Hello again, Hosts!
Your ideas and questions about the Host Guarantee have sparked some important conversation at Airbnb headquarters. As with our recent Q&A posts on Smart Pricing, Search, and Instant Book, we collected lots of questions from you here in the Community Center—this time on the Host Guarantee. We’ve got insights for you from the Host Guarantee team, and we hope these are helpful. Keep the ideas and questions coming—you’re inspiring us to consider changes and improvements we can make to this program in 2018.
On security deposits and the Host Guarantee
1. What’s the difference between a guest’s security deposit and the Host Guarantee?
A guest security deposit is something you can choose to require of your guests. The security deposit is an acknowledgement by the guest that they may be charged up to the full amount should they cause damage to your listing. If you choose to require a security deposit from your guests, they don’t actually pay the deposit when they make the reservation. Instead, they’re charged only if you make a claim through the Resolution Center on that deposit and it’s accepted by the guest or granted through mediation by Airbnb.
The Host Guarantee provides up to $1,000,000 in protection from Airbnb for instances when guests damage a host’s property. In order to process a request, you would use the Resolution Center to upload documentation of the damages (such as photos or receipts), and first request payment from your guest to cover those damages. You and your guests can work out the details on your own, or you can choose to involve Airbnb directly in the Resolution Center. The best way to ensure a smooth process with your guest or with Airbnb is to submit your report of the damage, along with support documentation as soon as you identify the damage.
2. What benefit does the Host Guarantee provide if I can just make a claim against a guest’s security deposit?
3. If the security deposit cannot be collected from the guests, or doesn’t cover the damages, does the Host Guarantee still kick in?
4. Do I have to pay anything for the Host Guarantee?
5. Can I require a security deposit for any length stay or just for longer stays?
On Host Guarantee’s scope of protection
6. In what specific situations does the Host Guarantee kick in (theft, damage, excessive cleaning costs etc.)?
The Host Guarantee provides payment for theft or physical damage to your listing caused by the responsible guest, or the guest’s invitee(s), during their stay. For complete details, you can review the full terms. Items such as routine cleaning costs (including excessive linen costs or floor cleaning) or additional guests fees are not provided under the Host Guarantee program.
You have the option of including a cleaning fee in your pricing. You may also send an alteration request or a request through the Resolution Center if fees are sought for additional guests not included in the original booking.
7. If the Host Guarantee is applied to my situation, will I get the full value I paid for an item or its present value?
8. Why doesn’t the Host Guarantee cover antiques?
9. Does the Host Guarantee apply for extenuating circumstances during a booking (e.g. burst water pipe, fire)?
10. Why doesn’t the Host Guarantee apply when a guest cancels due to extenuating circumstances?
11. I’ve heard that if I have a key lockbox outside my home the Host Guarantee does not cover me anymore. Is that true?
On claims and payments
12. How can I prepare in case I need to use the Host Guarantee?
13. What if I can’t get any documentation/quotes needed by the request deadline?
14. To make a claim for the Host Guarantee I have to do it within 14 days after the date of guests departure, but I don’t have the time and money to replace what the previous guest damaged before my next guest arrives. What should I do?
15. How do I get money back from the Security Deposit for damage?
16. What’s the point in having a security deposit if we can’t use it? Why do we need the approval of the guest for it to be paid out?
Thanks again to all the hosts who shared questions about the Host Guarantee. Please keep your ideas and feedback coming in the Community Center.
Making changes to your home this year? Share your 2018 plans here!
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Community Center Project in December.
Looking to contact the Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
Nice to know, that lost income caused by the damage may be covered, if the cancelled bookings happened on airbnb. That was not the case, when I last read the terms, following my only big damage 4 years ago.
That the period to claim it, is now 14 days, if there is no other guest incoming, is an advantage. I remember the 48 h deadline as very stressfull and the following 24 h or 48 h deadlines for cost estimates as horrible, as I was not in the same town, there was a weekend and travel costs would have been huge. . There is no way to get any official cost estimate from a craftsman in such short time.
