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Airbnb Property Management by Awning
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AvantStay Complaints by Owners and Guests

AvantStay Complaints by Owners and Guests

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AvantStay Complaints by Owners and Guests

Choosing which company should manage your short-term rental property is as important as choosing which property to buy. Although it’s a relatively new company, AvantStay is gaining more and more popularity in the US vacation rental industry.

But is AvantStay worth all the buzz? Is it really the best Airbnb property management provider for your needs?

In brief, no! While AvantStay boasts a positive reputation across online customer review websites, some AvantStay complaints by hosts and guests raise serious questions which make us doubt the quality of services offered by this company.

In this article we will analyze the main complaints which hosts and guests have filed against AvantStay. For each one, we will discuss if there is a way to avoid getting into this trap or if it’s better to just take your business elsewhere.

* If you’re looking for the top short-term rental property manager, Awning is the national leader in vacation rental management services. It offers full-service property management in all 50 US states, which allows you to enjoy totally passive income at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.

What Is AvantStay

AvantStay is a full-service vacation rental management company which provides group travel experiences. It only manages entire homes with 4+ bedrooms. In terms of geographical coverage, the company is present in over 70 cities in 13 US states and Mexico. They currently hold a portfolio of around 600 properties, which is relatively few compared to the main AvantStay competitors: Vacasa (35,000+) and Evolve (24,000+).

AvantStay provides the following services:

  • Access to in-house award-winning interior design team
  • Smart technology installation
  • Creating and managing rental listings
  • Rental marketing through digital channels
  • Commercial-grade rental insurance
  • Cleaning and restocking between visits
  • Revenue management and boost in revenue of 20% on average
  • Guest vetting, communication, and support

AvantStay does not explain its pricing structure on the company website.

AvantStay Reviews

Vacation rental owners and guests have posted complaints about the services they’ve received from AvantStay on a few different websites.

This is where you can read AvantStay reviews:

  • TrustPilot: Currently 4.7/5 stars based on 588 reviews. This is rated as excellent on the website. Most positive reviews are written by guests who enjoyed the rental properties and the locations, while reviews by hosts are on the negative side. They complain about various issues leading to lost revenue.
  • BBB.org: Currently 4.58/5 stars based on 271 reviews. Reviews are a mix of positive and negative experiences. On the negative side, hosts complain about damaged properties and financial discrepancies, while some guests have encountered unexpected last-minute cancellations by AvantStay or poorly maintained rentals.
  • Yelp: Currently 4.00/5 stars based on 142 reviews. Many guests praised the beautiful short-term rentals and the great communication on behalf of the AvantStay team. Others, however, have faced canceled reservations and unprepared properties. Meanwhile, hosts discussed low occupancy rates and poor marketing efforts by the Airbnb management company.

AvantStay boasts good average rankings on the three major websites listed above. However, certain complaints by hosts and guests make them rather untrustworthy. So investors should conduct further research before deciding to have this company manage their short-term rental property. Or, they can look into one of AvantStay competitors that has not attracted such negative reviews.

The most common AvantStay complaints by owners include:

AvantStay Does Not Honor Promises and Commitments

One of the recurring AvantStay complaints by property owners who’ve worked with the company is that the team has repeatedly failed to deliver on promised services. Most times AvantStay promises to correct an unpleasant situation which they have caused only to never complete the vowed actions. This malpractice raises a major concern about the overall integrity and honesty of the company, from the top management to the local staff on the ground. Integrity and honesty should be core values for any short-term rental property management provider so that hosts know their property is in expert hands.

Alisa G. shared the following experience with AvantStay which shows their failure to meet commitments, on TrustPilot:

Worst experience with a property manager. They are the most difficult company to deal with… Due to poor inspectors, inconsiderate tenants, and cleaning issues with my house, Avantstay agreed to pay for the cleaning on my deck. Their coward manager never called me back and she never remedied the situation. She could barely text back. And now Avantstay is saying it's normal wear and tear and won't cover it. Their other manager specifically promised me multiple times Avantstay would take care of it. Their response to not honoring their promise was an accidental reply to a text mocking me about my ruined deck.

