Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3
1,001 Views

I am so frustrated with Airbnb security deposit policy.  So I have had damages to my property and missing items, but I have no method to collect the $200 security deposit or even a portion of it, without waiting 72-hours for the guest to respond and then some power to be to decide if I get paid!  Why do I require a security deposit if I can’t really collect it???  I called to request payment from the security deposit and no one is available to talk about disbursing the funds or even how to access the funds.  I was told someone would contact me twice, almost 24-hours later no response!!!  AirBnb needs to fix this policy, I should be able to immediately collect on the security deposit within the first 48-hours and if the guest has an issue they should be the ones who have to file the claim....not the host!!!  Also, AirBnb should have a legitimate department, where you can talk to any actual person who cares about your loss!!!

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Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3

I am going to explore other alternate hosting sites to AirBnb in hopes they have better hosting support and actually honor my required security deposit policy.  Making it possible and easy to collect on the security deposit, when there is an issue. Tammy 

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21 Replies

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Tammy416 Airbnb do not collect the security deposit so there is no hope that you will be able to. They do not even put a hold on a guests card for the amount of the deposit!

Whilst this element of Airbnb is stupid I do think it is right that hosts cannot just claim for damage without some sort of proof that they deserve to be paid.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3

Hence the need for Airbnb to change their Security Deposit policy!  If a host chooses to have a set dollar security deposit, there should be a hold put on the guests credit card for 48-hours after checkout and the Host should be able to collect on that security deposit within the 48-hours by filing a claim that is actually immediately processed, not ignored for days by some phantom department.  If no claim is filed by the Host within the 48-hours, then the guests security deposit hold is released.  The guest’s card would be charged prior to the hold release if the claim is valid and the Guest would have an additional 48-hours to dispute the claim before the actual funds are released to the Host. This process would secure payment to the host and give the Host the benefit of the doubt, not the Guest, because lets be honest, the guest who damage your property, leaved it filthy or removed items from the property aren’t the most trustworthy people and shouldn’t be allocated the benefit of doubt!  

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Alvin, TX
Level 2

Try contacting the guest and make sure they are aware that if you have not collected the security deposit they will not be allowed to stay and don't let them in if they don't pay.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 3

Airbnb will de-list you if they find out you do this.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Fort Worth, TX
Level 2

EXACTLY!  I have just recently discovered what a joke this Airbnb Host protection is.  I have had two damage claims.  Uploaded pics and damage repair estimates.  AIRBNB NEVER REPLIED TO EITHER CLAIM!

Like TOTALLY ignored it even though I called about both instances and spoke extensively to their customer service and followed their explicit instructions on how to submit the claims.  The Host deposit is a TOTAL game of smoke and mirrors!  As a host I can put an amount as to what my DEPOSIT is- but it does me no good unless I collect it UPFRONT!  AirBnb only puts an automatic deposit amount "hold" on their bank or card funds IF the deposit is an AIRBNB REQUIRED DEPOSIT- NOT if it is a Host Required Deposit. I am beside myself because obviously it will deter some guests.  But I DO require a valid current government ID w photo on it for each adult guest.  Every time, PRIOR to Check in- i have lost a few potential guests because of it.  But if you stay in a hotel, they require the same. If they don't want to give me their ID- then I didn't need them as a guest anyway.  That's just about good common sense in doing business on my personal property.  But this deposit thing- I'm probably going to draw up a form for them to sign and learn how to put a "hold" on funds myself.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3

💯 so sorry to hear you are experiencing similar issue.  I had a $140 goose down pillow stolen and the guest of course denies the claim and I get a message that the claim may be eligible under their insurance policy.  What a joke this is!!!  I require a $200 security deposit on my listing and I can’t even collect on it????  Unbelievable!!!!  AirBnb is promoting an ok to theft policy....because there are zero financial or criminal consequences for anyone who does!!!!

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3

I am going to explore other alternate hosting sites to AirBnb in hopes they have better hosting support and actually honor my required security deposit policy.  Making it possible and easy to collect on the security deposit, when there is an issue. Tammy 

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Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Tammy416  I see you have a quite nice listing, but it really isn't wise to furnish a short term rental with things like $140 goose down pillows. You can find decent feather and down pillows somewhere like Ikea for a fraction of that cost. 

 

Even if a guest wrecked or made off with something and offered to pay for it, they are going to be outraged at being asked to pay $140 for a pillow.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Lakewood, NY
Level 3

Our guests rave about our bedding and we are booked almost every weekend.  We all have different approaches to making our property special and unique.  I shouldn’t have to make everything in the house disposable to guard against the one guest out of 50 who decide they need to steal from me...they should be held financially responsible for their actions!  As far as I know, it is still illegal to steal and the guest should be financially responsible for their actions, especially because I require a $200 security deposit. There is a reason it is called a “Security Deposit” it secures you from theft and damage!!! However, AirBnb’s “Security Deposit” policy doesn’t secure the Host, it only secures the guests because they are free to steal and damage my property with no financial or criminal consequences!!!  Therefore, unless AirBnb changes their security deposit policy, I will be looking for a new hosting platform and other hosts need to know how vulnerable they are under this ridiculous policy!!!