It would have been very helpful to just get an insurance expert over there, to make an official estimate of the damage, lower the rate during busy season and do repairs afterwards. It’s great, that this possibly exists now, but it seems an option on airbnb discretion only. Everywhere or US only? I think, airbnb should just work with experts from big insurance companies. Many of them are multinational or global players - if you crash your Norvegian car in Sicily, there will be a way that the Norvegian conpany can get an expert estimate via a local partner. I remember that this was very surprising and frustrating to me, that airbnb did not have access to local certified experts. If that’s now the case, that’s a huge improvement.
could you please elaborate on this point, how it works and if there are differences between US and other parts of the world?
another idea on that: when you have a bigger damage, fire, flood, guest running amok with a chain saw or whatever, an average host will feel completely lost. Personally, I would hace paid a fee for an expert, to have a single, official, trusted expertise. But that option did not exist. Instead I had to get many different estimates from craftsmen, who did not answer, not show up or not deliver the estimate in time. I got my damage paid in chunks and pieces and part of it not at all. If you deal with insurance normally, they send an expert, define the damage, the part you have to cover yourself and it’s done.
To be fair, the airbnb payouts were incredibly fast.
I had guests stay and they damaged my kitchen counter top by putting a boiling hot oven dish straight from the oven on our newly resurfaced coutertop and melted it! They even lied and said they didn't use the kitchen but we were there when they did it. Absolute liars! They also broke a number of other rules with regard to smoking on our property and were very loud. They disturbed us every night until 2, 3 O'clock in the morning!
AIrbnb won't compensate me as they consider it "cosmetic damage". Too many very intentional loopholes in their Host Guarantee which they use to dishonour their claims that Hosts should book guests instantly with confidence...yeah right! Airbnb do not look after their most important "assets" , top quality hosts who welcome absolute strangers into their homes on a high level of trust.
I'd love to know if there are other companies out there who look after their hosts better and consider them a "priority.
I agree with Helga especially with respect to using a third party expert to come out and evaluate the damage— then do estimates/repairs as you can.
I too too did not get paid for a claim - I dealt with Airbnb “Trust and Security “ persons who seemed ill equipped and not interested in helping but more likely using deadlines to deny my claim — even though the guest admitted the damage!! Having a third party administer claims and physical inspections is THE way to go!! Incredibly frustrating to have carpet damaged and guest admits issue but Airbnb would not even pay a single dollar even though it was a $300 deposit.
Well, I have a similar situation, were 4 guests were to stay for a wedding in town and arrived with an army and more food and items you couldn't imagine and then they violated the house rules of no parties, or events, and proceeded to have 7 unkown people in my house and using it to stage for a wedding. They used henna, to paint their hair and hands and body art and got it into my bedding, towels, white couches, on walls, toilets, windows, rugs, etc. I provided over 50 pictures to airbnb, reciepts for all the things I couldn't get clean myself. I spent a great deal of time trying to clean up the henna, and sparking tidbits out of everything. I never got back my key. Guest, never responded and Airbnb, just dropped the ball, taking sides with the guest. How incompete the airbnb people are. I have been operating a small professional bed and breakfast for years, and know how people should behave. They were disrespectful in not responding, staying way past the checkout time, not communicating, not returning keys, and then I get a call from airbnb, saying that there was a complaint against me by the guest who said that I was predjudice against her family's religion. I fell of my chair. The only thing I am prejudice against are people who are liars, disrespectful of others and their things, and who use racisim to compensate for their doing something wrong. I have lost all faith in Airbnb and do not trust their policies at all.
Painful experience. Regardless of the Air BnB lack of response, its good to engage a neighbor that might notify you if such things are going on in disregard for your rules. Our contract states that we can evict for flagrant violations, more people that agreed, or violation of the condo community rules. Hopefully, you got the sec dep at least.
