has anyone had success getting Airbnb to collect money from a guest when they leave the house a mess (not in accordance with departure instructions)?
This happened to me. I provide 'departure instructions' that ask guests to leave the house in neat condition or they will be charged at $225 cleaning fee (the basic cleaning is included in the rental but guests must leave the house neat so the cleaners are not doing dishes and making beds and emptying trash cans...guests are asked to do that). Airbnb says they cannot force the guest to pay even though I do have a $500 security deposit on my listing and have given them proof of several ways that the guest was informed of her duties and acknowledged that (Airbnb message thread where I refer to these duties the day they booked, a lease that I sent the guest which stated this and she acknowledged via email, the 'welcome' note that I send them that specifically tells them what they need to do and notes the charge if they don't, copies of posting in the house that says the same thing, and pictures of what they left behind).
I have been corresponding and calling Airbnb on this matter for 3 months (via the Resolution Center, I entered a claim after reaching out to the guest, within 3 days of departure....Airbnb closed it). Their only explanation is that they cannot force a guest to pay.
Airbnb will definitely not cover this. They rarely even cover disasters that can be fixed by cleaning. Think of Airbnb insurance as catastrophic insurance for high-dollar damage, and even then there are no guarantees they will cover anything.
You want your guests to make the beds? Why? Surely you are washing all the linens between each guest?
thanks for your comments. really appreciate the perspective and will not expect coverage for such things in the future.
the area where this house is located is unusual compared to other vacation rental communities. Houses do not include bed and bath linens (guests either bring them or rent them) and yes, remaking the beds (without sheets) is commonly requested. I know it seems odd, but that is the way it has been for as long as I can remember (i have been offering rentals for over 20 years but only using Airbnb for a couple of years)
Take a little time to review the Airbnb policy regarding deposits: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/140/how-does-airbnb-handle-security-deposits. You will note that no real deposit is collected. The amount that you list as a deposit is only the amount that the guest could potentially be charged for damages. The only way that you might get reimbursed for cleaning is if the space was left in such a bad condition that you had to pay professional cleaners or purchase/rent special cleaning supplies or equipment. You would then have to provide quotes and/or receipts, photos of the space before cleaning, and submit the claim before your next guest checked in. Even after all of that there is no guarantee that you will get fully reimbursed. I suggest that you raise either your nightly rate or cleaning fee to cover cleaning after the occasional messy guest.
thanks. I will follow your advice re: nightly rate and separate cleaning fee.
I did all that you noted....provided a receipt for the cleaning bill, provided pictures, and provided copies of the correspondence with the guest regarding cleaning, which she acknowledged. Airbnb has quoted policy, as you referenced. Just wanted to see if other hosts had similar experiences.
really appreciate your comments.
Since when does a 'guest' have 'duties'?
Do you expect a 'guest' to make the bed on departure?
I feel very sorry for the AirBnb Resolution staff who have to politely communicate with this 'complaint'.
The 'problems' of the entitled elite are really coming to the forefront in this whinge.
I suggest you sell your many properties and relax.
Oh my goodness..... Is this nasty response really warranted? I asked for advice from the community of hosts and instead you criticize and assume I am entitled? wow!
the fact is that the area where this property is located has 'norms' that are admittedly different from most other vacation rental areas. Houses do not include bed and bath linens (local companies provide rentals or guests bring their own) and it is typical for guests to be asked to do things to leave the house in neat condition, including making beds (without linens) and putting away all dishes (after washing and drying them).
the other responses in this forum have thankfully been more on point with advice and I appreciate that.
i wish you peace
@Charles224 Hmm. Guests have a lot of duties, a duty to follow the house rules, to check in and check out on time, endeavor not to break or damage items and when they do to be honest about it and offer to pay the costs of replacement, not to leave the unit in major disarray. Me, I wouldn't want guests to be responsible for washing linens and making beds, but if that is what this particular guest agreed to when booking, then the guest should have done it.
they don't have to wash linens....only dishes (in the dishwasher) and that is what is standard for the area.
thanks for pointing out the other duties that should apply to all regions
Mary, I understand and sympathize with what you are saying.....Airbnb go to great lengths to tell the hosting community they have 'our backs covered' but when put to the test many hosts feel let down and confused! Their is reaction is, "I would have done things differently if I had known"!
The thing you need to realise, guests make Airbnb money, hosts cost Airbnb money. The host is always going to be that 'annoyance' that gets in the way of the smooth transition of the guests money into Airbnb's coffers! Airbnb will most often side with the guest if a complaint is lodged.
Mary, I know you have operated a successful formula for more than 20 years, and good on you for that.......but, it's not Airbnb's formula!
Airbnb's hosts are expected to provide clean linens and towels, condiments and a certain level of amenities as part of the hosting agreement.
Most Airbnb guests are wonderful to host and will leave the property clean and tidy, just as they would their own home but, there are some who will consider they are paying for the right to be a pig and that is just what they will do. Regardless of what I might state in my house rules, I do have to sometimes wash used left dishes, put rubbish into kitchen tidies before binning it, pick up towels, face-wipes, and I do have to deal with blood and other stains on bed linens, make-up on face-washers, replace the odd breakage.
But Mary I am charging a nightly fee that allows for me to perform these duties without complaint.
I wish everyone was an exemplary guest, but they are not and if I am going to continue to host, I take the good with the bad......and maybe that is the attitude you should also adopt.
No matter what market you pitch your rental to, there will always be the odd guest who will let you down! Just raise your nightly rental amount by a dollar or two to allow for that additional work that is sometimes going to come along.....and don't expect too much support from Airbnb!
All the best Mary.
Rob, do you remember when Airbnb tried to make providing linens mandatory and there was a huge outcry from hosts who have rentals like Mary's? They backtracked on that and hosts do not have to provide sheets and towels as long as that is clear in the listing.
I know it seems strange to most hosts, but apparently there are areas where it is quite traditional for guests to provide their own or pay extra for them. It seemed to be mainly beach or lake area cottages on the east coast of the US and also in Europe. Guests who book at these places don't have a issue with it, and that isn't Mary's issue- the guests just left the place dirty.
@Sarah977 you are correct - I still get guests who ask me if they need to bring their own sheets and towels. That practice is dying out in coastal Maine but I know and love Cape May and it has very entrenched practices for vacation rentals - it's part of its old-fashioned charm. @Mary4192 the best way of getting reimbursement when guests don't pay is to pay for the thing you're charging for - i.e., extra cleaning - and put the receipt through in the resolution center before the next guest checks in, as @Debra300 notes.
@Mary4192 A common practice for vacation rentals here has always been Saturday turnovers. Every traditional vacation rental turns over on Saturday. But with Airbnb, I never even tried to run things that way, and guests turn up and leave every day of the week. You can change the rules if you want - provide the sheets and towels and raise the cleaning fee to cover the extra laundering, time, and cost of materials. But it sounds like most guests go along with the time-honored tradition there 🙂
Dirty dishes covered in food remnants and grease will attract vermin and smell bad. Not to mention how disrespectful it is to behave as if the host or cleaner is your mommy, to deal with your mess. It's a totally different thing to rewash the dishes, or dip them in a bleach solution to make sure they are sterile, than having to wash someone else's dinner off the plates.