I didn’t damage this vacation rental! Do I have to pay for it?

Could you be falsely accused of causing damage to your next vacation rental — and be forced to pay for it?

Colleen McKenna is sure that the answer to that question is “yes.” She just returned from what she thought was a peaceful and uneventful stay in a rented condo in Hawaii. But the property manager says she and her husband caused significant damage to the vacation rental during a domestic disturbance. As a result, he charged her credit card for cleanup and repairs — several days after the couple’s departure.

McKenna says she has absolutely no idea what this man is talking about and believes it’s a scam. Now she’s asking the Elliott Advocacy team to investigate.

Can we find out what’s going on here?

How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in

If you’re planning a vacation rental stay, you need to do one thing before you kick off your shoes and unpack — if you don’t want to end up with surprise cleaning fees. Grab your phone and start taking pictures.

Lots of pictures.

I speak from personal experience. I just checked out of a vacation rental and got broadsided with one of the most outrageous cleaning fee claims in my career. More on that in a minute.

How can I get a refund for a canceled vacation rental?

When Marilyn Harrett called off her Hawaii vacation last spring, she thought she could get a refund for a canceled vacation rental. After all, her state was locked down and so was the Aloha State. There was no way she’d be able to make it to her rental in Maui.

Oh, and one more thing: She had an email from the vacation rental company promising her a refund. Slam dunk, right?

Wrong. (Reprint)

How to easily avoid a costly vacation rental scam

An internet prowler recently snagged Goldie Min in a costly vacation rental scam by luring her off the Vrbo site to pay a $500 deposit. This scammer was so savvy that Min didn’t even realize she had been led away. But when Vrbo canceled her rental and informed her the listing was a sham, Min was jolted into reality.

I think this is a dangerous vacation rental. I want a refund!

What should you do if you check into a dangerous vacation rental? That’s the problem Shui-man Tong faced when she arrived in Lisbon — and found her TripAdvisor rental was “uninhabitable.”

It was early December, and the temperature inside the rental had plunged below 40 degrees. What happened next forced Tong to find alternate accommodations and ask TripAdvisor for a refund.