How we’re protecting you when things go wrong

How we’re protecting you when things go wrong

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Many of you have told us how much you love sharing your space with guests. Beyond the financial rewards, you’re inspired by the personal connections you make with people from all over the world.


Of course, none of that’s possible if you don’t feel protected while you host—you want Airbnb to help prevent things from going wrong and to be available in the rare but unfortunate moments when they do. We hear you, and we wanted to share some of the work we’re doing to enhance the safety of our hosts and broader community.


Ramping up our commitment to community standards

We recently announced our new Guest Standards Policy, which will introduce a system for tracking bad guests. When a guest fails to meet one of the standards outlined in the policy, they'll receive a warning. If the behavior continues, it could lead to suspension or removal from the platform.

These guest standards build upon existing policies we already have in place to address the more serious trust and safety issues that result in immediate removal from the platform. We’re enhancing our system to better monitor guests who engage in less serious misconduct, so that we can educate these guests and take appropriate action to improve our community.


By setting clear standards, staffing teams to take action, and putting technology in place to track noncompliance, we expect to improve overall guest behavior and increase community trust.


Learn more about our enhanced guest standards

Designing tools & features that support you

Even with these standards in place, there will be times when things go wrong. We know it’s painful when they do, and we want you to feel like we have your back. Our team has been working on ways to support you in those moments, and we wanted to share some new features with you.


Urgent Support Line
We recently began piloting our new Urgent Support Line in the U.S. and plan to expand to more countries next year. If you’re in the U.S. with early access through the Airbnb app and you’re experiencing an urgent matter related to your security or safety—like if a guest refuses to leave at checkout—you can tap the “Call Airbnb's Urgent Support Line" button in the Safety Center (available via the Profile tab) to quickly connect to a specialist for help. Keep in mind that the Urgent Support Line button is designed to be available only for active reservations, from the day before check-in to the day after checkout. You can also access the Safety Center via the shield icon at the top of the Host Inbox.


Local emergency line

We know that guests traveling in unfamiliar countries may not know how to contact local emergency services, so we’ve also launched an in-app emergency call button. This button provides a direct line to local law enforcement and emergency services. We’ve already rolled it out in the U.S. and China. We’re adding 29 more countries by the end of the year and even more countries in 2020.


Live chat

For non-urgent issues, we’ve heard from you that you want the convenience of live chat. So we’re excited that we were able to introduce that feature to English and Mandarin speakers this year, with plans to roll it out in seven more languages next year. Right now, it’s the fastest way to get the help you need for things like updating your calendar or adjusting your pricing.


Remember: Many of these features are still being tested, so some people and regions don’t have access to features, and the product experience and placement of features may change as we iterate and improve. We test new features first so that we can figure out what works best before expanding access. If you’re not seeing the Urgent Support Line or local emergency line, for example, you’ll likely get access at a later phase of the rollout.

Strengthening our customer support teams & processes

Of course, these new features are only as effective as the teams that support them, which is why we’ve prioritized growing and restructuring our customer support team. Here are some of the changes:


A larger, more focused customer support staff

Just this year, we added thousands of new support agents around the globe, and we’ve reorganized and refocused the teams. We’ve set it up so that the more experienced an agent, the more complex the issues he or she will handle. So if, for example, you’re dealing with a guest who refuses to leave, you’ll now reach an agent who specializes in dealing with issues like this without having to explain your issue to multiple agents along the way. 


More empathy and efficiency in claims

We’ve heard from you that agents handling claims could be more empathetic, and that you’re frustrated by how long it can take to resolve an issue. We hear you, which is why we’ve been training our claims specialists to better understand why these types of issues can feel so personal and upsetting to hosts. We’ve also implemented a process that speeds up resolution and payout for hosts who are more tenured on the platform.


Greater consistency across the board

Hosts also tell us they want more consistency in how their cases are dealt with. We’re working on improving our workflows to help ensure that the same issues are handled the same way every time.