Another AvantStay host filed the following complaint at BBB.org:

AvantStay purchased our original ******************* company. We stayed on, because AvantStay looked like a slick tech company with a lot of investor funding. They came on strong, telling us that they were going to provide all new appliances to give guests a standardized, high end experience (this promise was never fulfilled).

This accusation by a number of vacation rental property owners should not be taken lightly as it raises a major red flag. As an investor, you cannot work with a property manager that you cannot trust as you will need to perform regular property inspections yourself, monitor the finances, and assure that everything is fine with the booking calendar. This means that you will be as far from earning passive income as when managing the property yourself, all the while paying a substantial management fee. Because of this popular complaint, hosts should consider one of AvantStay alternatives.

AvantStay Provides Poor Property Maintenance and Upkeep

Many investors report that AvantStay has taken very poor care of their property which has led to unnecessary damage over short periods of time. Poor property upkeep can have a major negative impact on your Airbnb profit margins as it will translate into excessive fixing and repairing costs. Having your rental not properly cleaned will push away renters, affecting your occupancy rate, rental income, and eventually return on investment.

Kas K. complained about his extremely negative experience with AvantStay on TrustPilot:

BE CAREFUL, I am a very unhappy landlord who leased my house to AvantStay, I took meticulous care of the landscape and the surrounding boundary of my property. After one year leasing my house to them, my property is showing a year's worth of dead fruit trees, dead vegetation, and the total loss of a native plant Saguaro Cactus that is protected under Arizona law. All of this damage caused by their neglect, not even watering the landscape to the extent that the property presents as a less than desirable getaway experience. The sprinkler heads were broken by their gardener, and six months later they remain broken. One recent guest who vacationed and stayed, were told Arizona had a shortage of propane, all because they did not want to call the propane company for refill of existing tanks. So they rolled a cheap barbecue for the guest to use, this prevented their guest from using the Viking barbecue situated under a Ramada enclosure. According to the guest, the barbecue Ramada area was a selling point for their booking. (Wow they got cheated). I had to change the air conditioning filter myself, because it was filthy. They claimed its something they routinely change, but mine was dated. During this Covid pandemic, this is not a safe practice, and I would not want to vacation in one of their homes. BTW, the pool condition is disgusting, I as an owner will not swim in that pool.

Similarly, a host filed a complaint against AvantStay on a related matter on BBB.org:

In a matter of 2 winter months, they ruined my home. Cleaning crew was horrible. Never cleaned master bath, stovetop, oven, dirty dishes and pans put back into cabinets. There are black stains and grease all over my deck. That was never there before. Trash thrown around my house. Broken glass upon tenant checkin.

Danielle D. also complained of excessive property damage caused by the AvantStay short-term rental management practices on Yelp:

We… were left with damages to our property they would not cover (over $20,000 in repairs to fix everything after we ditched AvantStay). The maintenance company would never inspect properly between renters - there were grease stains throughout the house, holes in walls, missing items that went unnoticed until I went and visited the property… Some renter-caused damage required full flooring replacement - this was deemed "cost of doing business".

Incurring unjustified amounts of wear and tear on your property is one of the worst things that can happen to you as an investor as this will affect both your short-term and long-term profit. One reason to hire a professional property manager is to have someone conduct regular inspections, hold renters accountable, and maintain your property in a top form. If the property management company cannot meet this basic requirement, it’s not worth using them.

AvantStay Hosts Face Financial Discrepancies and Wrongful Charges

Another common AvantStay complaint by hosts is unexpected and unjustified charges and fees showing up on their bills. This is a major accusation towards AvantStay as it shows that the company might try to extract additional money from its customers.

