You asked: What is Airbnb doing to better support hosts if things go wrong?
The short answer is: a lot! Before we dive in to the exciting changes we’re working on, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: Instances of property damage on Airbnb are quite rare. On average, significant claims of damage happen less than 0.004% of the time.
That means, you could host a new reservation every day for 63 years and never expect to have to file a significant damage claim.
But it’s true that accidents do happen, and if they do, we want your home and valuables to be protected. That’s why we created safeguards like the Security Deposit and $1 Million Host Guarantee in the first place, and that’s why we’re committed to making sure they work for you.
We’ve heard from you that the process to access these safeguards feels like it takes too long and is too complicated. And that it’s hard to access your Security Deposit or get reimbursed through the Host Guarantee. And that’s unacceptable.
So we’re completely revamping the process for damage claims to make it more host-friendly. Here are four big changes you can expect:
Now, you’ll have more time
You used to have to report damages within 72 hours after check-out or before your next guest's check-in, whichever was earlier. Now you have 14 days, or before next guest's check-in, whichever is earlier. We’re also going to be giving you a lot more time to complete the claims process— it’s longer than two weeks now.
You don’t have to do as much legwork
We’ve reduced the amount of documentation required for most claims.
You can expect a fair payout
We’re now consistently including sales tax and other associated costs in our reimbursement to hosts.
You can expect quicker answers
We’ve revamped the way the Airbnb support team handles cases like these to make it faster and easier for hosts. Already, since we’ve introduced these improvements, claim-resolution time has decreased by more than 20% in the past few months.
We’re looking at the full picture here, and we realize we have a ways to go. But we’re actively working on making the entire experience better for you when you need support.
Thank you for your feedback on this important issue so far, and please keep letting us know how we can improve. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as more improvements roll out.
View this and other answers from the Host Q&A here.
Has anyone ever gotten reimbursed for any damage claims??? All I’m reading is negative experiences with claims.........Airbnb can you explain this please?
We have been hosting since 2016 & have been superhosts every quarter since we started. We have had 4 damage claims & 2 extortion claims, one as a co-host.
We also have had several guests who have self reported damage & offered to pay for repairs.
Both times we have reported extortion, we have been upheld & no refunds have been given. In both cases no guest reviews have been made public (if the people even left a review).
As for the damage claims, we have been reimbursed significant amounts two times, but had to sign a no disclosure agreement once. I dont know if ABB charged the guests or paid us directly.
We generally feel like ABB does a good job dealing with claims - both for damages and extortion. It does take some work on our end, but they do also have a duty to the guest to insure that the host’s claims are accurate. The most important thing to do is to report everything to ABB the minute the problem is discovered.
The one time that we have had a major problem with the ABB response involved a pair of guests who kept coming back to our house after check out. They ate food, did laundry, and stole small items for their squatters campsite which they had set up in a nearby vacant commercial property. I realized what was going on and reported them to the police.
We reported this to ABB & asked mostly for the cost of replacement locks. I provided copies of the statement I gave to the police. ABB wouldn’t help because they couldn’t reach the “guest”. The police had arrested them for trespass & shoplifting at a neighborhood store a couple of days after I filed my report. ABB still claimed they couldn’t help without speaking to the other party. I asked how they expected to talk to someone in jail. That was the last I heard from anyone on my claim.
It’s the only time we have been badly disappointed in the process, but it is a pretty bad one.
The security deposit should remain on account until the claim period is over. No one who has a valid claim filed against them should be able to review that host, or if they do, it should not be included in the host’s averages.
I put a security deposit for a reason. But both times I tried to claim the security deposits you need to go through normal claims process. If I call to claim the first thing is to put a hold on not returning the security deposit.. I have notoce also some guest book and seems as the security deposit not put on hold at all.. But glad to hear Airbnb is getting better on this..
Will you be looking at older claims as well? Last year, I had a guest cause several hundred dollars worth of damages to my home. After submitting photos and prices as requested, you proposed that $40 was a fair amount. I was never reimbursed for my damages.
I have made one claim in the past that almost seemed more trouble than cleaning the mess. The last one I had put in 2 months ago I have never heard a peep back from anyone at airbnb. This after submitting all that was asked. Hopefully the new way will make it easier for the host.
Here I think AirBnB can just save a lot of cost and missed expectations by just stopping to claim that hosts can claim damages from AirBnB. Just let go of this. It already caused an insane amount of negative opinion from hosts and ex-hosts who had trouble with claims.
I think this is a remnant from the start-up days, when it was actually challenging to get people to open up their homes. This is no longer the case.
Also, whatever a guest does in a host's listing is fundamentally not something that AirBnB can control (beyond basic vetting), and therefore I don't think they need to take responsibility for it. I can think of no other online booking engine that does this for hotels or other hospitality providers.
Ultimately higher claims payouts lead to high costs both in the payout of claims itself and in the cost for staff to handle these cases. These costs have to come from somewhere and I bet it's not Brian's pocket, so inevitably this leads to higher host fees or higher guest fees, both of which result in reduced income for all hosts.
