Vacasa Complaints by Guests and Owners

Jun 11, 2024, written by Dennis Shirshikov

Although Vacasa is the largest vacation rental management company in the US, complaints from both hosts and guests raise various red flags for owners considering hiring them.

This article outlines the most common types of Vacasa complaints posted on reliable third-party review websites to warn short term rental investors what to expect if they are thinking of entrusting their property to this company.

The thousands of negative reviews indicate that Vacasa is not worth it for hosts due to high fees, low service quality, and poor customer support, among other problematic practices.

What Vacasa Is

Vacasa is a full-service Airbnb property management company that operates in the US, Canada, Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica. It has the largest portfolio of short term rental properties in North America, currently working with more than 44,000 homes in over 400 locations.

Vacasa provides the following services to vacation rentals and their owners:

The main service missing from Vacasa’s portfolio, based on information provided on the company website, is vacation rental interior design and furnishing. However, complaints by hosts and guests show that many other important services are frequently missing as well.

Vacasa manages a wide range of short term rentals of various types and sizes. The company does not have strict eligibility standards, provided properties are ready to be rented out immediately since furnishing services are not offered.

Information about Vacasa fees is very scarce on the company website. The monthly cost depends on the market and property, but no range is provided. In their reviews, hosts who have worked with Vacasa report fees ranging from 25% of monthly revenue to more than 45%. Some services - like linen and insurance - are charged additionally. That this high total cost does not correspond with the expected level and quality of services is one of the main complaints of Vacasa hosts.

Vacasa Reviews

There are thousands of online reviews of Vacasa, written by both short term rental property owners and guests.

Vacasa property management reviews by hosts and guests are available on:

Additionally, Vacasa reviews are also available on Reddit, Tripadvisor, the BiggerPockets forum, and the Airbnb Community Center.

The average ratings of Vacasa, by both hosts and guests, vary widely. A main reason for this discrepancy is the size of the company. Various Vacasa complaints indicate that the company has stretched too thin by taking over thousands of properties in several countries without efficient teams or effective centralized supervision.

Below are the most common complaints that investors and renters have after working with Vacasa:

Vacasa Does Not Provide Sufficient, High-Quality Vacation Rental Management Services (Complaint by Hosts)

One of the most frequent complaints by owners who used to work with Vacasa is that the company does not do enough to manage and maintain properties. In most cases, the services are limited to cleaning (poorly performed, as reported by both hosts and guests), and some owners had to find their own teams to provide the remaining services.

On Trustpilot, Jesse Obbink made it very clear how bad the services provided by Vacasa are:

This company is a joke. They take a huge margin, drive no incremental demand, and contact you every time there’s an issue. The scope of things they actually manage is minuscule.

Essentially you’re paying 30%+ (because of all their hidden fees) for them to schedule cleaners. Tried it for a year, I am extremely underwhelmed. Will never use them again.

If you want to see the story, just look at their revenue and profit over the last 2 years. Pretty clear they suck up too much oxygen in the ecosystem without creating value.

Similarly, Chris C. complained about the services he received from Vacasa on Yelp:

NEVER EVER agree to rent your home on Vacasa. I have never seen such an inept business. They left my toilet running for a month and took no responsibility. They let renters have both sets of keys, with no backup, so they locked themselves out and I got called in the middle of the night and the Vacasa manager had NO BACKUP KEYS. They never took the garbage out. They rented my place for the minimum amount during spring break. They charged me $315 for initial cleaning even though it was already clean. They kept $500 deposit from me and wouldn't return it after I fired them

Travis H also thinks that Vacasa does not do anything beyond cleaning, as reported on BBB:

They aren't a property management company. They are a cleaning service pretending to be a property management company. They don't even clean, they simply charge $600 per clean whether they clean it or not.

Vacation rental management is at the core of what Vacasa is expected to do for investors and their properties. Managing a short term rental goes far beyond simply cleaning and changing linen. The failure of Vacasa to provide high-quality services is a major red flag that potential customers should not ignore.

Vacasa Does Not Generate Adequate Revenue for Owners (Complaint by Hosts)

One major reason for owners to choose professional property management is to boost the performance of their property and therefore their ability to earn passive income. However, many hosts experienced a drop - rather than a rise - in income when they hired Vacasa. Others made significantly less than what the company promised before onboarding their properties, which signifies either a scam or complete incompetence in determining expected revenue.

A condo owner in the Aqua Resort in Panama City Beach, identified as Riverside P., shared the following experience on Sitejabber:

What they don't tell you is that they deliberately lower your rental fees so they can tack on higher fees which amount to 30-60% of the total cost and, at times, collect more than the actual owner. Second, they charge a $35 damage waiver fee which they pocket since they never repair anything. So the owner ends up with less revenue and more liability. Third, they do a terrible job reporting any damage to the owner forcing them to spend their cashflow on maintenance and upkeep due to guest-related damage. Buyer beware.

