My landlord just informed me that Airbnb rentals are not allowed. Given that I would face eviction, I need to cancel my reservations. However, when I try to cancel Airbnb informs me that I'll be charged $50 per cancellation. Is there a way to contact Airbnb to explain my predicament so that I do not get charged $500+ just to make sure I don't get evicted? Airbnb support center doesn't give any phone number or email where I can contact them directly.
@Manuel18.....Hi there Manuel, I would not expect a lot of support from Airbnb! It's not up to them to establish that what you are doing is with the approval of all relevant authorities. Ebay don't want to see a certificate of title before they list your article for sale...and this is no different. In fact Airbnb specifically mention that if you do not own your property, you must have permission from Landlords, Condo Strata managers and other interested parties before you list! So, by all means ring them but, really, this is a situation of your making Manuel, not theirs.
And as far as the $50-$500 cancellation fee is concerned, that could be the least of your worries! The Major of Chicago has just pushed through laws making short term rentals illegal in that city with the talk of massive fines and/or possibly six months imprisonment. There is a link to just this on another thread but I can't track it down at the moment!
I think Manuel, you need to immediately tell your Landlord you will comply with his demand, take whatever penalty Airbnb will issue you with and put this down to experience.....and next time, make sure you do your homework before you jump in to make a buck on the side.
I am sorry to sound so hard but, you have only been hosting a short time...you appear to have been very poorly prepared to do this, and in that short time you have cancelled two guest bookings.....Not the sort of credentials either Airbnb, or other fine experienced hosts like to see.
I hope you can get out of this equitably but Manuel, as I said, next time, do your homework....cheers.....Rob
While I thank you for your frankness some of your comments aren't quite on target. This is a new rule that my building management has implemented, not an existing one. And of the 2 cancellations, both of them are a result of me trying to get out of the bookings.
I understand what you say about knowing the rules of the game, but, in this case, the rules of the game have changed on me. I don't understand why Airbnb has to profit when no benefit is being attained by either the host or the renter.
Again, I appreciate your frankness and sharing of information, but I think there's more to this particular issue than you might think - and I hope Airbnb would be sympathetic to this.
Airbnb is providing with the tools for bookings and cancellations. A huge team, servers etc are involded and cost needs to paid for using those. Even if you are cancelling a booking, the company had to support multiple transactions for you like booking request, messaging, fund transfer, cancellation. Which means that Airbnb resoureces did get used, hence the $50 penalty.
I hope you understand :)
Hi Manuel, I hope you are well. I have hosted for a while and only yesterday my guests has independently seeking help instead of us from the strata receptionist and as a result of that now we get a notice to stop Airbnbing. Could you please update this post? How did you go with Airbnb? Did you get any good advice or assistance from them. I am wondering should I call them for help.
Oh @Robin4 - where has all your love gone???
@Manuel18 - I think the reason you are not getting the loving you might need at this point in your life is that all to often we hear of hosts who rent from a landlord and then list a room or rooms on Airbnb to supplement the rent and even sometimes cover the rent. I am curious if when you rented your home from the landlord if the landlord provided you with a piece of paper called a rental contract. And in that rental contract, is there anything indicating that you cannot sublet or rent out to other people? If not, it probably would not matter much because Airbnb requires you to confirm with the landlord if it is alright to rent on Airbnb.
"Have you read this section of Airbnb's Terms and Conditions under "User Conduct"?
"You understand and agree that you are solely responsible for compliance with any and all laws, rules, regulations, and Tax obligations that may apply to your use of the Site, Application, Services and Collective Content. In connection with your use of the Site, Application, Services and Collective Content, you may not and you agree that you will not:
* offer, as a Host, any Accommodation that you do not yourself own or have permission to rent as a residential or other property (without limiting the foregoing, you will not list Accommodations as a Host if you are serving in the capacity of a rental agent or listing agent for a third party);
* offer, as a Host, any Accommodation that may not be rented or subleased pursuant to the terms and conditions of an agreement with a third party, including, but not limited to, a property rental agreement;"
This issue is also covered in a couple Airbnb articles:
"Talking with your landlord or HOA
When discussing hosting with your homeowners association or landlord, consider what they might want to know about your hosting plans. Some things you may want to mention include how often you plan to have guests, how you plan on selecting them, and how Airbnb builds trust in its community. You may, for example, choose to only accept guests with Verified ID."
https://www.airbnb.ca/help/responsible-hosting under "Permissions".
"Check your HOA or Co-Op Board regulations to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting--or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. You may consider adding a rider to your contract that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties."