Cindy S. reported the following complaint on Yelp:

They didn't actively advertise our home on websites and we had low tenant response. They billed us or overcharged us to help them have an income.

Danielle D. also shared problems with charges and fees on Yelp:

OWNERS - beware! I own a vacation property in Tahoe where our rental maintenance/booking company was acquired by AvantStay. From the very start, AvantStay was all talk and no action. We ended up being mis-charged nearly every billing cycle for charges that needed to be covered by the renter or company… Mysterious charges appeared on our statement without explanation.

Another host filed a complaint on BBB.org due to a range of financial issues:

Since their start they have repeatedly under priced the property, failed to collect the required revenues, failed to properly notify guests of the requirements, failed to hold guests who cause damage accountable, failed to collect damage deposits and fees from guests, allowed guests to cancel against the rental agreement, charged me the owner for guest related expenses, performed services at the property that were not approved by me, and currently has not paid me correctly for the past several months and is delinquent on payment in the range of ***************** of dollars. I have reached out to AvantStay's local representative and their superior multiple times, usually weekly at a minimum to request resolution and to date, though they say they are aware and agree with my assessment and that I am owed funds, they have yet to resolve this and properly pay me.

The financial problems that hosts report when dealing with AvantStay are significant, and future investors should not overlook this AvantStay complaint. It is a much safer option to look into one of AvantStay competitors than risk having your revenue stolen.

AvantStay Has Low-Quality Local Teams with High Turnover Rates

As it covers 13 US states and parts of Mexico, AvantStay has to rely on many local teams to execute the on-the-ground tasks. However, based on AvantStay complaints by many hosts, the company does a poor job vetting and hiring local staff. Vacation rental property owners complain about high turnover rates and lack of commitment on behalf of local teams.

Danielle D. reported the following problem on Yelp:

We had three different regional contacts assigned to us, each of them quitting after several months (each agreeing the situation was appalling and they were frustrated trying to mitigate issues.

Another vacation rental property owner filed a complaint on BBB.org regarding a similar issue:

There have been several other errors by the company, and every time, it has been very difficult to resolve problems because of staff leaving, staff disinterest and/or general non response. When I have gotten through, oftentimes promises are made but not followed up on, so that it becomes the Owner's job to track and ensure that problems are resolved.

After all, a nationwide short-term rental management company is only as good as its local teams. If AvantStay cannot hire dedicated, professional local staff, then it cannot take good care of your property. So you are better off hiring one of its competitors.

AvantStay Hosts Report Missing Items

Several real estate investors who have worked with AvantStay report items being missing - or outright stolen - from their vacation rental by the team. Having missing pieces of furniture and amenities not only diminishes the experience that your short-term rental offers to guests but shows the lack of care on behalf of the property management company.

Cindy S. reported the following on Yelp:

I fired them and they stole all my bed linens as well as towels and bed bug pillow cases.

Similarly, Wendy Sue wrote the following on TrustPilot:

During our 10 months under their contract, we have experienced: lost revenue due to booking errors and calendar technical issues, accounting errors, had subpar cleaning and maintenance of our unit, discovered missing household items, lost car keys, and Owner bookings not being entered into the calendar.

Having your property manager not notice property items missing after a guest is bad enough, but having things stolen by your property management company staff is something absolutely intolerable. 

The most frequent AvantStay complaints by guests include:

AvantStay Cancels Reservations Last Minute

Several guests who have booked stays at AvantStay rentals have reported their bookings being canceled at the last moment, without being offered a substitute. Travelers usually plan their trips months in advance and get excited well beforehand, so having their trip canceled for no apparent reason is a major disappointment. From the point of view of hosts, such a practice will lead to fewer bookings in the future as guests will be worried about the same happening to them. The result will be lost Airbnb revenue.

