Recently I had to deal with a party held in my listing. I'd like to share my experience with the claim process.
A guest from LA booked my listing, which is a three bedroom house. He booked with six guests. It was not a local booking. To avoid party from locals, I set a minimum booking of three nights for the listing.
On the first night, two groups of people arrived at the property. The first group had 5 while the second group had 6. These were all recorded in the front door video doorbell. On the second day, there were more people coming. But those people were all left around 2-3 am on the second night. Definitely there was a party going. All 11 people who stayed for two night left on the third day and did not stay for the third night.
On the second day, when they had the party, we were out of town. Therefore, we could not go there to stop the party. I called Airbnb support and ask them to contact the guests and told them to stop the party. Eventually nobody from Airbnb support called the guests to stop the party.
The house was left fine with no damage. But the oven bottom was covered with a thick layer of grease and burned food residual. It took the cleaner two hours to clean the oven. On kitchen floor, there were many food and juice stains, residues, which were hard to be removed.
We do have a no party rule with a $300 fine stated in the house rule for the no party violation. After I submitted the claim to Airbnb, it took two weeks with no success to get the claimed amount for party fine, extra guests, and extra cleaning fee claimed.
In the resolution center, only pictures could be attached. There were indeed pictures showing many people, dirty oven and floor, and some empty big olive oil bottles, and alcohol bottles. I stated those in my message to Airbnb resolution center. But Airbnb support just ignored those and wrote in their response that only recorded video could be used as evidence. After Airbnb contacted me with email, they asked me to send them the video. I sent them the video through email attachment. But they claimed that they could not open the video files, which were normal MP4 file. Therefore, they tried to deny the party by saying that I could not provide evidence of party. They indicated that they would not resolve the case and compensate me without the video and wanted to close the case in 24 hour after a case manager was assigned two weeks later.
I then contacted Airbnb twitter for help. After a couple of hours, I got response from Airbnb twitter help and they would arrange somebody to contact me for a resolution. On the same day, I received a call and a senior case manager explained to me that party fine could not claimed because there is there is no articles in Terms of Service agreement defined with such penalties of violation. He did compensate my claim for five extra guests stayed for two nights, and the extra cleaning fee, which I sent the invoice from the cleaner.
In summary, it is a hard and painful process to file a claim in resolution center for party damages. Indeed, Airbnb could only allow you to claim the actual costs encountered. In my case, the extra people who stayed (note that they will not allow you to claim for the people who attended the party) for two nights, and the extra cleaning fee. Please note that you will not be compensated if you do the cleaning by yourself since they require an invoice. Not only you need to provide necessary invoices/receipts for damages, but also you need to have pictures/videos to prove/support your claim.
@Alice595 Sorry you've had this happen, but I'd have to ask- why did you wait until day 2 when you saw a party happening to contact Airbnb, when you, in fact, saw 11 people arriving and entering on day 1? You indicate that you were out of town on the second day, could you not have booted out the extra people or contacted Airbnb to cancel the reservation on the first night?
@Sarah977The first group of people arrived at 1:00 am and the second group arrived at 3:20 am, which I found until the second day. I would not put my eyes on my listing 24 hours a day and 7 days a week :-)
@Alice595 No, of course you're not going to check your cameras to see what's going on every hour all night long, understood. But wouldn't it make sense to check first thing in the morning when you wake up, if you just had a new check-in that didn't arrive until the middle of the night? Did you agree to the 1 AM check-in, or are guests just free to check in whenever they like as long as it's not earlier than check-in window?
I think you did well to get paid out for the extra guests and extra cleaning, and also that the partiers didn't actually damage anything and left the place fine aside from the dirty oven. And no, you can't make a monetary claim for breaking house rules, in this case no parties, which is unfortunate. Hosts are on their own as far as dealing with rule-breakers.
@Sarah977 The missing of penalties with the violation of house rules especially the basic rules laid out by Airbnb, which you can check when you create a listing, actually favors guests and encourage them to break house rules.
There are cases where hosts do get paid for violation of house rules in the form of cleaning. I read posts in this forum before about guests smoking in the house and host got paid for removing smoking odors.
I was out town for vacation and therefore I did not get a chance to check the security video. My check-in window is very flexible, which is anytime after 3pm because I have a keyless entry.