So @Manuel18, how did those conversations go with your landlord before you decided to host on Airbnb? If these conversations would have happened, you might not have taken bookings and would not have to cancel those bookings. I firmly believe that Airbnb should carry out their financial penalties when hosts cancel because it is not fair to the guest and the Airbnb brand.
I also note that in almost all your reviews, it is stated, "I did not meet Manuel". Were you living in this apartment or just renting it to rent out on Airbnb?
On a final note, I provided you with ways to contact Airbnb. Did you reach out to them and what was their decision? I am curious as another host recently shut down her listing and cancelled on a lot of guests. I would love to know how Airbnb gets their penalties back if you just cancel all the reservations and delete your account. I am not sure how they would recoup their penalties. I hope you can provide us with an update @Manuel18 so we can inform other hosts who may be in the same situation as yourself.
Good luck @Manuel18!
Again, it wasn't in my rental contract, as this is a new rule that's being implemented. In my review it indeed says they didn't meet me because I am away for the winter on a study exchange - and I wanted to cover my rent while I'm not there (not entirely unreasonable, no?)
I did reach out to Airbnb and they mentioned most of what you covered in your post. However, they sympathized with my situation in the rules being changed on me and they let me know that I won't be penalized with cash out of pocket but rather future listings if I choose to do so - which, rest assured, won't be happening anytime soon.
Ok, so it is new and not in your rental contract. Once again though, did you ask the landlord when you started with Airbnb if you can list your rental on Airbnb? Even if it was not in my rental contract, I would contact my landlord to ensure that it is allowed. Some people are different.
I am glad that Airbnb is helping you out with this. I am not trying to be a jerk, just presenting a different view on the topic.
Been a while, and I do see your point. I guess sometimes better to ask for forgiveness than permission, other times not - like everything in life.
@Manuel18 @Dave & Deb......I would be staggered if Airbnb has let you off without a financial penalty. Over the past few months Airbnb are simply delisting experienced hosts including 'Superhosts' who have given years to the Airbnb principal and have provided hundreds of exemplary 5 star hostings, and yet they let you off!........ I am lost for words about that!!! I truly learn something new every day.....
Manuel I have been trying to find the link to what City Hall are doing in Chicago but it escapes me at the moment. I did however come across and older post by @Inanna, another Chicago host who has had trouble with her listings. I hope Shaun does not mind if I re-print what she had to say a month ago.....
"I'm a Chicago host and we recently had to put all our listings on 30 day minimums due to the fact that hosts in Chicago have been fined quite a lot of money (thousands).
The problem here is that regulations were written pre-home-sharing, and we as hosts need a license for either vacation rentals or Bed and Breakfast, which most hosts would gladly do, but the regulations and zoning are so very narrow that we can't fit ourselves into them.
At a city council meeting this month, the mayor proposed a new regulation which not only includes huge fines (1500-3000/day) but also possibly six months of jail time for uncompliant hosts, that is, hosts who don't have a license and registration for short term rentals (which requires we fit ourselves into the old paradigm). I had hoped that any action on this front would be to write new, more reasonable regulations that were inclusive to the majority of hosts, but they went the other way, in spite of the fact that the city and state are both collecting taxes from guests and hosts.
Airbnb is simply refusing to turn over all their records, in order to protect host's privacy, but that is all I really see them doing at the moment to protect hosts. The city has been very loud on the issue. Airbnb has been very quiet".
So there you go Manuel, maybe the Landlord has simply hurried along the inevitable.
Yes @Dave & Deb.....Don't worry Dave.....that larder of love is still well stocked, I tend to reach into it sparingly where self inflicted injury is involved.
I have seen many 'Landlord/ Tenant' rental contracts in my time but, I am yet to see one that specifically allows tenant sub-letting. It raises insurance and liability issues, plus a heap of other issues that Landlords simply do not want to be involved in.......but, like I said earlier in this post.....I learn something new every day!!!....Cheers....Rob
I have a potentially similar situation and need to judge the risks involved.
Can you clarify your statement "but rather future listings if I choose to do so"? Does that mean the $50 * (some number of cancellations) from your first rental would be reimposed when you opened a second rental later? Like basically a $500 bill to open a second airbnb somewhere else?
@Alfredo10, I am not Manuel, but I believe this means that if he starts booking through AirBnB again, they will take the $500 out of his future earnings. So I would guess the answer to your question is yes.
(AirBnB has done something similar with other hosts. When there is an amount owed to AirBnB, they just hold it back from future payouts.)