AirBnb hosts be warned: AirbnB can and will override the strict cancellation policy you have put in place even if guests cancel AFTER check in date.
Two of our guests (for two consecutive and separate bookings) cancelled due to medical reasons. They did not provide us with any details and contacted AirBnB directly.
In spite of the fact that we have a so-called “strict” cancellation policy in place, AirBnB decided to cancel both reservations (at no costs for the guest nor for AirBnB of course) and told us these cancellations were due to "Extenuating Circumstances). Note that the list of these circumstances is left broad and vague enough so that it can include pretty much any situation https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/1320/extenuating-circumstances-policy
When we ask AirBnB which objective criteria they had used to determine the fact that these travelers had to cancel at the very last minute (or even after the check in date in the second instance!) they refused to provide any justifications (again in spite of the fact that the hosts have to bear the full consequences of their decisions, which seems completely arbitrary!)
As a result we are left with an empty house in the midst of the high season after vacating it for our “ghost guests” and paying fees including cleaning and booking someone to take care of the check in / out process. It is now too late to find other guests. This is even more disappointing that we had to turn many reservations away after confirming these two which ended up being cancelled at the mast minute.
AirBnB does NOT protect hosts (they make more money from guests) - host are treated like a commodity and it certainly does NOT feel like a community.