How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7
965 Views

Hi hosts,

 

I have created a very messy and unsolvable sitation by following the advise of Airbnb support staff in setting and collecting an additional damage deposit up front from guests so I would be prepared to repair damages in a timely manner. As it turns out - while these deposits get paid by my guests, they aren't actually being placed into my account for pay back to the guests who don't do any damages. 

 

Is anyone else in this sitation? I would like to know how they are handling it. Does there ever come a time when the guest bookings finally all balance out and Airbnb isn't taking money off of the top of the subsequent bookings? It's an accounting nightmare for me right now, with no end in sight and no money actually available as I had intended to protect me from having a guest do damage and refuse to pay for it so I can repair something so the next guest doesn't have the impact of that prior visitor's indescretion. 

 

 

15 Replies

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

Hi Kelly,

 

I am very clear on how Airbnb “deposits” “work” and I’m saying they come up totally inadequately for handling any real world scenario where a repair or replacement must be made in between any guest visits. I advertise my property condition to customers un damaged and fully appointed and the Airbnb policy does not allow for me to fulfill that promise to my guests as it is currently run.

 

Yvonne

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Como, CO
Level 10

@Yvonne41

 

I think all Hosts who realise how it works would agree with you, there have been many discussions on the subject.

 

Obviously you can repair any damage, one way of funding this is to add a few dollars to each night and create your own fund to pay for any damages.

David

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

I also want to re-iterate on the fact that I have not collected any money outside of Airbnb and in following their instructions to collect additional deposit through their "resolution" center, I was not informed up front that I would be penalized by an impact to receiving my full payouts upon the arrival of every guest.


Airbnb has still not made it clear why they can collect the additional guest's money into Airbnb, but not pay it out to me and then also charge the amount off the top of my payout, creating a deficit that I have effectively evened out for them ahead with guest money they are holding "somewhere". It makes no sense. If guests were aware they were being charged and that money wasn't being paid to me and also that they paid in full, plus extra, to then have it come out of what is due to me, I think they would also find this suspicious at best.

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Yvonne41 I am not sure I understand what is happening. You have set up a security deposit in your listing, airbnb holds it for you (ok, I know they just pretend to hold it but for the sake of this discussion we will leave it as that). Are you saying airbnb subtracts each deposit from your pay out? I have never heard of such thing happening! It must be a glitch.

 

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

Hi Inna,

 

I was told I could collect a separate damage deposit from my guests, in addition to the amount my property states is my set $350 “damage deposit”. So, all of my incoming guests are being billed another $150-$350 (depending on number of total guests/days) that they report have been charged to them and show as being paid to me in my transaction history. However, due to their policy and to never accept payment from my bank account, they won’t put those additional amounts into my account so I can pay them back out. Instead, they debit the totals I pay back to refund the guests for no damages, against that deposit from the income of my next booked guest. What’s worse is it happens whenever that next guest comes-so there is no opportunity to balance my accounts bookings by booking to insure I’ve recived my full payout due, until another Airbnb guest checks in and out (sometimes that’s weeks apart since I also use other booking sites).

 

Its convoluted and I’m still left unable to make timely repairs with cash from any guest who actually did the damages. It’s a terrible experience for me and my guests.

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Como, CO
Level 10

@Yvonne41

 

I am not sure what you are doing, but that is not how the system works. Here are numbers from your listing, you will see that the security deposit is not charged, there is nothing to refund, it is a very theoretical potential charge against the CC they used to book with.

 

$249 x 7 nights
$1,743
 
8% weekly price discount
 
-$139
 
Cleaning fee
 
$149
 
Service fee
 
$173
 
Occupancy Taxes
 
$206
 
Total
$2,132
David

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

What I did wrong was take incorrect advice from Airbnb support who told me I could collect a separate damage deposit through their system. It does not work the way that person explained it would - despite my efforts to do it so it would work with the system and by updating my property description and rules to reflect the change. I feel terrible because I charged these guests an additional $350 deposit per the instructions to do so through the resolution center where added trip charges are included for the visit. Now Airbnb won't make that money availale to me in the event there are damages, won't return it to the next 4 guests affected and won't deposit it in my account so I can return it to them. They seem hell bent on being "right" by saying I agreed to all of this BS by putting my home on their sight because it's their policy. Well, if it's their policy to con Hosts and put 100% of the risk on us and dupe hosts and guests into beleiving they are making an additional damage deposit transaction - but then still charging my bookings due for it - well they are certainly doing a great job duping Guests and Hosts and holding money I proactively charged to prevent a scenario where my account needs to be shorted. Nice job Airbnb for not offering any support whatsoever to fix a situation 100% created by your support staff. I'm not pleased to bear the burden of this mistake and their policy. 

 

I have adjusted my rates to reflect this problem. But, I am ready to cancel these upcoming bookings so I don't have to wait until the last week of August for my acount to maybe even out to the total $1400 that will likely still be due to me for these rental guests. 

 

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Caernarfon, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Yvonne41 I've got it and I've got a headache so god only knows how you are feeling.

Airbnb will not release the additional deposit you take through the resolution center as its at airbnb's discretion to use it or not, just the same as your main listing deposit. In other words its no different to increasing the original listing damage deposit.

You have to stop asking for the $150 - $350 additional deposit through the resolution center and just rely on the main $350 deposit or increase it.

Unfotunately you were misinformed by customer service which is not unusual. You will have to fund repairs yourself just like the rest of us and if you are very lucky airbnb might payout a small amount on a claim sometime in the future.

ps. airbnb will only payout the second hand value of items at the time they were damaged.

 

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

Why on earth would they allow the payment request from me to be billed to these customers then? I was clear on the intent and all of these guests report being billed additionally for the costs. In fact it’s billed to them in an area for extra services - so little of this makes sense.

 

Will I ever be paid in full for my reservations or will Airbnb always keep $100-$350 from what is due to me for these bookings?

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Caernarfon, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Yvonne41  Its the way the system is set up, the resolution center is for additional payments(extra services) and thats why your guests are getting an invoice. It will not sort itself out until the second guest after you stop sending requests through the resolution center, then your payments should be right. I THINK, excellent brain teaser.

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 7

It really makes it impossible for me to offer the same experience at the same price for all guests when guests who decide to damage things aren't required to pay. 

 

I'm not clear on why they can't remedy the very problematic situation created by their own support person too. It's really the worst customer service I can imagine. 

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

Level 1

Wow you know what the same problem happens to a lot of us because I don’t wanna point the finger but someone of the guess broke my washer 

Re: How are you handling addtional damage deposit collection?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Yvonne41  Have any of these guests sent you a screen shot or copy of their invoice showing that they were charged this additional fee? If so, it is the guests who should be contacting airbnb to ask why they were charged this when, in fact, the host was never paid this out, nor did th host file a damage claim for their stay. If they were charged this and you haven't received it, it is indeed outrageous, but part of the problem is that you were given incorrect info in the first place and you don't understand how the resolution center works. You can't just expect to be paid for damages or extra cleaning without submitting a claim for that, it doesn't just automatically get sent to you, for you to then refund to the guest if they were good and didn't cause damage.

Now you say you are going to cancel the bookings you have. Do you realize that airbnb will block your calendar for the dates you cancel and that you won't be able to rebook them under your new policy? And that if you cancel a bunch of bookings it looks really bad for you on your listing page and they might remove your listing altogether?

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