What you can do

From communicating clearly to using helpful technology, here are some ideas we’ve collected from hosts about what they like to do to help ensure safety and great experiences with their guests.


Set clear expectations

Whether it’s in your House Rules, listing description, or messages, be clear about how you want guests to behave in your space. It’s particularly important to specify your rules around parking, extra guests, and smoking so we know if it should be considered “unauthorized” under the new Guest Standards Policy. By sharing that kind of information up front, you can help confirmed guests understand your expectations and deter potential guests who may not be a great fit.


When a guest fails to uphold these standards, it’s important to begin by addressing the issue with them directly—this is often the quickest path to resolution. In all cases, be ready to provide evidence that demonstrates a rule has been broken, whether that’s photos of excessive trash left in your space, an emailed complaint from a neighbor, or some other documentation.


Get to know your guests

Hosts have told us that they love connecting with the people they’re welcoming into their space. You can use our pre-booking message feature to ask questions and remind them of your House Rules and other guidelines—we’ve increased the character count on the pre-booking message, so you can include even more information than before. Greeting your guests in person can go a long way toward setting the right tone, which may also help you resolve issues more quickly if they arise.


Consider installing a noise monitoring device

If noise from large groups is a concern, a noise monitoring device may help put your mind at ease. Airbnb has recently offered discounts on noise monitoring devices for hosts in certain markets, and will be continuing to explore new technologies to help you protect your space. Keep in mind that these devices don’t actually record sound—they simply monitor the decibel level in your space and alert you via an app when it hits a certain threshold (which you can customize). Just be sure you let guests know if and where you’ve installed monitoring devices of any kind. You can place signs near the devices themselves and should mention them in your listing description, House Rules, or house manual.

The journey ahead

For the Airbnb community to thrive, there has to be trust: in hosts, in guests, and in Airbnb as a company. These changes are an important step toward preserving that trust, but we know there’s still work to be done. It’s a journey, and we appreciate your feedback along the way.

134 Replies 134
Level 3
Manchester, ME

I have my settings to inquiry based reservations. This allows me to ask questions including what is drawing the couple or family to the area. The interest in activities usually help me to draw out the rowdy type. I also disclose that I have a rental agreement that will require an email address to send it and other itinerary for their stay. After approving the reservation, I email the rental agreement requesting that the reservation contact share with all adult persons intending to stay. No one under 25 allowed. They must review and direct any questions to me. If they are okay with the rental agreement, which outlines expectations for the condition of the house, accessible areas, check-out instructions, and so on then reply through Airbnb or to the email that the rental agreement is sent through acknowledging receipt and agreement to the terms. This allows me to hold them accountable should there be a need for excessive cleaning, damage or missing items. I have never had anyone refuse to pay for missing or damaged items after filing a claim and quoting the section of our rental agreement that applies.

Level 1
Santa Fe, NM

I've been trying to get to speak with someone but can't over the phone anymore. It no longer answers "Hello Superhost". I'm glad to see that there is a live chat feature but I don't see how to do it. 

Level 3
Manchester, ME

I agree. I have to do an internet search or go through multiple screens to find even the contact us option that allows for chat. Definitely, not convenient. Most of the time the Resource Help Center Q & A does not apply to the issues I have. 

Level 2
Fox Lake, IL

Do the Standards include the minimum age to book a property. I don't want anyone younger than 21 without a parent. How can this be enforced? I recently had two 18 yr olds that wanted to book with their younger brother and his girlfriend and they admitted they had never been to Gatlinburg without their family.

Level 10
Fort Wayne, IN

@Airbnb Regarding the “enhanced guest standards” that just scold “first-time” bad guests enable guests to continue to ignore the house rules.   The bad guests \ party house issues with AirBnb will not stop until AirBnb kicks their non-respecting rear parts off the platform at first transgression!  They are ADULTS, the booking is a LEGAL CONTRACT per your terms of service.  They were provided the rules and they choose to ignore them.  That is due to the fact there really isn’t any major repercussions to their bad behavior. The existing and future host are susceptible to a plethora of damages and lost income, not to mention extra time to report and document.  This week just had a 5 star\4 reviews guests  smoke, brought an animal, noise, unauthorized guests, disregarded parking, etc. Doesn't that tell you your verification and review system is broken?   Also, when you are going to stop allowing bad guests to delete their profile and create a new one?

Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Airbnb needs to screen your “safety” choices a bit better. Roomonitor is a problem. I do business with European companies, buying goods, all of the time. They NEVER ask for personal data to make a sale. EVER. In Germany. In the UK. Roomonitor did. After the sale, they contacted me to ask for a passport number, or a tax id, so they could ship my device.


I told them an unwaivering “no,” and pointed that out.  They cancelled the order.  They refunded my money. They claimed that other companies ship from America. None of the companies that I buy from do that. It was a patent lie. 


Security starts with truth, and reliability.  


Check your partners, Airbnb. Please. 

Brian Ross
Level 1
Cape Town, ZA

The current solution for hosts currently is to always "manually" confirm bookings and simply request the guest uploads their ID before accepting. As to the AirBNB thinking on the ID being optional, if this is a strategic move to increase registered users both guests & hosts, rather than just an ideology at a board meeting, then hopefully this decision will be reviewed, rationale will prevail and Airbnb will review their policy, as guest & host ID's = accountability = safety, which is in turn paramount for AirBNB growth. After all this platform was the innovator and has currently cornered the market, but other portals are looking for opportunities to demonstrate their difference's entice both listings & guest, so with guest & host safety being so important, this strategy could be the "game changer" should hosts start to become nervous and move platforms (ie Blackberry vs Whatsapp)

Level 10
Dublin, Ireland


The only rationale that counts to Airbnb now, is ramping up those bookings - by whatever means necessary - ahead of the IPO. Nothing else matters. They've proven that, time and again.


Safety? Accountability? Trust? Despite their mealy-mouthed protestations to the contrary - all foreign concepts to this company... 

Level 1
Cape Town, ZA

We are Realtors in Cape Town specializing in residential sales & long term rentals as well as have some of our personal properties on the Airbnb platform which personally, I have found to be amazing. The only concern that I have is that of security and by association accountability from the guests side, as on the Airbnb portal it remains possible to be "verified" by simply providing an email address or phone number & nothing else. I see from Brian Chesky's  email that this is strategic so as to allow those without a passport or Government ID to still register, but in reality I find it hard to believe that anyone who has a bank account/ credit card can do so without a Government ID. So as payment to Airbnb is only possible by way of Debit/Credit card, I would request that for the safety of all hosts Airbnb make it mandatory before booking to have a government ID as part of the basic verification requirement. Thanks guys for a great service & hopefully we will all soon see this simple but extremely important verification step initiated. 

Level 10
Dublin, Ireland


 "I see from Brian Chesky's  email that this is strategic so as to allow those without a passport or Government ID to still register"


Well, that's one version of events. Here's another from Business Insider... 


Airbnb Denies A Report That It Rejected A Plan To Require Government IDs To Sign Up For The Homesharing Service Because It Might Hurt Growth

Level 1
Ferntree Gully, AU

Our last guests that stayed parked there car to close to the walkway on our driveway the basketball ring feel on the boot of the car and made a dent do the guests claim on there car insurance or do we claim it on our home insurance “ 

Level 2
Memphis, TN

Is there a new policy or system in place to handle missing payouts? This topic is extremely frustrating on the hosting side when a host depends on a payout to make a mortgage payment. 

Level 2
Ottawa, CA

I have been having the most trouble with Airbnb doing anything when guests break house rules, like No Smoking, and sometimes No Parties. We always get pics of all the cigarette butts and ashes left behind inside the house, and screenshots from the cleaners saying how much the house smells like smoke and that the guests left the windows open and fans on in what appears to be attempts to air out the house.

