Just received an email stating :-
Airbnb-required security deposits
As part of our continuing effort to build trust on Airbnb, we may apply a security deposit for a small number of guests 48 hours before they check in. This is a limited test based on certain reservation details like timing and listing features.
No need to do anything—we’ll apply these security deposits automatically.
Thanks for hosting,
The Airbnb Team
More about security deposits
Who decides the amount of the security deposit?
Since your listing doesn't have a security deposit set, if Airbnb applies a security deposit, the amount will automatically be calculated based on several factors, including the reservation total.
How do I collect from a security deposit?
You can report an incident and submit a claim within 14 days of check-out or before a new guest checks in.
To learn more about security deposits visit our Help Center.
Note: If a security deposit hold can’t be authorized, the reservation will be subject to cancellation up to 36 hours before check-in. While Airbnb-required deposits are intended to protect our community, we are not responsible for failure to apply a deposit in any case where one may have been advisable.
I am not clear how this new policy works regarding security deposits. I currently don't require one and don't intend to require a security deposit so I am concerned that Airbnb may decide on its own to require a security deposit. I don't know what their criteria is, and it's difficult trying to pin down specifics on this policy. Anyone have some clear understanding of this new policy and how exactly it will work? Thanks.
@Esther, from how I'm reading this ... it sounds like Airbnb may start to apply a security deposit for last minute reservations (those booked within 48 hours of the check-in.) It is common to read stories here in this forum about guests booking last minute accommodations to conduct illegal activity, have big party’s, etc. The host is left will little to no options if this happens and the guest refuses to pay for any damages. I thnks it’s proactive on Airbnbs part.
I could see that happening with an absent host, but I am on site 24 hours a day. I rent one room in my home, and rarely receive last-minute reservations. I hope that Airbnb applies this policy to off-site host accommodations rather than on site host accommodations. People who rent my space are aware that there will be interactions with me throughout the day. Thanks for your response.
Hi @Esther (can't tag you for some reason),
I, too, rent a room in my house and I'm home most of the time. However, that didn't prevent one couple staying 3 weeks from ruining an expensive wood dresser -- resting a hot iron on it, resulting in several burn marks. They could have deposited the iron on the ironing board resting place (logical), or a glass-topped desk but they chose the dresser.
I didn't see that until after they left -- after helping them in multiple ways settle into a new city and country, including moving their numerous bags in my car to new apartment. They also took many liberties while living here, with the result that I reduced my 1-month stay limit to 10 days.
I closely followed the claims and documentation process set out by Airbnb. The guest (who had left me a glowing review) denied causing the damage. Airbnb denied my claim without providing an explanation. I'm a Super Host, the guest had never before used Airbnb.
Even if I had insisted on cleaning their room during their stay, to gain access to their private area, the iron damage would have been done. One just assumes a certain level of common sense by guests.
My point is that security/damage deposits are necessary in all circumstances but they're pointless if not collected by Airbnb at the time of booking, given that Airbnb doesn't honor their host guarantee.
You could have claimed the damages from the “host guarantee”, paid by Airbnb. Which... eats into Airbnb profits. Which led Airbnb to consider MANDATORY deposit. But... Airbnb doesn’t want rock the boat just yet, so it test the water, and monitor how guests react to the change, before implementing it across the platform
In case anyone misses this further in the thread this is the actual response airbnb support gave regarding the matter:
Yes, however not all bookings will require the guest to pay the security deposit. It is random and the only time guest will be charged for the security deposit if the guest see on the booking path that says Airbnb may require a security deposit."
If you have the potential for damages, above and beyond what is normal, collecting a security deposit is a fantastic idea.
We would like to know if the potential cost of damage can influence the amount of the security deposit collected (?)
You would still need to go thru the resolution center, document your damage, write up the claim, getting quotes to repair/replace, contest the guest version, and most importantly... guest may decide to retaliate, and give your listing a low score
Well, it's good that they seem a little open to a security deposit, but it is quite strange that they'll be deciding which guests to apply it to and for how much, instead of, since they want to be a booking platform and not a community, do it like everyone else does and let the host decide.
I guess the worst case scenario would be they're applying them to guests who have already allegedly caused damage, meaning they aren't going to ban anyone from the platform outside of discrimination or surveillance issues.
Couldn't agree more.
The email Airbnb sent out was probably one of the worst emails I've ever received when it comes to TOS/policy updates. Not only was it pathetically vague, but there was no link to a full explanation of the changes. I read the email and was left wondering what the hell the changes were.
I truly do love Airbnb and the platform, but with the ridiculous changes lately (like the egregious profile photo hiding) and changes to the TOS that forces hosts to come and ask other hosts for help or reach out to support for an actual explanation, is making me consider alternative companies to list on.