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A broken window, claiming damages, and resolution centre

So I had this lady and her family stay at my property for 9 nights. The rent is not cheap, I would say. Everything went relatively well until the end. It started with her request for me to buy her groceries as they had an early day 1 and arrived late the night before. Odd request, I thought, but I obliged since I’m trying to be a good host and well, I could.

During their stay, her and I communicated back and forth and all was OK, but the few times I did ask to meet her went ignored. She also caused a bit of a difficulty (not too much, actually) when I requested for roofers to come and add insulation to the attic in order to cool down the upstairs bedrooms. She said she valued her privacy, that she didn’t want strangers in, etc. But we went back and forth and she obliged in the end. Fair enough.

After she left, a couple of hours later I went to the house and noticed that one of the bedroom windows was cranked open, but the window lock was still on. The lock is at the top, the crank at the bottom, so the bottom of the window had opened and the top was still locked in place. This was most likely the cause of the crack that I now was staring at on the window. To be fair, I did request that she leaves a few windows open prior to leaving.

Anyways, I decided to make the claim with a quote I had received for fixing the issue and go to airbnb resolution centre. Her attitude became somewhat hostile, claiming things like as a result of my claim, she’s now stressed out while traveling and this is causing her much grief. She also denied the claim and the claim amount. At her request, I allowed her to ask a property manager come and take a look. The guy basically took a minute to look at the window, and then explained that my theory on why the window had broken is wrong, and bolted out. Literally bolted out. I had to run after him and catch him on the street, asking him ‘what about the quote?’, to which he replied to me with a smirk that neither the window guy nor I know what we’re talking about. It became apparent that there was only one reason for the property manager being there: to discredit me. My fault for being nice.

And of course the guest wrote back, suddenly sounding very well informed, saying the window cracked because of this reason, or it could’ve been because of that reason, but not because of this reason, etc. So I had another window guy come in and confirm that I was most probably right, and refute her explanations, some of them which were downright silly. The second guy also gave a more expensive quote (around $550 for the first quote, $700 for the second one).

Anyways, now I’ve asked airbnb to get involved. Hopefully it’s resolved. I agree that there’s a chance that she really didn’t break the window, but the probability points to her. But what if I’m wrong? I’m also sure she didn’t break it on purpose, so this whole thing has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

She has a damage deposit, so if airbnb decides she’s at fault, then it’ll come out of that. But still, not a good experience for only my second guest.

Sorry to hear about the situation.

Food shopping for her is irrelevant, really, to broken windows. She asked you, you should have said NO if you did not want to.
The fact that she did not want roof people there is understandable and not uncommon.
In my opinion don’t count too much on getting paid for that Window. It sounds so vague , and you are not even sure yourself. Air will never pay you based on probability estimate.

In that case, Yana, almost every issue taken up to the resolution centre can be vague. You host guests, they leave, you come home, and X is broken. X can be anything. Wine glasses, a ceiling fan, a crack on the leg of a table, a crack on a window, etc. The owner wasn’t there to witness these happening, and it wasn’t filmed. So what’s the point?

I have two different reports from window companies disputing her explanation, suggesting that my explanation of not unlocking the window is most probably accurate. What else can I do? Ask one of the gods to send a personal letter to airbnb?

Exactly how the window broke is unclear to me, still. Is it a casement window?

My thought, which you may not like, is that folks are sometimes honestly confused about how things work - windows. washers, door locks and their inadvertent breaking of something … well, it kinda goes with the territory. Now, if she had been playing ball in the house, and swinging something around and broke the window - well. clearly she was negligent. But sometimes, folks just don’t understand. Call it user error.

After reading this forum for a while I am struck by how often Air Hosts expect Guests to pay for everything that breaks. With some of you I realize that your profit margin is already so thin it is understandable, but I think repairing stuff that breaks has has to be expected to some extent.

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My only observation would be that if your 2nd guest cracked the window already, she won’t be the last. You probably need to put up signage and instruct people about how to operate the window – can you delay repair? You may want to put in a different kind of window in the rental if you are at risk of this happening repeatedly.

I don’t understand why your building manager ran out ??

I’d call this a home insurance claim. Fine line, I’m sure, but when it’s not a clear case of deliberate damage, plus all the other factors described, I think it will be a futile fight to claim the costs.

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Why would any host schedule workers when guests are in? I recently had a kitchen remodel and other major work and blocked off my calendar for WEEKS so guests wouldn’t be impacted. When the contractor rescheduled several times on me I lost even more income. Hundreds and hundreds I turned away because I would never want a guest in when the house was being torn up or when there was unacceptable levels of noise from 7 to 4 everyday. It was very stressful trying to schedule guests around this work. If I were the guest I would be really miffed at having work scheduled during my stay and don’t blame her for being difficult.

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You definitely wont get anything for ceiling fan:) Unless they did some weird things with fan how can anyone break it??
It’s on a ceiling. It will be considered as your regular business exoense.
If you send Airbnb pictures of broken chair, glasses, vase for example, they will compensate you. This is not vague.
In your case with window even YOU are not sure who broke it.
Also who was that property manager? Judging by his reaction I am assuming he thought you were trying to scam that woman. And then she is obviously got his expert opinion on what he thinks happened to that window and came back armed with knowledge.
The fact that you got estimates from window guys is not going to matter unless you prove your guests did the damage.
Also…how can anyone open window with the lock on.
Especially if it was a woman. We are physically not strong enough to do such thing. There should be some serious muscles there to pull Something like that

Yana, I’m not sure about who broke it because I wasn’t personally there to see it get broken. It’s like a crack on a wall, or a lot of other things: maybe someone caused it, or maybe it was the thing itself that failed. Until you’re there to see it, or if the guest admits to it, you’ll never be 100% sure. But when you come in, and the window is broken, and the top of the window is still attached and locked in, and the bottom part has been cranked open, and two experts say that was most likely the cause of the crack, then you have a good idea of what happened.

And no, it doesn’t require that much force. Frankly, you can push it down with your bodyweight. And the guest’s husband was there too. Plus, women are strong. Don’t sell yourself short :stuck_out_tongue:

Women have 5 times less muscle mass then men. I sm not saying women are weak but they are not as strong as men.
The thing with Airbnb resolution center is that you need to prove everything you say. From my experience based on what you are saying you won’t get paid . But may be you will. You still did not answer who that guy was that ran off claiming that you and window people are wrong. I understood that the guest now has a different version how that window broke and if she is going to tell that different version to resolution center they WILL LISTEN.

She wasn’t being too difficult, actually. And the work was for her own good. This wasn’t a renovation. This was a one time job that lasted an hour, and it was to address the heat issue in the house raised by the previous guest. And I tried to work with her schedule so that the work would be done when she’s out of the house, but unfortunately she wanted to be present as her trust levels seemed to be low.

She wasn’t being too difficult, actually. And the work was for her own good. This wasn’t a renovation. This was a one time job that lasted an hour, and it was to address the heat issue in the house raised by the previous guest. And I tried to work with her schedule so that the work would be done when she’s out of the house, but unfortunately she wanted to be present as her trust levels seemed to be low.

I don’t know about other countries, but if the original poster is in the U.S.; I would highly recommend against putting in a homeowner insurance claim because of a broken window. Not only will your insurer raise your rates and possibly cancel your policy for putting in claims; putting in claims can make it difficult to sell your home.

http://www.real-estate-inspections.com/articles.php?NewsArticleID=4

aaah right…as we down here “only in America!”
:smirk:

I know the kind of window you are talking about – there’s a latch that secures the window at a fixed point but there’s also a crank type of mechanism to open the window and someone can start cranking the window open without undoing the latch.

The property manager in Hawaii complained that guests were breaking all the windows doing this exact thing when she checked us in. So I would stress that you have to communicate with every guest to instruct them on how to open the window since you could end up paying $500 to get it fixed this time, only to have another guest do the exact same thing in the next 4 weeks to your new window. If the owner of the house we rented in Hawaii replaces his windows, I’m guessing he will get a different kind of window to avoid this breakage in the future.

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