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Best Airbnb Management
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Vacasa Complaints by Hosts and Guests

Vacasa Complaints by Hosts and Guests

Key takeaways

Vacasa Complaints by Hosts and Guests

Choosing the best Airbnb management company is one of the most important decisions a short-term rental property owner has to make. How your property is managed will determine how much money you make both in the short and long run. 

In the short term, the management of your vacation rental affects how many guests will stay at it, what daily rate is charged, and - ultimately what monthly rental income you can generate. In the long term, the management of your property determines whether it will be well maintained or will incur unnecessary damage (raising repair costs).

There are many factors to consider when choosing the top short-term rental manager for your property such as the services provided, the size of the company, the monthly fees and costs, and the reviews by both Airbnb hosts and guests. 

Negative reviews are especially revealing whether hiring a certain vacation rental manager is a good idea as it gives you an idea of what problems to expect so that you can decide if this is something you will handle.

In this article we’ve gathered and analyzed Vacasa complaints posted online by both hosts and guests. As the largest Airbnb management company in North America, Vacasa is one of the first names that investors think about.

However, is Vacasa really worth it for short-term rental property owners? No! Based on the complaints of hosts and guests, Vacasa is a poor choice which can lead to many problems for real estate investors.

* If you’re looking for the best short-term rental property management company, 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 make truly passive income at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.

What Is Vacasa

Vacasa is one of the most popular full-service short-term rental property management companies in North America. It manages over 35,000 vacation rentals in 35 US states, Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica. The company can increase the rental income of a property by 20%, on average. Vacasa takes care of various rental property types and does not have any eligibility requirements.

Here are the vacation rental property management services provided by Vacasa:

  • Getting properties ready for renting including interior design, smart home devices installation, linen provision, hot tub management, and legal permits
  • Rental listing creation and management
  • Rental marketing on top channels
  • Booking management
  • Cleaning and restocking between guests
  • Inspections and property maintenance
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Guest communication and support
  • Tax support

The company doesn’t expect long-term commitment on behalf of property owners but asks them to sign an agreement. Hosts can cancel Vacasa services at any point with a 90-day notice.

Vacasa’s pricing structure is not publicly displayed on their website. Fees vary between different markets and different property types. They charge additional costs for extra services. 

Vacasa Reviews

Both short-term rental property hosts and guests have posted Vacasa reviews on many websites.

Here are the main online sources of Vacasa complaints and praises:

  • TrustPilot: Currently 4.1/5 stars based on 8,978 reviews. This is considered great. Guests who are impressed by the top locations of Vacasa properties and the good quality of homes has written most reviews. But others are unhappy with the inflexible cancellation policy in extreme situations and the lack of customer service.
  • BBB.org: Currently 4.11/5 stars based on 2,513 reviews. Positive reviews highlight the top quality of rental homes, while the negative ones discuss different problems with basic services and amenities.
  • Yelp: Currently 2.5/5 stars based on 1,386 reviews. This is a mix of positive and negative experiences, mostly by guests. While some praise the properties and customer support, others faced many issues with the rental properties they stated in as well as the Vacasa team.
  • Sitejabber: Currently 1.17/5 stars based on 610 reviews. The vast majority of these negative Vacasa reviews focus on the poor state of the vacation rentals managed by the company and their lack of support for customers.

Overall, the experiences of Vacasa customers have been on the extreme, with some being extremely happy and others being extremely dissatisfied. What this means for property owners is that they cannot simply decide to hire Vacasa for the management of their vacation rental. Instead, they need to do more research on the company and potentially consider one of the top Vacasa alternatives in the US market.

Vacasa complaints by hosts include:

Vacasa Is Sneaky and Dishonest (Host Complaint)

Many short-term rental property owners who have worked with Vacasa go far enough to call them sneaky and dishonest. These Vacasa complaints refer to all aspects of the company. They have charged hosts unexpected fees. Their properties have not received expected inspections and maintenance. The Vacasa team has failed to respond to inquiries and to provide enough information about the services they have been conducting on properties.

