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Cancelling account - can Airbnb take money from me?


#1

Hi,

I am a super host, with many hundreds of bookings to my name. I have never had any issues, until a problem with a guest booking recently. Airbnb have been completely ineffective at resolving this issue.

I have delisted all of my listings, and given Airbnb until the beginning of next week to resolve the issue, otherwise I will cancel my account completely. They ignore all of my communications.

I have some bookings in the pipeline, so understand that these will need to be cancelled. I know some other airbnb hosts in the area, so can point the guests in the direction of these people. I don’t want this thread to get into whether or not I should cancel; I just can’t abide the thought of having to have anything at all to do with Airbnb going forward, in view of the way that they have treated me.

I have come across a post on the forum, which appears to indicate that Airbnb can deduct money from future payments, but cannot come after me for any ‘fines’ where there are no future payments:

As some time has passed since this thread, and no-one else has verified the statement made on the end of it, I just wanted to check that the statement remains valid.

Thanks in advance for any help with this.


#2

I think you would be better looking at Airbnb Help Centre for clarification, or calling Airbnb, rather than relying on a comment made by a host on a forum which may or may not be accurate.

Having said that, I can’t see anything in what you have quoted that indicates Airbnb cannot ‘come after you’ for fines which you may incur as a result of cancelling multiple bookings.

A comment on a forum is just that, you cannot presume it has any validity.

My understanding is that Airbnb can and does pursue hosts and guests when they owe the platform money or owe each other money.

In your situation, I would snooze my listing so I couldn’t get any further bookings, and look after the guests who have booked with me in good faith.


#3

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply Helsi. Do you have any links to evidence of Airbnb chasing hosts for money in this situation?

I’m not aware of having agreed to pay real funds to airbnb in the event of cancellation. I may have agreed somewhere to the deductions from future earnings, although I can’t find a copy of the host agreement anywhere. Perhaps I should have asked for this. We all agree to it somewhere, does anyone have a copy of what we have agreed to?

I hear what you say about snoozing listings, which I have already done; I’m just incensed at Airbnb’s lack of focus, given all of the money that they have made out of my listings, and my impeccable status as a super host. I want to cut all ties, and have given them notice of my intention to do so, should this not be resolved. I have no intention of leaving any guests high and dry; I will communicate any cancellation to them in advance, and give them whatever assistance they need in finding alternative hosts in the area. Like I said though, I don’t want this thread to get distracted by this aspect.

Thanks gain for your input, anything else you can provide would be gratefully received.


#4

I would contact all the upcoming guests and ask them to cancel as you are going out of business. Some can be cancelled penalty free. I was just having a disagreement about how many and under what circumstances on another thread and I’ll just agree with Helsi, we may not know what we are talking about.

Or you could just block off remaining days and months and complete the existing reservations. I get the feeling your anger is making you want to retaliate against Airbnb but it seems like a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. You’ll forego hundreds or thousands of dollars just to deprive Airbnb of a few dollars. They won’t notice, they don’t care.


#5

If you don’t mind sharing…I don’t know what kind of listings you have - but are these rooms in your house or whole homes?

I cannot imagine someone with several whole homes just going out of business instead of just advertising elsewhere.


#6
  1. I have seen comments on various Airbnb forums. If you use the search function, hopefully information will come up.

  2. Airbnb also say that can do this i.e. recover funds from you in the event of host cancellations. Have a look on Airbnb Help Centre. You will have signed up to this as part of their T&Cs.

You say you are going to notify guests and give them what assistance you can. However you can’t guarantee that you can help them or that they will want the alternatives you have found for them, so you may well end up leaving them high and dry.

As you haven’t said what they problem is with a guest that caused you to want to close down your Airbnb business, we can’t comment on what you see as the cause for you to take this action.


#7

Thanks Karma.

It’s not a small amount of money, there are over $6k in outstanding bookings, and I turned over around $40k last year. To be honest though, I am lucky that I don’t need the money. The money is useful, but the stress is not; I run a business, and investing my time in the business would be more productive and less stressful.

What a bizarre business model that they don’t care about the resources that their business is built upon.

Thanks for your help and input.


#8

Hi Cabinhost, my reply to Karma gives some insight here.

