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Canceling a Booking

Nobody wants to see a booking get canceled, but sometimes life happens!  Canceling a booking may have many variables that depend on your Cancellation Policy and Cancellation Fees

Does the guest get back all the money they paid?  Sometimes, but sometimes not. Does the guest get back a percentage?  Maybe, but it can be complicated. Or maybe you give a refund only if you can rebook the dates, and otherwise, not?

Users should note the following.

  • Payments made more than 6 months prior to the refund are not able to be processed within the OwnerRez system. Users can work directly with their payment processor to complete the refund.
  • Municipalities' policies on how hosts handle canceled booking sales taxes can vary.

Below, we will detail the booking cancellation process.

Direct Bookings, Google Vacation Rentals, Vrbo API Connected

There is no mechanism available for guests to cancel their reservation directly on OwnerRez hosted websites. Guests wishing to cancel their reservation will need to contact you, the host, to initiate the cancellation process manually in OR.

Navigate to the booking to be canceled and click on Cancel.

Cancel Booking

On the Cancel Booking page, your current Cancellation Policy will appear along with some additional Refund options. 

  • Users can choose to refund a partial refund percentage by clicking on the Refund drop-down list.
  • Or users can choose from the following.
    • Guest gets a full refund
    • Guest gets no refund
    • I'll update the charges manually
  • Users can also decide whether to charge a Cancellation Fee by selecting from the following options.
    • No fee
    • Charge a fee from the Cancellation Fee drop-down list.
    • Add New Cancellation Fee

Determine Refund Amount and Cancellation Fees for Booking Cancellation

Since guests cannot cancel their bookings in OwnerRez, the host must initiate the cancellation for them. If you are Vrbo API connected, you'll be asked to state Who caused the cancellation? 

Who caused the cancellation?

This information is sent to Vrbo, informing them that the cancellation was caused or initiated by the guest. Vrbo will display the cancellation reason as "No Reason Specified." 

However, the reason behind the cancellation can be caused by either the host or the guest. For example, if the host cancels a guest's booking because they failed to comply with a house rule that was clearly stated on Vrbo, such as signing the rental agreement, then it's the guest's fault. On the other hand, if the cancellation is due to an unexpected incident, such as a pipe burst or flooding prior to the guest's arrival, then it's the host's responsibility. In such cases, you should contact Vrbo and provide evidence of the extenuating circumstances.

This "Reason Canceled" area is a Vrbo-specified field that can include values such as "Accidental," "Wrong Dates," "Owner Disagreement," etc. Currently, we don't have a selection for these items in OwnerRez. Vrbo does not offer a way to push the value to them through the API, so the cancellation reason will always be displayed as "Reason not specified."

If you encounter a situation where you were penalized for rejecting a request-to-book from Vrbo, contact Vrbo support.

Scroll down to review the new charges/refunds and fees will be displayed in bold based on the selections above. Commissions and Expenses, if any, will appear in the right columns.

Review the New Charges

Below that Refund information is detailed in the blue informational box. In the case below, a refund of $410.30 is due for this booking and we will automatically refund $410.30 on the guest's credit card.  

An alert will be displayed for any Security Deposits scheduled for this booking that will be canceled and users can also select specific Cancellation notification alerts. Click on Cancel this booking.

Cancel This Booking

The Cancellation Notice email editor will open immediately allowing users to notify the guest of the cancellation and refund if any. Notice that the booking banner is now pink with CANCELED appearing in red text at the top. Click on Send Email.

Booking Cancellation Email Notification

The booking cancellation process is complete and will be removed from the calendar but the guest information will be saved.

Canceled Booking Overview

Once users have been able to successfully refund the guest via this other method, you'll also want to record the refund in the booking, as processed elsewhere by navigating to the canceled Booking > Transactions > Refunds > Record Refund.

Record Booking Cancellation Refund

A refund notification email template will appear allowing users to notify guests of their refund.

Booking Cancellation Refund Notification Email

Users should note that if they are Vrbo API connected, and a pre-API connected booking is canceled, there is no automatic notification to or from OwnerRez users from Vrbo.  

Users will either have to

  • Notice the cancelation themselves in the Vrbo Owner Dashboard
  • Or possibly recognize the cancelation when importing Channel Bridge files (which users should continue to do, as there's no other way to update pre-API connected bookings).

Refund Guest

If users are unable to process a refund for a canceled booking through the Direct Bookings, Vrbo API Connected cancellation process, they can always process a refund manually by navigating to the specific Booking > Transactions > and from the Refunds dropdown menu, select Send Refund (Run Card).

