty (60) days from arrival date all sums paid will be refunded in full less credit card fees. If cancellation is less than sixty (60) days from the date of arrival and before thirty (30) days from the date of arrival, fifty percent (50%) of the sum paid for the lodging fee will be retained as a cancellation fee. Cleaning sums paid will be refunded in full. Other administrative fees paid, including but not limited to administrative fees paid through VRBO are non-refundable. Credit card fees, VRBO service fee and the PDP policy are not fees collected by the Owner and will not be refunded by Owner. Guest must seek refund of these fees directly with VRBO. Early departure for any reason (including but not limited to, civil commotion, strikes, lockouts, fire or other casualty, acts of God, inclement weather, natural disaster, medical pandemics/epidemics, state boarder closure, flight or other travel restrictions, and civil unrest that may interfere or prevent Guest’s use of the Property, and beach and amenities closure) does not warrant any refund of sums paid including but not limited to rent/ lodging fee, tax and cleaning fees.” This this is only a partial example, contact a real estate attorney with experience drafting real estate contracts.
The vacation rental contract prepared by a board-certified real estate lawyer should also include provisions limiting liability of the owner. Here is an example: “Owner is not responsible for any accidents, injuries or illness that occur to Guest, any member of the Rental Party or Guest’s Visitors while in the Property or on the Property. Owner assumes no responsibility for any medical expenses, injury, or damage suffered by Guest, any member of the Rental Party or Guest’s Visitors in connection with the use of the Property. Owner is not responsible for loss of personal belongings or valuables belonging to Guest, any member of the Rental Party or Guest’s Visitors. Guest agrees to assume the risk of harm arising from use of the Property and hereby assumes responsibility for any consequences of the actions of Guest, any member of the Rental Party or Guest’s Visitors, including minors.” Limitation of liability clauses should follow conspicuous requirements, should be in all caps, and bold. The vacation rental contract should also state: “GUEST REPRESENTS AND WARRANTS TO THE RELEASED PARTIES THAT GUEST WILL NOT USE THE RENTAL PROPERTY FOR A PERIOD OF FOURTEEN (14) DAYS IF GUEST OR SOMEONE IN GUEST’S HOME IS SICK OR HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO ISSICK.” The vacation rental contract should also include a clause that states: “GUEST EXPRESSLY ASSUMES ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND ALL RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY, SICKNESS, DISEASE, VIRUS, DEATH, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE UPON MYSELF, ANY MEMBER OF THE RENTAL PARTY OR MY VISITORS, TO THE EXCLUSION OF LANDLORD, AND TO EXEMPT AND RELIEVE LANDLORD FROM LIABILITY FOR PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE OR WRONGFUL DEATH.”
The above are only partial examples that should be included in a vacation rental contract. For a more thorough and complete contract, contact a Texas real estate lawyer. You can reach The Weaver Law Firm at 713-572-4900.