There are other options for letting the property if I need to, but I am not really bothered about that. The property is of historic interest, and I am more interested in sharing it with people that are interested in it, rather than making a fortune.


#9

Hi Helsi,

Thanks for the guidance. Looking at the Help Centre, specifically “I’m a host. What penalties apply if I need to cancel a reservation?”…

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/990/i-m-a-host--what-penalties-apply-if-i-need-to-cancel-a-reservation

…it only makes mention of the deduction from future earnings:

"Cancellation fee. The fee will be waived for your first cancellation within a 6-month period. After that, the following fee will be deducted from your first payout after a cancellation. The amount deducted will depend on when you accepted the reservation and how soon before check-in you cancelled it:

More than 7 days before check-in, we’ll deduct $50 from your next payout
Less than 7 days before check-in, we’ll deduct $100 from your next payout"

So presumably by implication they cannot chase for this by means of cash or other transfer?

I agree that I cannot guarantee an identical property for guests that go to acquaintances of mine. This is a downside that I am uncomfortable with.


#10

As a host taking on almost all the risk, I understand. Airbnb has decided their guests are what the business is built upon. We always say they would have no business without hosts but they would also have no business without guests.

So they don’t care about any single individual host. You are easily replaced in their eyes.


#11

Are you at all interested in keeping the reservations? Or are you just going to shut down the business? If you are only leaving the platform, but will be advertising elsewhere…then I would collect the person email address and record the phone number for each guest.

Then start violating all kinds of Air rules and they will eventually close your account. They will cancel all bookings and TA-Da! you will be free of them. But now your guests can book directly through you and save the service fee. Or they can decide not to come.


#12

You’ll get no argument from me there. The hosts, the cities, the communities - they will bleed them all dry.


#13

Yes Karma, we are easily replaced. I’m told that ebay have a similar model. The focus is all on the buyers; so long as they keep coming, sellers will put up with whatever they have to


#14

I’m sure I’ve read on the airbnb community forum that airbnb will take money from the hosts card if they have the details, i.e. you used abb as a guest.


#15

Interesting question cabinhost, would I go offline? I’ve met so many interesting people, and made some friends on there, it hasn’t all been bad, far from it. I’m just annoyed that, after taking $x in various commissions, airbnb have no interest at all in helping me when I need them. Not looked into what other platforms there might be, but I’ll keep the option open.

As regards specifically targeting the bookings made, and encouraging them to go offline, I’m sure that I would fall foul of some sort of clause in the agreement (that I can’t locate) which would enable them to sue me. It would solve the problem though of giving the guests somewhere to stay that is not dissimilar from that which they have booked.

I do keep all numbers as a matter of course, in order that I can contact people if the site is inaccessible for whatever reason (I car about my customers, I wish that airbnb did!)


#16

Blockquote

Hi Humpty,

Have you got any links to these posts? I struggle to see how airbnb can take money unless I have permitted them to. I don’t recall doing this, and there is no mention of them being able to on the Help Centre.


#17

Spent 10mins looking but no, I think we dig deep enough into the T&Cs airbnb can do pretty much anything they like.


#18

If it’s a separate home that you rent to guests…I can maybe turn you on to some options. Feel free to send me a PM if you wish.

As far as Air suing you…of course none of us would ever know. But from what I have read over the years from different posters…is that Air will just shut down the account and cancel all bookings immediately, and you will have no more contact info for guests. So basically it is Air who ending the relationship and them choosing to cancel your reservations. I do not see them trying to sue you in court when they chose to end the relationship.


#19

Ghost… I am not sure what you are asking but I’ll offer my two cents.
Yes, Air will take money from your future payouts. If you don’t have future payouts, they will eventually send you to collections. It’s in the TOS that you sign. As for the credit card you may have on file as a guest, remove it, delete it from the system… just to be sure.

Now… since you are legitimately going out of business, you may be able to call and get Air to cancel them without penalty. We have heard of other hosts doing this, say when they got evicted, or were subject to regulations that came up. They aren’t going to care if you leave, that is like a Bye Felicia thing. :rofl: BUt I WOULD call them now and see if you can get help with cancellations. You could just say your area is going to start regulating and you can’t host anymore. I’m not sure if they would require proof.


#20

I wouldn’t presume anything.

In their T&Cs you sign up to them taking money from future bookings/your payment method.


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