If I could create a meme on what it's like to be an Airbnb host, it would be something like this:
Spends hours creating an immaculately clean space and comfortable/hospitable stay. Creates highly detailed listing and guidebook, immediately responds to every guest text. Leaves complimentary snacks. Gives deep discounts for long term stays, etc. etc.
*messages host* I found a crumb of dirt and an ant!! This place is a dump!!!!
*comes to clean after the guest checks out* ...Entire place is trashed.
That's bull**bleep**!! I left the place in great condition! I refuse to pay for [fill in the blank]. *threatens host with bad review.*
*****Please share with me your nightmare guest experiences and help me feel better about the **bleep** I've hosted recently. 🙂
I can play
Family that traveled cross country last year. Stopped at my place on the way back to Michigan. Complained that my place was dirty and I had ants. I came over to inspect - took video - no ants. Reclean the space just to be safe and also caulked any potential cracks.
Her kids eat up all the snacks, she does weeks of laundry (free), then leaves crumbs all over my dining room rug and the kitchen is in disarray as are the bedrooms.
She complains to Airbnb that my place is dirty (previous guest and subsequent guest rated it "squeaky clean). Her specific comment about the dirt? My "baseboards" had dust on them.
Honestly - you get a few of these, but the vast majority of my guests have been appreciative and fun.
What I'm concerned about now is that two of my local colleagues got requests from a kid. The first request was declined but the girl was somehow able to instant book another host. She wanted to do something fun for her 14th birthday. Parents texted demanding their money back.
Is Airbnb vetting guests any more, or just packing them in to get the revenue up in advance of an IPO?
I wonder if it occurred to them they could make money if they would just be a booking agent and get out of the way otherwise. Otherwise vett the guests and take all financial responsibility for their actions. But it appears they want to do neither.
Thank you, Christine! Feels good sometimes just to commiserate with someone else. I agree that 90% of guests are no problem. It just feels like I've had a string of bad ones lately. On the plus side, at least I'm still bringing in SOME money during COVID.
Thanks again, Christine. Much love to you. ♥️
@Rachael171 Uugghhh, I feel your pain. Like @Christine615 and @Helen3, almost all of my guests have been great. But one recently ruined a set of sheets, wouldn't answer my message asking what it was so I could try to get the stain out, left me a 3 for cleanliness, then, when asked to pay for the sheets, said I shouldn't have such nice ones at an Airbnb. I had to laugh at that because it's not as if she refused to sleep on them! I honestly don't mind about the sheets - things happen, and to my surprise Airbnb stepped in and paid! - but I don't like toxic people and that's what she was.
Oh wow, so she refused to pay for the sheets and Airbnb let her get away with that?
I just don't get it. These people know what they do. They know when they've broken something or left something really really dirty, and then they have the nerve to act all innocent!!
@Rachael171 Toxic people, what can I say? Airbnb didn't really let her get away with it - I mean, they couldn't force her, but when she refused to pay, they paid, no questions asked. So I'm happy with the outcome.
@Rachael171 They don't actually hold the security deposit - that's more of a warning, or even weaker than that, a suggestion - so they have to ask the guest for the money. If the guest says no, Airbnb either steps in or it doesn't.
@Ann72 Oh really? Wow, if that's the case, that's a sh*t business model. I had a call recently with a customer service rep and I specifically asked if the guest got charged the security deposit upon booking, and that particular rep said yes. And that if there were no damage claims, then the deposit was released 14 days after checkout.
But now you've got me curious and I'm going to ask the next rep I talk to about my current damage claim. Because I just upped my security deposit to $300.
I know on VRBO, the guest really does have to put down the refundable deposit upfront.
@Rachael171 Yes, it's just noted at the bottom of the listing page under Things to Know->Safety & Property:
"Security Deposit - if you damage the home, you may be charged up to $250."
As you can see, it's not included in the charges to the guest for the reservation.
So exactly, what kind of business would rather pay* for damage out of its own pockets than simply collecting and holding those funds temporarily? I can't fathom it, either.
*possibly, sometimes, occasionally
Oh my gosh, you're right.
"Host-required security deposits are different from Airbnb-required security deposits in that no authorization hold will be placed. Guests will only be charged if a host requests to collect on their security deposit. Depending on what was damaged, the amount the host requests may or may not be the same as the security deposit."
"Before requiring a security deposit, hosts should understand that not all property damage caused by guests is within the terms of the Host Guarantee. Exclusions may include general cleaning, ordinary wear and tear, and non-physical damages like smoking fines and broken House Rules."
You possibly can't collect on the deposit if they smoke, if extra cleaning is required, or if they break other house rules??? WTF?? Why even bother listing house rules in the first place then? Smh.
The other possibility is that by doing this, Airbnb attracts more guests but then can weasel out of reimbursing the host for damages.
I think @Ann72 is correct. I always knew that Airbnb did not hold a security deposit, but it was my belief that when the guest books, they agree to pay up to that amount and then, if the host makes a claim, Airbnb decides to collect it or not from the payment method provided.
However, I had one guest who ignored a request for extra fees (what she owed and why were all documented in the message history with the guest). When I escalated it to Airbnb, they told me they had been unable to reach her and therefore could not collect the money. Although they could see the evidence from the guests messages that she owed this amount, they said that they could not charge a guest without her permission.
Really, what is the point in a security deposit at all? I find that guests who damage things fall into two camps. The first will tell you immediately and offer to pay for a replacement. The second will never mention it and if you bring it up, pretend they know nothing about it. In many cases, the latter type will become hostile and defensive, whether you ask them for any money or not. This guest is never going to pay, so if you open a claim, you can only hope that Airbnb pays for the damages out of their own coffers, because if the guest needs to agree to them taking it from a non-existant 'security deposit', that's never going to happen.
You are exactly right!! That is what I'm slowly discovering over the past few days. The host-required security deposit basically means NOTHING. And I agree about the two camps of renters.
Even your House Rules appear to mean NOTHING, because Airbnb includes this wording: "Exclusions may include general cleaning, ordinary wear and tear, and non-physical damages like smoking fines and broken House Rules."
Really very, very shady. Airbnb definitely doesn't care too much about protecting hosts, but they're happy to collect billions in service fees off our hard work.