Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4
836 Views

One of our recent guests left us on the verge of house fire.

The guest smoked weeds inside the unit, made the whole house smelly.

We entered the unit 24 hours after he was gone and found a burning candle by the curtain of an open window.

We were shivering in fear, anger and frustration. 

In pandemic restrictions, we didn't find a professional cleaner neither we wanted to delay. So we cleaned and trashed all the smelly linens.

As advised by Airbnb customer support, at first we asked money to the guest then it went to the Host Guarantee claims Department. 

The entire process was time-consuming and very annoying.

Quickly my claim was declined one the ground of smell is not a damage by their definition. 

They don't pay if you clean by yourself as if your time doesn't have any financial value.

In frustration, we almost delisted our property. Some of our fellow hosts in our city advised to add more booking restrictions which would reduce our earning significantly. 

Lessons learned - Airbnb Host Guarantee cannot be trusted. They have many lame excuses to decline any claims.

Thank you for reading our bad experience. Be careful. Stay safe and healthy in this bad time of pandemic. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Ash51Airbnb should change many things to become fairer to its hosts, but I wouldn't hold my breath to see it happen.

View solution in original post

23 Replies

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Sorry for your awful experience @Ash51 

 

It's worth reading through the guarantee as there are many exclusions which will invalidate your claim.

 

As you say if you want to claim for cleaning, you do need an invoice for the additional work involved.  @Ash51 

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

I know that they can reject claims for so many silly reasons. I don't like this invoice thingy in this market of shared economy where we try to save every penny. This corporate style of accounting doesn't go with the basic concept of Airbnb. 

Thanks for your reply.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ash51  Sorry you had irresponsible guests. But I don't understand why you threw out the linens just because they smelled like weed. You can just wash them. A cup of vinegar in with the wash will remove odors.

 

If you are going to trash the linens anytime they have some smell, you're going to be spending a lot of money.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

Thanks for your vinegar tip.

We tried to avoid handling the stinky items and possibly soiled with body fluids. 

In fact, we also wanted to get rid of items as soon as possible to get rid of the strong odour in our house. 

It was a financial burden. But claim rejection was more painful.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

You don't need to handle them. I have guests put them in a washable laundry bag.

 

Or if you are really squeamish use a laundry service.

 

Most insurance claims would not accept an invoice from the claimant. If you want to claim you need to provide a third party invoice.

 

I hope you don't offer candles in your listing.

 

Maybe review your smoke alarm system in your listing too, so that you get something that is triggered by smoke.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

There is a laundry basket. Most of our guests keep their dirty linens in the basket.

As mentioned, due to pandemic lockdown we didn't find a cleaner immediately. I hate this idea of third party in our shared economy market where we try to save every penny.

We didn't provide any candle. The guest lit up to mask the smell of weeds.

We use one of the best alarm systems. In fact, I got very first notification from the alarm and asked the guests to stop smoking. 

These bad guys do not have any respect for any rules. These addicts can do anything.

Current Airbnb rules are not enough to stop them. I as a host am a victim here and got no support from the company. 

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Level 2

@Ash51 

 

Look into a rental linen service (for both bath and bed linens) and increase your cleaning fee to offset the cost of linen rental.  A friend of mine who'd operated an Air BnB put me on to the linen rental service when I was getting ready to set up my own listing, I've used this since opening my listing and it's awesome. You're able to provide hotel quality white linens to your guests, without having to worry about the cost of replacing or the hassle of washing and pressing linens.

I've also just gone through the Host Guarantee / Host Protection Insurance process due to a guest leaving my house unsecured and the ranch slider door in the master bedroom wide open on check-out, just so happened we had heavy rain that afternoon evening.  Subsequently, I'm left with laminate flooring in the bedroom which will require replacement.  My experience with the Air BnB claims process has also been arduous and slow.  I've had a building surveyor / cost estimator provide a report and cost estimate for the required repairs (approx $6K) which was requested by and submitted to Air BnB.  Air BnB then proceeded to take the estimate and devalue it using their "internal tool" and "searches on local labor and material costs", essential challenging local insurance industry accepted rates and the work of a professional insurance adjustor.  When I queried on the Air BnB Community "support" person handling my claim as to what the material rates and labour rates they were using to base their numbers on so that I could determine where the variance of approx $1,300 had occurred, they declined to provide any detail or reveal their source of data due to "privacy".  They also claimed to have applied "depreciation" on flooring materials (not normal practice in this situation), as well as stated they had deducted sales tax (in this case NZ GST) which bemused me as I will incur it.

 

Long story short, when I asked them to be transparent about their process I was met with smoke and mirrors, they've devalued the repair cost as assessed by an industry professional and expert and essentially backed me into a corner by giving me 48 hour and 24 hour deadlines within which to accept their settlement or have my claim dismissed completely.

