Problem with Airbnb Host Guarantee: hosts beware!!

Level 9
London, United Kingdom

Problem with Airbnb Host Guarantee: hosts beware!!

Dear Hosts,


I have been a host for many years and recently found myself in a situation where a group of guests caused considerable damage to my property.


I submitted my request to Airbnb on time and according to guidelines and after two weeks of back and forth where Airbnb asked me to provide a sizeable amount of documents to prove the damage, I was told that my Host Guarantee payment request had been declined as it was not possible to determine the guest's liability for the damages.


This is more than disappointing  as it means that unless you can prove your guest was directly responsible for the damage (by taking a picture of the damage while it is happening? by installing CCTVs in your property?) Airbnb will not cover you. When I raised this point I was told that they are sorry but Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with regard to these disputes.


What this tells me is that the Airbnb Host Guarantee is not exactly what they lead us to believe and the deposit they hold for you (which should be held on your behalf exactly for situations like this one) is little more than a joke.


I do not feel as safe leaving my house in the hands of strangers which could damage it without consequences.


Please be careful and assume that Airbnb will not cover for your damages and take extra precautions to protect your property.


If anyone else had similar experiences please share!



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Community Manager
Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

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219 Replies 219
Level 10
Savannah, GA

@Nur7 @Maegen2 I too had a guest break a window to get inside, their friend was sleeping and they were knocking on the window to wake that person up and broke it. They totally admitted it on the dashboard. They also spilled a milkshake on a sisal rug. They said they could not afford to pay anything yet. I had already paid a repair company to come and Airbnb said they would not pay me because they thought the invoice was from a company related to my own company. It was actually not related to me, it was a real separate handyman business. I almost lost my mind going in circles with that service agent who never did pay. The reason they assumed the repair company was related to me was apparently the name of my city was in the name of both my company and the handyman's company.... seriously. I argued and explained that the company is NOT connected to me other than being a vendor I use in the same city where I live... The agent wanted to only pay the cost of the glass pane itself because the installer referenced where that was from (Rick's which did not have our city name in it) but they wanted to see that separate glass pane invoice which I did not have, and not pay the labor for the installer who bought the glass.... the invoice I paid was to the installer for BOTH material and labor....because he bought the glass and installed it... but the Agent declined to pay since the installer's company name shared the name of OUR CITY in its title. 


Now I have another one, where they say the person I paid is the problem again.  Everything is in the dashboard as proof and there is not an argument about what happened or who is to blame. The person booked for her daughter and that daughter did not checkout on time her items were left an extra day and then I was told she was not coming back to pack up she had abandoned all her belongings and I should put it all in the trash. Besides that she left a huge mess of food, juice and even blood from "sorry she has frequent nose bleeds". We are in the midst of Coronavirus.  The maids have almost no work from cessation in tourism and they need money so I told the couple who cleans there that if they wanted to tackle this job they would have to write a special invoice for clearing out this entire apartment full of abandoned stuff AND cleaning the blood and food staines. They did create, print and sign this special invoice and did a spectacular job of making it like it never happened. Of course I happily paid them, glad I could give them some work and feeling sure I was getting paid by the guest or Airbnb.


The guest acted confused about how to pay, and after waiting a week I thought she was ignoring me on purpose so I clicked escalate. I had asked for $65 for the extra night (half my standard rate), $39 for a ruined designer pillow (sent receipt) and my maid's cleaning invoice for $123 and the Airbnb service agent immediately says he cannot pay me because cleaning invoice has to be from a "verifiable company". I said  wait, the person I paid is a verifiable independent contractor, they wrote an invoice and I have a w9 from them as a vendor and a cleared check from where I paid their invoice...and again he said no.  I have written back twice and he has told me no, and is saying he cannot help unless I send a different invoice. I guess he wants me to produce a fake invoice. They know I already paid the individual cleaner and they have proof of what had to be done....and in the stone walling emails the agent makes no mention of paying me for the extra night or the pillow! Just stone walling me completely because of the cleaner invoice.


And meanwhile Airbnb's media act as if they know the importance of providing work for individual cleaners, like where they ask hosts to check a box saying the cleaner is paid a living wage. At that time do they say by the way you cannot pay a regular person only a verifiable company to clean? The maid who is familiar with the condo had to sift through the mess and know which items were OURS vs. the guest's abandoned things. Serv Pro might have tossed out my throw blanket or other decor not knowing if it was ours or the guests, and surely would not have soaked the blood stained comforter in their own bathtub overnight to save it....


Insurance is great for big things but nobody claims on their insurance for these smaller amounts! We all know small things have to be absorbed frequently, I have hosted over 10,000 Airbnb guests so trust me I let little things go ALL THE TIME but when the guest admits completely what happened and when it is not mysterious, not normal wear and tear and it is a concrete special hard cost... that is exactly when this should be working for us. And what we get is the runaround

Level 2
Philadelphia, PA

I, too, have had major issues with Airbnb's inadequate response to a guest that grossly violated house and Airbnb policies. Airbnb's no party policy is not transparent and is seemingly only for show. 


