Claiming for cigarette burns and additional cleaning after smoking guests in a non smoking house

I’ve only just started airbnbing this summer and all my guests have been amazing great people to host, but I’ve just had my first nightmare guests, and I’m really disappointed with how the resolution centre has dealt with the situation.

I had to report the guests, as after they left I found out that they had been threatening my neighbours, drifting their cars around our street, swearing and shouting all through the night and smoking in the house. I also found the house in a state there was ash stains on the sofas, cigarette burns in the bed linen, broken tv cabinet, missing lamp shade, ash all over the floors and carpets and a stench of smoke and burnt plastic throughout the the house.

The response from airbnb was that I could only claim £35 of my £200 security deposit for someone to repair the tv cabinet and replace the lamp shade. They said that I can’t claim anything for the cigarette burn because it was too small, which obviously cigarette burns are small but it still meant I had to replace the linen as I would never give a guest burnt linen. I also couldn’t claim for dry cleaning of the ash stained sofa cushion cover or cleaning of my curtains to remove the ash stains and smell of smoke.

Has anyone had any luck with claiming for smoke damage? Or does airbnb just never allow you to claim anything to do with smoke damage?

Also tips on how to get rid of the smell of smoke would be much appreciated, febreze just isn’t cutting it!

You need to redecorate and shampoo all the rugs/upholstery to get rid of the smell. Bad news!
Are your rules locktight? It would have been better to cancel their booking as soon as they started to break the rules. Perhaps if it’s a remote listing you could get the neighbours to contact you straight away if there’s any anti social behaviour.

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Oh noo!.. I’ve just redecorated and fitted new carpets 2 months ago. I have a 5 bedroom townhouse and they’ve smoked in all the rooms, so redecorating is just not an option at this point. I wish I had known in time to cancel the booking but all the antisocial behaviour happened on the last night and my neighbours told me once they had already left. I am very surprised my neighbours didn’t call the police, I wish they had. However, this was on the last night of a festival in our town and everyone kind of expects it to be noisy at night as we’re very close to the high street. Have you ever heard of airbnb allowing people to claim for smoke damage? I’m just so surprised that they haven’t given me any of the security deposit to cover this. The rules just say that it is a non-smoking house, which I reiterate in the welcome letter. But yes thanks I will ask my neighbours to let me know straight away next time.

Buy or borrow a carpet shampooing machine for the carpets. I have heard of people being compensated for smoking, it sounds like Airbnb are not being generous. Nag them. Make sure you have good rules like quiet time after 11pm, no alcohol (you can ignore this if it’s just a glass of wine with dinner but it gives you more leverage against parties).

That money would in no way cover the cost of this and the lampshade. You should be able to submit receipts.

Do you not have CCTV to monitor activity at your place? If not, this should be a priority and then you can see who goes in and out and nip party activity in the bud.

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I will do, thank you so much for all the advice

I don’t but I definitely think I’ll invest in one next year if I decide to airbnb again. Thanks for the advice

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First of all, I’m sorry that you did not have better luck with the resolution center. It’s truly disappointing. Before shampooing the rug, try to clean it with a powder that you leave overnight and then vacuum the next day. Try Arm-Hammer-Strength-Eliminator-Fighters. If it works, you won’t have the added expense of the shampoo machine rental. Open all the windows and, if you have them, put fans in the windows but with the blades in reverse to pull out the air. If the blades are not reversible then turn the fans around. I hope this works for you.
Best wishes.

I am new to Airbnb & have in my terms and conditions that smoking in the property will result in complete loss of the £500 security deposit. I don’t know how this would hold up though.

I am asthmatic. Smoke residue is a health hazard.

Start by throwing open all the windows and doors and air for as long as you can; ideally 48 hours. Sunlight is highly effective in killing odour. Scatter baking soda on the carpets and sofas and leave it as long as you can, then vacuum. Hang the curtains on a clothes line. Wash interior windows. Crank up Eminem very loud and swear your head off. Very therapeutic.

Slices of fresh lemon are a big help too. I have been known to spritz a little on the kitchen counter.

Cigarette burns are sadistic. No excuse. But if you have an artistic friend or makeup artist who is good with colour, use a tiny dot of matching acrylic paint on the burn and check for colour once it dries. It won’t cover the burn up, but it will be less obvious.

These are simple fixes that have worked well for me. What won’t get fixed is the lack of trust in what should have been a simple insurance claim.


Ozium spray (expensive) but works wonders for smoke odors. Here in the states you can also rent an Ozone machine/purifier which will extract out most smells, including smoke. So sorry this happened to you. Good luck.


Thanks Ritz the carpet powder seems to have done the trick!


Eminem for cleaning music has definitely helped, as has the baking soda. Thanks for the advice!


I rented out my apartment for 7 months (long term) and one of the rules was no smoking. The women had ignored that and smoked insanely, my wife came to pick up the keys but she had a cold + the guest had all Windows open so my wife didn’t notice the smell. It was freezing cold in the apartment because it was late autumn in Sweden so my wife closed all Windows and then she noticed the intense smell of ashtray. I expected the worst that I would need to restore the apartment for thousands…but I did a little research on ozone generators. Smokers apparently used them with good results, some were cigar lovers and others were smoking weed and didn’t want the neighbours to find out. So anyway I bought 2 small ozone generators for 50$ each good for 25 sqm ie 50 sqm in total. The ozone gas irritates throat and eyes so I needed to stay at my cottage for a week while the generators where producing ozone. When I came back I had no expectations but I noticed the ashtray smell was gone and replaced by the characteristic ozone smell which resemble smell of chlorine. The windows were a bit open for two more weeks to went out the ozone smell. The ashtray smell never came back. I was very happy…100$ of ozone generators saved the day. Also all textiles was thrown into the washing machine. So I highly recommend this technology

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Recently I had a guest with BO who left the room smelling foul. After normal cleaning and airing I used soda, steaming, air purifier etc… In the end it was a bowl of vinegar that worked.

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