I'd love to ask your advice about this problem. Three days ago I had to cancel 4 bookings for the month of April because of a very serious issue: the city council of Berlin sent me a letter to inform me that my authorization for short-term rents was NOT renewed.
As a consequence, I cannot rent my apartment after the 30th of April and so I'm forced to cancel the bookings I had accepted before.
I didn't expect this because the authorization was supposed to last two years and actually it has been shortened to only one year. Apparently they can do this because my street has been inserted in a sort of list of 'very popular streets' and so they can give shorter authorization. In any case, I couldn't know that and I cannot rent my place in those days.
As soon as I received the letter, I immediately wrote a detailed letter to the Airbnb's help-center to let them know why I was forced to cancel the booking and I've attached a copy of the letter I had received from the Berlin city council. I didn't have any answer to my letter, but today they charged me with three cancellation penalties for a total of 150$.
It sounds to me rather unfair, what would you suggest me to do?
You need to contact airbnb again about this one -but not by sending a letter. Perhaps start with a phone call or a tweet. I have also been in luck with sending e-mails, but according to forum users, this it not always successful.