Chimicles & Tikellis has filed a class action lawsuit against vacation rental marketplace giant HomeAway following countless reports that HomeAway charges renters a service fee when they book through HomeAway’s Vaction Rentals By Owner (VRBO) website and its other websites. The complaint alleges that, despite HomeAway’s promises to rental property owners that it will not charge these fees, HomeAway does so anyway. As a result, prospective renters experience a large increase in booking fees at the point of payment. These fees discourage renters from actually completing the booking. As a result of these large fees, rental property owners are losing a significant number of bookings and substantial amounts of rental income across the country. Some rental owners have seen such a significant drop off in rental bookings that they have been forced to sell their rental properties.
Prior to February 9, 2016, HomeAway – through its own website, its VRBO website, and its other websites – consistently represented to rental owners that renters will not be subjected to fees of any kind. This promise was what separated HomeAway and VRBO from its competitors, and rental owners purchased subscription services through HomeAway based upon this promise. The complaint alleges that on February 9, in the middle of its contracts with rental owners across the nation, VRBO unilaterally changed its policies and began imposing service fees upon renters. The complaint alleges that this change in policy violates state consumer protection laws and breaches HomeAway’s contracts with Plaintiffs and members of the putative class. The complaint – linked below – asserts eighteen (18) causes of action on behalf of ten (10) Plaintiffs from nine (9) states.
If you purchased a rental subscription from HomeAway through its VRBO website or any other HomeAway website prior to February 9, 2016 and have experienced your bookings subjected to a renter or service fee, please contact the lawyers listed below.