Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2
249 Views

What does Airbnb mean when they offer a “Host Guarantee”, when it’s handled by their Resolution Center? What exactly is Airbnb guaranteeing?

 

Dictionary meanings:

Guarantee: A formal assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled

Resolution: The action of solving a problem or contentious matter

 

Clearly, two very different processes.

- - -

 

Let me explain my situation:

 

I had a NYC attorney, her husband, and their 13-month old toddler stay with me from Nov 2020 through May 2021, a full six months. 

 

When they checked out on May 22, I discovered they left several items damaged, several times were missing, and my home required extra professional cleaning. Together this cost me $1900 (not to mention 30+ hours of my time to restore everything).

 

Therefore I submitted a Host Guarantee Reimbursement Request within the 14-day time limit. I submitted a quite thorough documentation of photos, receipts, testimonies (from my caretaker, cleaner, and past guest), and review/analysis of past correspondence with the guest. There were several instances that gave me reasonable suspicion that she was not taking care of my home.

 

This was my first and only Host Guarantee Reimbursement Request, since I started hosting in July 2017.

 

On June 6th the guest replied, denying absolutely everything. Her reply was written in an aggressive, contemptuous, and legal fashion (she’s an attorney, after all).

 

On June 10th I wrote a 3800-word response to the guest’s refusal to reimburse for damages, missing items, and extra professional cleaning that was required. I systematically addressed everything the guest mentioned, and linked this back to my original submission. Nothing she wrote had reasonable grounds for refuting anything in my submission.

 

I received an immediate response from “Autumn” from Airbnb:

    “Thanks for your reply and helpful explanation. We will be conducting a full and careful review of all documentation and communication provided by both parties in an effort to come to a fair resolution. 

    We will be in touch soon to discuss next steps. We greatly appreciate your patience in the interim. Should you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, you can contact me by responding directly to this message.” 

 

On June 15th I received an email from “Autumn”:

“We've carefully reviewed your Host Guarantee request and, unfortunately, we're unable to process your request… If there is additional information you think we should consider about notifying the guest, please let us know. If you have questions about the decision we’ve made on your Host Guarantee request for reimbursement please feel free to reach out by responding to this email.”

 

I did so on June 17th with a 1700-word reply. I went over the highlights about how my case was well documented and in reasonable compliance with Airbnb’s Host Guarantee requirements.

 

Just four hours later “Autumn” replied:

    “Thanks so much for following up. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for. 

     We do our best to fairly and reasonably mediate these cases. In our efforts to be objective, keeping in mind that we were not present during the reservation, we must consider all available documentation and communication when coming to a decision which aligns with our policies and procedures. 

     We regret that this decision has negatively affected you, but we believe this to be a fair resolution, all things considered. 

     Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with regard to these disputes, which is outlined in our Terms of Service. Thus, we are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case.

     Please know that we are thankful to have you as a host in our community and look forward to the many positive experiences you will have using Airbnb moving forward. 

   All the best,

   Autumn”

 

As there we no specifics mentioned whatsoever, I wondered if any of my emails or submitted evidence/documents/photos had ever been reviewed.

 

I wrote back to “Autumn”:

    “Would you be so kind as to explain how you came to the decision you did? You wrote: "We do our best to fairly and reasonably mediate these cases.” If that’s truly the case, surely you can share with me the reasoning you followed. How else am I to know what I did wrong? How else am I to know what I should do next time?“

 

I’ve written twice since, but have yet to receive a reply from “Autumn” or anyone at Airbnb. I’m simply being ignored, it appears.

- - -

 

So back to my original point about “Guarantee VS Resolution?”, does anyone have any experience on how best to navigate the process of getting Airbnb to actually pay for the damages through their Host Guarantee program? Or is the Host Guarantee program just a deceptive name for plain ol’ fashion resolution, and hence why the Resolution Center handles the Host Guarantee submissions?

