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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
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I am a defendant in a small claims case involving my vacation

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I am a defendant in a small claims case involving my vacation rental. The renter departed early and is demanding money from me based on me re-renting the vacation rental. My contract states "refund is only given if cancellation is made at least 30 days prior to arrival date". Am I liable to refund her money based on my ability to re-rent the home during the original time frame agreed upon?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the question and your concern. Do you know if the person who rental the property would have taken it AFTER the original rental time had passed or did they only want it during that specific time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They only wanted it for that specific time. It was for her family that came to stay in Colorado. They were from Belgium.

Thank you for the additional information. Normal, for a rental agreement, the landlord does have a legal obligation to try and mitigate damages, by finding a new tenant to take possession. This is typically the case when a tenant vacates and fails to pay rent and the lease is for a year. In this case, the rental is short term, the cost was paid ahead of time, as it is a vacation rental AND the renter departed early, on their own. They were not forced and had every legal right to stay until the rental time was up. If they vacated and you had notice, you have a right to re-rent the subject property, as there is no reason for it to sit idle. Her actions would indicate an intent to forfeit the money paid ahead of time. For her to come back and say you owe her a refund after she decided on her own to leave, without cause, is certainly going to be a tough argument to win. Your contract does state the terms and conditions upon when a refund will be given but at the same time, you can always argue that she left on her own. She was not forced and as a result, you should not have to provide her with a refund. You certainly want to defend the lawsuit, rely on the contract which she signed as well as harp on the fact that she decided to leave. The money was paid up front and likely non-refundable, which she was aware of. Knowing this, she should have not left or in the alternative, found someone on her own to take over and pay her for the time remaining.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate your response. One question: Is there any law that states if I re-rent my vacation home during a time frame previously paid for that I need to make a refund to the renter that vacated early based on the amount that I can re-rent the home for?

You are welcome. There is but it is when the LANDLORD wants to sue the TENANT for damages, not the opposite of what is happening here, where she wants refund and left on her own. I have not been able to find anything that says you need to refund her for her desire to leave early.
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