Our first guest checked out yesterday. Right now my wife and I are doing the cleaning. Our first walkthrough we noticed food debris everywhere. Even the bathroom. Fruit loops dried and stuck to the floors and kitchen surfaces. We found leaves and grass in the refrigerator. Our house sits on top of the garage and we have it converted to a game room and exercise room. Our owner cabinet is in there as well. It was locked. We found the hasp broken and the belongings gone through. Also we had a new tower fan still in the box set beside the owner cabinet They opened the fan and used it without assembling. It obviously fell because the housing is scratched up. Not once did we get contacted to ask to use it. Maybe that's presumptuous of me but brand new in the box, I would have asked
I contacted the renter and calmly told her what we found. I did not say anything about payment or claim. She immediately said we found it that way when we got there.
We decided to let it go until we continued to clean.
Remember everything in the house is brand new.
Master bed footboard has a 3 inch chuck taken out of it.
Broke the kickstand on one of the bikes we provide
Ripped a coat hook off the wall pulling the molly bolt out of the sheet rock
Stains on master mattress- brand new with water proof cover so not sure how that happened
Moved a dart board to a different area and as a result there are now 50 dart holes in my sheetrock
Brand new treadmill now doesn't work
Here's our concern. If we fine a claim, this will be our one and only review. Which were would assume negative if we file a claim.
Total in know damage is about$800 not including the mattress. That's repair and or replacement .
The nightly rental was $100 for a weekday and they stayed for 3 nights.
what do we do?
How would y'all handle it? TIA
Craig and Maria
"She found it that way when she got there"- @Craig536 that's all I need to know about this person. Your place looks beautiful and I'm sorry this happened to you. Assume a bad review from this person who refuses to accept and responsibility and is lying to you to your face. I would pursue a damage claim via Airbnb. Not sure about the market in your area, but I would consider raising your rates to weed out folks.
Thank you. My wife did an amazing job of picking things out. I'm just sweat equity. We lowered prices because of the covid 19 stuff. 2 fold, trying to be nice and get bookings started. Boy that backfired.
@Craig536 That is a shame. Your place is adorable. If you didn't do it, from now, do a quick phone camera video walk through before each guest. That way you can prove certain things, like new items that were in the box, etc. your cabinet broken into. I cannot imagine what awful people would break into a locked cabinet!
You will get a negative review now probably anyway since you already alerted the guest about the damages and instead of admitting anything, she lied her a## off. I have found that almost all guests who do damage leave lower star reviews. It must be some kind of psychological defense mechanism.
So, you might want to go ahead and make a claim for everything..take pictures..it will help immensely that these were your first guests because there was 'no normal wear and tear' excuse that can be blamed. Stuff that is broken was broken by the guest because they are the first people to use the unit. Though you can never tell w/airbnb in terms of how they will respond, they are quite random in who they side with and what 'evidence' they take seriously v. ignore.
I believe you have 14 days or until your next guest arrives to make a claim.
How long were these guests in your listing, @Craig536 ? Seems like a lot of damage for a short time, right? @Mark116 and @Ann783 are right about taking the steps to file a claim. Since you spoke with the guest, please take the time to memorialize your call within the Air BNB message system. In your message summarizing the call, outline what you told the guest was damaged, that all items were brand new and they were the first guests. State also that you have the required proof of the new items, ie, pictures and receipts. State you will take steps to file the claim with Air BNB and that you are aware that the guest believes the damage was pre-existing.
I hope you do have a security deposit for the property and that it is sufficient to cover the damage.
For the future: 1 Do not accept any guests with negative reviews or no reviews until you have more experience vetting guests. 2 Do not use Instant Book. 3. Meet all new guests at check in so you can show them around and witness that all is in good shape. You might modify these steps as you gain more experience but take it slow for now.
Most importantly, Do not be controlled by the possibility of a negative review. There are many reasons guests leave negative reviews, some of which are either unreasonable or lies. You will have a chance to respond to any review, Just be sure you do not violate the Air BNB Content Policy rules (find it in the Help Center) or the response or review will be pulled by Air BNB. Be sure to write an honest, concise review about this guest.
Kudos to you for coming to the community. I think you have good instincts so in the long run will be successful. Take care of yourself and your family and good luck as a host! Linda
Thre response has been amazing. Really appreciate the advice. We're implementing those today. I moved the call to text so I'd have documentation
Claim has been filed. Over $1000 in damage or cleaning/ stain removal.
I love your listing, I actually have one of the same bedroom sets in my home. Great minds think a like haha.
