Vrbo Service Animal Policy Explained

Vrbo service animal policy

By The Hospitable Team

When it comes to running a vacation rental business on Vrbo, it’s up to hosts to decide whether to make their rental property pet-friendly for all their guests. But it’s not the case when it comes to accommodating service animals. Hosts are required to handle such situations according to the Vrbo service animal policy.

In this blog, you’ll find information about what is expected from you when hosting Vrbo guests with disabilities that rely on a service dog. We’ll also talk about the Vrbo emotional support animal policy to help you stay informed about your rights as a host.

Vrbo Service Animal Policy

Vrbo states it’s an inclusive marketplace built on trust, safety, and respect. That’s why they require all hosts with properties located in countries with service animal laws to accommodate travelers needing a service animal. Vrbo defines a service animal as a dog that’s individually trained or being trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. 

You can find the full list of the countries with service animal laws in the Help section of the Vrbo website. Remember that this policy applies no matter whether you define your property as pet-friendly or pet-free because service animals are not pets.

You can’t charge a pet fee or increase the security deposit amount for service animals. Besides, guests aren’t legally required to inform you about a service animal before booking. But Vrbo encourages open communication so that you can make reasonable accommodations for their stay.

You can do it by mentioning in your listings, house rules, or your Vrbo pet policy that guests are welcome to inform you about their service animals before check-in. Then you’ll be able to make the necessary arrangements for them to ensure a pleasant guest experience.

That means it’s crucial to get your guest communication right. And the easiest way to do it is to use vacation rental software like Hospitable. With Hospitable, you’ll be able to automate guest messaging and ensure your guests get personalized responses almost instantly, 24/7.

Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.

We will detect questions and answer on your behalf; send fully custom messages triggered by events, and much more!

Vrbo guests with service animals aren’t required to provide any form of documentation that verifies their service dogs’ training or certification. But you are allowed to ask your potential guests two reasonable questions to ensure you have enough information about the service animal:

  • Is the service dog required because of a disability?
  • Has the dog been trained to perform tasks?

All Vrbo hosts are required to comply with this policy regardless of the laws, Homeowner association (HOA) restrictions, or breed restrictions that may apply to the listing location. But it’s better to review all the local laws that may apply to your property too.

Vrbo Emotional Support Animal Policy

Emotional support animals are different from service animals because they don’t have specific task training related to a disability. Their role is to provide comfort and calming support to an emotionally distressed pet owner. 

Emotional support animals are exempt from the Vrbo service animal policy. Hosts and guests should discuss accommodation for an emotional support animal and decide between themselves.

It may be a no-brainer if your vacation rental property is pet-friendly. But you can also make a decision on a case-by-case basis or state your approach in your house rules or your pet policy. And remember that local laws might require you to accommodate emotional support animals.

If you decide to accommodate emotional support animals at your rental property, you can charge pet fees for them. You’ll have to discuss this fee with guests who would like to bring emotional support animals with them so that they are aware of the extra fees.

Set Your Vrbo Pet Policy

Not sure whether you should allow pets on your Vrbo rental property? Vrbo has a “pets allowed” search filter to help guests find pet-friendly properties. The company says it has seen a 40% increase in demand for pet-friendly vacation homes on its platform. So allowing pets on your property may be a smart move that can help attract an additional pool of travelers, improve your reputation, and increase bookings and revenue.

Another smart move that can help you make your business more efficient is taking advantage of vacation rental tools like Hospitable, which offers a comprehensive set of features. With Hospitable, you’ll be able to streamline your business operations by automating all routine tasks. And if you have multiple listings on different platforms, you’ll be able to manage all your accounts from a single interface.

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Making your rental pet-friendly can help set your property apart from others, but you should keep in mind that you risk damage to your property. And you are also at risk for pet liability concerns, so you should make sure that your property is covered with a comprehensive insurance policy.

And remember that it’s your property, so you can decide what makes the most sense for you and how you would like to market your Vrbo rental to potential guests.

Final Thought

When you create a listing on Vrbo to become a host, you agree to all their policies, including the policy on service dogs that was developed to protect the best interests of hosts and their guests. So if you violate the Vrbo service animal policy, Vrbo will investigate the case and take appropriate action, including permanently or temporarily delisting your property.

Keep in mind that many rental listing sites and OTAs have their own rules and requirements about service animals and emotional support animals. So if you also list your property on Airbnb, you may want to check out our article about Airbnb ESA policy.

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