Hosts Beware: Airbnb Will Not Cover Property Damage

In March of 2017, I had an Airbnb booking from a person I will call CR. This person experienced some bad weather and a power outage beyond my control. When I had the home cleaned after CR’s stay, my cleaner found that they had damaged my pristine glass-top stove. When I confronted CR about the damages, he threatened to change his positive review if I filed a claim.

I filed the damage claim with Airbnb. CR was able to change her review to a one that was full of mischaracterizations of the events and portrayed me and my home very poorly. Airbnb refused to remove the retaliatory review; I had had all five-star reviews until then. CR was a newbie and had zero reviews on Airbnb; she has one now from me. Airbnb took her word over mine on the issue. I even had texts from CR showing they would change the positive review if I filed a claim and another text showing CR saw no improvement was needed.

As far as the damage, Airbnb has not released the money to pay for the damages. I keep getting emails from them stating someone will be contacting me. Before you consider being a host with Airbnb, consider this fact: Airbnb is the one holding your property damage security deposit. They have a very high bar to clear that you have to prove to get a damage claim from them. Once I learned that it is going near impossible to get Airbnb to pay the damages, I unlisted my home and cancelled five bookings with them. I could not take the chance that the next Airbnb guest would trash my rental home and have Airbnb do nothing. They do not return calls, they do not communicate in person, and they send out form letter emails. When you call their support line, be prepared to wait for over thirty minutes on hold, only to speak to someone reading from a script. If you want to protect your property, you need to hold the security deposit. Personally I would not use Airbnb ever again, unless they change their policies on who holds and controls the security deposit and how retaliatory reviews are handled.

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10 Comments

  1. The Host Guarantee banner that appears when guests ask to book without reviews is infuriating to see popping up every time a guest sends a request. I decline everytime now and I am missing out on bookings because of my well earned lack of faith in Airbnb and their claims that they are protecting their hosts. There is absolutely NO protection and this ploy to get hosts to accept more bookings in good faith is a RUSE.
    We recently hosted awful guests. A young couple who were used to having servants do everything for them, consequently no life skills or common sense. They did not consider our comfort in our own home or the rights of the other guests for a peaceful environment ,and appeared to have a sense of “entitlement”. In retrospect I should have asked them to leave after the first night.
    They were very loud, up until the early hours every morning speaking very loudly and playing music on our TV (I sleep with ear-plugs in and could still hear them). They smoked on our property despite the fact they were told smoking on the property was not allowed, and the smoke came in our bedroom window.
    Worst of all:
    We “witnessed” them taking an oven dish out of the oven and she put it straight on our newly resurfaced kitchen countertop which melted it! Airbnb will not honour their claims that hosts can feel assured by the $100 000 Host Guarantee. According to Airbnb the damage is “cosmetic” so they do not consider it worthy of being repaired!
    The Guarantee is fraught with loopholes and fine print which they will use to alleviate themselves of any responsibility. I only asked for $300 to purchase all the materials required to resurface the counter top again, and provided links to the product costs and details about how laborious the process was. It is not a quick “touch up” required.
    They do not look for ways to support their “Super hosts” who are contributing entirely to their global empire, rather how they can find ways to leave hosts to fend for themselves. I’m assuming the founders of Airbnb now live in plush accommodation and do not have to welcome complete strangers into their home to pay the bills! They should consider more carefully how hosts on the ground level are enabling their luxurious lifestyles and look after hosts accordingly. Their empire is worth over $31 billion so they have more than enough capital to help their hosts who are doing all the hard work.
    HOSTS BEWARE! I am looking into alternatives to AIrbnb and hope I can cancel all future reservations.

  2. Update: Airbnb FINALLY paid me for the damages, however they paid ONLY $50 for a $303 repair. Airbnb is a ripoff, do not allow their Guests to sdaty in your homes. Use a real booking service that allows YOU to collect a damage deposit.

  3. We are Airbnb hosts. A long term guest did not inform of us of a serious problem that could have been rectified immediately for a small cost. Instead they waited a month to tell us. By that time the kitchen floor needed to be replaced at a substantial cost ($3100). Airbnb was very difficult to work with, but eventually we settled on a $500 payment from the guest. Then Airbnb got involved and stopped the agreed upon settlement, because we had involved our insurance company. We were only seeking partial reimbursement for the deductible. This is an outrageous interference in an amicable and fair settlement etween a guest and host. What is going on? When I complained, they told me to seek payment from the host after she had been notified that Airbnb had denied the claim and closed the case. It is a relatively small amount of money, but the process has been horrible and makes me question the whole company.

  4. Airbnb.com is a ripoff, I would never use them again as a host or as a guest. It is all about them making money. They make it sound like they are a touchy feely and all about community, WHAT BS! They are a for profit corporation looking to make a quick buck. Spread the word far and wide, look elsewhere to book vacation homes and not use a shady company like Airbnb.

  5. We had a guest damage our couch. Airbnb didn’t refunded us anything. It’s really hard to make a claim and it seems Airbnb can’t keep their guests damage deposit unless the guests agree, which they don’t.
    I believe Drake.

  6. UPDATE: AirBnb gives me $40 for a $300 repair. Their damage deposit is a joke. I have delisted and and WILL NEVER use AirBNB to rent out my home. You need to collect and hold the deposit, not trust this greedy company.

  7. We’ve had nothing but good things to say about Airbnb, they have answered the phone each time called, helped in refunds (immediately), and are always there to help. I find it hard to believe that this story is true, seems you might have not told the whole truth.

    • I have told the whole truth. Airbnb did not pay for damages the guest did to my home. $40 is a joke, they sent me a link to Amazon for a repair kit. Airbnbis a joke and not to be trusted.

  8. Anybody who operates their home as a hotel/business and doesn’t have their own insurance is just asking for problems. Obviously no common sense.

    • The home is fully insured, Why would I pay out $2500 for a deductible for a $300 repair? You obviously have not ownedf a home on a barrier island.

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