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Tammy416  You'll get no argument from me or any other hosts about how outrageous it is that Airbnb lists a security deposit that, in fact, is no such thing. 

 

And of course guests should be held responsible for damaged or missing items.

 

And I get it that you want to provide a luxurious bed. The bed is a really important part of a listing. But there's a large land between disposable and luxury, is what I meant. Guests don't know if you spent $140 on a pillow or $40. 

 

I find good bedding on sale- I don't use cheap 200 count polyester sheets, for instance. But I also don't spend hundreds of dollars on a sheet set. And I don't have some expensive mattress, it's a 4" slab of firm foam with a 2" softer foam topper and a nice mattress pad.  Yet I also get comments and reviews that mention how comfortable the bed is. One guest said it was "divine" in her review. 

 

I'm not trying to tell you how to outfit your house, just saying that things don't need to be quite expensive to be comfortable and attractive and impress guests.

 

Of course that's all a separate topic from the absurd non-existent security deposit.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

Level 2

Glad I decided to come to this forum because all my claims were just denied with proof of messages and pictures and I’m asking about the security deposit and there’s no response.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

in
Manchester, ME
Level 3

I absolutely agree!

 

I have a $500 security deposit in addition to stating in my communication with every inquiry or request to book that we have a rental agreement. The rental agreement is emailed immediately after the reservation confirmation. This allows the guests time to cancel if they do not agree to the terms.

 

Last guest left a broken hot tub jet on top of the filter with the water level almost below the top jets. Could have seized the heater and motor. Needless to say the entire jet needs to be replaced. The water needs to be drained and electrical panel turned off. This will result in the cost to replace the part, labor, and an increase in the electric bill for having to reheat the water temp from around 70 (cold hose water) to the minimum 102 degrees. My husband cleaned the hot tub prior to their arrival. I went to do the cleaning myself the day of departure finding the jet blower. I sent the guest a request for damages $150 total, $30 for the part and $150 for labor, water and electric. It takes 2+ hours to fill the hot tub as we are on a well and have to give breaks not to drain the well. Guest refused to pay saying the part was already there the night they arrived. We know not true. My husband checked the water level, added chemicals and used a portable spa vac to get dirt and particles out of the bottom of the tub. Airbnb says no host guarantee because the next guest checked in. This is insane. We have back to back bookings from mid June to mid September with only 5 hours to clean in between. No way possible to get estimates or have repairs done with concrete costs in 5 hours between guests. Airbnbs policy is overriding our security deposit and rental agreement. I have had nothing but issues this year with Airbnb guests. Increasing the security deposit does no good if Airbnb does not support to make guests pay for damages. I am seriously considering blocking my calendar and no longer accepting any more bookings through Airbnb. I am using 2 other platforms and have never had any issues with damages from guests using those platforms.

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

Level 2

That’s sad. I am currently in the process of looking for other platforms. I thought the deposit would cover but I guess bill they don’t collect them. This is insane and then tell you you can’t ask for the fees outside of Airbnb

Re: Failing Security Deposit Policy

Level 2

We had similar issues. And yes, the Airbnb security deposit procedure is a complete disaster.

 

We took over this listing from he previous owners last year. At that time there was a much smaller jacuzzi, and Airbnb guests managed to break multiple jets. This was still solved via the previous owners.

 

We invested in a decent American HotSpring. We had an engineer check the entire jacuzzi.

Two weeks later we had the first issue, as guests clogged the filter with massage oil and they we're even washing their hairs in it. Damage 250 euro's for new filters. No response from Airbnb.

 

Two months later, Airbnb guests were capable of tearing up the cover. We did get a response from Airbnb, but they didn't want to pay for the full amount of damage: 810 euro. 

 

Now we had a group where they broke the filter lid, a replacement part costs over 400 USD, excluding shipping and taxes. But also the water was so much polluted, you could not even see the bottom, that we had to drain it twice (and reheat, disinfect etc). Total damage nearly 750 euro.

 

Our house rules state that people will loose the deposit in such cases, but Airbnb wants a full breakdown. And that's hilarious. The amount of time that we spent communicating with Airbnb is way out of line... Probably over 10 hours already,  and we're not even there yet.

 

Their statement: maybe you can glue it! Of course we're not going to replace an entire jacuzzi, but imagine the next guests sits on the lid and it breaks again, causing injury. Then I'm liable. Or the next guests break it again and say 'it was already repaired before'.

 

Most frustrating: they also don't seem to care about rentals in the meantime. How do I explain a broken cover to our next guests? Does Airbnb really want to have listings where it's acceptable to find tape around broken items?

 

We're not making margin on deposits! However it's a good measure to prevent party people from trashing your place. Getting damages reimbursed from Airbnb is so painful and slow, that we're considering to stop being listed on Airbnb.

 

Including other damages in the house, damages now 'eat' up to 10% of the revenue. And the only method that works, A DEPOSIT, is crippled by Airbnb.

 

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