I am sharing my story because I feel all hosts need to know how important it is to protect your home from unruly guests. We recently had our first guest in our vacation home on the Columbia River by the Gorge Ampitheatre. Sadly, our first experience did not go very well. We met the group coming in (a party of eight), went over the house rules, walked them around our home, and felt like we connected with them. Our home is a special place in the world, and we really were hoping to attract people that would enjoy it.
Unfortunately, our guests decided to host a party there and had over 50 people in our home. Our floors subsequently were damaged (over $14,000). We contacted Airbnb. We were directed to message the guests to see if they would pay for the damages. After three days of no resolve, we were allowed to escalate this to a case manager and seek coverage under the “Host Guarantee”. Our case manager asked us to get a bid from a contractor as well as furnish them with the original cost of the flooring (not the easiest thing to find, but we did). They had us send pictures of the damage to them as well as provide a professional statement from the contractor. We did all of this (keeping in mind we live over two hours away from our vacation home), and in the end, Airbnb emailed this to us (our home is 800 square feet):
Thank you for your patience throughout this process. After careful review of all related documentation and communication, we have issued a $50 security deposit payout for the reported damage. You can view this payout in your Transaction History. While the documentation you provided far exceeds this amount, Airbnb is only able to reimburse for fair market value of the damaged areas in question. The average laminate flooring costs from $2.40-$4 per square foot and since you have higher grade flooring, we’ve issued the payout based on $5 per square foot for the 10 feet of estimated damage. It’s been a pleasure to assist you. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns regarding this case.
$50 on damages over $14,000 (we have a $1500 security deposit on our rental… who knows where that went) and no further explanation as to how they came up with $50. We have emailed, called, and have gotten no support or help. I am shocked as a frequent Airbnb traveler as I have always had good experiences. As a host, this can’t be the way business is conducted. We are devastated. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas as to where to take this issue?