Damage Deposit Claims - Not enough time

Turns out AirBnB not won’t give money back on damages unless it is reported before the next renter checks in. Even if there is ongoing dialogue with the renter who did the damage- unless it is actually filed, you can’t collect. I have all back to backs with 3 hours between each renter which basically means I can never get money back for damages.

What happened- a renter wrote me while still there “I left the windows open during the rain because I was cooking, and now your curtains are stained.” I wrote her back that my cleaners would look at in on her check out and then we can discuss compensation.

Upon my cleaner entering, he smelled weed and even found the roach and left over weed. Which means the windows were left open as they smoked in the house ($300 fine according to my house rules)

I wrote her to discuss and try to come up with a compromise as I now needed to get all new curtains, which were $500. I told her I would take $200.
I gave her a day to get back to me before escalating it to AirBnB. She never did, so I went thru the Resolution Center.

I got the answer back from resolution that they can’t help me because even though I wrote the renter about the issue- I didn’t go to AirBnB before another renter checked in, (Which was 2 hours after my cleaners said the stain couldn’t be fixed and they found the roach)

So how then am I ever supposed to make a damage claim with that short of a window?

Call back and see if you can get another rep. Recently I noticed they had conflicting information on their site. In one section they still had the timeframe as 48 hours to report damage. And then in another section they had the new rule of 14 days or before the next guest checks in.

A while back I spoke to an Air rep. about this when I was dealing with another issue. I told him that I often have back to back guests and I am the cleaner. I have 5 hours to get the entire house prepared, and I need every single minute. So I asked what happens if I discover damage and cannot report until that evening? I told him if I have to sit down and log into a computer and start looking up repair estimates, etc…then my next guest cannot check in on time. So that means my next guest might demand a refund because the house isn’t ready. I can’t do that!

And I told the rep. that some people are at a 9-5 job and even if their house cleaner reports damage to them…it doesn’t mean the host can just stop working and start messing around with a damage claim.

He said he completely understood blah blah blah blah, and he said of course the reps. can make exceptions to the rules. I just knew another host would be reporting this on the boards soon. I am sorry Air making this so frustrating for you.

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I’m on hold with them right now and he’s talking to a case representative- I was told their decision is final- but they are going to let me know how I can possibly make a claim in the future in 3 hours. Just a really bad system as you pointed out. VRBO gives you 14 days.

Definitely present a good case to the rep. It’s complete BS!

VRBO now has a 14 day rule? Are you on pay per booking, or subscription with online booking?

VRBO called me the other day to try to convince me to re-enroll in online booking. No thank you!

I am trying to see if I can find if they have the 48 rule still posted on their site but I am not seeing it.

That way you can point out to them that they have conflicting info. It was still posted on their site very recently. Because I made a mental note that in one section it had the old rule, and in another section they had updated with the new rule.

They are now telling me- if the damage is above the security deposit I have 30 days. If it is at or below the security deposit- I only have til the next renter checks in. This is crazy. So basically- don’t have a security deposit and you get 30 days. He is now connecting me with a Supervisor to confirm that insane rule.


The rules have always been x amount of time or until the next guest checks in, whichever is the soonest. The fact that they’ve extended the time you can report a problem to 14 days is kinda irrelevant if someone checks in sooner.

And I suspect don’t have a deposit and you have nothing to claim against in the event of a situation like this where the host guarantee won’t cover the damage.

But with a deposit and same day check in- I have no recourse either apparently

Your option is either to check and claim before the next guest checks in or don’t do same day check out/ins. Sorry you just found out, but its always been the case.

You may have to write it off as a business expense, same as I did with a chipped sink which I also discovered too late.

Well I talked to someone above the first guy. She told me- that yes you do have to hit “Request Money” before the next guest. Even a conversation with renter before next renter may not be good enough- the REQUEST MONEY button has to be hit.

So basically, found out damage immediately before the next posted check in time and hit request money and then start the dialogue. I don’t think that’s the best way to negotiate issues with a renter and makes me look bad- but without doing that, there can be no claim made

And not taking guests that same day would lose me tens of thousands of dollars a year.


It seems fair to me that you have to report damage before the next guest checks in. It’s the best method I can think of to make sure that you are blaming the correct guest for the damage. I rent a room in my house so three hours is enough time to see if a guest damaged anything. If you rent a whole house, three hours is probably not enough time. Therefore, you need more time between guests.

But if a renter admits damage, and you then try to discuss it with them and come to an amicable agreement, and during that time you go over the time the next person checks in- you get nothing. So this sort of policy actually makes it so you have to accuse and not discuss.

Also with cleaning crews who have other homes to do that day, it’s almost impossible to get pictures, discuss with them, get pricing on replacement etc…


It’s terrible, terrible, terrible policy!! Especially when you might be texting the guest just to inquire about what kind of stain it is, etc. so that you can try to get the stain out.

And let’s say you rent to large families…the person who booked may not even be aware that someone else in the group did something. So the guest may need to check with other family members to get back to you with more detail.

I have contacted guests to find out if they (or the kids) put a specific item in another place. I’d feel terrible to send them a money request without giving them an opportunity to respond first.

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Yep and I told AirBnB that- at the AirBnB Open it was all about learning new cultures and meeting new people and being a friendly and inviting host- yet their policies are all about “blame as fast as you can or too bad for you”

I am managing 3 properties in a ski area- all have check out 11am check in 3pm all are booked solid from November to March- it is absolutely impossible to get any deposit money back if damages occur only because there is no way to get a damage report from the cleaners in on time to AirBnB.

OK…I found it. It’s under "When am I charged for a reservation? - for guest section on the site. They have not updated the old policy in that section. It still says this:

Security deposits

If your listing requires a security deposit, you won’t be charged unless the host files a successful claim within 48 hours of your checkout.

I has no mention of 14 days or next guest check in.

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It wouldn’t though … it’s not necessary for guests to know that information. That’s back end stuff that only the host and Airbnb need to know.

I don’t think this is contradictory at all.

ABB makes up and stands behind the most absurd rules at times.
This is unreasonable on the part of ABB and defies logic.

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Actually I think it’s there to stop hosts placing blame on the wrong guests. That’s pretty logical even if it is irritating.

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Thanks for reminding us of the tight time-frame.

We’ve only had to claim once so far and we have a day between guests (i.e. a guest cannot check-out and another guest check-in on the same day). This seems luxurious compared to 3 hours. :slight_smile:

If a guest queried why a file was open, I’d just explain that it’s required by AirBNB. I agree it’s somewhat awkward, but I’d imagine most people would be OK with it once explained.

That’s BS, I agre, try to get another rep. Good luck, shitty guests. Left the windows open all night as they wee too stoned and didn’t give a shit it seems.