Airbnb Can Hold Hosts’ Money Hostage

I am going to make this short. My wife and I bought a short term rental property in central Florida. We joined Airbnb in May 2017. We got a lead from Airbnb for a guest to stay at the end of June through July 2017. We asked how we would get paid so we set up our bank account back in May to be linked with Airbnb. Airbnb collects the money from the guest and then holds your money. They do not pay you according to your terms and conditions – only on Airbnb’s terms, whatever those terms happen to be. They hold your money, for your rental, in an unknown account.

Our guest stayed in our property. The guest had a good time and enjoyed their vacation, checking out on July 2nd, 2017. We paid the bills/mortgage/management and all other fees for this property. Airbnb collected the money over a month ago. We have tried via email and numerous phone calls to try and find out why we do not have our money for the booking. We were told on the phone that the ticket is updated. That is the only response: the ticket has been updated. Our emails have been ignored. We still have not been paid and are in the dark as to why. We have other guests inquiring to book the house through Airbnb but we can not move forward with a company that does business in this way.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Dear Cindy
    The frustration of trying to contact Airbnb to make a cancellation, is unbelievable. I have tried 82 times. The booking is not applicable until October but the way this is going, October will arrive and my $1228 will still be in a London bank. Any ideas, anyone ?

  2. Wow, we have been listed on VRBO since 2013 and have never had issues with payments for our short term rentals because once a guest books, we receive half of the booking fee as a deposit in order to hold that reservation. The second half of the rental fee is due 30 days before the renter arrives and is also paid in full before the guests stay. I don’t know how these listing companies get away with not paying the owners until the guests actually check in. What if they cancel at the last minute…you, the owner, have held that reservation for them and then you are out at least 50 percent. There is no skin in the game for the renter. If the renter has a bad payment or charges back, what recourse does the owner have. I think this is all wrong in so many ways!

  3. Did you ever receive an email saying the guests didn’t pay?

    Your payout was frozen, likely due to your guests not paying or charging back. The fraud department will get to you eventually

  4. Hi Matthew
    No, we linked our bank account with Airbnb when we created our listing in May 2017. Airbnb verified our bank account that day with a penny deposit. So we know it works. We have been told that their is an issue but not told what the issue is and the Airbnb representatives always say it is not their department and can’t give us any information. We were contacted by email from a representative named named Aldin M. on June 26, 2017 after we inquired as to why we were not paid according to the terms of the contract between Airbnb and ourselves. Aldin assured us that we would receive a prompt and proper response and would be forwarded to the correct department. This email did not state what the issue was and why are money was not being released. Since then we have written 5 emails to Aldin O n June 27, 2017, Susan O responded to our first email stating that she apologized for the confusion and frustration. Since then we have not had no correspondence from the company, our last email was written on July 5, 2017.

    In our opinion this is not a proper way to do business and the issue is still not resolved.

    Joe F. Barrila

  5. We have been a host for a year now and have never had an issue. Our money is deposited into our PayPal account within 24 hours of the guest checking in. Do you use PayPal?

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