Kate M., also investing in the popular destination of Panama City Beach, witnessed poor performance when Vacasa took over the management of her rental, as reported on Sitejabber:

My rental income in Panama City Beach went down over 50%. Numerable damages that I had to cover as an owner. When I cut ties with them they removed their lock and left three huge holes in my door that the hallway could see through and they refuse to fix them. They spent $14,000 of my income with no spending receipts. The only thing I can tell that they bought was a runner rug and a few Dollar store kitchen items. Multiple complaints of renters that it's dirty. Behind your back they will comp renters at the first complaint out of your income.

Jennifer’s actual revenue was a fraction of the expected amount, as explained by her on Trustpilot:

Vacasa is a joke. We used Vacasa to set up our AirBnB home. It was awful. They claimed we would make a certain amount of $. Didn't even make 10% of that. They said they would help with management. All they do is set the price and list on Airbnb. We had to find cleaners, yard, garbage etc. from 1000 miles away. It wasn't easy. They said they knew our market (Augusta, GA) like the back of their hand. They set the price for our 6 bdrm home during Masters for $1500 for the week. My neighbors that didn't use the "expert" Vacasa got between $18k to 22k. When we called up Vacasa to ask why they booked it so low they said "what is the Masters". Are you kidding me? They are not experts in the housing market. DO NOT trust them with your home.

Generating low income defeats the whole purpose of investing in real estate, making it impossible to cover mortgage payments, maintain the property, and still pocket some profit. This complaint by multiple Vacasa customers is key evidence that the company is incapable of providing adequate services.

Vacasa Services Destroy Properties (Complaint by Hosts)

In addition to not making as much money as expected, many vacation rental property owners were also disappointed with the lack of proper care for their property by Vacasa. In multiple cases, property maintenance and repairs were altogether missing, leaving properties in a desperate state after Vacasa’s management.

On Yelp, Lisa M. wrote about her terrible experience with Vacasa as the property manager of her rental:

I got rid of Vacasa 6 days ago. It's been a nightmare. I have videos/pictures showing complete neglect by Vacasa. I started receiving bad reviews about the cabin being dirty and the landscape being ignored in February 2023 when my mother and stepfather stayed. I contacted Vacasa with pictures. They said they would immediately correct the issues. Vacasa charged me for a heating issue when my mom was there. According to her, there was no heating issue; no one came to repair anything. A little over a week ago, I received a cancellation to my homeowner's policy due to property's condition (huge tree down blocking the fire pit, debris covering the roof, etc.). I drove 10 hours leaving my wife in her 3rd trimester, a terminally ill father-in-law, and my work. I arrived at a yard which was unrecognizable. All landscape was covered with leaves, the roof covered with leaves/debris, and a huge tree down…

Another short term rental host with the Trustpilot username Homeowner wrote:

I would not recommend Vacasa for property management. I repeatedly had damage to my home that was not reported and only caught when I visited the home myself. The cleaning crew was variable. They nickel and dime you for everything. When I finally fired them they wouldn’t answer phone calls and wouldn’t release my home from rental sites so that I could rent it with a new company. Avoid this management company.

M. A. also shared how poorly their property was managed by Vacasa, on Trustpilot:

My experience with VACASA has been nothing short of a nightmare. From the beginning, their lack of professionalism and care for my property was shocking. They neglected maintenance requests, ignored communication, and allowed the property to deteriorate to a disgraceful state.

As a result, my property received numerous bad reviews from guests on Airbnb, which ultimately led to the suspension of my listing on the platform. To make matters worse, the property management company failed to inform me that my property had been suspended from Airbnb. I only found out six months later. VACASA not only cost me potential income but also damaged my reputation as a host.

Guests left reviews mentioning urine on the walls that was never cleaned, unchanged sheets before check-in, and a general lack of cleanliness. I had the property inspected and found everything to be a complete mess. It was evident that the property had been utterly neglected.

Inadequate upkeep and maintenance is a major problem in the rental business. The immediate effect is negative reviews by guests and the inability to attract new bookings. But the long-term impact is even more devastating as neglected properties might suffer from major issues that could require thousands of dollars to repair. This will significantly reduce the owner’s return on investment in the long run.

Vacasa Does Not Communicate with Owners (Complaint by Hosts)

When entrusting their property to another person or company, it is crucially important for an owner to be able to reach the service provider and receive up-to-date information about the state of their investment at all times. However, as demonstrated in multiple Vacasa complaints, this is not something that the company does.