@Alice595 Yes, I know- there really aren't any penalties for guests ignoring house rules, unless they did damage you can claim for or left a terrible mess. It's a drag. And I just read on another thread that some hosts have said that "House Rules" heading now reads "Things to keep in Mind" instead !!! So a guest can now claim that it just slipped their mind instead of being accused of breaking a rule. Unbelievable.
@Sarah977 What? I just checked from my mobile app. It is still house rules fortunately. But it might have been changed in the testing version somewhere.
That change definitely will cause more guests breaking house rules. And more contention between guests and hosts.
@Mike1034 The way mine reads now is that there is a big bold heading that says "Things to keep in mind", then under that are the Check-in, Check-out times, and the House Rules, but that new bold heading for that section makes it seem like those things aren't actually written in stone.
@Susan17 You have got a very good evidence that Airbnb tries to weakening house rules to be more friendly to guests.
Various evidences prove that Airbnb only cares about getting as many bookings as possible.
These evidence include but not limited to
(1) Weakening house rules
(2) Removing pictures and profile details from guests prior to booking
(3) Persuading hosts to refund to guests regardless cancellation policies
(4) Delay or deny resolution center claims
Airbnb is now an established company. It should focus more on long-term goal instead of short-term profits. The relationship between hosts and Airbnb become worse and worse. In the long run, definitely it will hurt Airbnb.
@Alice595 You really did well to get paid by extra guests and cleaning fees. In my case, I just had a local booked for 2, but arrived 20+ for overnight party. I was out of town (about 30 miles away from home).but rushed home about midnight because Neighboor’s complain. I saw people walking in and out through my gate about 1:00 am.. After talking to the guest, he apologized and promised to send people away. Some people left and I had to drive back to the other town for sleeping and early morning business. Second day, My cleaning crew sent me tons of pictures:
over 14 people stayed in the house ( maximum capacity beddings used, house was trashed with serious damage: burned marks on furnitures, broken floors ( they tried to move furnitures out to the backyard ), burned spoons in bathroom and toilet....
After I filed host guarantee payment request, Airbnb let me waited about a week, then closed the case without any communication. I contacted again through community help and tweeter, they opened the case. I presented very properly all the documentations and estimations, the case manager only sent few copied/saved emails stating she was working on the case, then suddenly rejected my request, stating that it was Airbnb discretion/ right to make final decision. I requested information regarding appeal /complain procedures , they replied I am welcome to give feed back, never informed me how to file complain...
I wish I could show all of you those evidences, pictures, text screenshots etc. there should be some investigation professionals in this community to judge the credibility of those documentations.
Airbnb didn’t touch any details regarding my case, just closed by force. How can we trust them to protect/support us in the future? I have instant booking on but still receiving booking request often, I am starting to reject local booking request, ( such as no ID, no review, no picture) I got warning: my acceptance rate is down.
The day before yesterday( 10/06) I accepted one local 2 adult, 5 kids ( 2, 3, 6, 8, 11). Airbnb made decision for us that NO CHARGE for young kids. They stayed for one night, 3 comforters soaked with pee, house trashed again. I am think to leave Airbnb now...
@Lan1 I suggest that you try to contact Airbnb again and have the case re-opened. My case was closed twice. I believe that they temporarily close the the case when the assigned case manager is on 2 day break.
The first case manager tried to delay answering to my emails and it took two weeks with no resolution. I asked to have a new case manager assigned after the first guy on his second break. And waited another two days with no answer. I then decided to twitter a message to Airbnb. And I was assigned a senior manager. That worked pretty quickly since he called me directly.
You do need to have your documents prepared very well because they try to deny any claims if documents are not prepared in details and clearly. Even in the case when I sent them the MP4 video files, they replied that they could not open them. Then I took screenshots of recorded video with people identified and labeled clearly. The document I sent them was about 20 pages long with more than 20 photos.
The other thing is that they only give you 24 hours to respond with the evidence/document they required. Otherwise, they will dismiss your case.
BTW, I suggest that you change your booking setting to have a minimum of three nights booking. This will definitely prevent people booking for party purpose and booking from local people.
@Alice595 Thank you for the suggestion! I feel I am encouraged to try one more time. I contacted Airbnb help twice, two different agents responded, but closed right away after few hours, informed me that previous case manager Rachel is still working on this. I contacted Tweeter, they informed me that decision was final, sent me link for feedback.
I would be happy if they ask me for additional evidences, Neighboor witnesses, screenshots etc, but NO! just rejected like this! Not sure the reasons: poor professionalism? Crises inside Airbnb? Or discrimination to my non native English communication?