Claim against guest who damaged cooktop

A guest who stayed for 48 hours:

  • Tore a shelf off the wall, damaging the shelf and the wall
  • Put dirty greasy dishes and cookware back in the cabinets
  • Damaged the glass surface of my (four-month old) electric range

I plan to file a claim requesting the guest reimburse me for the cost of parts and labor to replace the cooktop surface if I cannot remove the stains. (I have tried to remove the stains with glass cooktop cleaner, baking soda, glass surface cleaner, scouring powder, and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I have ordered a scraper and will try that when my current guest departs.)

Airbnb reps told me I need to file a claim against the guest within 14 days, which of course is within the guest review period. They have also informed me that they cannot prevent the guest from leaving a review after I have filed a claim. Which of course puts me in a terrible bind, as I would expect almost any guest against whom a claim is filed will retaliate with a horrible review.

I wanted to find out from my fellow hosts if it is correct that:

  1. The claim has to be filed within 14 days
  2. Once the claim is filed, the guest can still leave a review

Any advice is appreciated!

the claim has to be filed within 14 days OR before the next guests arrives!
With a same day turnover - this can be hell!

Review can still be left

Take photos!

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You only have to notify the guest about the claim within these limits. You don’t have to actually file the claim according to the terminology in the host guarantee plan. So it may be good enough to say “By the way, did you scour the cooktop?”

I understand your conundrum. But some people should have warning labels. This sounds like serious damage and the community at large needs to know. Hosts like you have helped me dodge some major bullets.

You don’t have to post your review until the last minute. If the destructive guest posts a negative review, it could end up being a backhanded favour! “She actually demanded money from me!” Tells a wary host that this guest night have fleas. And it cautions the potentially unscrupulous guest to think twice.

Whatever. I don’t like it either. But you are doing US a favour by being honest.

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You might be better off claiming from your own STR insurance. Although if your security deposit covers the amount, you can find out more here:

In either case, you’re going to need plenty of photographs of the damaged shelf and cooktop (you wouldn’t be claiming for #2, I’m assuming).

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I am definitely writing an honest (and therefore scathing) review about this guest. In 18 months of hosting, it will be the first negative review I leave.

I have had great guests. I have had just-ok guests. I have had guests who were meh or even mildly bad. I have had plenty of ruined towels, broken wine glasses, etc… Normal guest stuff. I have even had guests be careless with an item or two. Things that make me scratch my head. I have never charged anyone for anything.

But this was different. This was just wanton disregard for decent behavior. Not only did they case expensive damage to a wall and an appliance. But then they didn’t bother to tell me about it. Ugh. And, yeah, I want other hosts to know.

I am not even charging them for the wall, since I can fix that myself.

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