In my case damage has been very minor and whatever damage did occur, guests were really good at paying for it. (e.g. a guest managed to break a wash basin). I wouldn't even think to claim this with AirBnB: they didn't break the thing and even if the guest wouldn't pay for it then the cost is really negligible all things considered. The major impact is always the time and effort taken to get it fixed, which doesn't go away by getting a bit of money some day. Damages really don't impact my bottom line no matter if it's the guest who pays for it, me who pays for it, or AirBnB who pays for it.
Yes...and @Jiw0 in Chen Mang
In one area airbnb states they DO verify ID's, in another they don't, in yet another, they state they will impose punitive action if WE do, and as advertised, they also claim to offer $1 million in host protection, and now a "newer and better" claims process, so they've contradticted themselves so many times to cover up the lack of accountability...
Do you know the old saying if you can't blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bull---- echoed by George Orwell in his novel 1984 as "doublespeak" and by US POTUS as "fake news..."
I had a guest lie at point of booking just so he could get into the property, then proceed to remove a full length mirror from my landing and damage it. Lastly one guest stole one of our dressing gowns provided for guests use.
When I put in a claim I was asked for receipts. I had one for the mirror but not the dressing gown. I also had a copy of the guests itinery (bridal party), which clearly showed that the extended check out time we agreed to was going to be overrun by 1 1/2 hours. All evidence was shown to Airbnb who agreed to covering the cost of additional cleaners to enable us to turn the property around for the next guests. The dressing gown was returned a week later so that claim was dropped. The mirror which cost £130 and was 18 months old was paid by Airbnb on a wear and tear basis £70. Who knew that looking into a mirror denoted wear and tear! I have since removed my property.
Unfortunately, Duane is exactly correct. We had a guest trash our place including destroying all bedding and leaving cigarette burns in the rug (non-smoking property). airbnb gave us the runaround even though we had a security deposit in place. They even went so far as to tell us that the rug was still useable with cigarette burns in it. That's certainly not how we provide a 5 star experience!
I had no idea before this incident that the security deposit was fake. With all other rental properties and sites the security deposit is there to protect the owner. We even had written communication from the guest that they had caused the damage. We had about $1,500 worth of damage and ended up getting a fraction of that.
As someone else mentioned the claims rate is likely so low because nobody wants to file a claim. I would never bother with it again.
I believe you just have fewer claims because is almost impossible get the insurance. I started this year rent my house through Airbnb and I already had 4 problems of itens missing or broken. And I couldn’t receive any dollar back from the insurance. One time my guest destroyed two chairs, one mattress and Airbnb want pay me 10 dollars. What is nothing what it cost to repair. The Airbnb employees are not very trained to respond this cases
Yes I second that the Airbnb claim process is a joke.
I had a party of 4 that checked in. We identified 7 individuals living in our property at one point.
We even had a picture of the 7 tooth brushes, inflatable matress etc.
Airbnb took the guests side which denied everything.
Unfortunately airbnb puts more emphasis on keeping the guests happy than the hosts.
After two years, after Customer damages the sofa two times until now sending documents and receipts to Airbnb, I couldn’t receive any security deposit!!!! It’s very funny airbnb asks me to make them a report why the skin of sofa is damaged! However I sent the receipt and bill of the repaired sofa including pictures and everything and very rude they rejected me as a super host. I think if airbnb not trust their hosts then Why would we trust airbnb to put our apartments on this website to host the people and the company which are not responsible for it!!! I hope someday you know the value of your hosts.
Personally I was shocked at the fact I had allocated a security deposit in case of damage and when I had tenants create damage I was not able to access it. I had a claim I made and never heard back.
I tried contacting tenants and they denied it. So I was out of pocket $150. In my experience it was my word against there word and they won. Since then I have not made any other claims and thought it was a joke to have this on the account and have no understanding under what circumstances it would be paid. I can’t see these changes making any improvement to this issue.
I feel Airbnb should collect the security deposit and have it on hold for at least 7 days so if you have a claim
You may recover it out of the deposit without having to ask your guest "permission" from them to collect. I had two claims which were only about $50 but the guest denied payment. That's what a security deposit is for. Just collect it up front!
Apart from property damage, there is an issue of clients who have mental illness. We had a client who came to our home, left his belongings in our appartment, parked his car, and then went away, texted us that he is afraid of us and even called the police!!! police never came, but we spent 4 hours begging him to take away his belongings and his car and he would say to me things like" What if you would lock me in your garage?". Finally he got tired of this game, took his things and went away. We have reported this accident to airbnb and...the guy's profile is still there!!!
I've seen other stories of people with mental issues which create problems for their hosts and airbnb leves them on the platform as if nothing happened. Once we were to accept a fellow who had mixed reviews but when we have read that he was smoking in his host's room, we decided to decline him and explained honestly the reason for our decision. He became verbally absusive, and when we pointed it out to airbnb, nothing was done either.
It's as if airbnb wishes to include everyone no matter what. It does not work, because each time we are faced one to one with a traumatic experience of dealing with a crazy person, we start thinking of shutting down the whole operation.
I think it is a serious problem which should be paid attention to.