Has anyone been successfully repaid by the host guarantee?

in
Long Beach, CA
Level 1
85 Views

Hi all -

 

A few weeks ago we had a guest damage a plumbing fixture, causing a plumbing emergency on a weekend (water running continuously for over 24 hours...in California...during a severe drought.  They also caused other damages. The guest described this as a "leak" and suggested we have it looked at.  When our plumber arrived he found water pouring out of a fixture that was clearly broken from misuse.  A member of the guests party actually fessed up to him and confirmed that they broke it.  We repaired the damage and paid out of pocket.

 

We requested reimbursement via the resolution center, submitting invoices.  Of course the guest flat denied responsibility and refused to pay.  Airbnb says they are "looking into it" though the guys that performed the repairs have heard from nobody.  We are going on 3 weeks now and have hosted multiple great guests since.  I see no sincere intention of Airbnb "looking into it."  

 

I'm a bit perplexed as to the point of a security deposit if it is completely out of our control to collect on it in the case of real damage.  Has anyone ever tried to implement a security deposit via the "request funds" function so at least if something goes wrong you have the discretion to withhold money and / or reimburse the guest if all is well?  It seems burdensome, but at least actionable.

 

Cheers,  Casey

2 Replies

Re: Has anyone been successfully repaid by the host guarantee?

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Casey267 

 

There is no security deposit and there is no guarantee.

 

If they burn your house down you might get something out of Airbnb after a year or two but I wouldn’t count on it.

 

If a guest refuses to pay for damages there is nothing you can do other than warn other hosts in your review.

 

You absolutely MUST have your own insurance, particularly with a property like yours, but that probably won’t cover minor items such as plumbing fixtures.

 

As for implementing our own REAL security deposits, we have discussed this on the forum, but I don’t think we ever came up with a viable method of doing it.

 

Apparently Airbnb is not in favor of anything like this. They could easily implement a system similar to that used in hotels but they won’t.

Re: Has anyone been successfully repaid by the host guarantee?

in
Long Beach, CA
Level 1

Thanks for the insight, @Brian2036.  This is pretty much what I expected though it is nice to hear it from someone with quite a bit more experience.

 

At the end of the day, the hosts are the real clients of Airbnb...no hosts...no revenue for the company.  You'd think they would do all they could to ensure the confidence and security of hosts opening their properties to strangers (most of whom are very respectful).  If the main priority is holding onto every dollar, call it what it is and cut the call center folks and the charade of going back and fourth on claims that will never be paid out.  I did speak to my claims specialist who has asked again for my "continued patience."

 

Maybe if Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting, hears from enough hosts, they might begin to reconsider.  She can't be that difficult to get ahold of.

 

In the mean time, I'm going to speak to a few lawyers and get a few legitimate opinions as I can see this becoming a recurring issue and I'm curious what they will say.  Even if I do get paid out, the amount of effort it has taken is beyond reasonable for something that is a "guarantee."  A few small damages a month can eat into my margin and turn my property upside down pretty quickly. I know hosts can always threaten to leave the platform if not give the right protections, but let's be honest, Airbnb is the biggest game in town so it needs to be a give and take.

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