After investing a considerable amount of time reviewing the terms and conditions of host agreements with Airbnb I invested even more time in listing two vacation rental properties with them that I have rented for years through VRVO and vacation rentals. At first, I thought I was the problem because I was accustomed to direct control of the terms and conditions of the rental, especially the payment and cancellation policies.
1. They did not disclose that no payouts are possible until $2,000 is accrued in earned payments. There are no details on what happens to your $1,999 if you end your relationship with them.
2. In the preview of the host agreement (before signing up) they gave the impression that payment is immediately forwarded to the owner. In fact, it is not credited to the owner’s account until AFTER the guest has checked in.
3. Their built-in software overrides and alters the owner’s choices or doesn’t give owners the option to choose, then sets a non-disclosed policy.
4. They kept changing my “strict cancellation” to flexible, and they kept turning off or modifying my minimums. They also advertised at different rates than I specified.
5. I found navigating their software and their self-help pages tedious and time consuming. Owners: stick with vacation rentals, vacation home rentals, and VRBO. Control the terms and conditions with which people occupy your valuable property.
Airbnb may be great for travelers (I haven’t read the guest horror stories yet) but it is effectively victimization and exploitation of homeowners who assume all the risk and pay a handsome fee to Airbnb for every booking. Before accepting ANY booking through Airbnb, read the fine print!