Joey Morea wrote this negative review of Vacasa on BiggerPockets:

Before I switched over to self managing I did use vacasa as a pm. This is what I found they did which I did not like and thought was sneaky. They would charge rent which they say is dynamic to optimize your profit but what they do is also add booking fees the guest pay on top of rent for another 10-20 percent they say this is for credit card fees and other admin charges but then what is the commission for? This raises the total cost Which is what people are looking at when they book. The rent they did charge seemed to be really low so they still could put all their fees in there and be competitive with the normal listings they did keep the place booked but that is how they did it.

Michael Markes shared the same opinion on BiggerPockets:

They're really sneaky and untrustworthy. I'd suggest looking at every possible alternative before giving up 25% of the revenue to these people.

Similarly, John P. left the following complaint on BBB.org:

This company is a fraud. They take your money, then provide no service. I have tried to message the property manager (Vacasa) for almost a month and have never gotten any responses. I tried calling them, and I was on hold for 2 hours and nobody ever picked up.

Being dishonest to both hosts and guests is a major issue which real estate investors should not ignore. This is one of the worst reviews a company can get as it makes potential customers doubt everything that the company and what the team says and promises. So, based on this host evaluation of Vacasa’s integrity, we’d recommend that vacation rental home owners take their business somewhere else.

Vacasa Property Management Costs Are Not Worth It (Host Complaint)

Vacasa does not have a transparent fee structure as seen on its website, which is already a red flag for investors. In online Vacasa reviews, hosts report being charged monthly fees ranging between 20% and 35%. Many of them complain that this cost is not worth the services which they have received from Vacasa, and as a result most have quit working with the company. After all, when choosing the best property manager for your situation, you want to make sure that you get top value for money.

Beth Lugo wrote on the BiggerPockets forum:

I have Vacasa right now and am not happy. They take 30% and on top of that charge fees to the guests. I did some calculations and realized that for each stay, they actually take more than I do… That's insane to me considering that I am responsible for 100% of all of the costs and maintenance of the house.

Jose Dominguez left the following negative review:

I have used Vacasa in the past but was not impressed with the overall service provided for the exorbitant management fee paid. I ended up switching to Evolve and it has been much better for our business.

If you’d like to give Vacasa a try despite the many Vacasa complaints available online, you could try to negotiate the management fee. According to host reviews, many of them have been able to bring down the initially requested fee. Alternatively, you could look for a Vacasa competitor that charges a more affordable rate while providing truly full-service management.

Whether you decide to move forward with Vacasa or another property manager, sign a written contract which specifies the exact services that you will receive from them and the exact fee that they will expect you to pay.

Vacasa Has Poor Communication and Customer Support (Host Complaint)

Something that a lot of vacation rental property owners find frustrating about working with Vacasa is the lack of proper communication and customer service on behalf of the company. Hosts report issues both in terms of support for property owners and guests. The root of this problem seems to be the size and nationwide coverage that Vacasa provides while being understaffed in most markets.

Brandon Shores shared his experience on TrustPilot:

As an owner in ocean city, MD. I can say management is horrible and unprofessional at it gets. Does not return emails, rude and insulting. Unauthorized charges taken from my account for bogus repairs. Cleaning does not change sheets. My place sits unoccupied this weekend, and it's a good thing. There is blood on pillow case and comforter. They choose to ignore this after emails.

A host signed as Checkpoint Sweden has a very similar complaint about Vacasa on TrustPilot:

Absolutely horrible customer service. You will lose renters by using this company. Plenty of other good ones out there.

In an interview with Awning, Michelle Burson shared:

Vacasa is, hands down, one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with. I could write a book on the issues we've had with Vacasa, but I'll keep it short and focus on the two biggest issues we have them: communication and poor customer service (for both us and guests).

This is a major recurring complaint that real estate investors should take seriously. If Vacasa does not respond to guest questions and requests, fewer and fewer people will book your property. Meanwhile, if they don’t respond to you as a host, you have no way to know what is going on with your property. Thus, it might be worth looking elsewhere for the top short-term rental property management service provider.

