security deposit

in
Rensselaer, NY
Level 1
548 Views

How do I charge a full security depoist?  I have already listed my property but moving forward i want to make sure that i charge a full security, how do I go back and do it?

Tags (1)
21 Replies

Re: security deposit

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Katherine718 Booking settings/pricing/extra charges. 

Be aware that the SD is largely symbolic. Airbnb does not put a hold on these funds, and they rarely if ever allow a host to claim on it. 

Re: security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Katherine718 

 

We do it often. It works like this (copied from a previous post) 

 

I only impose it on "no profile, no history" inquiries, who, after some dialogue, understand that they're in a high risk group who must explicitly agree to all house rules and penalties for violations, and agree to the deposit.

 

About half of these are scared away by this, or end up being advised to go elsewhere due to  their odd or inconsistent responses. That's ok, I don't need that type of guest. And there's always another inquiry in the queue right behind them. It's airbnb's greatest strength. 

 

But for those that pass, I'll preapprove their booking, and they book it. Then resolution center -> request money -> amount of deposit.

 

They pay it. If not, I'll ask them to cancel (this hasn't occurred yet, but could, so I'd have to cancel them if they refused, and suffer the consequences). 

 

When they check in, they're reminded of the house rules, and what is expected in order to get their deposit back. 

 

At checkout, we have the deposit on hand, in cash. And a printed receipt. If all is good, they get the cash, and they sign the receipt. And as an added bonus, they'll also receive a good review, which will help them the next time they want to book something on Airbnb. 

 

Everybody wins. Everybody happy. 

 

Bear in mind that we've never had to retain any portion of a deposit, because the guests want it back, and are naturally extra careful and clean. It's more of a carrot than a stick.

 

RISKS

Be advised that should you ever need to retain it or any portion, and the guest complains to Airbnb, Airbnb will likely give the deposit back to the guest in full and charge it against future bookings. ...and the guest will likely write a bad review, quite possibly full of fabricated horrors that you, the host imposed on them. So, there's a risk, and you need to stay especially diplomatic, fair, and don't be petty and emotional about everything. But again, its more of a carrot and doesn't need to end in vitriolic confrontation, if you're wise. And it's worked for us so far. 

 

Naturally, we deal with "regular" guests in a simpler, more friendly, personal, and accommodating manner. Unfortunately, it seems they're the exception nowadays. 

 

I hope that helps. 

 

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Re: security deposit

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Katherine718  oh lord... Please understand that this approach may well lead to being delisted. I don't understand why this has suddenly gained popularity, but it ain't it. It's a quick route to getting removed removed from the platform.

 

The best defence is vetting your guests. Use the tools at your disposal rather than bending and breaking the rules. The security deposit does not mean anything, but it doesn't mean you can't fight back. Ask your guests questions. Be proactive. It's way better than fixing a bunch of damage after the fact. 

Re: security deposit

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

Can you provide the link where it says if you request a security deposit within the Airbnb system using their own “Request Money” function, that you may be delisted? I have only read that this is an issue if you are collecting money outside of the Airbnb system.

Re: security deposit

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Pat271 Imposing different terms on certain groups only would run a host afoul of the nondiscrimination policy. Requiring it for all guests would probably be ok. 

Re: security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

There is no security deposit on Airbnb, unless you impose your own.

 

A security deposit actually is prevention, not "discrimination". 

 

Insurance companies routinely "discriminate" between high risk groups and low risk groups. A 19 year old male driver with no driving history will pay a far higher premium than a 35 year old female with a good driving history. And a security deposit isn't even a "premium". It's returned if there's no "accident". 

 

There's no need to impose this burden on guests who are in a low risk category and have a good record. These are the guests we want. Why should we scare them away? 

 

Why is Airbnb unique in these respects?

 

Re: security deposit

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Elaine701  Requiring your own security deposit from all guests is one thing, but you’re sailing dangerously close to the wind imposing it on certain groups only. If any of them run to Airbnb claiming discrimination, you’re going to see your listing suspended. You know Airbnb. That’s all.

Re: security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Colleen253 

 

Well, fine. It's actually not discrimination at all, but prevention, something Airbnb could benefit from understanding a bit better.

 

Although by Airbnb's selective interpretation, it may be considered "discrimination", although they'd be rather unique in that interpretation. 

 

But ok, Airbnb has no effective means of protecting hosts from bad guests and frankly, I never use Airbnb support for anything anymore, since it's largely a waste of time, so, I'm no burden on them at all. >We< assume that burden. 

