Adding a Security Deposit: A Community Help Guide [UPDATE]

Dave-and-Deb0
Level 10
Edmonton, Canada

Adding a Security Deposit: A Community Help Guide [UPDATE]

***NOTE: This Help Guide has been created using the new layout so if you have a different layout, please visit https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosts/Adding-a-Cleaning-Fee-A-Community-Help-Guide/m-p/53351#M24...

 

Please note, if you do not have the option to add a security, you will need to publish your listing first and then the option will be available.  I recommend to publish your listing and then quickly unlist it so that you get the full editing options for your listing.

 

I firmly believe that ALL hosts should have a security deposit for their listing.  There are many times where a host posts on the Community Center that a guest caused damage, broke something in their listing, or any other reason a host may need to make a claim.  

 

It is also important to understand that even if you charge a security deposit on your listing, the security deposit is not charged at the time of booking.  Airbnb does not put a hold or an authorization on the guest's payment method and this is only charged if the host makes a claim within the guidelines set out.  

 

Here is an article indicating this: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/140 

 

Setting a Security Deposit

 

Step 1: Click on "Host" and then "Manage Listings" and then choose the listing you wish to add the cleaning fee to.

 

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Step 2: From the choices, choose "Pricing" and then go to the "Extra Charges" section and choose Edit.

 

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Step 3: Go to the "Security Deposit" section and then enter the security deposit amount followed by selecting "Save"

 

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23 Replies 23
Stephanie2266
Level 2
Bainbridge Island, WA

It appears that this is no longer an option under the "Additional Charges" tab.  Is it no longer possible to charge a deposit and/or can I request one through the resolution center?

Nathan2676
Level 1
Chamonix, France

I came here to ask the same question, I can't add a security deposit anymore.

Dave-and-Deb0
Level 10
Edmonton, Canada

Hi @Nathan2676 

 

Unfortunately the security deposit function has now been removed.  

 

https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/how-were-holding-guests-responsible-for-damage-503

Well, there is good and a part about security deposit, some of the clients may be afraid to send you the money as a security deposit, others simply has a fixed amount of money(travellers especially) so they simply do not have these money to send to you. On the other hand, this is a security measure and it's yours security you must fight for. In case you have been caused a damage in your apartment this deposit can cover it. It's more about you and your decision to make, to have much more bookings or to be sure you won't be deceived and you won't have to cover any damage from your own pocket

 

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Felicity55 I would agree with you except Airbnb don't actually charge or even reserve the security deposit so it is pretty pointless I am afraid.

Felicity55
Level 2
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

It is important to charge a Security Deposit/Breakage Deposit Fee. Most guests are usually very good and respect your property, but there will always be one who goes against the norm.  We need to be prepared for and compensated when and if this happens.  

Jocelyn369
Level 2
Fredericton, Canada

Thank you!  Have have been back and forth on adding a deposit to my listings.  I will be now. I appreciate the layout 

Liz3506
Level 2
Bristol, VA

I felt that charging a security deposit would scare off listers.  I really don’t have anything that nice that I would be too worried about someone damaging. I wondering about the deposit, but did add a $30 cleaning fee to help cover costs of cleaning supplies.  

John1080
Level 10
Westcliffe, CO

@Liz3506, unfortunately, this is not a real security deposit, as no money is held during the stay. In order to claim damages, you have to request money from the guest and if they refuse, then Airbnb gets involved to make a decision as to whether or not your claim is valid. 

 

I personally have an $800 'deposit' on my listing and have only had one guest ever ask about it before. 

Lindsay121
Level 2
Oakridge, OR

The security deposit is an Airbnb smoke and mirrors on the hosts.  It's not available to hosts, as far as we can tell.  We had some tweeker come and damage some items, and not follow our house rules about dogs.  We clearly state in the booking description, in our "questions" and in our Welcome Letter that not following the house rules about dogs (in this case the person let them poop all over the place and used our white, new bath towels to mop it up) would result in $100 security deposit forfeiture.