Lesson learned, I put my faith in the Air BnB process and have been ultimately been short changed because of it.  I did inform my insurer of the event and lodged a claim with them, however, I was completely transparent and explained to my insurers that I was going through the Air BnB process as first port of call (as per Air BnB Host Guarantee guidance), therefore my insurer will only fulfil the claim should Air BnB not pay anything (as you can not legally stack claims between entities).  In hindsight what I should have done was go to my insurer first have them settle the claim, then seek reimbursement of my excess from Air BnB and the guest.

All in all, it's been an arduous and stressful process.  I am grateful to have received some compensation out of it.  However, it's not what it should be and the Air BnB Host Guarantee process essentially seems to let the guest only take accountability for whatever sum they feel is appropriate and then Air BnB only have the hosts covered to whatever extent they deem appropriate as opposed to covering the actual estimated cost of repairs based on actual industry rates.  It all just feels like a David and Goliath situation, which is a **bleep**ty way to treat hosts (given that hosts form the foundation of their business model).

That's my experience and 10 cents worth.  The rental linens are gold though, if you have that service available in your area I'd highly recommend looking into it to make your lives easier.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

@Mike2310

 

Thanks Mike for sharing your experience and suggestion. 

We all need to be careful about dealing with Airbnb claims. I don't know what we can do to stop risky guests. There are some screening process but that may not work all the time. 

 In my case, it was frustrating to know that a guest who left us at the risk of fire in the house but he didn't get any punishment for his risky behaviour. 

Airbnb almost did do nothing even they didn't give a warning to the guest.

The claim department behaved like they are sitting their to decline my claim as quickly as possible. 

Stay safe my friend.

Ash

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ash51  "Airbnb almost did do nothing even they didn't give a warning to the guest."

 

You can't know whether Airbnb gave a warning to the guest. They won't share that information with you, just as if a guest complained about a host's behavior, they won't share with the guest what action they took regarding the host.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ash51   If you aren't prepared to deal with bodily fluids on linens, then you need to rethink if hosting is something you really want to do. It's a normal thing that all hosts deal with. If it grosses you out to touch them, put on some gloves.

 

Yes, sorry you got poor customer service, but that's quite common. 

 

And if you don't already, it would be a good idea to have a note in the house, prominently displayed, which states that no candles, incense, etc. are to be used due to fire hazard.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

Ha ha ha. We are talking about body fluids of an addict, potentially dangerous person, there could be syringes. 

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ash51  You said the person smoked weed. How you make the leap to assuming that means they shoot heroin, or whatever you're implying, or that a marijuana smoker's bodily fluids pose anymore risk to you than any other person's, is quite odd and indicates a lack of factual knowledge about such things.

 

Marijuana smokers aren't "addicts". It's a non-physically addictive drug. Unlike caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, all of which are physically addictive.

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 4

My friend,

Is marijuana smoking addiction or not - is off-topic here. I don't want go to that debate. I think you wrongly judged me and pointed like "lack of factual knowledge" bla bla as you didn't see my profile or I failed to make understand my points. I have a valid reasons to label the guest as an "addict". That's not an important point here.

The point in my post was "bad guest" and "poor customer support". Our decision to discard linens was based on the circumstances and looking at the "crime scene". After seeing the horrible situation, we decided that the linens were beyond cleaning or risky to deal with stuff used by an bad bad guy. Definitely, body fluids of bad guys are more risky. 

Thank you my friend for your inputs. 

Re: Host Guarantee - A Superhost's Experience

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Ash51 

I am sorry for your bad experience

every host here can understand your anger when you found the candle, open window, smell, and soiled linens. Every one of us would be angry, believe me.  What other hosts tried to tell you is that WE KNOW Airbnb is never paying for smell and extra cleaning except (maybe) if the host hires a cleaning company and has an invoice. It is understandable you didn't have time to wait for the cleaners and you have to be careful with money so you did the job by yourself ( I would do the same).

 

Regarding the smell, I've heard ionizer makes miracles. You can try scented candles as well. But I hope, thorough cleaning and airing were enough

 

Regarding the body fluids of bad guys or regular guests - there is always a risk. We never know who is sick and who isn't so it is always best to use gloves and to wash the linens with detergent on the HOT cycles. Even hospitals do not discard soiled linens, they wash them, the same as hotels do.

 

I am paying laundry service to wash all the laundry from my Airbnb, it is worth every penny. I throw it away only if it is torn or it is stained permanently.

 

And I always go to the apartment the same day when my guests check out just to make sure they closed the door and windows, turned off the heating and other appliances etc...

 

 

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