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TurnKey Vacation Rentals sued over refusal to provide COVID-19 refunds

In March, the KVUE Defenders reported that hundreds of people had shared stories of canceling trips due to coronavirus and not receiving refunds from TurnKey.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-based TurnKey Vacation Rentals is being sued for refusing to give customers refunds when they canceled trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against TurnKey Vacation Rentals Inc., stating that TurnKey has "ignored its contractual obligation" to refund customers 1) whose rental properties became unavailable, 2) whose reservations TurnKey canceled or 3) who canceled reservations made more than 10 days prior to check-in within 72 hours of booking due to civic orders prohibiting travel during the pandemic.

In March, the KVUE Defenders reported that hundreds of people had shared similar stories of canceling trips because of COVID-19 and not receiving refunds from TurnKey, even as other vacation rentals like Airbnb changed their policies in response to the virus – something the lawsuit makes note of. 

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Austin-based TurnKey Vacation Rentals refuses to refund customers canceling because of coronavirus

The Defenders reported that TurnKey said it would give customers a refund in the form of credit, but that they had to use it at the exact same home they booked and they had to so within the next 18 months. Additionally, as of April, TurnKey was still allowing people to book trips where travel was prohibited by civic order.

Sauder Schelkopf, LLC, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, referenced the Defenders reporting when investigating the claims against TurnKey.

"We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of the global economy but we do not believe that gives TurnKey the right to shift the burden of this extraordinary crisis onto its customers, who, in some cases, paid thousands of dollars for rentals where the COVID-19 pandemic has or will preclude them from ever using any credit," said Joe Sauder of Sauder Schelkopf. "We look forward to seeking to recover cash refunds for our clients and the class members."

You can read the lawsuit in full below:

WATCH: Defenders: Rental company refusing to give refunds for coronavirus cancellations

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