Booking > Transactions > and from the Refunds dropdown menu, select Send Refund (Rund Card)

In this example, we are processing a partial refund for the guest by adding Amount to Refund > Custom amount of $410.30, selecting the Linked Payment > Process Refund.

Amount to Refund > Custom amount, selecting the Linked Payment > Process Refund.

A refund notification email template will appear allowing users to notify guests of their refund.

Booking Cancellation Refund Notification Email

Offline Refunds

If either of these situations are true:

  • You received guest payment through a payment processor that you are no longer integrated with.
  • Your guest payments were made more than 6 months prior to the refund.
You will not be able to process the guest refund within the OwnerRez system. You will have to work directly with your current payment processor to complete the refund and manually adjust the booking to include the refund in OwnerRez.

Listing Channels

Airbnb / Non-API Vrbo / Using iCal+Channel Bridge

  • Airbnb
    • Cancellations and Booking Modifications should be managed on Airbnb and allow that cancellation to sync to OR.
    • Airbnb may charge host penalties, so if a host needs to cancel a guest for breaking house rules, OwnerRez recommends that users call Airbnb directly to manage that cancellation to ensure that the cancellation is penalty-free.
  • Vrbo Non-API
    • The booking must be canceled on Vrbo, preferably by the guest.  
    • Then, cancel the booking in OwnerRez - even once VRBO has canceled the booking at their end, they do not reliably update the calendar feed to cancel it in OwnerRez, so you should cancel it yourself manually to clear your calendar.
    • Vrbo will issue the appropriate refund to the guest within a few days. 
    • Once the refund is complete, run Channel Bridge and let it try to update the financials for the canceled booking. This should bring in the refund from Vrbo, but it may still not clear out the charges.  That is very hard for OwnerRez to detect, and it only happens if we see a completed 100% refund going back.
    • In the case of a partial refund, you may need to switch the booking into manual mode, even after doing Channel Bridge, and manually fix the charges to reflect what took place accurately.  Note that canceled bookings are visible in OwnerRez, just not on the calendar - you can find them by searching for the ORB booking number or the guest's name.
  • Using iCal+Channel Bridge

Houfy, FloridaRentals, HomeToGo API

These API connections create the equivalent of direct bookings in OwnerRez. The booking cannot be canceled on the booking channel by either you or the guest. You must cancel it yourself in OwnerRez.  Follow the Direct Booking instructions at the top of the page.


If a Booking.com (BDC) guest requests the cancellation of a booking, users can follow the instructions on BDC's Handling cancelations and guests cancelation requests support article.

If a BDC booking was made with an invalid credit card, users can learn more by reading the BDC Handling invalid credit cards support article.

Depending on their BDC configuration, users may need to handle the refund manually.

Cancellation Within 24 Hours of Booking

If the cancellation occurs within 24 hours of booking, users can use the Void & Delete option to void the credit card payment. Then, cancel or delete the booking. The Void & Delete option may allow the credit card transaction to not go through settlement, and users may not get hit with any fees from their processor.

Generally, the allowed range for voids isn't "within 24 hours" but rather "before the daily batch settles," by each payment processor, which usually happens once a day in the evening. 

If the OwnerRez system does not allow for this process, users may have to contact their payment processor directly.

Users should consult the OwnerRez Support Article for their specific payment processor (Support Center > Payment Processing > Processors & Gateways > your Processor) for more information about voiding a transaction.

Note for Stripe: Stripe doesn't support a void, users can only refund the transaction. 

Reactivating Canceled Bookings

You can only reactivate Direct Bookings in OwnerRez. In the upper right side of the pink status bar towards the top of the screen for a Canceled Booking, is a link to Reactivate the direct booking.


DO NOT do this for channel bookings, whether or not they are API bookings - listing channels do not support this.  Canceled bookings should only be reactivated if they are direct bookings that do not involve a listing channel (e.g., Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, etc.).

Remote Door Locks

If you have configured OwnerRez to use automatic remote door lock codes, then when you cancel a booking, any codes associated with that booking will also automatically be canceled if the lock is an online lock. Algorithmic-only locks cannot delete codes.


Vrbo is not honoring my cancellation policy and refund amount.

If Vrbo is not honoring your cancellation policy and refund amount, immediately reach out to Vrbo IPM support.

Vrbo treats cancellations very differently depending on whether you are Vrbo API connected or not as IPM cancellation policies are applied differently than regular iCal connected Vrbo platform cancellation policies. Vrbo API connected properties have a distinct advantage with exclusive Vrbo IPM support. 

Vrbo IPM Cancellation Policies