I am sorry to hear your first guests were a negative experience. You have two options in this case. You can request money from the guest for the damages caused. You will need to provide photos and detailed information for each item or area you are seeking reimbursement for. The guest will have a set amount of time to accept or decline. If they decline, the claim will go directly to airbnb and they will decide to reimburse you or not under their insurance policy.
When making a claim, you can include things the don't fall under "normal wear and tear." Unfortunately Airbnb will typically not reimburse for stained items or overly dirty areas.
Despite a lot of negative connotation around airbnbs insurance policy, I have actually airbnb cover damage to my home, and they were easy to work. I hope you have the same luck.
As for the review, unfortunately it might be negative at this point. Just keep in mind you can always write a public response to every review if you need to explain yourself.
Thank you! We are very pleased with that furniture. Great minds do think alike for sure.
We did file and she still has 30 hours to respond. She sent me a string of text messages saying I'm a liar. I have to admit it made us chuckle. And glad we filed the claim.
Get every single penny's worth of damage they caused back from them. Yes, they will likely leave a bad review, but you can review them as well as respond to theirs.
I have a feeling that this will be more of a common occurrence since people will drop prices so low that even a certain class of people will be able to afford access to these properties.
Now is the time to keep your business going and collect money though-forget about reviews from losers.
@Craig536 Your place looks so inviting, I agree with all of the suggestions, especially raising your price. I've been very lucky since listing Aug of '18. I've had little things taken, and had a couple with young children that I think must have let them jump on the air mattress, since it wouldn't blow up after they left, that's been the worst so far, altho they did let the kids "redecorate" with my things and broke something I made, that pissed me off, and I wanted to say...you're to tell your children, hands off that does not belong to you.! I wouldn't worry about the review, I did at first too, but don't anymore.
It's amazing how destructive some people are. Sad actually. We're changing our rules and upping our deposit. We will up or rates once we're out of this lockdown/ pandemic. Hoping since the beaches are still open maybe somebody will come lol.
@Craig536 Besides what others have said, these folks belong to another kind of human tribe; its members can't appreciate the nicer things because usually they themselves do not have them, nor remotely understand what effort it took to create them since they are too lazy and too busy scamming their way through life and usually have zero shame and certainly not self-governed by a set of believes (honesty, fairness and such 'lofty' concepts). Usually with such set of values (or lack of) they are usually not economically succesful, hard to be in the real world. Why PRICE ultimately is the best (and only) weapon NOT to get them to come to your lovely place in the first place. Of course some good limited-income people are lost but in hosting is best to play the odds that are with you, not against you.
Your listing presently allows ~6~ people to stay for a mere $99. It is presently a recipe for disaster, and you seen nothing yet. Taking a not-so-wild guess I would be thinking your price range should be more like $125 for the first 2 persons, and then maybe $25 for each additional person (or higher). The minute you make the change, the tribe members will be moving on to the next unware beginning host (aka next victim).
Just a thought and the very best of luck.
You hit the nail on the head. Our original price point for week night was $125.
We lowered it after the covid thing started. We put a ton of money in to this place and needed to generate something. Yep bit us square in the keester. We've made some changes that other people recommended. We raised our deposit hoping that would keep out the trash. Rentals in gslveston are canceling at rapid rates. I'm sure it's similar elsewhere. Hoping all this gets back to normal soon. Thanks for the advice. It's truly appreciated.
@Craig536 unfortunately many hosts have a bad experience with the first few guests. There are people who target new listings because new hosts a) don't know what exactly to expect and b) need those all important first few ratings. Our first two guests were less than ideal-- so much so that we considered closing down hosting. We, like you, put a lot of loving care into getting our place ready and it was very disappointing to say the least.
Our calls to Airbnb after the first incident netted the following response from the CSR-- "did you take pictures?" Our first guest had taken our entire supply of firewood so no, we didn't have pics of the full half cord of wood that we had stored against the house /empty space that now stood in its absence. So now we take pics of "before" when we do every turnover. We check between each and every guest even though we have a cleaner. These days we even clean behind the cleaner to make sure things are disinfected. It is very difficult to get any damage by us.
We also updated our house rules and continue to tweak them when needed. One thing to note-- Airbnb does not cover pet damage and we are pet friendly so that was a painful lesson when we had a guest whose dog almost chewed through a door. People will often deny that they were the guests who caused the damage, which is also shocking when its abundantly clear that no one else could have.
I agree that raising prices can help weed out some of the "bargain" guests. But those of us who are still hosting are all in the same situation as far as that goes. I did a thread called "Tips for New Hosts" where I listed a bunch of things I had learned that I wished I had known going in. Lots of great responses there from others too: