The Airbnb community is based on trust and good faith between hosts and guests. When you welcome the world as an Airbnb host, you count on your guests to treat your space like they’d treat their own home.
But there are rare cases when something goes unexpectedly wrong with a stay. So we’d like to make sure you have the answers so you can host with confidence.
1. What’s the difference between a guest’s security deposit and the Host Guarantee?
A guest security deposit is something you can choose to require of your guests. The security deposit is an acknowledgement by the guest that they may be charged up to the full amount should they cause damage to your listing. If you choose to require a security deposit from your guests, they don’t actually pay the deposit when they make the reservation. Instead, they’re charged only if you make a claim through the Resolution Center on that deposit and it’s accepted by the guest or granted through mediation by Airbnb.
Remeber that if you claim a guest deposit up front it could change travelers’ booking behavior.
The Host Guarantee provides up to $1,000,000 in protection from Airbnb for instances when guests damage a host’s property. In order to process a request, you would use the Resolution Center to upload documentation of the damages (such as photos or receipts), and first request payment from your guest to cover those damages. You and your guests can work out the details on your own, or you can choose to involve Airbnb directly in the Resolution Center. The best way to ensure a smooth process with your guest or with Airbnb is to submit your report of the damage, along with support documentation as soon as you identify the damage. Reports must be submitted within 14 days of the end of the guest’s reservation or before the next guest checks in — whichever comes first.
2. What benefit does the Host Guarantee provide if I can just make a claim against a guest’s security deposit?
Hosts have the option to ask guests for a security deposit of between $100 and $5,000. In addition to the financial protection this provides, some hosts feel that asking for a security deposit reminds guests to be extra careful while staying in your space. The Host Guarantee comes from Airbnb and also can provide payment to a host for damages that a guest causes to your listing, up to $1,000,000.
3. If the security deposit cannot be collected from the guests, or doesn’t cover the damages, does the Host Guarantee still kick in?
If the damages caused by a guest during a reservation exceed the agreed upon security deposit, or if there is no security deposit for the listing in question, the Host Guarantee program is intended to provide support.
4. Do I have to pay anything for the Host Guarantee?
No, the Host Guarantee program is provided at no additional cost to hosts.
5. Can I require a security deposit for any length stay or just for longer stays?
You can require a deposit for any length stay. Security deposits can range from $100 – $5000 and we encourage hosts to pick a value that suits their most common circumstances.
6. In what specific situations does the Host Guarantee kick in (theft, damage, excessive cleaning costs etc.)?
The Host Guarantee provides payment for theft or physical damage to your listing caused by the responsible guest, or the guest’s invitee(s), during their stay.
7. If the Host Guarantee is applied to my situation, will I get the full value I paid for an item or its present value?
The Host Guarantee program provides payment either for the repair or replacement cost of the damaged item. What we call the “actual cash value” (the amount we reimburse) is the amount it would cost to repair or replace damaged or destroyed covered property as a result of a covered loss. You can review the full terms.
8. Why doesn’t the Host Guarantee cover antiques?
Fine arts and collectibles are often tricky to evaluate. In regard to the Host Guarantee, antiques are covered if they can be replaced with something of similar quality or can be repaired or retouched. If you have an item that is high-value or near irreplaceable, it may be advisable to consult with an insurance professional on how best to protect this type of property.
9. Does the Host Guarantee apply for extenuating circumstances during a booking (e.g. burst water pipe, fire)?
If your future bookings are impacted by an event subject to the Host Guarantee, the program will also reimburse your income loss for reservations that were booked through the Airbnb platform and must be cancelled due to the mishap. For instance, a guest causes a minor fire, but the repair will take three weeks and the affected host has an upcoming two week reservation. Airbnb customer support would assist in rebooking that guest and through the Host Guarantee, the host would be eligible for the payout despite the reservation being cancelled due to the fire.
11. I’ve heard that if I have a key lockbox outside my home the Host Guarantee does not cover me anymore. Is that true?
That’s not true based on the terms of the program. If there was a lockbox across town that was damaged by the guest, the damage to the lockbox itself may not be covered, but damage to the listing still would.
12. How can I prepare in case I need to use the Host Guarantee?
You should reach out to the responsible guest immediately when you discover something has gone wrong—specifically you need to contact them either 14 days after checkout or before your next guest checks in, whichever comes earlier. When submitting your request using the Resolution Center please include a description of the damages, photos of the damage, support for the amount claimed and where applicable, the age of the damaged item. The clarity of your request and the support of that request will greatly improve the odds of resolving the situation with your guest using the Resolution Center. If the guest is not agreeable to your request, proper documentation will streamline the process Airbnb uses to review and make a decision.
13. How do I get money back from the Security Deposit for damage?
You must first contact the guest through the Airbnb Resolution Center. Once your request is posted, the guest can accept the request, offer an alternate amount, or decline the request. If the guest agrees to your request through the Resolution Center, the amount requested will automatically be remitted to you within 24 hours. If the guest does not accept the request, you or your guest may ask that Airbnb mediate a resolution 72 hours after the request has been published. An Airbnb representative will review the claim and make a determination. In cases where a security deposit award is made, they’ll communicate the amount to be paid and will process a payment to your preferred payout method on file.
14. What’s the point in having a security deposit if we can’t use it? Why do we need the approval of the guest for it to be paid out?
The community is based on trust and good faith between hosts and guests. Airbnb want hosts and guests to be protected from misuse (of property and also of claims). The intent is that Airbnb will mediate in the resolution of claims if an agreement cannot be met within the Resolution Center. This is intended to ensure a fair resolution for both parties.
This post was originally posted at Airbnb.