Do NOT rent through HomeAway, VRBO or Expedia!!! If you are a renter, you have no rights. You might think that buy prepaying the booking in full that you are guaranteed the rental, but the homeowner can cancel your booking at any time with no consequences at all. That means you can be canceled right up until check in.
Their so-called, "rebooking team" is a joke. You can't call them. You go through the regular help line and are told you will get a call back, "in a couple of days." Even if your rental is less than a week away, you have to wait until they get through their backlog of canceled renters. You will be offered whatever properties meet your needs as long as they are slightly higher or slightly lower than what you originally booked. If the rate is higher, you will have to pay for the entire rental and then submit a request for refund for the overage.
You have no rights as the renter and you can't leave bad reviews about the homeowner. They won't post reviews that mention bad business practices of the homeowners, only posts about the physical property itself. If you mention you were ripped off or that the owner kept your deposit, you aren't allowed to mention that in the review. Renters have no way of knowing that they might be sending money to a fraudulent or unreliable owner.
Rent through a local vacation rental or through any company besides HomeAway, VRBO or Expedia. Don't let your holiday get be ruined!!!