Airbnb Expected us to Pay for New Locks

First we were excited about Airbnb. Within 30 minutes of creating an account we had our first reservation booked for over a month and a few days later we were booked out for the next three months. A few days after our first guest moved in, she changed her reservation to about two weeks and complained to Airbnb that her refund was not was she had been expecting. The reason was that she did not qualify for the monthly discount anymore. It was very clear and simple on our listing but Airbnb contacted us several times and asked us to grant her the monthly discount for the two weeks. The day when she moved out we received a phone call from a lady from Airbnb’s trust and safety department, saying that the guest was upset that she lost her key. She said Airbnb would take take of it.

We received a link in our email which had a box for the amount of the damages. If the guest would not pay within 72 hours, Airbnb “would step in”. The new lockset (two deadbolts and two knobs for the main door and the security door) was $59.40. A locksmith would have charged around $250 to rekey the four locks. After three days we received a message from Airbnb telling us to just make a copy of the key and not to change the locks because “nobody would know that the lost key was for our property” and their “mediation decision” was final.

At this point we closed our account and cancelled all the upcoming reservations. We did not feel safe anymore knowing that some unknown person was in possession of our key. It could be her boyfriend or one of the buddies of her boyfriend (who came several times to visit and who was not a verified guest). We could not believe that Airbnb expected us to pay for the new locks for which the guest is ultimately responsible. Airbnb also stated that there was no deposit on our listing, which is not true. It shows up under “settings” but it won’t print out when going to the individual reservations; we don’t have any way to prove that we set up a deposit. Airbnb seems to stand on the guests’ side and does not care about hosts. This was our first guest and our first experience with Airbnb. There wasn’t a huge amount of damage but it showed us Airbnb’s attitude.

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