What is the service fee?
The service fee is paid by the traveler when booking through the HomeAway websites. This fee helps cover the costs of operating the websites for owners and travelers. Some of the costs to run HomeAway include: facilitating secure transactions, developing our products and services, and providing 24/7 customer service. Additionally, when a traveler books and pays through HomeAway, they are eligible for the Book with Confidence Guarantee.
Paying the fee
Travelers pay the service fee by credit card when paying through the secure HomeAway checkout process. The service fee is only charged to the card once the booking has been accepted by the property owner or manager. The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees. The service fee is between 5-12% for most bookings but can be above or below, based on the reservation. The percentage rate may change from time to time. Generally, the higher the reservation amount, the lower the percentage of service fee.
Other Property Fees
The service fee does not affect the ability of the owner to control their own rental rates and fees (e.g. pets, cleaning, or maintenance). We do recommend providing a distinct name for fees that differ from service fee to avoid confusion. The service fee is an additional amount added by HomeAway to the rental amount.
Refunding the fee
The owner does not have the ability to discount or waive the service fee amount. The only time the service fee can be refunded is when an owner uses the Cancellation Refund feature from their dashboard and the cancellation is requested within the terms of the owner/manager's cancellation policy. However, if the reservation is not canceled and all payments fully refunded to the traveler, the service fee will not be refunded.
Owners are not required to remit any taxes associated with the service fee. Sales and Use Taxes and Transient Occupancy Taxes are only due on the amount paid to the property owner related to the rental of the accommodations. VAT is charged on the service fee, where required by local regulations.