All Airbnb hosts should know that the Security Deposit touted by Airbnb is actually non-existent. It is a mirage constructed by Airbnb for the purpose of making hosts believe they are protected from damage caused by guests, when they are not.
1. If you put a security deposit on your listing, Airbnb does not collect a security deposit or put a hold on the guest's payment method. There is no deposit, therefore there is no security.
2. Airbnb prohibits you from collecting a security deposit on your own and will de-list you if you do.
3. If the guest causes damage, you can make a claim against the security deposit, but you will never get it.
a) As no security deposit was collected, there is no security deposit to collect from.
b) The guest can simply refuse to pay and Airbnb will consider that to be the end of the matter.
c) There is no appeal (as there is no avenue of appeal for any Airbnb ruling against a host).
d) If a guest leaves a maliciously negative review after receiving a claim for damage, Airbnb approves of and will not remove the review.
e) The list of things Airbnb does not consider damage is so exhaustive, there is effectively no such thing as damage.
Get your own homeowner's insurance if you are hosting in case of major damage such as a fire. Be prepared to pay for small damages to your place yourself and factor it into your price. Do not rely on Airbnb for protection of any kind. Airbnb is nothing more than a webpage where you can list your place for rent. It does not offer protection or support.
The security deposit is just one of the many deceptive practices Airbnb employs to dupe its hosts.
Despite its propaganda about belonging to a community, Airbnb doesn't give a hoot about you. Airbnb's relationship to hosts is like that of a Queen ant to worker ants. If one of them is killed, the Queen couldn't care less. However, unlike Airbnb, a Queen ant doesn't go out of her way to deceive worker ants or actively cause them harm.
That’s a fairly accurate summary of the situation.
People who think Airbnb “cares” about anything or anyone, including their own employees, are bound to be disappointed.
Airbnb is not a person. It is innately sociopathic. It is a corporation run by computers that are incapable of any kind of compassion.
We pay for advertising, bookings, and the collection and distribution of income. They do that pretty well most of the time.
If anyone believes the puffery about partnership, comradery and loving community support, I hope they never hear the truth about Santa Claus….
Item 2 is incorrect. Airbnb doesn't permit money transactions between guests and hosts to occur outside of its platform. Hosts frequently ask for deposits via the Resolution Center for pets, children, utilities, additional services, etc. Any refunds are also processed through the platform.
"On your own" means outside of Airbnb's platform. I stand by my statement that you are not allowed to collect a security deposit "on your own".
Parenthetically, the idea of a security deposit is to provide a pre-paid fund from which you can draw if there is provable damage. The process of collecting one through the resolution center, not to mention the misunderstandings and cancelled booking this can cause, makes it very much less than an ideal solution.
Sorry, but you have to be specific when posting. There was no clear implication that you wanted readers to infer that "on our own" solely meant that collection of a deposit outside of the platform.
For the most part, Airbnb has most of their information written is simplified language. Before I signed up to be a host, I did a lot of Google searches to find out the costs, rules, and differences among the platforms (that's how I found this blog, and spent a lot of time reading through years of hosts sharing their experiences). There were many comments from hosts who mentioned that Airbnb doesn't collect a real deposit, the host guarantee didn't supplement home owner's insurance, the coverage exclusions, and how claims were calculated and paid out. I also went to the platforms' Help sections and read their policies about these items and other things, called customer service for further clarification when needed, and didn't list on any of them until I got my questions answered.
There have been NUMEROUS posts here about the host guarantee and security deposits, and yours will not be the last. Some hosts charge a higher rate on Airbnb, because of the higher exposure to risk. Personally, sometimes I ask for a deposit from guests who may not meet my booking requirements. Serious guests have no problem with complying.
I wish I read this sooner. I just requested payment/deposit for damage caused by a dog peeing all over my house and the guest freaked out and sent me a nasty message. So it appears all I will be getting is a one star review for my trouble. It crossed my mind to just not say anything but I thought that's what the deposit is for........
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Very accurate description. When a “guest” threw a party in our home and basically trashed it, airbnb made it very difficult to collect damages. They offer no support whatsoever. Yoy are on your own.
Don, is there anything you could point to in hindsight that could have alerted you that a particular guest was going to throw a party? From this experience, are there things that you now would consider red flags? I keep wondering if this day is coming for us sometime...
@Doug8yep. Most hosts find this out the hard way. There have been many threads on this-- the "security deposit" is a psychological deterrent at best. Its imaginary. So you could set it at a million dollars and it would not make a hair of difference.
You are on your own as a host. Airbnb is good for getting your listing noticed and booked but nothing else. Good to know that going in.