Security deposit

Level 1
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How do I charge the guest a security deposit?

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7 Replies

Re: Security deposit

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

State that it will be collected in your listing, and how much. Collect it by going to the Resolution Center and selecting Request Money/Extra Services.

Re: Security deposit

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

Any host who attempts this method should be aware that if they refuse to return the so-called "deposit" at the end of the stay, and the guest disputes the matter, Airbnb is likely to decide in the guest's favor and deduct the original resolution payment from the host's payout. In fact, in the event of actual damage, the collection of an off-the-menu deposit would make a valid claim look much more suspicious and likelier to be denied and closed without investigation.

 

The fact of the matter is, if you want to have a real security deposit, Airbnb is currently not the platform to be listing on. I hope that changes one day, but as it stands now, there is no work-around for the fact that the third party you're choosing to handle payments has final say over how claims are settled and does not deem traditional hosts worthy of the ability to charge a deposit. 

Re: Security deposit

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

@Andrew0  I’m not surprised that Airbnb would do this, and I don’t collect a security deposit this way myself, but I was curious if you have actually seen cases where Airbnb has overridden a host and deducted a resolution payment as you have described.

Re: Security deposit

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Pat271 Usually when I read about cases of Airbnb deducting a resolution payment like this, the stories are told from the guests' perspective. One con that several people have been entrapped by is arriving during a busy holiday weekend and being required on arrival to accept an exorbitant "deposit" in order to check in, when it's clear that they will be left stranded if they don't pay up. Then, after checking out, they are falsely accused of damage, and the host attempts to bypass the dispute moderation protocol by withholding the original payment. When the transaction was run through Airbnb, the guest was refunded; I don't know what happened to the people who were forced to pay offsite.

 

It's also happened to me as a guest - I had a confirmed booking during a major event, and on the night before, the host sent an outrageous Resolution Request demanding way more money. When it was clear that I would be turned away if I refused, I asked Airbnb to treat this as a host cancellation - saved my money, but unfortunately had to change destination and miss the event. The host is no longer on Airbnb.

 

In practice, I don't think Airbnb would make a distinction between this known scam and a legit host using the method you suggest, so this would likely result in de-listing. And anyway, if you cancel a confirmed booking because a guest doesn't accept a Resolution request, you're on the hook for the cancellation penalties. You can use Resolutions to charge for extras such as pets or meals; if the guest declines the charge, you can deny them the extra services but you still have to honor the booking.

Re: Security deposit

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Laraine8  You need to be aware that what Airbnb calls a secuity deposit is bogus. The guest is not actually charged it up front and reimbursed if there isn't any damage, nor is there a hold put on their credit card.

 

If guests cause damage, the host has to request the guest to pay,  many guests refuse (responsible people would fess up and offer to pay without being asked), then you have to try to get Airbnb to cover the damage, which is often unsuccessful. You could have brand new furnishings, a guest gets an irremovable stain on the sofa, and Airbnb will call it "normal wear and tear".

 

It's crucial that you have your own str private insurance in case of major damages. For the small ones, you should charge enough per night that you can set aside a few bucks from each night's booking that you build up a small fund for replacing or repairing things that inevitably get damaged or ruined when hosting a constant stream of strangers.

Re: Security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

It's my understanding that any extra monies collected through the Airbnb system...other than a damage claim or a government or community mandated tax or fee (e.g., "tourist tax") is commissionable by Airbnb; +15% from the guest and -3% from the host payment. 

 

For example, in winter, we have an additional "energy fee" (usually falls a bit short of covering our actual costs, but it helps), which we give the guest the choice of how to pay: via Airbnb (+15% commission), by PayPal, or in cash on arrival.

Re: Security deposit

in
Reno, NV
Level 10

@Laraine8, if you go to the  edit listings there is a security deposit option in the policy and rules section.

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