Vacasa’s Management Practices Lead to Excessive Property Damage (Host Complaint)

One of the worst things you can experience as a real estate investor is to have your property damaged by renters. This will not only push future guests away, but it will also cost you dearly to fix major damage, beyond reasonable wear and tear. 

Many hosts who’ve hired Vacasa complain that their property has suffered extensive damage as the company does not implement proper screening of guests and does not do regular property inspections though that’s supposed to be one service they provide to owners. Having to fix major problems within a vacation rental bites directly into your profit and might even result in negative cash flow.

Many hosts who’ve hired Vacasa complain that their property has suffered extensive damage as the company does not implement proper screening of guests and does not do regular property inspections though that’s supposed to be one of the services that they provide to owners. Having to fix major problems within a vacation rental bites directly into your profit and might even result in negative cash flow.

Many hosts who’ve hired Vacasa complain that their property has suffered large damages as the company does not implement proper screening of guests and does not do regular property inspections though that’s supposed to be one of the services that they provide to owners. Having to fix major problems within a vacation rental bites directly into your profit and might even result in negative cash flow.

Michael Markes wrote the following on the BiggerPockets forum:

Having Vacasa as our "property manager" has been an absolutely dreadful experience over the past 2 years. We have a short-term rental property in central Florida right by the beach. We pointed out several things that needed attention when we visited in February 2020 before COVID took hold. They said they'd taken care of these things and, of course, we had no way of knowing until we returned for a few days in May last year. The dripping faucets (not a big deal a year earlier) had caused mold in both bathrooms, the lawn needed replacing because they were unable to check that renters kept turning off the sprinkler timer and the fact they never once changed the AC filter cost us $4,200 in repairs. We were advised by the local township in July 2021 that we did not have the necessary permits and Vacasa said they were taking care of this. In the meantime, the property had to be taken down from the various websites and by December they still hadn't got the permit in place....costing us rental income.

Cathy Dunnam Pleitz also complained about her experience with Vacasa:

In 2 months, over $800 in damages to our home from Vacasa renters. Vacasa did not screen guests not did they inspect for damage each time renters left. When I arrived, I discovered 3 missing door knobs, broken tile, broken washer, toilet paper roll torn out of wall, stained carpet, etc. Vacasa had not informed me of any of the damage prior to my arrival - and refused to pay for all the damage done by their renters. In addition, guests contacted me over missing pillowcases and towels. Vacasa said “they ran out” - after I paid $450 for linens 2 months prior.”

Lise Day is also highly dissatisfied with the way Vacasa managed, maintained, and took care of her property as shown in her review on BiggerPockets:

Run from Vacasa! I am a property owner and they are the worst company I have ever dealt with. They will ruin your home and cost you.

Whether a company will maintain your property well and handle all necessary fixes in a timely manner is not something you can figure out right away, from simple communication with them. However, this is a very major Vacasa complaint shared by a lot of hosts. This means that you are probably better off entrusting your vacation rental with another property manager.

Vacasa Does Not Price Vacation Rentals Right (Host Complaint)

The dynamic pricing that helps optimize rental income is one feature in which Vacasa takes pride. However, hosts have reported many issues with how the company sets rental rates. If rental rates are too high compared to the rest of the local market, a property will suffer from unreasonably high vacancy. If the daily rate is too low, investors are leaving money on the table. In either case, your rental revenue will be suboptimal.

Staci Shanahan had the following experience with Vacasa:

We have a home in Vermont that we have rented for about 3 months… net effect… we owe VACASA $100. Yup, negative return. They rented our property far below market rates just to fill it, and have charged us ridiculous fees.

The goal of investing in a short-term rental property is to maximize revenue, while the goal of hiring an Airbnb property management company is to enjoy passive income. Based on complaints by hosts, Vacasa cannot deliver on this basic requirement, so you should look for one of the top Vacasa alternatives in the US market.

