Host Guarantee - Best Practices?
My husband and I started hosting in February of 2021. It's certainly been a trial by fire so far but overall has gone well. We reached superhost status at the first review period and overall have had good guests. We quickly learned the hard way how to vet our guests and have learned to differentiate between normal wear and tear (aka the cost of doing business) vs true damages.
Just recently, we've had to use the resolution center 3 different times pretty much back to back. The first time the guest had told us about the damages in advance and paid when we requested reimbursement through the center. The second time, the guest adamantly denied their party caused the damage and declined to pay (7 screens on our lanai had holes or complete tears in them and the frame was bent). The third time, the guest completely ignored the reimbursement claims (they broke the lock for our storage cabinet for the cleaner, kicked out the kickplate for our screen door, and stole 4 of our beach towels). We are still in the process of trying to get reimbursed via the Host Guarantee from Air Bnb for the last two claims (about $300 each) and thus far, it's been fairly disheartening. For the screens, we had a company come out and repair them with an invoice within 3 hours of the guest checking out and prior to our next check in so we submitted the invoice and pictures of the damages. For the other claim, we submitted pictures of all the damages and URLs/receipts for the cost of the items within a few hours of the guest checking out and prior to the next guest checking in.
We've been told that the invoice we provided cannot be verified for authenticity and they gave us the following that it must include:
"invoices, reports, estimates, and receipts must be on company letterhead and report the following information:
- Labor per hour and worked hours
- Detailed list of the used materials and costs
- Extension of the intervention per square meter/inches or exact Measurements of the damaged area that needs to be repaired
- Differentiate the repair cost of each item, if applicable
- Name of the company, email address and phone
- Signature and stamp
- Payer's name"
The Screen Repair company does not break down labor and material costs since they just charge per panel so they created a new invoice for me retroactively stating that for me to submit to Air Bnb. Air Bnb said that the new invoice doesn't include the labor/material cost or the exact measurements (which again, the company already fixed it, they don't have that info) so that invoice cannot be verified.
For the other claim, they asked for more pictures which I attempted to provide. I've tried calling Air Bnb support 3 times only to be told that I cannot speak to a supervisor, I cannot speak to a claims team member, and I cannot have a new agent assigned to my claims. The most he could do for me today was to email the claims agents to let them know I called. We have also emailed both claims agents asking for more information and requested a phone call from both of them. Neither claim has yet been denied but I'm afraid that's where its heading.
All that to say, anyone have steps of what we could do differently next time to hopefully get reimbursed? For invoices, I now know precisely what they are looking for and will request every single one of those details on an invoice for any future professional company we hire. What are some other best practices, processes, or steps you could recommend in the future to get reimbursement?
Also, regarding my current claims. Any tips on what I should do in the meantime to support my claims? If they deny the claims, what are my next steps?
Thanks in advance fellow hosts!