Dean Crombie wrote the following on Trustpilot:

As an owner this Company has the worst communication that could possibly be. They never return calls (most of them only a few do). Just recently they moved a renter I had due to no water, had they picked up the phone I could have had them water in 10 minutes. But instead they choose to pack up the family bag and baggage and move them to another house. If you are an owner find a different company

Andrew Johnston share his thoughts of Vacasa’s representatives’ communication skills on Trustpilot:

The people on the phone are heavily scripted and don't even understand the phrases and terminology their limited training has given them. It would almost be better to speak to an AI bot than their phone reps.

Vincent also complained about his experience with Vacasa on Trustpilot:

Their customer service is awful, their reps don't even know their own policies.

With Vacasa, property owners are frequently left in the dark, having no idea what is happening with their rentals. It is not only that the company is not proactive in communication, but they are also unreachable by owners when needed.

Vacasa Charges Unreasonably High Property Management Fees (Complaint by Hosts)

While Vacasa does not provide pricing information on their website, short term rental property investors report extremely high fees in exchange for questionable services. Vacasa fees are not only high compared to alternatives, but the company is also deceitful in how it sets up daily rates and how it charges fees to both hosts and guests.

Joey Morea is one of the many hosts who used to work with Vacasa until he realized how unnecessarily elevated the cost was, as reflected in this review 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.

José Dominguez, a rental property investor from Bel Air, MD, shared the same impression on BiggerPockets:

I have used Vacasa in the past but was not impressed with the overall service provided for the exorbitant management fee paid.

Similarly, John Loboscio wrote on Trustpilot:

They tell you they only charge a 25% management fee, but they secretly take 15% as a "booking fee" that you never see on the total rent a guest pays. Their actual charged rate is between 35-37% since they never show you the true full number. For example if a guest pays $100 rental, they don’t take $25 or 25%, instead they take 15% off the top, tell you the guest paid $85, then take 25% of $85 so their total takings are $36.25 -NOT- $25.

Extremely high property management fees, sometimes up to 50% of revenue, are one of the reasons why hosts lose money with Vacasa. A lot of their income is collected by Vacasa in the form of various charges to owners and guests.

Vacasa Practices Frequent Last-Minute Cancellations (Complaint by Guests)

One of the most disappointing things that can happen to someone going on vacation is to have their plans unexpectedly canceled by a third party. Unfortunately, this is something that seems to happen too often to guests booking with Vacasa. What’s worse, the company is usually unable to find an adequate replacement and unwilling to pay a full refund for cancellations that are their fault.

A guest with the nickname jordanz4 shared the following extremely negative experience on the Reddit platform:

Ugh. Horror story with them. Pregnant wife, 2 infant babies and they forced canceled reservation 20 minutes before. We drove 5 hours to get there. Nightmare. God will deal with them, absolute horrible, nightmare company to deal with.

Based on her review on Yelp, Faith M. also experienced a last-moment cancellation with poor follow-up:

I can not even give Vacasa one star, they canceled our reservation less than 2 hours prior to our arrival. even after sending codes and arrival instructions. They made little effort to find us something else. They offered us a small stipend to cover additional cost of reservation that we found ourselves and refunded us our original fees. It's been 3 months since I sent invoice information to get refund and now they are denying that also.

Nearly the same happened to Justin D, as explained on BBB:

They canceled our house on us with 48 hours notice. They fortunately had a less good option but no apology or discount. The reason was the outside of the house was being painted. They couldn't stop painting for a weekend and you didn't know the outside of the house was being painted until 48 hours until the reservation. Absurdity.

From guests’ point of view, last-minute cancellations are devastating. From hosts’ point of view, they are even worse as they result in lost income in addition to negative reviews that make their properties unrentable in the future. No one wants to book a listing just to have it canceled days or hours before arrival.

Vacasa Provides Low-Quality Customer Service (Complaint by Guests)

In addition to carelessness in their communication with hosts, Vacasa does not provide the expected level of customer service to guests. As a leader in the hospitality industry, Vacasa representatives should be always available to respond to guest inquiries and fully equipped to solve their problems. But Vacasa complaints by guests show that this is not really the case.

A guest with the Tripadvisor username bentleythebloodhound complained about the horrible guest services offered by the Vacasa team in The Beachcomber Cottages:

We were told it had everything needed, towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc. We should have known when there was no one there to check us in and had to call a handwritten note on the door. First we have no phone service there and had to go next door. We called the number and left a message. There was no one to meet us or tell us about the room key lock box. We had no cleaning supplies (went out and got our own) and when we called Vacasa were told to call a number if we needed something and when we did we had to leave a message that has yet to be returned! Unfortunately we need running water. when we called to inquire why we had none we were told it was a city issue and told it wasn't Vacasa’s problem. None of the cottages had water, not just ours. Overall the view is great, the service and quality of Vacasa was horrible.

