Damages and Security Deposits

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 2
223 Views

I'd like to tell you about a recent incident in which a bedside lamp was damaged by one of my guests. Because the damage was primarily to the wiring, it would have cost more to repair than to replace the damaged lamp. I was first hesitant to file a claim against the guest after check-out because I was scared the guest would retaliate by leaving a negative review. In the end, I chose to file a claim, and the first stage is for Airbnb to mediate the claim between the host and the guest. The guest never provided any feedback, such as rejecting or accepting the claim.

 

In the end, Airbnb paid me through their insurance, which impressed me much. Please remember to save all receipts for everything you buy for your Airbnb unit, as you will be required to give them along with a picture of the damage. Also, keep in mind that Airbnb will not compensate you for the replacement value; instead, they will calculate reimbursement based on the cost as shown on your receipt, minus wear and tear. Although the process was straightforward, it took more than two weeks to complete due to the guest's failure to reply to the claim.

 

As a result, I opted to activate the host deposit to assist me with any future damages. According to the host security deposit, the guest is not charged; but, when they book your accommodation, they consent to the deposit.  If there are any damages after they check out, the host can make a claim against the deposit by producing proof. As far as I understand it, there is no need to wait for the guest to approve these costs because they previously agreed to the deposit when they booked. So, if anyone has any experience with this, please correct me if I'm incorrect. 

6 Replies

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

Airbnb will not collect a security deposit for you even if you add a security deposit to the listing.

 

That function is only designed to make guests think that they are posting a security deposit, and many have already learned that there really is no security deposit.

 

 You can collect a real security deposit from the guest by telling them that they will have to send you an additional amount of money which will be refunded to them after checkout if there are no damages.

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 2

Hello, Brian. Thank you for elaborating. This is rather perplexing, thus the deposit is essentially pointless because you still have to go through the typical process of requesting money from the guest for damages.

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Daniel8185  Yes, that is how Airbnb operates, perplexing as it might be. They are totally guest-centric, at the expense of hosts.

 

And most hosts do not have an easy time getting compensated, and often have their claim rejected.

 

I'm curious as to how buying a new lamp was more economical than rewiring it, though? I've put new wiring in lamps many times and it's about a 15-30 minute project, not rocket science, and a couple of bucks in wire and a new plug.

 

If hosts don't know how to do simple repairs themselves and have to take things somewhere to get fixed, or call in technicians, it can get quite expensive. There are Youtube vids that show how to repair almost everything.

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Wayne Lakes, OH
Level 1

thank you for this information

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3

I've just had a similar incident showing that the Airbnb host guarantee and security deposit is utterly pointless and is definitely not there if you need it.  I had guests who decided they would only leave when they felt like it and when they did I discovered my sofabed frame was bent and broken and I had to leave the new guests waiting on the doorstep while I prepared the flat because the problem guests were so late checking out.  There were messages between myself and the problem guests showing that there was an issue with the sofa bed and I took photos as soon as I discovered the damage.  The metadata details within the photo clearly shows the date/time and location where they were taken and therefore pinning the damage to the problem guest. 

 

Airbnbs response: We're not paying because it needs to be reported before a new guest checks in because otherwise theres "confusion" over which guest has caused the damage!

 

Even though there was no time between guests to report it because of the guest not checking out on time, even though I reported it promptly afterwards, even though the messages within airbnb between myself and the guest indicated there was an issue with the sofabed and the photos and photo metadata prove it, airbnb just said NO!

 

I have to say I've really no faith in airbnb after 3-4 years of hosting, all they care about is keeping the guest happy and washing their hands of any problems and not taking any responsibility for issues caused to their hosts.  What are the options for hosts?  Take a deposit directly from guests refunded at your own discretion?  Quit airbnb in favor of long term tenants?  Duplicate your lsiting on rival platforms?  For me I've had enough of it now so I'm going to take long-term tenants for 6-9 months of the year and only do airbnb during the high season when you can charge a rate that makes you able to swallow the losses incurred by airbnbs failings and lack of responsibility.  I'm also going to insist that guests send me an additional deposit through the airbnb platform send/request money feature and then ask them to request it back through the resolution center afterwards because airbnbs process cannot be trusted.  Does anyone know of any good alternatives to airbnb in the UK? I want to set up listings on some other sites too.

Re: Damages and Security Deposits

in
Wayne Lakes, OH
Level 1

New to hosting.Thank you for this information

Are you requesting additional monies for deposits at this time and if so how  are quests respondong?

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