 We have fines in place in our house rules, so when guests break a rule, we remind them of the fine for breaking that rule (and we always tell guests to reread the house rules beforehand so hopefully they can make themselves aware, but who knows if they do), and then we file the claim. Of course the guest doesn't accept to pay it, the guest just disappears!


(Another flaw....the fact that the guest has to accept the charge before Airbnb will charge them. Airbnb tells the guests in the listing they are responsible up to the security deposit amount set by the host. Ok, but how do we get the funds when Airbnb needs the guest to approve and accept the charge when the guests like to run away and disappear after being bad guests in a house. No guests accept to pay! No guests even reply to Airbnb's attempts to contact them. Weeks go by and Airbnb tells me they are still trying to contact the guest. I could have told them they aren't going to reach the guest. Now the host has to dig up proof of the cost of broken doors and holes in walls...or get contractors out to quote repair work....and all within 14 days (ok) or before the next guest checks in! (impossible when the next guest is coming within a couple hours)....but I digress.)


Whatever proof we can get, Airbnb agents still tell us "sorry, we only cover physical damage". So I have asked many agents what is the point of the House Rules if Airbnb does nothing to help enforce them. No agent has replied to me on that. So far, Airbnb has not helped us when guests break our house rules, so we just learn to adapt and come to terms with the fact that they will not help us. Hosts are on our own (is how we feel). We would expect some sort of automatic fine that Airbnb will charge the guest once hosts provide proof of a broken house rule. 


Currently how the situation goes is: We have a No Smoking and No Parties house rule. We submit all the proof of smoking and partying. Airbnb does nothing except say, "Sorry, tell us what damage was caused."...Ummm, the guests violated our house rules in very big ways, with piles of photos to prove all the smoking and partying that took place, is there no penalty to the guest for that? Very much Apparently not based on multiple occurrences of this.


Well, we have created our own fines for it, but Airbnb does not help us get it since it is not "physical damage". Hence, we hosts are on our own. Looking forward to continuous improvement in that area.


Level 4
Palm Harbor, FL

An AIrbubn guest shoot my tenant 3 times with a 40 .cal handgun over a "parking dispute".  Airbnb has stated this isn't their problem and refused to help.  

So far our experience with Airbnb has been very positive.  You have ans. all our questions and helped us through our first year.  Hope 2020 is as great. 

Marty & Gary Marsh

Level 1
Tel Aviv-Yafo, IL

Taking Advantage" of hosts is a topic that should be brought up to the guests as they book as a demand to abide by.
One example is when guests stay at your place and remain unclear about how long they want to stay and it hurts your ability to remain organized on the platform, then if you ask them to leave at the original check out time and they leave a retaliatory review because of this, how can this be documented ?


It's a catch 22


I think a whole section if "Reciprocity" should be opened and stressed to guests. It should be emphasized what it means to actually guest at someone's house and not leave them without coffee or food that they bought or made for themselves.


I feel utterly vulnerable as a host. I go above and beyond and then people get to critique my behavior and home and affect my income. But the guest goes on with their lives and has many other means of finding accommodation.

In spite of all this the guest/ host rights  remaim very unequal and guests certainly have the upper hand. 

I see how Airbnb is trying to improve this, but I ask that they please consider that it does absolutely not hold an equal standard yet for the gues-host relationship and guest do have an easy platform from which their abuse can go  undocumented. 

We as hosts cannot swap our homes. But guests can swap their identities, use other means of finding accommodation, and have other people book on their behalf.


I appreciate the airbnb platform, but I ask that it acts fast to secure hosts as much as the guests are secured.


Level 2
Palmyra, NE

I will give then till next week then sending stories out to every media place I can find.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Level 2
Palmyra, NE

My house was destroyed on Sep 13.  Hundreds of calls and emails and still no insurance from airbnb.

Level 10
Dublin, Ireland

Have you tried taking it to the media, @Michael3267? That tends to light a fire under Airbnb's arses, when all else fails... 

Level 1
Anchorage, AK


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