 

Besides, we're a highly productive host for them, with consistently high ratings. And we've managed to minimize our dependence on Airbnb now, AND we're already booked for most of the rest of the year. 

 

So, they can suspend my account, or even delist me if they want. But they'll be shooting themselves in the foot. We're probably about the most ideal host they could wish for, with very low maintenance. All upside. No whining. 

 

😌

Re: security deposit

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Elaine701 Everything you say makes perfect sense of course. It's when we apply the 'Airbnb lens' that things go all awry.🙄 And we have no choice but to look at what we do on Airbnb through the Airbnb lens. It is what it is.

Re: security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Colleen253 

 

Well, I'm not a victim any longer. Ever since we took control, things have improved significantly, although there's a bit more work involved. We're only employing the best of what Airbnb has to offer, and using sensible means to avoid the worst. If more hosts did that, perhaps they'd start to take notice. But it doesn't matter. Just use them for what they do best. And work around the rest. 

 

I'm only informing other hosts about our experiences in achieving that. I think it may be valuable for many. 

Re: security deposit

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Elaine701 

Elaine you sound like a good shrewd business person and good on you for that.

Reading your approach to handling the security deposit through the Airbnb resolution process, when you request money from the guest, an option box pops up asking the reason for the claim! What reason do you give?

 

Although Airbnb allows you to submit a change request for money once a reservation is in place I imagine they would penalize you in some way ultimately once they realised you were overriding their security deposit terms.

Just interested in how you handle it!

 

Cheers.......Rob  

Re: security deposit

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

"Other trip related issues" is what I choose from the menu. That's actually a fairly accurate description, if vague. 

 

Otherwise, there are no "security deposit terms" to override. There is no "security deposit" collected by Airbnb.

 

Yes, there is an Airbnb programme which facilitates hosts to request reimbursement from Airbnb for damages caused by guests, if the guest refuses to pay, known as the "host guarantee", which Airbnb  often and  erroneously refers to as "your security deposit" in certain contexts, and by Airbnb's own definition is neither an "insurance" nor "guarantee".

 

There is no deposit of monies collected from any guest for security (the very definition of a "security deposit"), and any such reimbursements under the "host guarantee" programme are at the sole discretion of a faceless agent of the company, and claims are routinely declined, even when the evidence is overwhelming and even the guest admits it. That is not remotely a "security deposit", or any kind of demonstrable "security deposit policy". 

 

In a legal sense, the method as described is not in violation of any tangible Airbnb "security deposit policy" since no demonstrable policy actually exists. In fact, the offending method is actually an amiable agreement between guest and host which effectively relieves Airbnb of the burden of the "host guarantee".

 

That doesn't mean Airbnb would be cognisant enough to realise that benefit. The entity which oversees snd moderates host-guest affairs often appears patently disconnected from the business Airbnb operates, and logic, in general. 

 

But as I said, Airbnb may indiscriminately delist me anytime they wish. Along with 5 digits in existing bookings they'll be forced to refund out of their imaginary "security deposit", while very likely handing that business to a competitor. That's their perogative.

 

Meanwhile, I choose to continue to fully accept the responsibility of prevention, without burdening Airbnb. They obviously already have their hands full. 

 

😎

Re: security deposit

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Elaine701 

Yes I understand all that and the vagueness surrounding the security deposit.

There was a fairly substantial training section dealing with security deposits while in the process of joining support. 

Originally there was considerable debate within the company as to whether security deposits should actually be collected at the time of booking. Other platforms did in fact collect security deposits, or at least put a hold on the users card. But it was agreed in the end that there would be a considerable marketing advantage if that additional money was not taken at the time of booking and, if the host set a deposit limit, as long as the guest would allow Airbnb to use their payment method for the collection of funds in the event of a substantiated host claim........that would be sufficient. 

 

So, the logical follow on from that Elaine, if the host had set a security deposit the host should not be entitled to 'double dip' and request it again from the guest.

If the host did not set a security deposit, Airbnb's feeling was they should not change their mind and then turn around and charge the guest one where Airbnb did not have any control over it. 

You can see their logic can't you!

 

Cheers........Rob

Re: security deposit

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

We’ve gotten into the weeds a bit on this post and I think for the benefit of the OP and any other new hosts, it’s important to just direct them to the Airbnb help pages to come to their own conclusion on this issue, where some terms are  laid out. If one wishes to host on Airbnb, being properly informed is important. 

https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/140/how-does-airbnb-handle-security-deposits

 

https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/2526/as-a-host-what-should-i-know-about-security-deposits

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