I realised from posts just like one I just read from Lisa in Chelsea MA that have been circulating here on the forum since I became an active host in 2015, that I could not rely on support from Airbnb if a hosting turned sour.
There is a possibility that I might get something but, the probability is that, that something may be less than 20% of what I was claiming.
I, at that point, upped my hosting price by $6 per night and put $10 per hosting night into a 'damage' account. There is currently over $1,860 sitting in that account, earning interest....at one stage it was well over $2,000, but I have had to make a couple of claims on it.
Nobody argues the point with me when damage is done....I don't have to go through the hassle of abusing the guest, submitting a claim, potentially loosing a reservation until the damage has been assessed and then getting a pittance offered to me by CS.....why would you put yourself through that?
I am insured for public liability and major occurrences like the building burning down, but I have a $3,000 excess to keep the premium really low. Minor things like a broken microwave or a lost key, I just go to Kmart and buy another microwave for $45.00, I go to Bunnings and buy another lock, about the same cost....an hour later I am back in business....no hassle, no agro, no let-downs! And Airbnb thinks I am ace because I don't expect them to be anything other than a booking platform...I have never approached them with a damage claim....and, I never will!
I just fix the problem and get on with the business of hosting! In short, it is money I would not have otherwise had, so, I win on all fronts.
We as hosts need to understand we are running a business and it is up to us to make sure we run that business in a professional way and that includes insuring our risk.
I would ask hosts to please do not expect Airbnb to be our 'fairy godmother'...they aren't, they are simply a booking platform. Like Fred I would dearly love to see Airbnb get rid of this sham business of lottery win compensations if things go wrong.....It's never going to happen, and believe me, I have seen a lot more of these problems across this computer keyboard than you have.
Hosts, please do what you do well, host...... and let Airbnb do what they do well, book guests!
Don't expect something that will in all probability, let you down!
Hi Rob. I am with you on this. I don't keep any money in a set aside acvount but mentally work it in the same way. Set a tariff to include wear and tear and the occasional accident and damage. For sure these things are going to occur from time to time. Its like your own inhouse Airbnb accidental damage polucy-premium -fund-claims department.
For some osts 5 or 10 on the nightly rate or cleaning fee would do the job. Especially if they prescreen their guests. The fund will remain intact.
Christine, it is a good policy to keep a set amount in another account because every now and then you can look at it and each time you do you think....'Wow, that's a windfall'....it is a tangible amount sitting there. When you just allow for it in your hosting amount you forget all about it as just the cost of your listing, and when an 'event' happens you are annoyed because you have forgotten that you actually allowed for it.
Put it somewhere where you can see it grow like the veggies in the veggie patch. That way you will really appreciate it and understand why you did what you did.
Christine, I know I am going to get caned by a multitude of hosts who will say..."I can't afford to raise my price by $1 let alone 6-10, too much competition in my area" ...to which I will say 'Bull'!
I recently set a cleaning fee of $10! Now there is no way you can turn around a listing for $10 but, my bookings have actually increased since I set that cleaning fee and the guest response has been an overwhelming....'thank you for being honest with your cleaning fee charge, if that is an illustration how you look after your guests...I am in'! I am seen as looking after them, not screwing them. Had I set that fee at $70 for an $85 pr night listing I would have been seen as a shonk, trying to gouge them for more money!
Good on you though Christine....we are on the right track, hey!
Nicely put Robyn.
Some Hosts will benefit from having a separate pot of money. So they will be reminded of how much they have brought in separately. I don't need it but others could definitely find it handy to have ready money at short notice.
A security deposit has always been a deterant against bad behaviour, damage, breaking of house rules etc. If Airbnb controls all payments but dose not apply this required charge, we as host should have the ability to charge it ourselves. To appear to take a security deposit but then openly inform prospective guests that they do not is simply false and is used as a commercial advantage for bookings at the hosts disadvatage. Wait till authorities impose a 2 strikes and your out for 5 years which Airbnb completely supports. You have no deterant and you are held totally accountable. Its almost impossible to vet clients prior to accepting a booking , as well declining a booking because its detramental to your house rules is very detremental to your listining. Obviously Airbnb is not really a community based system , its a profit motivated system that monitizes the community concept to the comunities detrement !
Agreed @Robin - I have a separate lump sum (about $1000) set aside for that purpose. I do state in my listing that regardless of intention guests are expected to take "responsibility" for damage to my home or misuse leading to breakage (and emphasize they absolutely need to read the directions I've provided before using my appliances!) but also I have no intention of going nuts over a broken cup or plate that happened to slip while the guest was doing the dishes. I'd be more concerned about making sure the guest did not cut themself while trying to clean it up.
Sorry a security deposit is a deterant against bad behaviour which effects the amenity of neighbours prior to accepting a booking rather than minor breakages. Good luck when you are shut down because your neighbours comply to authorities.
i never charge for small breakages like a glass, or a damaged towel. That’s considered human consumables. I always buy good quality in sale, so just shake it off....