Vacasa Cancels Reservations Immediately Before Stay (Guest Complaint)

When going on vacation, you prepare and get excited months in advance, and one of the worst things that can happen is to have your trip canceled, especially by the place where you’re planning to stay. Indeed, guests frequently report their reservations being canceled by Vacasa at the last moment with no compensation and no support being offered in finding an alternative lodging option.

Susan S. left the following negative Vacasa review on Sitejabber:

Vacasa is the worst! If you book your travel through Airbnb, etc make sure they are not the agency listing. They cancelled my Airbnb 3 days before I traveled to Hawaii with 12 family members. They said the home I rented was under construction but indeed it was just over booked. They were rude and completely useless in helping me find a new home! Stay away and read reviews and like I said if you see Vacasa run fast! I would give is no stars if I could!

S R. shared a very similar experience when booking with Vacasa, on Yelp:

DO NOT BOOK WITH VACASA!! I have only booked with them twice. Once 4 years ago and once a few month ago. BOTH TIMES THEY CANCELED MY RESERVATION MONTHS AFTER I BOOKED. I have never in 8 years had that happen with Airbnb. Vacasa sucks!

From the point of view of a short-term rental property owner, this type of guest complaints will quickly ruin the reputation of your property and result in a very low ranking, making it impossible to rent it out. 

Vacasa Provides Misleading Property Listings (Guest Complaint)

Like hosts, guests also complain about the lack of honesty and integrity on behalf of Vacasa in multiple online reviews of the company. Many guests have faced major mismatches between the property listings provided by Vacasa and the actual state of the property where they stayed.

AG wrote on TrustPilot:

Of more fundamental concern was the blatant misrepresentation of the facilities available. The property was advertised and glamorously photographed as having a substantial outdoor kitchen area with two grills, ovens, fridge etc and fire pit for outdoor entertaining which given we were a large party visiting local family was the reason we booked. None of the above were working and (per the local Vacasa contractor who came to fix other problems) had not been available for sometime including two of three sun shades which were also unusable.

Kad also experienced a mismatch between the property advertisement and the actual property as shared on TrustPilot:

However, the advertised 1 king/2 queen beds were actually 2 queen/1 full (a king bed is one of our required search criteria.) Vacasa is the real reason for the one star review. They knowingly checked us into a house with a broken dishwasher, without telling us.

Dishonesty is something that real estate investors should not tolerate because it will cost them dearly down the road as this practice can spread to many aspects of the short-term rental property management process.

Vacasa Rents Out Properties in Poor Condition (Guest Complaint)

Guests who have stayed at properties managed by Vacasa complain of many issues related to the actual vacation rentals. They have reported major discrepancies between listings and actual properties, broken parts and appliances, lack of basic supplies, properties not cleaned after previous guests, and even health hazard situations.

Jake Lisiecki wrote the following on TrustPilot:

The nastiest, cheapest, and worst Airbnb experience we’ve ever had. They left drugs on the premise, blood and wine stained sheets, crumbs left everywhere, and one of the door locks was broken. No response or help with any of it. We purchased our own sheets and bedding and we didn’t get refunded a single dime for the worst experience we’ve ever had. To add the cherry on the top it was our wedding week, and they’re final response to us was: “They say if you have a bad wedding week, it means that you’ll have a long marriage.” Like what.

Rita H. complained on Sitejabber:

I can write a book about my stay. Bugs/ roaches/ bed bugs/ pee stain, dirty towels/ bathroom, you name it. According to their senior specialist Molly "due to the nature of the island this is normal."

Similarly, Sarah H. shared her experience with Vacasa on Yelp:

Upon driving 7 hours for our anniversary, we immediately noticed that the outside of the condo seemed more like a drug house then a vacation rental. The room was filthy with rust on the door fixture. On the balcony there were cigarette butts and the balcony was not secure. I would not even walk into it. I attempted to pull the curtain back and the entire rod fell to the ground. There was hair on the pillows and the deadbolt would not work as it was apparent that the door had been busted in from the outside. This place was scary and unsafe.”

Even if you have the best short-term rental property in the entire US market, but it’s poorly managed, you will not generate positive cash flow and Airbnb profit.

