Airbnb ruining my partners income; suspension

Sunni31
Level 1
Manchester, United Kingdom

Airbnb ruining my partners income; suspension

HI, this is so crazy. Me and my partner are valued Superhosts. My partner has been doing airbnb for 4+ years, he's a super host and has three properties and regular 5* reviews, is a guest favourite. He is typically booked up, this is his primary source of income and he has mortgages to pay for. This is the second time Airbnb have unfairly suspended him, the first time he was told he was a "party risk" with absolutely no evidence or indication of this. The first time he was told it was a mistake, as you can imagine it caused significant loss to his business due to all reservations and listings being blocked (we all know reservations in advance are typically higher £ than the last minute ones) - he had to suffer a massive loss due to this but was set to make up for this over the summer but now it has happened for the second time within a year. How are hosts supposed to be attracted to this business model?! Airbnb want people to remain loyal to them but also have automated bots suspending business peoples primary income in a click of a button over incorrect details. We are both in the property business and attend the airbnb meet ups and are influential in the area of the peaks. I have also been a host since 2018 and I was planning on listing my property in the same area but these situations are massively off putting and superhosts spend a considerable amount of investment in the platform and ensuring a high standard of customer service. Where is our protection, where is our customer service? William (my partner) is no ordinary host, he goes above and beyond to represent Airbnb and have seamless listings. He has attended airbnb meet ups in buxton and has been helping others with theirs as an advocate for Airbnb and he is repayed yet again with suspension. Cancelling his income for an entire year, three properties, which will cause an inconceivable amount of loss even if this is reinstated as these bookings had been booked so in advance and at a higher price point. Airbnb we have loved you for many years and as loyal consumers both guests and hosts we hoped you valued loyalty and would help us at this time of need. But he has been told by customer support to wait and someone will call back. This is a super worrying time for both of us as we now have three properties to cater for with no bookings for the busiest time of year (summer). He cannot even log into his account to raise this concern, I have had to do this for him. (His name is William Webb, listings in Peak District and Denton).

10 Replies 10
Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Sunni31,

 

It's very unfortunate that this is happening to your partner.  To avoid having all of a host's eggs in one basket, I always recommend listing on multiple booking sites and gaining the ability to take bookings directly.

Hello all,

 

@Sunni31

 

I too am so sorry this is happening to your partner. I agree with Debra300 other platforms would circumvent some of the loss. However, @Debra300 how do you gain the ability to take bookings directly?

Do you mean compiling a list of former guests and contacting them directly? How would you protect yourself from loss? If you paid for an independent insurance, it would eat most of your profit. Please, would you elaborate?

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Anton6929,

 

The first thing we did was set up a Google Business page, and people can contact us directly.  If you do a search for Keep Cool Guesthouse, you should see this:

 

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2. We obtained Square and Stripe accounts to process credit and debit card payments.  We use them to process payments for direct bookings and reservations made on Booking and Expedia.  We do not charge a deposit against the card, but have found that people tend to behave well when they know we have their card information.  

3. We used to have our own website that was hosted by Lodgify but found that we were getting a poor ROI on the subscription and plan to use a Wordpress template with a reservation plug-in to create another site that's simple to navigate and easy to read the content.

4. We run promos during slow periods on Facebook Marketplace because that platform is highly used in the region and by folks in the diaspora.

Every host should have an insurance policy to protect their properties and themselves against liability.  This can be a home owner's policy that has a rider for short-term rentals, a business insurance policy, or a commercial property insurance.  AirCover is NOT an insurance policy that provides coverage for your property or belongings, and the liability coverage it offers has several exclusions is not guaranteed and doesn't prevent the guest from seeking additional damages from hosts.  You cannot expect much from something that you're not paying for directly or receiving proof of ownership (hosts don't receive a policy number or an individual explanation of benefits).  AirCover is a marketing tool to give people an unsubstantiate sense of comfort for allowing complete strangers to stay in their properties.

@Debra300 

Thanks so much for the info! I'm sure this will help others as well.

I have been depending on AirCover to make things right should anything occur. Knock wood I've been fortunate so far. I will be looking into creating my own page this week. I'm familiar with stripe and square, I'm just a little confused about how to keep the bookings straight with multiple platforms and an independent web page. 

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Anton6929,

 

Click the down arrow next to Community Center at the top of the page, and you can find a wealth of information regarding listing setup and maintenance, Airbnb policies and procedures, and other hosting resources.

 

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You can also find the host resources under the Menu button on your dashboard.

 

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@Anton6929 slightly off-topic but worth a discussion I think:

Aircover, at best, only covers guest damage. If a wire in the wall sparked or a pipe burst then Aircover wouldn't help you and your normal insurance wouldn't pay out (even if it was after the guest left) because any use of Airbnb usually invalidates your whole insurance policy.

@Mike-And-Jane0

 

I am so green when it comes to STR. I have experienced an unusual start because of my location and have not been doing my due diligence. I just go along and forget to read the fine print of it all. I am happy to have this community to be able to bounce ideas and experiences to take them to another level. Thank you and also @Debra300

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Anton6929,

 

Fortunately, most of Airbnb's documentation is written in simple language.  Let me clarify that AirCover has a few components: Host Liability Insurance, Host Damage Protection and Experience Liability Insurance.  This is the Help Center article: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/3142.

 

Host Damage Protection: 

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2869

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https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/how-airbnb-protects-hosts-5

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https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/279

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@Mike-And-Jane0,

 

To add on to your very pertinent comment about how short-term letting can invalidate home owner's policies, AirCover provides only liability coverage in the event that a guest or the guest's visitor get injured or suffer a loss during a stay, but doesn't cover damage or loss of a host's property or belongings.  Those incidents fall under the Host Guarantee program, which they clearly state isn't an insurance policy at all and suggest that hosts obtain coverage to protect their personal belongings and property.   It should also be noted that Airbnb doesn't collect a genuine security deposit and they give guests the option to decline payment for losses they create, even if they admit it in messages with the host on Airbnb's message system.

@Debra300 all very true. And to add to @Anton6929's education. IF the host guarantee program does pay out it only pays a depreciated value so if, for example, a perfectly functioning 5 year old TV was damaged by a guest the host would get only a very small payout of the original cost.

Oh dear - I fear we could go on and on about how important it is for hosts to get proper insurance coverage - Not cheap in our case but at least it is available in the UK