Hayley Vierling wrote the following negative review of AvantStay on TrustPilot:

THIS COMPANY IS A SCAM!! They canceled our reservation 3 hours before check-in and did not offer any assistance for a new booking. When trying to call customer service I was given the runaround multiple times. DO NOT BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY!

Pam Garcia shared an identical disappointing experience after booking with AvantStay, on the same review website:

DO NOT RENT FROM THEM. They have a clause in their contract that they can cancel at any time for any reason and they did just that! We booked and were charged well in advance of our vacation and then we got a call saying the owners wanted to extend a long term rental so, our vacation, along with other families that had rented the same house were OUT OF LUCK! Now we cannot find accommodations that fit our requirements, so we might not get our family vacation this year. Very disappointing after going through a year of COVID.

Similarly, Andrew N. shared the following experience on Yelp:

About six months ago we started planning a celebration for our dear friend Pat. He is a great man deserving of a proper send off into married life, and we wanted to do right by him. We told him we booked a small shack on the beach, but secretly put down $10,000 to book a beach front property with all the amenities through AvantStay. This was going to be the bachelor party of all bachelor parties, the stuff that legends are made out of! Today is the day of the trip, and we packed up the car with a cold keg and warm laughter, just a bunch of bad boyz ready to hit the road! Suddenly, everything changed in a moment. They called to let us know they have canceled our reservation. They said the power was out at the house and they were working to repair it. Oddly, there were no reported power outages in that area when we looked online. They refunded our money and said to look at Airbnb to see if we could find anything else to book. WHAT?!?!

These types of AvantStay complaints do not seem to be concentrated in a single location, so this is not the fault of one local team but a company-wide policy. Thus, real estate investors should consider hiring another short-term rental property company that is known for honoring reservations and all other commitments.

AvantStay Rentals Do Not Match Online Property Listings

Another commonly found complaint by AvantStay guests is that there are major discrepancies between property listings, descriptions, and photos on rental websites and actual rental properties.

Erica Street wrote the following AvantStay complaint on TrustPilot:

Arrived to a calamity of errors including access to the house. Once inside we understood the advertised photos were a false impression of the house. Was a dump. The yard was filthy, with debris and bird feces scattered everywhere including on all the outdoor furniture. The BBQ was disgusting, the pool and hot tub were filthy and cold. We were promised it would be heated.

Another guest shared a similar experience about a mismatch between the listing and the property on Yelp:

I had a horrible stay in 2020 with Avant Stay. The home was not as advertised and had a host of issues. They refused to refund even half of it even though I checked out early while still paying for the full stay. Horrible at communication. Also, I've noticed they have fake reviews. You've been warned!

Similarly, Sal B. complained on the same website:

The high-end home we rented for the week was not as advertised. We were charged $600 extra just to heat the pool and it was dirty and the pump was not running when we arrived. Multiple issues during the entire stay from smoke alarms going off, TV's not working, dirty windows and several other issues. The thermostat was set to 73 and we were unable to adjust so the first night we were all uncomfortable.

There isn’t an easy remedy to fix this issue if you’d like to work with AvantStay as your vacation rental management company. 

AvantStay Rents Out Poorly Maintained Properties

Just like property owners, many guests who have stayed at properties managed by AvantStay complain about the poor state of the rentals, the lack of hygiene and proper cleaning, and the bad upkeep. This means that the Airbnb management company cannot complete even its core responsibilities of maintaining properties and cleaning between stays.

Sammy D. shared the following AvantStay complain on Yelp:

I was very disappointed with my stay in Paradise Valley... We arrived to a home that wasn't only dirty but also had most of the tree's and cactus dead.