Vacasa Does Not Communicate With and Support Guests (Guest Complaint)

There are hundreds of Vacasa complaints by guests that the company is unresponsive and absent when guests need help with the property they are staying in. The same holds true in case they try to cancel a reservation prior to their stay. This confirms the complaint by hosts, explained above, that Vacasa exhibits poor communication and customer support regarding both hosts and guests.

Martha S. left the following negative Vacasa review on BBB.org:

1 star only because 0 stars is not an option. I booked a beach rental through VRBO on June 5th for July 19th-25th. Since then, I have messaged Vacasa several times through the VRBO website (as instructed). The only response that I have ever received to any of my questions is an automated response, rather than an answer to my question(s), and even the automated responses took 10 days to come.

Bobbie W. complained on Yelp:

The customer service of this company is bewilderingly bad. When things go wrong, you are on your own. I am paying $200+ a night to not be able to sleep because they can't bother to get a property manager or maintenance person over. It has been two nights of this.

This complaint by so many guests should immediately raise a red flag and make vacation rental property owners search for Vacasa alternatives with true 24/7 support for guests (as well as hosts).

Vacasa Charges Fees for Cancellations in Extreme Situations (Guest Complaint)

Many guests who have booked stays with Vacasa complain that the company has a very inflexible cancellation policy which does not accommodate even extreme circumstances like the pandemic or a hurricane. This makes Vacasa worse than most other companies and booking services which are usually very understanding when guests meet challenges outside their control.

Stephanie M. wrote on TrustPilot:

We rented a house for a fun trip to the Keys. We live in SWFL and our cancellation deadline was 9/26/22. With no plans to cancel, that date did not matter until 9/28/22, when Hurricane Ian ravaged my community. Our home suffered almost 3 feet of storm surge inside. We lost all of our cars and no longer are able to live in our home. I contacted both Air BNB and Vacasa to explain the situation and request a full refund due to the natural disaster and the effect it had on our home. If Vacasa had canceled on their end for us, we would have been allowed a refund or even if they accepted our refund request. But they are a greedy company and are not willing to help a customer in an unforeseen situation as big as a natural disaster.

Similarly, Matthew W. complained on BBB.org:

I booked a cabin with Vacasa for $1499 before Pandemic cases spiked. Because of the surge in cases we were not able to go, we called in to try and cancel (no answer). Sent an email a few days later and didn't get a response for several days. They said they would not refund my money because we were in their 30-day cancellation window even though I attempted to connect with them prior. I expected a little help from this company but they were terrible and non-responsive. They also told my bank they would not allow the charge to be disputed because they did not see a phone call from me prior. Do not use this company, they would take your money and not allow you to cancel even if you were dying from cancer.

Meghan Summers shared a very similar experience on TrustPilot:

Absolutely TERRIBLE company. Wish I could give them negative stars. My friends and I booked a house for a long weekend for my bachelorette party. However, 4 days before our trip was supposed to begin, my fiance's father passed away unexpectedly making the trip impossible. I called and explained the situation to two different individuals at Vacasa, neither of whom would issue us a refund, a partial refund, or a credit, nor would they even allow us to reschedule our trip for a different weekend. In other words, they made $5300 off of my family's tragedy. Do not book with this insensitive, inconsiderate company. They have no human compassion, all they care about is money.

With guest reviews of this kind, future guests will make sure not to book Vacasa properties, which will directly impact you negatively should you decide to hire them as your vacation rental property management company. Thus, it is best to stay away from Vacasa as a property owner.

Takeaway

While Vacasa makes up the largest and most popular short-term rental management company in North America, there are major Vacasa complaints written by both hosts and guests. The number and nature of these negative Vacasa reviews means that investors cannot entrust their rental properties with Vacasa. They should look somewhere else to make passive income.

* If you’re looking for the best short-term rental property management company, Awning is the national leader in vacation rental management services. We offer full-service property management in all 50 US states, which allows you to make truly passive income at an industry-low fee of 15% of monthly revenue.

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