I had a neighbor report a guest for hosting a large party at my house (original booking was for two people who wanted to get away because their house was being painted). The level of noise that was reported was totally unacceptable in a quiet residential neighborhood. According to my neighbor, people were knocking on the door to be let in for hours. The large speaker system that they brought in shook the windows and the floors of my neighbors' houses. 


Upon inspecting the place, it was clear that the host moved all of my large furniture around the house to clear up space for a party. Large items like air conditioners were stashed in a closet. The house was "cleaned up" to hide evidence of the party at first glance. There were open containers of alcohol bags and bags of trash stuffed inside kitchen cabinets. The entire house reeked of marijuana. Remnants of marijuana were littered all over the floor and bedding. The door was left unlocked and ajar. Windows were left open. Many items were stained and scuffed. 


I reached out to Airbnb when the reservation was still active, and I was told that I could expect a response hours to a day later. When someone finally called me, I was told that I should leave the guest an honest, bad review. I inquired about the guest violating my house rules and Airbnb's party rules, and was essentially told that the case manager would reach out to my guest. They flat out told me that the guest could not be kicked off the platform unless this happens repeatedly. Essentially, every guest can have at least one free pass to have a party that violates Airbnb's own party policy. 


I contacted the guest via the resolution center to replace the broken items. The guest denied breaking the items, and insisted that they were already broken to begin with. At this point, I've made multiple attempts to escalate the case with Airbnb and I haven't heard a thing from Airbnb since I was told to go leave a bad review for the guest.


Despite being a host for 6 years with over 100 reviews without a history of escalating cases,  I feel completely unsupported by Airbnb's inaction and its policies. Be warned hosts! If a guest has a large party, don't expect Airbnb to stand by its own policies! 

Level 2
Rozelle, Australia

Can you get a class action going with the help of ACC or your equivalent government body to hold Airbnb directors accountable .Only those of us that have had these experiances are concerned..but there are enough of us now to take an action against them

Level 2
Denver, CO

This is beyond frustrating and the exact same thing is happening to me right now. I am FLOORED by the response that I received from Airbnb that they will not reimburse my claim. I tried to work with the guest directly and he was incredibly difficult. The guest broke my bathroom window and slashed the screen in my kitchen in an attempt to get in after losing the house key. I didn't receive any notice of this until the morning he was checking out at 10am. I took IMMEDIATE action and tried working directly with the guest first for reimbursement (which Airbnb recommends) and he was very difficult and argued with me. My next guest checked in FIVE hours later so because I didn't submit the claim in that time period, they are declining. I'm fuming and trying to get it sorted out.

Level 2
Budapest, HU

Airbnb also refuses to pay me the host guarantee for the gas heater that got broken and reported in the next 14 days, due to having another guests checking in the day after. This must be a joke. I am going for my 10th super-host status and seriously considering quitting hosting.


I do not feel safe or valued. I no longer believe that Airbnb is doing even the slightest effort to really help its hosts. I thought maybe I would be one of the very few to write about this subject but just found out that this is very well built system to sponge on the hosts & their efforts & their assets.

Level 10
Naples, Italy

Same story here.
What's even more ironic is that one of my guests admitted in his reply to my bad review to have done some damages to the apartment (still refusing to pay for them), but Airbnb claimed that I "submitted" the payout request later than my next checkin (happening the same day!)

Level 2
Denver, CO

EXACTLY the same story with me. Guest admitted it, I have tons of photos, and I was unable to get it resolved with him directly within the 5 hour window of my next guest checking in.

what is your email please? let us chat because i have guests who also ruined my property

Level 2
Barcelona, Spain

Exactly my experience. Questions at least 4 mindless robots without even acknowledging the complaint raised. Security deposit lol. Should be in quotes like "airbnb host guarentee" leave the so called "platform" or dishonest business with + 15% COMMISION!!!! Or aka "booking fees". 


Leave the platform, only way... many other competitors.


Level 1
Calgary, Canada

I had a guest cause a flood in my bathroom.  They put their for through the bath tub and  Flooded the downstairs neighbor. It was patched, and then they did it again. It caused 10000 in damage. Air bnb host guarantee refused to pay anything. They  told me to prove it was the guest.  Do they expect me to put cameras in the bathroom? Perhaps laserscan the condo before every rental?  Photos of the damage and documentation of the flooding repairs is not enough.  You are in serious risk if you rely on the host guarantee. The burden of proof is on you. Get your own Insurance. Take photos of every square inch between rentals because a claim against the guarantee may get rejected.