 

I’v reviewed all of the Airbnb Help links on this issue, and there are no factual steps or criteria listed, that a host is expected to follow, except for the time limit (within 14 days or before the next guest checks in, which ever is shorter). It seems that it’s a lottery for hosts, based entirely on the whims of a random Airbnb employee.

 

I really need to know exactly how this works, otherwise I may lose thousands of dollars again should I get another bad guest and a similar, unreasonable Airbnb treatment.

 

Any tips, pointers, or recommendations… I’m all ears!  

12 Replies

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Bryce93 The only solution is to get proper insurance. Even if Airbnb pay out they pay on a depreciated basis which often means a low payout.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

Thank you. I do have insurance, and will submit a claim once all the restoration work is complete.

 

Is it ever worth the time and effort to submit a Host Guarantee Reimbursement Request?

 

Do you know if Airbnb ever shares how they reach their decision, or by which criteria they make their judgement?

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

In your situation I would have gone to arbitration with Airbnb @Bryce93 

 

you can pay a small sum which you get back if they decide on your favour (as long of course if you initiated the claim before the next guest checked in.

 

you mention you will also submit a claim on your own insurance for short term lets but I fear you may have left this too late if you didn't alert them when the damage first occurred . 

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

Thanks for all the good advice. Much appreciated.

 

Regarding arbitration with Airbnb, is it too late for me to initiate this? Should I request this from "Autumn", or is there a specific link I should use? I'll do some searching in the Help area.

 

Again, thank you.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Bryce93 Arbitration is expensive.Small claims court is much cheaper

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

Thanks for insightful advice, @Mike-And-Jane0 

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

Can you file  a small claims case in the UK if Airbnb is Ireland based? Is that possible?  Or do you have to do this against the guest - in my case drug dealing gang leader now suspended from Airbnb. I have limited details for him.

 

I really hope I wont have to do this and that Airbnb will step up but I'm just not getting info from them at the moment despite me requesting clarification from just about everyone I communicate with on their Host Guarantee caps (of which there is no mention of in their T&C's. Ive also emailed   terms@airbnb.com who  are not responding.  

They asked me to initially deal directly with the 'guest' & provide this guest with receipts etc but that would have entailed me providing drug gang with my personal address, banham key numbers etc without extensive redaction which I believed snd Police agreed would have been wholly unsafe Irresponsible. I get the impression despite being given clear accounts, photographs, police ref numbers, Airbnb are just not taking this seriously. Hence my now thinking this may need to be escalated beyond them. But how?

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

I got nowhere with Airbnb. I pleaded for some reasoning as to their decision, and the only thing they could say was that I "missed the deadline". 

 

But I had ample proof that because I had back-to-back bookings, that I had to concentrate on getting my place restored and ready for my next guest, first, before I could complete the extensive online claim submission.

 

That apparently didn't matter to Airbnb, and I was given the cold shoulder.

 

I also have my home listed on VRBO (will this name get redacted? vee are bee oh), and they offer a $5000 property damage insurance policy. The guest pays $99 and I get a plain, ol' fashion insurance policy. No resolution center debates, just a normal payout when I present normal, reasonable evidence.

 

This autumn I'll be back in the town where my home is, and will investigate the small claims court route in regards to my Airbnb loss. And I'll post my findings here. Stay tuned.

 

Please do the same, if you choose the legal route... or any other means of recouping your loss. Surely this must be of interest to many who have holiday/vacation rentals.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Bryce93  See section 23

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2908

 

I won a judgment against Airbnb in small claims court, by default as they did not respond. They did pay when they received the notice of judgment.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

Again, thanks for everyone's insight and help!

 

Small claims court sounds like a reasonable route. 

 

Does anyone know if me residing in the UK (I'm a US citizen), yet my property is in the USA, could cause a problem/challenge? I would assume this issue should be addressed through a small claims court in the USA.

 

Thank you.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Bryce93 I would address that question to the small claims court of the county where your property is.

Re: Guarantee VS Resolution?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 2

Indeed. Thanks, @Lisa723.

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