Peter B. was also very disappointed with the home he rented, as shown in his negative AvantStay review on Yelp:

We booked a resort in Palm Springs in ~110 degree weather. Our two main amenities we looked forward to was the pool and grill. Neither of them were working - the pool was gross and dirty. We've contacted multiple times throughout the stay. They repeatedly told us someone was going to come fix and they never did. We were awakened at 7am to leaf blowers and workers trimming/cutting down palm trees in the yard. Would have been nice for a heads up? Nothing worse than having to deal with customer service during vacation back and forth. The house itself was great but the place was infested with flies (dead and alive). I contacted their customer service (which is powered by automated, template messages) for a refund. They repeatedly told me they were going to take a look at it but never got back to me. Eventually I had to resort to credit card dispute.

Emily L. also complained about her experience at an AvantStay property on Yelp:

Be careful with this company. They fail to deliver the luxury experience that they promise. My family signed a year contract for one of their properties. We were not allowed to view the property prior to taking possession. Upon check-in, we found the place to be filthy. The carpet was disgusting and full of stains. It was loose on the stairs. The hot tub was filled with garbage and there was rubbish scattered around the yard. Doors were broken and the pillows smelled like wet dogs. They did send a service to clean the carpet but we were tasked with moving the furniture, picking up rugs and preparing the house. Sound like luxury to you? That wasn't even the worst of it though. The first night we checked in we noticed some scratching in the attic.  AvantStay sent an exterminator out and he gave us a verbal report of one of the worst bat infestations he's ever seen. No repairs or service were ever completed. Fast forward a few months and continued requests to address the infestation issue went basically unanswered. We exercised our right to withhold rent (California civil code 1941.2) and that is when they sent out another inspector. The second inspection was done (we have the formal reports) and it showed a significant bat, mouse, spider and ant infestation and again nothing was done. We ended up canceling our lease and moving out early. Avantstay has still not returned our deposit of $5500 as promised. Since our experience we have talked to others in the area and it's not an uncommon one. Approach with caution.

As an investor, you want to entrust your short-term rental property with a company that will meet the needs and expectations of guests all the while taking good long-term care of your investment property. Otherwise, you risk not only high vacancy rates because of guest complaints but also unnecessarily inflated repair expenses.

AvantStay Staff Is Unavailable and Does Not Communicate Well

Another common problem which guests have faced with AvantStay is the lack of proper communication and the total absence of care for customer needs. This is reported by some disappointed hosts as well. This practice could be an indicator that the vacation rental property management company is not involved, so they may provide expected services with suboptimal quality.

KS had a complaint about the AvantStay team communication skills on BBB.org:

I've yet to experience a company that has such money grubbing practices and impersonal customer service as AvantStay. I would highly recommend staying FAR away from this company. We had a very unfortunate situation that was met with zero understanding or action. The home that we rent every summer for years in San Diego (the shore front) was recently sold and newly managed by AvantStay. We were contracted for two weeks in July and had already paid our deposit to the previous owner (which we still haven't received a refund). I contacted AvantStay to rebook our dates and after our conversation about specific dates they DOUBLED and even TRIPLED the nightly rate for those night. In less than 8 hours. Absolutely disgusting business practice. Not to mention every interaction was with a different representative so I constantly had to repeat myself. This year has been hard enough, now the summer house that we brought kids home from the hospital to is so outrageously overpriced that we will have to break our kids hearts and an 11 year tradition. This type of business practice should be investigated thoroughly. Shame on you AvantStay.

Another customer, signed as “unhappy guest”, wrote the following on TrustPilot:

We recently stayed at an AvantStay, which was rented out way too early. We had ants all over the kitchen, and the smoke alarms went off at 2 am and woke everyone up in the house. The emergency line would not respond and we were forced to call the fire dept. Our guest got stuck on the rock driveway and we had to push her up the hill. This should have been paved. The dishwasher was leaking. And you have to pay additional to heat the indoor pool. With this amount of money, it should be included. There was garbage all outside of this beautiful home that we paid $5,000 for 3 nights. And when we reached out to AvantStay, they did not even apologize or offer any refund of our stay. They do not care about anything other than money. I would not recommend them to anyone!!