Keep fighting them. Tell them their decision is unacceptable and you expect them to honor their host guarantee policy. I am in a similar situation. I had horrible damage done to my home where the damages are around $11,000. They paid for the repairs ($3700) and then decided to compensate us $500 for the rest. I've had to fight them for every penny. They origially told us there would be no compensation. I had to escalate it. I refuse to get my own insurance when they have a policy in place. They are choosing to ignore it. This cant go on. It will come around and bite them. People don't take **bleep** forever.

Level 2
Malvern, Australia

They will not allow you to take a bond however they will not pay if the guest damages your property.

We are starting a class action in Melbourne, email me on

Level 2
Woodstock, Canada

AirBNB does not support hosts at all, I had the exact same experience recently. 

I wanted to post on this b/c recently i actually had success w the guarantee...but i was wondering if others had similar.  I had HUGE damage to my property.  Long story short, a guest defecated in the bed/toilet and ultimately stopped up the toilet, left the property to go home and left the toilet running...all on the 2nd floor.  Poo water dripped into the ceiling on 1st floor and ruined the bathroom on 2nd floor.  After some back and forth and a TON of documentation...they actually paid me for the damages.  They do NOT cover missed rent opportunity if you have to major work like i did.  So it covered my costs but not my time or lost revenue.  Not a fun experience, but they did pay $12k which was about the amount of damage.

Level 2
Solna, Sweden

I rent out 2 rooms, in the apartment where I live. Guests have their own bedrooms, a toilet shared by the guests only,  and we all share the halway,  the shower and the kitchen.

I just had a damage in my bathroom, not a very big deal (broken shower holder brack), about 30 US dollars. 

The guy says he didn't, refuses to pay and  blamed it on the other guest that had already checked out... Airbnb says the Host Guarantee doesn't cover damages in the common areas, so the guest has not duty to refund me! 

Now I wonder, if a guest burns down or destroy my kitchen, my shower, my hallway, the guest balcony or any common space, what do I do?  The host Guarantee is inexixtent and won't cover anything. 

The guest pays for the damage if he wants to...not pressure from Airbnb...They should change the name and call it Guest Guarantee. The damage deposit is just a joke...we cannot get any refund from there. 

Don't blame people that dares to install CCTV!  

Level 2
Atlanta, GA

I have had a couple bad experiences where guests violated the no party policy and Airbnb made it impossible to recover damages by requesting unreasonable documentation like the receipt for wood flooring that was included in my builder upgrades when I built my home.  They requested receipts for towels that the guests destroyed when they ruined my yard and sprinkler system.  They requested receipts for my sprinkler system and also the sod that they spun up when they parked in the grass and dug into as a result of having their car stuck.  I feel betrayed.

I was afraid I'd find many others in a similar boat.


On March 16, 2019 guests (in their sixties, mind you) checked out and mentioned that on March 12, 2019 a leak had started through the bathroom light fixture. They "didn't think it was a big deal" and "put a towel under it" for two days while we encountered a catastrophic wind, hail and rain storm. So for five days the leak went on and we had no knowledge. Our House Rules very clearly state that any maintenace issues are to be immediately reported to us.


I have gotten less than zero support from AirBnB. We have a $5,000US  interior repair bill because the guests simply didn't care enough to tell us. Had we been notified promptly, we wouldn't have to tear out two walls of our guest house to repair the drywall and insulation.


Today I received a generic email from the "Trust" department that basically said they won't do anything. And one of the AirBnB emails I received actually said, "Pray for the guest and let karma do the rest!" REALLY?????


So, as much as I appreciate the ease of the AirBnB platform and interface, we are sorely disappointed in this company. Karma is a bitch, AirBnB.

Level 2
Barcelona, Spain

Indeed, only need to experience the brain dead robots "assistance" once to really the scam!!! +15% commission, aka "booking fees". Security deposit is just a tick box. Avoid and leave, plenty of alternatives.


Yes karma is a bitch, hence the numbers of hosts leaving and updated clause of non liability to class actions suits. They know it and are panicking. Airbnb will collapse, like I said,only one damaged item and the scam is exposed!!

Level 6
Los Angeles, CA

Over the last several years I have been reimbursed thousands of dollars from the host Guarantee system... My reccomendation is this Take Updated pictures as often as possible. Updated pictures are key... 2nd Keep reciepts for prices that you paid for items. 3rd and the most important File Questions and repy to answers quickly. Speed is the most important thing. Also if major things are Broken Files a Police report and send it to AirBnb...

Where most people and including the CS representatives  give up is on time these things drag out and people just dont care anymore. AirBnb Customer service is gettting worse because their company is growing so many reps are "Green" and dont really care. Also we "Hosts" have jobs and lives and work that needs to be done and taking 50 Photos of every scratch and getting estimates of repairs takes tons of time.

I wont say that the Host guarantee is a Scam, but I will say to get reimbursed is very very challenging and requires speed, persistence and patience.

Level 2
Barcelona, Spain

IE - SCAM... Any host who has even attempted it will tell you.