We've already had to cancel a few guests. Due to AirBnB's Covid-19 Policies this has not harmed our superhost status. As soon as the orders came down making short-term rentals illegal we blocked our calendar (except for one long-term renter) until the expiration of the Stay-at-Home order on May 28th, and have not canceled our June guests. We are also accepting new reservations beginning in June.
However, as the state has begun to open up other industries and businesses, the restrictions on short-term-rentals has so far remained in place, making it like like a possibility that they could remain in place after May 28th. For example, in the UP restaurants and bars will be reopening, but short-term rentals will remain illegal. We still have some time before our first bookings, but it's certainly possible at this point that it will be illegal for us to host some of our guests come June. We just don't have any way to know.
We've been sure to communicate the uncertainty with our guests, but if the worst happens and we are forced to cancel, it looks to me as if AirBnB's Covid-19 policies will no longer be in effect.
Who should we contact so that we can make these cancellations without impacting our superhost status (if this happens it's going to happen to all hosts in Michigan, or at least parts of Michigan, so we won't be alone in this).
I would think that this would qualify under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy as being a valid reason to cancel without penalty. You can provide documentation (government order that bans STRs) proving that it is physically impossible, and in fact, illegal, for you to host, due to circumstances beyond your control. This is the same type of reasoning and backup documentation that is used when guests cancel under the Extenuating Circumstances policy. All of this should apply whether or not the cancellation is COVID19-related.
Have you tried talking to CS about this?
In all likelihood, Whitner (Michigan governor) will be 'forced' to allow STR after May 28th, yes with perhaps all kinds of face-saving qualifiers, but she sees what happened in Florida with DeSantis (now working on allowing STRs) and will probably follow his cue. Granted the hotel industry is very powerful, but the allowing of one type of lodging but not another without scientific cause is becoming a political football that not even Whitner is relishing sitting on her lap for too long. Specially after being so heavy handed and initiating some measures that were nothing short of absurd.
@David-and-Debbie0 Your Superhost status won't be affected by Covid cancellations or lower number of stays in the next quarter: https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/answers-for-superhosts-about-the-july-superhost-ass...
How they'll determine eligibility for the assessments after that is anyone's guess; I'd be neither shocked nor sad if they phased out the "Superhost" silliness altogether. But as @Pat271 said, a pandemic-related local ban on STRs is an Extenuating Circumstance that will exempt you from cancellation penalties.
I'm in the same situation with a rental in Upper Michigan. The ban is now extended until June 12th. The following statement makes it appear that the ban could be either extended or relaxed prior to that date:
"The extension of the order means all of those rules will remain in place at least until June 12, unless Whitmer decides to relax them before that."
I have three bookings now that will need to be canceled to comply. It's truly tough to know what to do, we're facing a summer that is booked solid from May 29th on. 😞 Fortunately, some of them are from our own website. I too am hoping that we aren't penalized by AirBnb. I guess we'll soon find out.
If renting is illegal come the time of your guests stay then you should be able to cancel claiming extenuating circumstances OR, better still, share the link with your guests and they should be able to claim a full refund including fees.
The link covers English law but also refers to the part of US law that you will need.
Not that link again!
Reservations made after March 14, 2020
Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after March 14, 2020 *will not be covered under our extenuating circumstances policy, except where the guest or host is currently sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 related circumstances not covered include: transportation disruptions and cancellations; travel advisories and restrictions; health advisories and quarantines; changes to applicable law; and other government mandates—like evacuation orders, border closures, prohibitions on short-term rentals, and shelter-in-place requirements*. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.
Our extenuating circumstances policy is intended to protect guests and hosts from unforeseen circumstances that arise after booking. After the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, the extenuating circumstances policy no longer applies because COVID-19 and its consequences are no longer unforeseen or unexpected. Please remember to carefully review the host's cancellation policy when booking and consider choosing an option that provides flexibility.
Airbnb could easily be challenged in court over their policy as currently written. If it remains illegal to host guests in England then the contract is frustrated no matter when it was drawn up and a full refund should be given.
I'm sorry if you don't like the law, and there are many laws I don't like, but sadly it applies to all of us including Airbnb.
Further to the previous presumptions and diversions explained here: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Covid-Cancelations-up-until-30th-June/m-p/1298877/highli...
here's some more..
That article is based on ONE Barristers view on the Frustrated Contract Law and is not 'cut and dried'. Any 103 year old law is rife for a challenge and very likely to succeed. Also, as far as the UK is concerned the terms of the "hastily passed Coronavirus Act" could be challenged, in relation to the Frustrated Contract laws, the argument being that it was potentially over-reaching in some respects, and it may not actually have been necessary for some bookings to be cancelled.
Just why in this case you would want to incite Guests to cancel depriving Hosts of income - I don't quite understand? Hosts do want to make an income out of this, somehow, and even if @Mike-And-Jane0 offered a booking change for their guests rather than an EC policy refund it would be potentially better for both Guest and Hosts.
You seem very keen to promote guests to pursue legal action regarding EC legality. Will you be arbitrating for how Airbnb have abused your own legal rights with the 10000hosts.com arbitration for Hosts?
Yeah, they did extend the restriction on Short Term Rentals through June 12th. At this point I ended up having to call AirBnB support and am waiting to hear back from them. I was able to cancel one of the bookings without issue. But AirBnB wanted to charge me a $50 fee to cancel the second one. So we will see how that pans out. My experiences with AirBnB have all been good so far, so hopefully this will end up being the same. This has to be happening to all their hosts in Michigan right now, so all they have to do is set their system not to penalize Michigan hosts canceling bookings through that date. I can't understand why they haven't already done so.
I'm in the same boat. It is really confusing for guests too because here in the UP restaurants, bars, and retail are all open, but there is still a ban in place on STRs and hotels (unless they are providing housing for essential workers). It seems likely that these rules might be relaxed well before June 12, but regardless we need to have the ability to cancel these reservations without penalty.
I agree that it is confusing, especially when staying at a vacation rental is ranked as a low-risk activity versus going to a bar or restaurant, which is medium to high. Hotels are also ranked as a higher risk. If both parties are agreeable to canceling a reservation, it shouldn't be an issue, for Airbnb.Making it difficult to offer refunds is encouraging hosts and guests to break the law. I have written our politicians stating such and suggest that they enact legislation much like NJ's Cryan-Bateman Bill, which requires Airbnb and the others to refund guests when there are emergency orders in place.
@Philip2113 @David-and-Debbie0 I posted a link earlier which refers to a US code that should help you cancel if you need to. Other hosts seem to object to me doing this but the intent was simply to help those hosts who have to cancel due to illegality do so without being penalised by Airbnb. Hope this helps
Just for kicks I went back through the system and chose the "I'm uncomfortable hosting right now due to concerns about Covid-19" even though that in no way describes my situation. My situation would be described as "I am now unable to legally host for a period of time due to Covid-19 restrictions in my area." It *appears* as if this option worked. So maybe some of you in the same boat could try that option and see if it works for you also. There was no way for me to know that was the correct option, I just took a wild guess that the staff writing the verbiage hadn't written it correctly... Anyway, hope that helps some others in the same boat.