This is infuriating to read. A $31 billion empire behind them! They have more than enough capital to help the hosts who are having their own homes damaged with no renumeration. Host Gurantee and deposit is a complete ruse! From Brian Chesky's own mouth “Even so, we realise that we have disappointed the community. To EJ, and all the other hosts who have had bad experiences, we know you deserve better from us.” Brian Chesky, one of the founders
Many people are ignorant of any type of comprehensive insurance, @Lizzie. I appreciate the breakdown regarding the Host Protection. However, there is a bit of misleading information in question #7 regarding the payment amount provided when claim is accepted. There is no "replacement" if the amount is degraded by the age and condition of the item. That wording is a bit misleading. Just like auto insurance, if your 10 year old car is totalled, the amount paid does not "replace" the car. It is standard insurance language but is confusing to most. Just a thought.
Not to brag or jinx myself, but my place is of Museum full of arts and antiques from family handed down to family when I do get guest and they walk in to my place they don't know what to do even if they first thought is bad,guess what is gone because we gave such love to the place and made them feel good,and when we do get good guest with good thoughts they dreams escalated so high they go Back home feeling good
one we have instant booking no cleaning fees no security deposit we don't ask for information of your background all we want is to spread the love and make a place of peace you know what I mean is pass it on pass it on our place is 3 bedrooms witch allowed 5guest at no extra charge
We would never keep expensive items in our airbnb. We moved to a model of simpler, not cheap, but simpler items which could be replaced easily if damaged, stolen, or broken. It is a huge risk to keep antiques and expensive items in your listing.
I guess it was do to the way i was brought up my mother alwarys tells me live life to the fullest,i ask mom why, my mom replied because we live in borrow times make the best of it as you can in a good way, you can not understand why i did the place the way i did,but in my world meaning inside of me.I uderstand mom is just the way she said it, and yes my mom is still alive,but sick
My places have lots of art work on the walls and some things are more expensive than a guest would expect at the price range. I arrange the apartment with potential accidents in mind: if it’s likely, that a guest may slam a suitcase against this wall, I will hang a wall to ceiling painting on another wall. Or block the easy access to it, put a sheet of plexiglass in front of it during family holiday season etc.
In 15 years hosting and yearly Open Doors for the artist’s ateliers, we had no art work stolen. No computer either, not even in the beginning, when computers were not that common. Some damage, mostly by stupid handling. Like a big graphist’s computer screen burned out, as it was standing close to the bed, the guests never turned it off, but flipped the bed covers on it getting up in the morning. After a while, you become experienced in avoiding such dangers.
If the place is warm and welcoming, most people take care not to damage it, some get inspired to contribute- we got maybe ten art works donated to us, appearing on a shelf or
left with a note.
It’s reassuring if repairs to art or antiques are covered, as accidents may happen.
if you rent your own home, you cannot transform it in a neutral place, where every item can be replaced from the shelf, without redefining your identity as well.
@Helga We have some art work from Great-Uncle on the wall which is somewhat pricey and personel. In the years we have been hosting, we've never had anything stolen either. I'm of the mind, though, that if it's really important to you and you any fear over it disappearing, don't put it in your listing. We keep the place painted every 6 months so things stay nice and neat. I think people appreciate that and they respect the place.
My top question is why is the Security Deposit called a Security Deposit when it isn't?
The Host Guarantee as written and the Host Guarantee as implemented seem to be somewhat diffferent, but that is more an observation. Should be mention of the Arbitration Clause.
@David I agree. Again I think the answer is to have a 3rd party manage claims and have a physical inspection if requested by host or needed by Airbnb. My trust in Airbnb to manage this process fairlybis zero based upon my experience. It felt like I was dealing with a government bureaucracy which just wanted to find a way to make me go away. It’s too bad because all my other experiences dealing with Airbnb customer support have been outstanding!! Only when it comes to paying out they have a whole different personality!
People seem to think it is Insurance, it is not, if it was there is no way they would be able to handle issues like this, the Regulators would close them down.
My caveat is that I have no inside knowledge about how AirBnB works, but there is enough evidence here and elsewhere to be reasonably certain there is a common issue.
Unfortunately there are too many hosts out there who have not been looked after by the Host Guarantee, myself included so it's the luck of the draw if you unwittingly welcome aweful guests into your home who damage it then don't do the adult thing and pay for the damages. Airbnb wont help either. Check out their own Facebook page and community forum on this site....