Why a B.C. Airbnb host's generosity backfired
A B.C. Airbnb host who thought he was being generous by offering a couple whose booking was affected by COVID a $1,000 refund, has found himself on the hook for the full $2,700.
In a bitter twist, the Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled Airbnb host Steve Daigle could have stuck with his original policy whereby he wouldn't have to offer a refund, but because he offered to let the couple to rebook and then revoked the offer he now has to pay Ted and Kim Lapshinoff a full refund of $2,781.
The problem occurred when the Lapshinoffs booked a three-night Airbnb vacation for April 2020.
When COVID struck a few weeks before the couple were due to go away, they cancelled the booking.
According to a Nov. 26 Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, Daigle agreed to allow them to rebook within a year, even though the contract said no refunds would be given.
However, in July 2020 Daigle sold the Airbnb property.
Months later the Lapshinoffs contacted him asking to rebook for spring 2021.
Daigle told them he'd sold the house but would "like to help out with a refund" and offered $1,000.
The Lapshinoffs didn't accept and instead took the case to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
Daigle argued he had no legal obligation to offer the Lapshinoffs a $1,000 travel credit and he could have stuck with the terms of the original agreement which would have meant the Lapshinoffs wouldn't receive a refund because they didn't cancel within 60 days.
"Daigle says that this was a gratuitous offer and he received 'no consideration' for it," the decision reads. "He therefore says that the cancellation policy in their written agreement still applies."
The Tribunal disagreed.
It ruled that because he told the Lapshinoffs they could re-book, he changed the original terms of the contract.
The Tribunal ruled that because he sold the Airbnb property and could not accommodate the booking, he broke the contract.
"When a party breaches a contract, they must pay the amount of money that would put the innocent party in the position they would have been in if the contract had been performed," the Tribunal ruled. "I find that the Lapshinoffs would have had the benefit of a stay at his vacation rental that was worth $2,781."
With that, the Tribunal orders Daigle to pay the Lapshinoffs $2,781 plus $150 in fees.
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