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RedWeek - owners next steps

ocdb8r

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**Mods - I started this thread to separately discuss next steps owners might take given the recent COVID-19 developments and how RedWeek has indicated they will handle. If you believe this should be merged into the other RedWeek thread, happy for you to do so.

All, I thought I'd post how I plan to handle RedWeek's recent message from the CEO. A bit of background to understand where I am coming from. We own four timeshares in the big systems (Hyatt, HGVC and Vistana) and typically use two of those each year and rent out the others to cover maintenance fees. I rented two weeks this year with RedWeek - one using self-service and one using their full-service. The self-service rental was for arrival April 11 and I have worked with that renter to find new dates for them to travel close to the end of this year. The RedWeek full-service rental is for arrival June 20, 2020.

While I appreciate the variety of views on how this situation should be handled, at the very least I feel like the losses associated with any COVID-19 cancellations should be shared between the renter and the owner. The cancellation conditions in the RedWeek contract are clear and only permit cancellation for very specific reasons. Clearly the current situation is not contemplated (and is certainly not part of the permitted cancellation reasons) and in my view a strict reading of the contract would not permit cancellation. That said, I am not heartless and appreciate the severity of the situation and unusual circumstances. I am also trying to be realistic in considering the cost and effort it would take to litigate against RedWeek and the possibility the courts would interpret the contract differently. However, in my opinion, none of that means owners should alone bear all the losses associated with a COVID-19 related cancellation. I do not rent as a commercial enterprise. I do not make sufficient profit that I can absorb the loss of such a rental. Even for those systems providing some flexibility to use the week in a future year, the reality is that desirable weeks will be more limited and I already own sufficient weeks for my future use needs. Even more difficult, in this specific case the week is with Hyatt which does not permit a very flexible usage outside the current use year (this is their standard system, not as a result of the late cancellations). Bottom line, I will be out of pocket and unable to recover my maintenance fees.

Given the above, I sent the following message to RedWeek today:

Pursuant to the recent notice posted by the CEO of Redweek, I am no longer comfortable using the Redweek "full-service" rental product. You have clearly failed to appreciate that this situation affects BOTH owners and renters. Instead, you have chosen to unilaterally impose upon owners the liability for all losses for a situation clearly not contemplated by either party nor the rental agreement in place. I disagree with your interpretation of what constitutes "habitable" and believe the contract entitles me to full payment so long as the resort is open and accepting guests. The rental contract is clear in that I am not responsible for how a renter is to get to the resort. Despite the clear contractual terms, your message implies you will be refunding renters for any COVID-19 related cancellation.

Absent confirmation by you that you will equally apportion losses for any cancellation due to the COVID-19 situation by refunding 50% of the rental fee to the renter and distributing the remaining 50% of the rental fee to the owner, I will be cancelling this rental reservation on April 3, 2020. I trust you will inform the renter accordingly.


I post my thoughts here in the hope that others will send a similar message to RedWeek that forcing owners to suffer 100% of the losses is not acceptable and that we will not continue to use their full-service product now or in the future if they don't take a more balanced view of how to handle the situation.
 
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Bill4728

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Same situation, Rented MY week at Newport Coast using redweek full service they sent a email 3 days before check-in which said they find the TS "uninhabitable" and refunded all moneys to renter.

Hope we see a better resolution then what we have now

Bill
 

needvaca

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fully agree- Redweek putting 100% of the financial burden on Owners is complete garbage. Most owners aren't landlords, but ordinary people trying to recoup their maintenance fees. However I still think Redweek is great to connect owners to renters. Going forward:

1) I will NEVER use the Redweek verified service. They are a terrible, useless middleman. I will rent directly to the end user- with a strict cancellation policy.
2) I don't have the time to deal with situations like this. I have a full-time job and can't spend hours trying to find a solution for a renter who got a deal on a vacation at 40%-60% off rack rates. You want a screaming bargain? You take a risk.
3) I only want to own enough weeks that I can use. I don't want to have to rent out my 1-2 extra units each year- it's so not worth it. So, I'm selling or deeding back what I truly don't need.
 

echino

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I disagree that the losses should be shared 50/50 between owner and renter. The renter willingly chose to save money by entering into a binding agreement for a non-refundable reservation. If they want a refund, they should have booked from the resort, for a lot more.

