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Inner Light Guest House

You can pay either via Airbnb, PayPal, Venmo or directly. Please contact me for more information. It's possible I will set up a means to pay by wire transfer before long. 

I cannot hold space for you without a payment. In order to hold the space, you will need to pay the first 30 days' rent (if the stay is less than that, you'd need to pay the full amount for the entire stay). You'll also need to pay a security deposit which varies by room and length of stay, from $150 to $500. Depending on the length of stay you may also be asked to pay for an additional months' rent (last month's rent) prior to arrival.    

Payments and Fees

Methods allowed: I accept payment directly via cash or check, or payments made via Venmo or PayPal. I do not currently allow payments to be made by bank transfer or wire transfer, but am exploring setting that up as another option.

You are responsible for paying any and all service fees that are involved in whatever method you use to make your payment to me. This means that you're responsible for paying the fees both for your payment to me, and for fees involved in my refunding you.  

The least expensive way for you to pay for your rental (because it involves no additional fees) is to pay me directly in cash or check. If paying by check, the check needs to be from a local bank, meaning, one with a branch in my area, as I will need to be able to cash the check at your bank in order to verify the funds are there. If there are any bank fees associated with cashing your check at your bank, (for instance, Bank of America charges $8 to cash a check at their bank) you will be required to pay those fees.

By contrast, paying via Airbnb will be the most expensive way to go, because their service fees are high, varying between 10 and 20% of the total reservation cost. However, in spite of the higher cost, some like to go this route because it is relatively fast.

Paying via Venmo is only available for those in the USA, and this will involve no fees if you link your bank account.

Paying via PayPal: there are 2 ways to pay via PayPal. For those who are US residents, if you check the box that says "Send to friends and family" when you make the payment, you can avoid paying any service fees.

If you do not check that box, or if you are not a US resident, you will need to pay their service fees (which are approximately 4 to 5%) when you make payments to me. Many people dont' seem to understand how to make a payment on PayPal with service fees taken into consideration, so let me explain.  

It used to be that when you make a payment on PayPal, you would see how much money you're paying, and then you'll see them state what their fees are, and you'd also see how much I will end up getting paid. However, I dont' understand why but apparently PayPal now does NOT show the fees it charges in the transaction, so it's more difficult for you to figure out how much I'll get paid. 

So if your payment due to me is $1000 (for simplicity's sake) and you'd see that the service fee amount is $45, and that the amount I'm going to receive is $955, then obviously this would mean that if you pay only $1000, I have not received $1000, and you haven't paid enough. You need to increase the amount of your total payment until you see that the amount I am paid is the amount I have asked to be paid, eg, you may have to pay $1045 in order for me to receive $1000. PayPal changes their service fees a lot, I cannot be responsible for telling you exactly what their fees are, this information will be provided when you go to make a payment. Bottom line is, I must be receiving the amount I requested and no less than that.

Also, keep in mind, that if you pay your security deposit via PayPal, then when I refund it to you, service fees will be deducted, so not only will you have to pay more than I ask for rent, but you will get less than you paid for your security deposit refund because you'll be paying all fees associated with that transaction as well. Again, you are responsible for paying all fees associated with any transaction. 

If you want to avoid fees, I suggest that after your initial payment to hold the room, you plan on paying all remaining amounts directly in cash.  

Cancellation policy:

If you cancel within 24 hrs of making the booking, you will receive a full refund less a $75 processing fee. If you cancel at any point beyond this, cancelling either all or part of your stay, you will not be able to obtain a refund for any part of the first 30 days of your stay (or, 30 days from the date you cancel) unless I can rebook the dates you reserved. It is possible that I might be able to refund you in proportion to the dates I am able to rebook, less a $75 administrative fee/cancellation fee that would apply. Because the refund would be contingent upon my ability to rebook the dates, you would not be able to receive a refund until I had received payment from the replacement guest.  

Security deposit:

As is standard practice with property rentals, I collect a security deposit for all room rentals, regardless the length of stay. Damages can occur regardless of the length of stay -- most damages that do occur are to linens (sheets and towels) . To prevent damages to linens, do not consume food or drink in bed, do not remove the mattress protector on the bed, and please dont' use chemicals that can stain linens, such as benzoyl peroxide or other staining chemicals. If you need to use such a chemical, please bring your own linens to use.  

I generally can't return the security deposit on the same day you depart (and definitely cannot return it at the very moment you depart) but generally can return it within a few days. Refund will be made in the same manner as payment, eg, if you paid via PayPal, refund will be via PayPal and not in cash.  

I want to address an unfortunately common misunderstanding about security deposits and damages. Many guests inappropriately assume that they will only be charged for damages that they either agree to pay for, or are aware that they caused, or that are "large." Some guests even think that if they caused damages "by accident", they should not be charged. If you think about this for more than just a few seconds, you will realize that is totally not do-able. In fact, most damages that occur are accidental, and in many cases guests are unaware of the damage. Some of the damages are small, eg a small stain on linens. The size of the damage doesn't matter: what matters is, am I able to use this stained linen for other guests. Ask yourself if you would be happy being provided a room with stained sheets or towels, even if the stains are "small", and you may begin to understand my dilemma. Simply put, I cannot re-use any stained sheets or towels, regardless the size of the stain, except in some cases if the stain is just a color issue. Therefore if you cause damages that result in this, you will pay for the damages, whether or not you are aware that you caused them.  

If you'd like to avoid being charged for damages that you argue you did not do, the best way to accomplish this is to inspect your room and/or linens just as you arrive. That way, if you find any issue that I may not have noticed, such as damaged linens, you can assure that you will not be charged for damages you did not do. I do not generally do a mutual inspection with arriving guests because it would be off-putting. My aim is to be welcoming. But I invite you to do this if it provides you some comfort.  

 I look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you into a delightful, quiet and rejuvenative place to stay while you explore all the treasures -- natural , architectural, artistic, spiritual and cultural -- which the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer!

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