On Trustpilot, Marjan Holbrook shared similar thoughts on the lack of property customer service in Orange Beach/Gulf Shores:

We had many issues with our condo from the first day, including construction starting at 6 AM daily on our balcony. Reached out many times and they kept telling me the local agent would contact me. A man called me from the gulf shores office would not give me his name. He yelled at me and told me there was nothing he could do. I told him my daughters feel unsafe, going out to the balcony and we are woken up daily by the drilling and the trucks backing up, he said he didn’t think that was a problem and the property is safe. They had many other properties nearby, they could have moved us on the first day. Worst customer service, and I completely understand why their stocks keep dropping. I sent them videos and photos of our experience and the only reply I got is ‘ok’

Sal Beander also had a very disappointing experience with Vacasa representatives, this time in Georgia, as shown in his review on Trustpilot:

The house in GA was as promised, though dirtier than I would have hoped (hair, dust, cobwebs, and trash in the yard). The complaint I have is with the company itself - the representatives I called were very misleading, made promises that were not kept (including a couple hundred dollar refund), would not return calls, and were not helpful in general. I have rented two big family homes from Vacasa, and now when I see their name on the Vrbo or AirBnb rental, I avoid it.

Once again, dissatisfied guests are very likely to review properties negatively, impacting the long-term performance of vacation rentals. Owners should not opt for a company that will not take care of their properties and their guests.

Vacasa Keeps Properties Dirty and Unsafe (Complaint by Guests)

While Vacasa promises professional cleaning services in all markets, many guests have reported filthy properties that are not only disgusting but actually hazardous. These experiences align with the poor housekeeping and maintenance practices observed by hosts.

After staying in an A-frame cabin in Carnelian Bay, Louise-And-Jonathan0 wrote the following review about the level of housekeeping and cleaning provided by Vacasa on the Airbnb Community Center, including plenty of photos to prove their point:

Unfortunately we did not enjoy our stay as much as we would have wanted. The cabin was not clean to anyone's standards, there were household hazards for dogs. We would like to share our experience (safety and health concerns) with you all since we are not able to add any photo on our review.

  1. bed sheets were wrinkly with hair in between the sheets,
  2. there was left over used bakeware in the oven when we wanted to use it,
  3. tons of large ball of dust/hair was scattered throughout the house,
  4. living room carpet was filled with hair NO vacuuming was done on this rug,
  5. broken glass was found on the kitchen floor by our puppy (what would have happened if I stepped on it and cut my foot open? or our dogs ate some broken glass?),
  6. spider webs left to hang around the drapes upstairs and all over the bedroom,
  7. dirty appliances were placed back into the kitchen cabinets,
  8. refrigerator was not wiped down the shelfs inside was really filthy, dried veggie, crumbs etc,
  9. fireplace was filthy and full was not cleaned/emptied,
  10. part of the railing for the downstairs was broken and dangling,
  11. crumbs was found in between the bed in the loft,
  12. blankets are so thin they should have been changed out for the colder season,
  13. stains on multiple carpets around the house,
  14. the water from the fridge was not dispensing,
  15. few old/junk electronics just lying by the outside of the Airbnb.

According to her review on Trustpilot, Suriya Sharma also faced a filthy property in New Orleans:

absolutely horrible company. DO NOT BOOK. We booked a rental for New Orleans and saw decent reviews. Then recent reviews talked about how unclean the place was so I sent them a message specifically asking they ensure it is cleaned and was assured that they would. We arrive to find a COCKROACH in the shower and trash in the bedrooms and by the door, in the fridge and the kitchen was truly disgusting. When we vacated the property and let them know they refused our refund request after taking hours on the phone and over a day to respond. Save yourself the trouble and book somewhere else.

Lisa Nicoletti-Wack also arrived to an unhygienic and dangerous property, as reported on Trustpilot:

Vacasa Plantation East #3218. Don’t do it!!!! We arrived to a dirty broken down unit, with bugs on the drapes and bedding, electrical cords on the floor, holes in the wall, dirty stained bedding, mold, rust in the refrigerator, TVs not working, electrical outlets not working. Blood or feces on the bed skirt and wall. Wasn’t sure what it was. Horrible experience. Called customer service and sent pictures. Rude and unhelpful. Avoid at all costs. Have pictures would upload here if I could.