Good communication and professional customer care are two of the key factors which set good property management companies apart from bad ones. Based on guest reviews, AvantStay seems to fall within the latter category, so investors should look into other alternatives.

AvantStay Does Not Allow Cancellations Under Extreme Circumstances

Besides all other AvantStay complaints, guests also share highly negative experiences when they had to cancel bookings because of situations beyond their control. Many guests complain AvantStay refused to refund them for reservations which guests could not complete because of federal or state travel restrictions during the pandemic. Covid-19 put the entire short-term rental industry at a big test, and many companies failed to accommodate the needs of their customers. AvantStay seems to be one of those companies.

Amid Zavery posted the following AvantStay complaint on TrustPilot:

We're having a difficult time to get any kind of refund for a stay that we had booked for Thanksgiving in CA for 4 families together at a large property for $12,000. Unfortunately, one of the guests has tested positive for COVID-19 and we expect other family members and some of the other guests who have come in close contact with the family to be also positive. We've asked AvantStay to allow us to cancel this stay and give us a refund but so far the response is that they can't give us a refund even with a guest (and potentially more) being COVID-19 positive. Airbnb provides a refund in this case - this property was available on Airbnb but we picked AvantStay to support other vendors not realizing AvantStay is not at all accommodating in a difficult situation. Surprisingly AvantStay is okay for COVID-19 positive guests to stay at their property instead of providing a refund or even credit for future stay.

Similarly, Shelly R. shared her complaint on BBB.org:

I, just like many others would give this company a BIG FAT ZERO if it was available!! We booked a property in CA back on Feb. 2nd for 11 ladies flying in from Texas on Sept. 17th-20th. We all made the decision to cancel due to COVID and after hearing that CA had once again closed all restaurants, bars, wineries, etc. We also have one person in our party that is Immune compromised and has a letter from her doctor stating that she can't travel. We canceled the reservation on July 14th (65 days) before our reservation date. Avantstay quickly informed me that they were keeping 20% of the total fee that I had already paid 100% of back on Feb. 2nd. I contacted VRBO and they said that their policy is to refund 100% to the customers due to the COVID issue and they highly encourage the management companies to honor the same policy. Through my research, I've found that other rental companies are also giving a 100% refund to their customers. The exact property that we had rented on VRBO for the same dates advertised on the listing that you can get 100% refund if canceled by August 19th. That makes absolutely no sense to me considering we booked in February and canceled 65 days before our reservation!! We have rented through VRBO several times and NEVER had an issue like this. Evidently Avantstay isn't concerned about customer service issues within their company. I can assure you that they have definitely lost future business with this entire group of 11 people! ****** R

Cathy I. also wrote a negative review of AvantStay due to the lack of understanding during the pandemic, on BBB.org:

Wish I could give ZERO. We had made plans to stay at a VRBO through Avantstay and were forced to cancel because of Fed and CA state mandated stay at home orders. We were refused a refund zero, nothing, nada. and offered to remove the cleaning fee on the place we were not staying at. $1500 gone like that. Do I need to get a letter from the president and governor that we were on a stay at home order? I guess covid 19 was not a valid reason. The wedding venue (and all others involved )where we also booked rooms gave us our refund immediately. THIS IS SO WRONG!

While we all hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind our backs, how AvantStay treated its guests when they needed to cancel reservations during these tough times is a major negative indicator. Customer needs should come first.

Takeaway

While online reviews of AvantStay are positive, there are many AvantStay complaints by both property owners and guests that raise major red flags. Many of them point out that the company seems to be dishonest, disengaged, and disinterested in the wellbeing of its customers and the properties that it manages. Future short-term rental property investors should not ignore these negative signs and should thus consider one of AvantStay competitors which has not caused such complaints by customers.

* If you’re looking for the top short-term rental property manager, Awning is the national leader in vacation rental management services. It offers full-service property management in all 50 US states, which allows you to enjoy totally passive income at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.

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