If the owner ensures the calendar is always correct there is no reasonable justification, for the owner, to cancel; other than for extenuating circumstances (Acts of God).
Therefore clause 3.3 in our T&CS should never be an issue. This clause, however, will ensure owners who may not have the best intentions stay honest. And is that not one reason for an agreement; to keep the bad guys honest?
The quick answer is you can not cancel any booking. And not reporting unavailability to us for whatever reason has serious consequences.
Here’s the long version:
Risk. As you know all businesses have some risk. Even though these risks have an extremely low probability please take note.
One of the risks is what’s called Instant Bookings. Instant bookings increase the chance for bookings.
When guests meet set criteria they can instant-book. And we cannot cancel as we will face severe penalties. Not only is there a cost involved but we can easily lose our SuperHost status.
When an owner agrees to our terms and conditions we share this risk and must limit it.
We, therefore, must indicate to owners, who may not take this seriously, the risk and consequences.
Let me quote the Terms and Conditions:
3.3 If the OWNER cancels or cannot host as agreed, a confirmed booking, a penalty of R15000 will be paid by the OWNER to the AGENT and the OWNER will be kept liable for any additional losses incurred by the guest who made the booking and any losses occurred by the AGENT, excluding ‘Acts of God’.
The loss, when the owner rejects a confirmed booking, is not measured only in monetary terms. No. The cost to lose our SuperHost status is not quantifiable.
Booking.Com makes it more difficult.
Booking.com says that if you cancel a confirmed booking, you must find alternative accommodation for the guests. If you cannot they will find similar accommodation, and if the rates are higher then you will be liable to pay the cost to relocate the guest.
Therefore, we, explicitly, share with the owner the risks and consequences of rejecting a confirmed booking.
How often does this happen?
Well, infrequently, but we have had one or two peak only owners who have asked us to market and then remove their homes from the market, without notifying us when it happens. In these cases, we accidentally learned about it. Next time we may not be that lucky.
The risks are low as long as owners inform us of changes well in advance.
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