If a parent has a sick child, I don’t charge for the extra twice wash the items might get. Scratches happen...I do suggest to parents that they know their children best. “I have left things down, but if you feel they could be damaged or broken by your children, happily put them up high, or in the laundry where I will remove them for the duration of their stay.” I put the onus back on the guest, and they have always taken that responsibility well.
My cleaning fee is Australian$30, which is only the cost of my cleaning products and maybe some water from washing linen. No one has ever mentioned the cleaning cost. It’s obvious it doesn’t cover labour. But putting the money aside, does allow me to go and buy what needs replacing. Or if I see something I might like to add to the space, a book etc... it’s doable.
Luckily, I’ve never had major damage. Chipped floor tile, but I could have just as easily done that!
Wear and tear consumables...
Please insist, as hosts, that Airbnb be the company they portray themselves to be.
I hope you have no neighbours, because you are obviously only concerned with minor damage rather than your neighbours amenity, no wonderAirbnb is under so much regulatory pressure all over the world including Australia. Security deposits are not about minor damage they were are deterant against bad behaviour and the breaking of house rules prior to accepting a booking. Airbnb through its polisies has undermined this process as a commercial advantaged againts their competition and nothing more or less ! (at our expence)
Hi @Robin ,
I'm glad You brought this subject up and I agree a 100% with what You say.
I personally don't look at a damage related to a specific booking, I look at an entire year. I host 30 groups of people per year, have an x-amount $ of revenue and a certain percentage of this revenue is dedicated to pay for repairs and broken glasses.
I do not get involved in a discussion with my guest over an amount of $50, let alone calling airbnb for that. Depending on the price of a specific booking, I even swallow up $200 without bothering my guest with this. This generousity of course goes along with the pricetag that I have for my place. In high season my place ends up costing $2500 a week for 10 people. Someone who pays that price will not get bothered from my side with an invoice of 200 bucks for a broken chair. 'It's been nice hosting You, thank You for Your business, leave us a nice review'.
Discussions about small damages will generally end up in a bad review from the guest. The damage that I have inhouse was maybe $100, the damage a bad review can cause to my business, may be houndreds or thousands of USD. It's just not worth it.
I fully understand that the generousity a host can show depends on his rentalprice, everyone may set his own rules concerning this matter. What I do not understand though is this: Recently i read a post here in the CC where a host was claiming $16 for a damage from airbnb. Airbnb granted $14, the host wasn't happy with it and started an argument about these 2 Dollars. Come one, correspondence for 2 Dollars? Give me a break. I suggest that airbnb sets a minimum amount of $100 for claims against the airbnb host guarantee. That would give them more time to work on real damageclains in the thousands.
If You drive a car, sometimes You have to get a set of new tires. That is regular wear and tear. And if You leave Your car on the parking lot of a supermarket, someone may dinge Your fender a little bit or a dude may break Your windshield wiper.
It You can't live with this, don't drive a car.
And if You're hosting, someone may brake a plate or a leave a scratch in the table.
If You can' live with this, don't host.
I agree with you completely, we build into our costings a percentage for damage, accidents do happen and guests that pay a primium for accommadation do not have the time or inclanation to get involved with minor damage claims. Hosts need to judge where they want to draw a line, personally I get involved at £100 or more, but that is a commercial choice!
So sad, how do you vet your clients, what is the deterant for bad behaviour prior to accepting a booking, no wonder Airbnb under presure all over the world due to the in abilty of its hosts to control the behaviour of their guests. Security deposits are a deterant not a commercial reality.
I agree that whether hosting or just standard living in my own home. There will be wear and tear. Towels or breaking of a plate or mug is what I see as part of the hosting experience.
However, if a guest does break something significant ie a lock or the microwave, then that should be replaced. Same if I was in a hotel and I broke their microwave, I'd have to pay for it.
I find most hosts are not asking for loss towels and broken mugs, it's spilling coffee or wine on the rug that will cost over $100 to get the stain professionally removed. Or I had a guest that constantly rinsed hair down the bathroom sink causing it to clog. I had to call a plumber. That was about $175. He came next day to unclog. Who wants to be in a bathroom without sink usage? I paid for the plumber because I don't want to make a claim with my management company(landlord). Either way, I'd have to pay because the cause of the clog was human hair. I let the guest off with a warning. If he did it again, he'd have to pay for a plumber. It made him realize to be more careful.
I've had a guest help herself to my things including the boxes of tissue, toilette paper and Goddess knows what else. I told ABB customer support that she took things. They asked if I wanted to make a claim. I said 'No, it's not about the missing box of tissue. The point is she stole from me."
Thank you for posting this @Robin. I couldn't agree more. You and @Ute bring up some very good points. While I have my occasional annoyances with Airbnb, I am very thankful for all the guests and extra income they have brought my family and I. They show my listing to thousands of potential guests (for a VERY minimal fee) and then I'll gladly take it from there.