Extenuating Circumstances Policy ⚡️NEW!

Note: This article does not address circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Review our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances article to learn about coverage of COVID-19 related circumstances.

Effective as of December 1, 2020


This Extenuating Circumstances Policy explains how cancellations are handled when unforeseen events beyond your control arise after booking and make it impracticable or illegal to complete your booking.

When this Policy allows for cancellation, it controls and takes precedence over the booking's cancellation policy. Guests that are impacted by an event covered by this Policy can cancel their booking and receive, depending on the circumstances, a cash refund, credit, and/or other consideration. Hosts that are impacted by an event covered by this Policy can cancel without adverse consequences, but, depending on the circumstances, their calendars may be blocked for the dates of the cancelled reservation.

It’s important to keep in mind that this policy only applies to extenuating circumstances that occur before the official check-in date for your booking.

What is covered

This Policy uses the term “Event” to refer to the following situations that occur after booking, are unforeseen at the time of booking, and prevent or legally prohibit completion of the booking.

Unforeseen property damage, maintenance, and amenity issues to the thisopenspace listing that makes it unsafe to host guests, or that prevents guests from accessing basic amenities. This doesn’t include planned renovations. The host will be asked to provide all of the following documents:

  • Proof that the issue is being fixed
  • An estimate of when it will be fixed
  • An invoice for the repairs being done
  • Photos of the damage, including date stamps

Essential utility outages that affect the space, such as power outages.

Death of a host or guest. You’ll be asked to provide one of these documents:

  • Death certificate
  • Obituary
  • News article naming the deceased
  • Police report

Changes to government travel requirements. Unexpected changes to visa or passport requirements imposed by a governmental agency that prevents travel to the destination. This doesn’t include lost or expired travel documents or other personal circumstances relating to a guest’s authorization to travel.

Declared emergencies and epidemics. Government declared local or national emergencies, epidemics, pandemics, and public health emergencies. This does not include diseases that are endemic or commonly associated with an area.

Government travel restrictions. Travel restrictions imposed by a governmental agency that prevent or prohibit travelling to, staying at, or returning from the listing location. This does not include non-binding travel advisories and similar government guidance.

Military actions and other hostilities. Acts of war, hostilities, invasions, civil war, terrorism, explosions, bombings, rebellions, riots, insurrection, civil disorder, and civil unrest.

Natural disasters. Natural disasters, acts of God, large-scale outages of essential utilities, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other severe and abnormal weather events. This does not include weather or natural conditions that are common enough to be foreseeable in that location.

What is not covered

Everything else. This Policy only allows for cancellations for the Events described above. Everything else is excluded. Examples of situations that this Policy does not allow cancellations for include, and are not limited to: unexpected disease, illness, or injury; government obligations like jury duty, court appearances or military duties; travel advisories or other government guidance (that fall short of a travel ban or prohibition); cancellation or rescheduling of an event for which the booking was made; and transportation disruptions unrelated to a covered Event like road closures, as well as flight, train, bus and ferry cancellations. If you cancel a booking in these cases, the amount refunded will be determined by the cancellation policy.

What to do next

If you’ve confirmed your circumstance meets the requirements above, first cancel your booking then contact us to file a claim. If your booking falls under a recognized extenuating circumstance, you’ll be notified that your booking qualifies for a penalty-free cancellation, and you’ll get a full refund if you’re a guest.

We’ll walk you through the next steps, which will include submitting any required documentation and waiting for our team to review your case. Claims must be submitted within 14 days of cancellation.

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