Ha!  Hours and hours spent with Airbnb, including documentation of pictures, etc., and they responded they would do this as a "one time courtesy." 

If you have anything go wrong, you have to go through the "resolution center" doing the above, and then, they might charge the guest.

We have had a terrible taste in our mouths after our experience trying to collect a "security deposit" which isn't really there in the first place.

 

Michelle821
Level 2
Tucson, AZ

Same, AIRBNB did not help with damage to my house incurred by a poor puppy that this woman's kids must have locked in the bathroom and he scratched the door really bad.  It cost me over $300 to have that and two other doors I found scratched from their dog, repaired and AIRBNB assured me they would take care of it when I went to resolution center.  Then they didn't collect money from her and they closed the case!!!  It was unbelievable.

Teri30
Level 2
Austin, TX

Is it possible for us to request a personal check that will be returned after their stay if there is no damage?

 

Michelle821
Level 2
Tucson, AZ

That's what I would like to know too.  I don't trust the AIRBNB system to collect for damages or for people breaking the rules with amount of guests etc...

Munira2
Level 2
Port Shepstone, South Africa

Hi...I hv been doing this for the past few years but now I have a new guest that refuses to pay a deposit...

Your post is great and engaging, the content is very practical, and gets people's attention. Thank you for sharing. shell shockers

Cathy418
Level 2
Taylor, MI

I thought the deposit would turn people off but then read that it's not held or charged unless a claim is made. But honestly, do you really want to open your home to someone who's not willing to comply with a potential fee for damaging your things?

Jp8
Level 3
San Diego, CA

I've been hosting for two years now, had the security deposit the whole time, but never had any damage worth filing a claim. Also, with minor damage it's often very difficult to tell if it occurred while the last guest was there, or was it already there before.

 

Just happened on a blog by a chap who recommends doing without the security deposit, in order to encourage bookings (here: https://www.abandonedcubicle.com/wealth-by-airbnb/)

 

He read a book called  Get Paid for Your Pad  , where he learned that "Apparently, deposits can be a turn-off for guests who might fear nitpicky things being charged back to them."

 

 

It seems scary to go without the deposit. But when you think about it, it's kind of like self-insurance of a deductible. If some guest really wanted to tear up the place they could do a lot more damage than any $250 deposit, so it's no protection against catastrophic risks. And just scaring off one single guest could cost you $250. 

 

On the other hand, the deposit might make guests more careful about taking care of the place. 

 

What do other hosts think about this?

Are many hosts choosing to do without the deposit?

Michael6863
Level 1
Minneapolis, MN

As the chap who wrote the blog article at www.abandonedcubicle.com, I can fully attest that it works! Since starting up my condo rental in 2018, there've been no major damages. 

When minor damages occur, it's things like white towels used for makeup removal (even though we provide wipes). We had a shoddy coffee table that had a leg broken off (a kid sat on it), and a bar stool with a broken lift mechanism. In each case, will I ask for $100 from a guest who paid me $2,000 to stay that week? No.

Consider that sometimes there are minor costs to doing business and so long as guests report damages that are minor, I'll have them back. If they don't report (even though I request they report any damages in booking info) then I won't allow them back as part of the mutual review process.

 

Cheers!

Cubert

Kyle112
Level 2
College Station, TX

I have been wondering the same - how much security deposit is recommended.  Perhaps it should vary in accordance with the average nightly rate, condition of the property, and the potential for damage.  Our listing is a very small place & I have considered having a small ($50?) security deposit for minor items.

Joy113
Level 2
Sanford, NC

How much security deposit do long Time hosts recommend? We rent our whole house - 4 bedroom, nicely appointed in a gated community. Newly painted and hardwood floors refinished. I charge a $100 cleaning fee which barely covers the house cleaning and I do alllll the laundry of the linens myself which is a ton of work. Nightly fee is $185 which is high for our area according to Airbnb but is less than the average hotel room in our area. Help!

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