Many hosts think that Vacasa services are limited to cleaning only, but it turns out that even this job is not done properly or sometimes altogether missed. Renting out dirty properties is something that one simply cannot afford.

Vacasa Has Bad Refund Policies (Complaint by Guests)

An important feature of the best property managers is to have a flexible refund policy. After all, there are plenty of circumstances beyond guests’ control, including emergency medical situations or bad weather, and refund policies should account for them. Still, based on guest complaints, it seems that Vacasa does not try to be understanding and accommodating, as is required in the hospitality industry.

In her review on Sitejabber, Sarah D. shared the following:

On a 15K trip, Vacasa (via AirBnB) took a 50% deposit. When a medical emergency forced us to cancel SIX MONTHS in advance of our trip, they kept more than $6k and refunded us $1200, diverting the matter to AirBnB. Completely abominable. Do NOT book with these thieves who try to offload their poor policies on other companies.

Kate M. also was unable to get a proper refund after canceling for emergency reasons, as explained on Yelp:

If there was zero star available to pick, that's what I would've picked. Vacasa didn't offer travel insurance, and when I asked to cancel a reservation 2 weeks prior to the reservation date because my companion wouldn't be able to fly back from UK to US due to medical reasons, Vacasa wouldn't refund my full payment nor give me credit for a future reservation if I wanted to reschedule. I am an old woman and cannot go to the cabin in the woods by myself. Vacasa is very uncaring. I don't recommend this business.

Similarly, Barb M. could not get a refund after undergoing an emergency surgery, as reported on Yelp:

We had a trip planned for this week, November 13-16 to a house on Whidbey Island.

I had a bad fall on Thursday, the 9th, which fractured my left hip, and had to have emergency surgery to repair it.

I am not able to travel in a car for four hours to get there.

My husband called twice to try and reschedule or cancel, no to both.

I would think that having an emergency surgery would be a good excuse to cancel or reschedule ‍

Not happy at all with this company!

Do not use them!!

It’s likely that Vacasa is trying to protect owner income and their own income by not offering refunds under extraordinary circumstances. However, this policy has the opposite effect in the long term. Negative reviews by guests who lost money will negatively affect listings, leading to fewer bookings and less revenue.

Vacasa Is Dishonest (Complaint by Guests)

On top of all other complaints about Vacasa, guests also find the company to be dishonest and deceitful. This is a major accusation supported by multiple examples reported by guests in their online reviews.

Jourdan S. became victim to Vacasa’s deceitfulness, as reported on Yelp:

False advertising, poor communication, horrible Customer service, complete disappointment. Our home advertised to have Central AC was 94 degrees inside. 94 degrees!! It was clearly broken well before our arrival and no one called to notify us (until returning our call after we arrived and complained). We were told maintenance would come out which never happened. We asked everyday, but were never contacted by a manager (until a week later).

Based on his review on BBB, Dennis C faced multiple issues highlighting the lack of honesty in Vacasa practices:

They cherry pick the reviews, I tried to post a review, they refused to post it, and everything I contacted them, someone else, would respond, and tell me they can't see my email history, the property we rented was nothing like the pictures, many things were broken, missing, or not working!

Another BBB review by Dena M shows how her family was tricked by a Vacasa team:

My husband and I are utterly disappointed with Vacasa. Vacasa provided false property information on the **** website and in a written exchange. On ****, the property listing advertised that the 1bdrm property slept 3 people. We were traveling with our 15 year old daughter so I directly asked if the sofa was a pull out sleeper sofa. "Where does the 3rd person sleep?" A Vacasa representative responded to my inquiry saying, "The sofa is a convertible sofa that can accommodate 1 guest..." It wasn't.

Property investors should not be willing to put up with malpractice or allow their guests to be tricked and lied to under any circumstances. This is a big no-no for any business, inside and outside the hospitality industry.

The Bottom Line

There are too many complaints by Vacasa hosts and guests of truly major problems that cannot and should not go unnoticed by vacation rental owners thinking of hiring the company. Too often, guests are subjected to unhygienic properties or dangerous situations, are not taken proper care of, and are deceived. Meanwhile, hosts are kept in the dark, are charged unreasonable fees, and have their properties destroyed. As a result, owners frequently lose money while working with Vacasa.

Thus, owners who want truly comprehensive full-service property management, at competitive pricing, with no suspicious practices should look elsewhere. Summer is the best vacation rental management company in the US and takes care of everything from interior design and furnishing to guest support, housekeeping, and maintenance. Meanwhile, fees start at only 20% of booking revenue, excluding cleaning fees. With Summer, properties are able to outperform at least 95% of comps in the area.

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This article was written by
Dennis Shirshikov

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