Redweek broke the agreement here. I am not sure how to recover money that Redweek has stolen from the owners, but of course I am not working with Redweek any more.

I also had a non-refundable rental directly with a renter, not via Redweek, and the renter chose to cancel. I am working with the renter to book a replacement week for them later in the year. Redweek did not offer that option.
 

sportsfan1

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I disagree that the losses should be shared 50/50 between owner and renter. The renter willingly chose to save money by entering into a binding agreement for a non-refundable reservation. If they want a refund, they should have booked from the resort, for a lot more.

Redweek broke the agreement here. I am not sure how to recover money that Redweek has stolen from the owners, but of course I am not working with Redweek any more.

I also had a non-refundable rental directly with a renter, not via Redweek, and the renter chose to cancel. I am working with the renter to book a replacement week for them later in the year. Redweek did not offer that option.
Perhaps each scenario is different, but I was able to negotiate with both Redweek and the renter - twice. Maybe I see this a little differently from other owners, but this is an unprecedented situation, and both the renter and owner should share in the loss. I see it this way because I'd be in the same position of loss had I rented from someone else. In my cases, I circumvented the situation prior to Redweek coming to their own conclusion, and it worked for all parties.
 

echino

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For the renter that booked with me directly (non-refundable), I am not refunding the money, but I am offering a rebooking for later this year. I am not viewing it as a loss for either party. If I had been on the other side in this situation, I would be totally OK with rebooking. Again, the renter saved money by choosing to book a non-refundable reservation.

Redweek has not offered any choice to me. They just notified me that they will be refunding the renter and did not give me any opportunity to work on a rebooking. In my eyes, Redweek stole my money.
 

R.J.C.

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Perhaps each scenario is different, but I was able to negotiate with both Redweek and the renter - twice. Maybe I see this a little differently from other owners, but this is an unprecedented situation, and both the renter and owner should share in the loss. I see it this way because I'd be in the same position of loss had I rented from someone else. In my cases, I circumvented the situation prior to Redweek coming to their own conclusion, and it worked for all parties.

Just why should the owner "share" the loss if they have a contract that says "no refunds for ANY reason as long as the resort is open"? The renter took the risk and could have gotten insurance if they thought there was a chance they couldn't go so why should the owner have to share in the renter's negligence? If you were negligent as being a renter you should have to reap what you sow.
 

R.J.C.

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For the renter that booked with me directly (non-refundable), I am not refunding the money, but I am offering a rebooking for later this year. I am not viewing it as a loss for either party. If I had been on the other side in this situation, I would be totally OK with rebooking. Again, the renter saved money by choosing to book a non-refundable reservation.

Redweek has not offered any choice to me. They just notified me that they will be refunding the renter and did not give me any opportunity to work on a rebooking. In my eyes, Redweek stole my money.

You see it that way because that is exactly what they did. What they are probably hoping for is that owners for the most part don't have the option to take them to court. Hell, based on their practices, Redweek may as well be a mob gang.
 

montygz

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bevans

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I disagree with those on here that think a renter has to pay some or all of a non refundable rental. I do not rent my timeshares but I do rent a vacation second home in Lake Tahoe, California. I have owned this for 25 years and rent to skiers and summer users with the understanding they leave it clean for the next renter as I do not have a housekeeping company. Over 95% of the time the cabin has been left as found with no problems. On the occasions where I have been called by a renter that the place was not left in expected condition I offered to let them stay for free or get other accommodations with a full refund. The point is as a landlord you have a responsibility that is implied to supply a habitable unit and if one does not exist you can not expect them to pay. Curt
 

montygz

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I disagree with those on here that think a renter has to pay some or all of a non refundable rental. I do not rent my timeshares but I do rent a vacation second home in Lake Tahoe, California. I have owned this for 25 years and rent to skiers and summer users with the understanding they leave it clean for the next renter as I do not have a housekeeping company. Over 95% of the time the cabin has been left as found with no problems. On the occasions where I have been called by a renter that the place was not left in expected condition I offered to let them stay for free or get other accommodations with a full refund. The point is as a landlord you have a responsibility that is implied to supply a habitable unit and if one does not exist you can not expect them to pay. Curt
Another issue here is the shutdown wasn't immediate. Some resorts were still open even as some cities and states shut down.

