Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
West Vancouver, Canada
Level 3
1,273 Views

Have ever you noticed how the entire Airbnb system is rigged to prevent hosts from being able to recover damages caused by guests?

I recently had a guest who completely trashed my place and caused damage to property (ripped a custom made blackout roller shade and damaged multiple new linens and towels - we are talking bodily fluids, feces and blood - they were tossed).

She checked out at 11 am and I sent her all the photos and the message that I’ll be looking to get quotes to replace or repair the window blind and towels/sheets and that also there will be additional cleaning charges. This was all documented in message history. The guest immediately blocked me without saying anything.

 

My check in time is 4 pm and I had another guest staying the night. I checked him in later at 8 pm. The next day I submitted the claim once I had the invoices from my cleaner and also once I had the quote from the blinds installer who installed the blinds in the condo. The guest paid me 1.23 cents (nice trolling) for a 700+ claim.

It got escalated to Airbnb through the resolution center. Airbnb say I’m not eligible for host guarantee because “there’s confusion as to which guest caused the damage as you didn’t submit the claim before your next guest checked in”

Real genuine Question - what was I supposed to do? Should I have made up random numbers and submitted made up quotes? It’s impossible to get a quote and invoices instantaneously when you have another check in and your priority is to clean up to your 5 star standards (we had to call in another cleaner and next guests check in was moved to 8 pm). Should I have canceled my next guest’s booking so that I did NOT  have anyone staying so that I can actually in practice submit a request once I have all the quotes and invoices? I feel like I have no choice here but next time to cancel my next guests booking - but then I’ll have an automatic negative review for cancelation.

Regarding reviews - ever had a guest who stayed at a killer price but then trashed your place and then refused to pay and then left you 1 star feedback? How many of you feel scared to ask for your costs because you know you’ll be punished with a 1 star review and also you’ll be refused compensation and then Airbnb will decline to apply your damage deposit (why do we even set these damage deposits???) so you feel like it’s a lose-lose? They are supposed to be our partners but they aren’t. I really expected better standards especially now that they are publicly traded but I feel like we take all the risks, lately get barely any profit while they rake it in. 

32 Replies

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

With regards to everything you have thought and felt...you are not alone.

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

Level 10

It's clearly not in the interests of Airbnb to be making payments to hosts, it hits their bottom line and Airbnb is, after all, a business.  Unfortunately, Airbnb hasn't quite got the courage to remove the damage assurances it gives to hosts for fear they may go elsewhere and leave Airbnb with no accommodation on their listing.

 

There's not really an easy answer to this I suppose, but as a host, I don't expect to receive anything from Airbnb if there's an "event" with a guest.  It's hard but better temper the expectation.

 

However, what is happening is that I become more discerning with the reservations I choose to accept, because I do choose each one carefully now, a couple of years ago I accepted most on the basis that Airbnb would step in if there was a problem, I don't think that is the case any longer.

 

I also don't tolerate any infringements of the house these days.  In the event of a problem, I evict the guests.  Harsh as it may seem, I too have a business to run and if Airbnb isn't going to stand behind its claims to stand by the hosts where unfortunate events occur, then I have a responsibility to the incoming guest to still be in business and able to provide what I advertised and if the incumbant guest puts this at risk, out they go.

 

I suppose the other option would be to charge hotel rates and absorb the costs that way.

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

What you were supposed to do was simply follow their policy and initiate the claim BEFORE the next guest checked in.

 

You didn’t need quotes all you needed to do was message the guest to confirm damages, submit photos and say you would be getting quotes. 

 

I am not a fan for Airbnb all the time but on this one they are correct if you want to make a successful claim you need to make the initial claim before you let the next guest check in as outlined in their guarantee policy.

 

you don’t need to cancel up coming guests if you feel the property can be repaired fully before they are due to check in @Nina1093 

 

 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
West Vancouver, Canada
Level 3

I did send all the photos in message history.. FYI for claims submission to submit a request you need to enter the amount and you need to attach quotes you rely on and invoices - so no - it’s impossible to submit the actual request before you get your documentation of how much it’s going to cost. I did submit the photos right away in the message history with the guest. 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
West Vancouver, Canada
Level 3

I literally did do exactly what you said in paragraph 2 - message the guests, sent all the photos and tell them I’ll be sending a request once I have all my invoices and quotes. 
my case manager responds from a template and keeps insisting there’s confusion as to which guest caused it when I for a millionth time tell this case manager proof is in the message history. 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

@Nina1093 No, @Helen3 is right. The correct procedure is to initiate the claim in the resolution center before the next check-in. You can estimate the amount and add documentation later.

 

I agree that the process is exacting. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense as your next guest could be from a different platform so Airbnb can’t ever be sure you haven’t had a subsequent check-in. But that is the process.

 

And yes you always have to weigh the risk of a retaliatory review against the prospect of substantial reimbursement.

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Delta, Canada
Level 1

We are having the same experience with Airbnb. We have followed all the claims rules and are still dealing with damage questions 6 months after the event. I also question the purpose of a damage deposit if it isn’t accessible. 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

Level 10

Damage deposit is a misleading term since there is no deposit held by anyone to cover any damage. 

 

It merely serves to give a host false hope that there's a sum of money put by in the unfortunate event of a mishap whilst guests are told up front that the amount isn't collected when they book so they don't care about it.

 

The description is certainly dodgy, how legal it is to include the term damage deposit in a contract where in fact there is no deposit held but there you go, that is Airbnb for you.

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Waterford Twp, MI
Level 2

To clarify: We're not talking about charging a security deposit - which seems to be an option (Forgive my confusion, I just started hosting a month ago) - correct? Rather, this is discussion regarding what appears to be the non-existent "damage deposit" in the general Airbnb verbiage. 

*I literally just knocked wood* 
I've had a positive experience overall, but my very first guests stole something and then, for no apparent reason, opened a box containing a new kitchen appliance that was stored in room not opened to them (via the listing) which was going to be returned, and used it. Since they were in the general region for a very specific job, I doubt I'll see them again and I certainly won't host them, but I looked at this as a life/host lesson. I guess I'll see what happens as I move through my hosting experience and hope for the best. 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

The damage deposit and the security deposit are terms used interchangeably- they are one and the same thing. @Charlene195

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Miami, FL
Level 2

I agree with you, but this is something that changed, it was not like this a couple years ago. I didn't have to charge a lot of damages from guests during 7 years with Airbnb, but once I did I was able to get money from the deposit. Last month I submitted damages, after the worst guest that I had in 7 years trashed my house, with pictures of everything and of course the guest doesn't want to pay and from $210.00 that I charged Airbnb want to pay me $37 under the Host Guarantee! WTH So why we have the guest deposit for damages if when we needed the guest says no and its done??? I'm so outrageous with this and I'm escalating as this is a disrespect with hosts!!!  @Cave0 ; @Amy975 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
West Vancouver, Canada
Level 3

Same thing happened here. They flat out refused to cover anything because "the guest did not want to pay". They did not send me a form for host guarantee - no prompts. All emails and support cases stonewalled and answered with "copy and paste" answers. They are awful.

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
Bristol, PA
Level 3

It's all been downhill since March.  Market direct, before Air does even more damage. 

Re: Airbnb damage deposits/host guarantee

in
West Vancouver, Canada
Level 3

Agreed. I will take my listings to direct market as soon as rental market improves in my city.

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