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AirBNB screwed us out of a security deposit

We stayed in a villa in Bordeaux for 7 nights in June. We had a good time and took good care of the property.

However after we returned to the United Kingdom, we were contacted by the host who claimed we had damaged the furnishings in his property. We were not aware of doing this and on inspection of the photos the damaged looked relatively minor.

We wrote back saying we didn’t think we had caused the damage and that at any rate it looked like minor damage, and that we needed some proof that we had caused this damage.

We were then contacted by Airbnb (a person called Sydney F - we have never been able to find his surname) who told us the Host was claiming that the repair costs were £600! We again responded in the same way saying we didn’t cause the damage and asked for proof of the damage and proof that the £600 was indeed the appropriate cost to fix it.

Airbnb subsequently replied saying they had reviewed the evidence (not shared with us) and decided in favour of the host to award him £580 - they then proceeded to deduct this from our account.

All subsequent responses from us have appealed to Airbnb asking them to be reasonable, to provide the proof that we are asking for. They simply keep replying saying they consider the matter closed.

We have been completed ripped off here and don’t know what to do next. Can we take them to the small claims court?

Any help appreciated

Thanks
Geoff

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I am sure you can. 600 pounds is tons of money, and if you sincerely believe that you did not break anything then by all means go to small court.
I tell you 2 stories when as a host i claimed security deposit. Once i got paid 500$ though i claimed 700$, another time i claimed 350$, and got only 80$.
In a first case guests completely trashed the place. They left the house so disgusting that a crew of 2 people cleaned it for 3 days. They broke chair, vase, and spilled something red all over the bed. When i contated guests, they denied everything. They even denied that they broke chair and vase. The guests said: i have no knowledge of it. I have no knowledge of it did not help him though, there were pictures.
In a second case, guests denied everything also. But my claim was only paid 25% of it. And that pissed me off because i provided all the receipts and pictures.

Airbnb does not just take your deposit away without any reason unless there is a significant proof. I had to send tons of receipts and they went through my correspondence with guests, and they determine

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You can tell your CC company to deny the charge. If you are paying via PayPal, I’m not sure what the solution might be – one reason I only hold $100 in my PP account.

Well what do you mean by this? Are you admitting some damage, although minor? If you damage something in their home you should pay.

In my experience Air only sides with the host if there is significant proof. It’s like pulling teeth to get them to pay from deposits.

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Hi

Thanks for the response. To be clear we don’t know how the damage was caused - it is very minor. One of the supposed damaged items was a cushion with a mark a few millimetres in diameter the other was a mark on a table that we didn’t use and was covered in papers during our stay. As I say, both minor damages that we don’t think we caused, but in the event that somehow we did cause the damage it’s completely ridiculous to say it would cost £600 to fix. If Airbnb received the same info that we did their diligence of the cause of the damage and the cost to fix was basically non-existent

But did they say what kind of “mark” it was? Was it a non removable stain? Its very hard to determine because we dont see picture, and for now its your word against theirs. You have pictures, can you post them here?

I am not following what you are saying. You claim to have never used the table that was covered in papers. Yet, you say that “in the event that somehow we did cause the damage” - are you also referring to the table? Did you touch this table at all? If not, did you tell Airbnb it was covered in papers that were still left there, so you never used it?

Airbnb did not explain at all what kind of damages these were?

If I was an Airbnb employee, I’d be rather wary of that ‘were not aware’ and ‘didn’t think’ part of that message. Too wishy-washy.

Hmm I’m not quoting our response to Airbnb word for word here. So don’t get too concerned by the semantics. I’ve explained the situation and was interested to hear what our recourse would be. Thanks for the responses

Air bnb nearly always, to the best that I am aware, rules in favor of the guest and not the owners.
There is probably some fairly strong substantiation that the damage was caused during your stay, and that the damage is much more costly than you think. Is this possible?
Was it just the 2 of you in an apartment, or is it possible that others in your group, even perhaps children, could have caused some damage and hidden it?
As an owner, I am often shocked at the things that guests “hide”. such as, chocolate under cushions turned over, statues broken and hidden, items glued back together, tables move to cover stains, etc. Just speculating and not attacking, but aware that there can be 2 sides to a situation. Sometimes the main responsible guest can be unaware of what the rest of the group is doing.

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word for word responses are everything…semantics just dont count in these kinds of conflicts. What did you actually and factually say?

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My second group of guests (four unrelated 20-something guys) put a cigarette hole in my brand new sofa. Everyone in the party denied doing it. Then the guest who booked shut down his credit card. In the end, Air sent me a refund for the entire sofa.

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You are leaving out way too much information for anyone to really help you. You said the host originally contacted you directly regarding the damages. Yet, you never say what the “damage” is. The only thing you say is there were photos of two “marks.” You mean to say that you never asked the host what those marks were? Were they rips, red wine stains, black tire marks from a suitcase?

You never say whether or not you told the host that you never used the table because it was covered with papers.

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To be clear, not asking anyone to play judge and jury here, will save that for people who can actually determine the outcome. Just trying to understand the avenues which I can pursue. Thanks for all responses. Cheers

We can’t help you if you don’t give us clear and accurate details. That’s what everyone is trying to say.

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You sound like another one who posts a vague problem here and gets upset when you don’t hear what you want to hear. Why can’t you post word for word what they said?

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On the contrary all responses have been very helpful. Good to understand their processes better. Thanks all

Cheers

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