If you rented your Lake Tahoe home to someone and then a blizzard closed all the roads for a week and your renter couldn't get there, you may still want to be paid because your Lake Tahoe home was in perfect condition.
 

echino

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Here is a quote from Travelex regarding Covid coverage:

"It is important to note that fear of travel, travel advisories and destination being inaccessible due to this illness are not covered risks under the Travelex Insurance plans."

If even an insurance company is sticking to the terms of the original agreement, why is it expected that timeshare owners should refund a non-refundable reservation? If the resort is open, then the owner has provided what was agreed. If the renter wanted better terms, they should have booked a refundable reservation with the resort, for a very different price.
 

SteelerGal

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RedWeek only offering a refund w/out even offering mediation was my concern. I wasn’t even able to offer another option. I believe AirBnB and RedWeek want to keep goodwill in the industry so they offered refunds. Unfortunately owners are expected to eat the loss. VRBO, although trying to be an intermediary, is taking the opposite stance. And how will this affect VRBOs future as well as other intermediaries who decided to credit or not to credit.
 

sportsfan1

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Just why should the owner "share" the loss if they have a contract that says "no refunds for ANY reason as long as the resort is open"? The renter took the risk and could have gotten insurance if they thought there was a chance they couldn't go so why should the owner have to share in the renter's negligence? If you were negligent as being a renter you should have to reap what you sow.
What would you have expected had you been the renter?
 

DannyTS

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I disagree with those on here that think a renter has to pay some or all of a non refundable rental. I do not rent my timeshares but I do rent a vacation second home in Lake Tahoe, California. I have owned this for 25 years and rent to skiers and summer users with the understanding they leave it clean for the next renter as I do not have a housekeeping company. Over 95% of the time the cabin has been left as found with no problems. On the occasions where I have been called by a renter that the place was not left in expected condition I offered to let them stay for free or get other accommodations with a full refund. The point is as a landlord you have a responsibility that is implied to supply a habitable unit and if one does not exist you can not expect them to pay. Curt
Say a non-refundable Redweek week is $1000, a flexible deal through Expedia is $2000. If you book 10 times from an owner and for some reasons you only go 8 times you are still better off booking from an owner even if you loose money twice (10k vs 16k).
 

bevans

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I stand by my statement that bottom line refundable or non refundable a landlord must supply a living space period or there is no contract.
 

DannyTS

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I stand by my statement that bottom line refundable or non refundable a landlord must supply a living space period or there is no contract.
This is a very interesting statement. What if other owners and renters were at the resort at the time and the resort continued to check in new guests? How does that qualify for the owner not providing a "living space"? I am not sure what you base your statement on, can you please provide details why an open resort is not a living space?
 

bevans

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The fact is most resorts have suspended operations so there are no rooms available. Now,there might be a few open here and there but for the most part few are allowed to operate. I looked at the HGVC system to see availability and all I checked were closed.
 

dioxide45

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The fact is most resorts have suspended operations so there are no rooms available. Now,there might be a few open here and there but for the most part few are allowed to operate. I looked at the HGVC system to see availability and all I checked were closed.
Many of the Marriott properties are open to owner and interval exchange reservations only. Since a rental would fall under the former, they would be considered open.
 

dioxide45

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If the resort is open, then the owner supplied a living space as contracted.
Perhaps, but we know that they are renting more than just a bed and square footage.
 

R.J.C.

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What would you have expected had you been the renter?

If I were a renter I would have either taken insurance or lived with the risks. Does it suck, yes, but I would have been the person to sign a rental agreement with the clause that stated "no refunds, no returns". Isn't that easy enough to understand (obviously not for Redweek)?
 

R.J.C.

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The fact is most resorts have suspended operations so there are no rooms available. Now,there might be a few open here and there but for the most part few are allowed to operate. I looked at the HGVC system to see availability and all I checked were closed.

At the same time, all Diamond resorts in Florida are still open. Granted, they have closed all of the amenities (pool, hot tub, daily activities, etc...) but the resort and units are still open which meets the requirements of a "living space".
 

R.J.C.

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Perhaps, but we know that they are renting more than just a bed and square footage.

If that written in the contract? Most contracts simply state "unit 111A" or "2 bdrm unit" will be supplied.
 
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