Damage done by guest from Vrbo

Hi everyone! Let me share with you my story:
I am a holiday house listed on Vrbo.
The cleaner has cleaned the house and finished at 2 p.m. The house was in perfect condition.
Guest arrive at 2:05pm. And at 4:15, they send me pictures of broken glass there. The guests are saying that they haven’t broken it. But the cleaner has left the house in perfect condition. Guest seems like they are trying to escape from this. How do I proceed in this situation, as Vrbo has no liability or insurance cover?

Do you charge a security deposit?

This is an airbnb forum rather than VRBO so many of us won’t be familiar with the platform.


What sort of glass did they break? What is VRBO policy around guest damage ? I would follow that or claim on your home insurance for short term lets .

I know this is too late for this guest but about a year ago I started to videotape my STR after cleaning. I even pick up the sheets to show no bed bugs and that all lamps and tvs and appliances are working.

Yes it’s a pain and luckily I haven’t had it use it but it gives me peace of mind.

I use a free date-stamp video app and then compress the files using a free compression app and store in a free dropbox account for 1 month after the guest has stayed.


What kind of glass was broken? Believe it or not, some kinds of glass do break without anyone doing anything to it though it’s quite rare. Is is a window or drinking glass?

Surely if you have an entire home listed on VRBO you have your own short term rental policy that covers you and/or you have a real deposit. If you don’t have those then you will have to pay for this damage and learn from the mistake.

If it’s an inexpensive item it’s not worth filing a claim, write it off as a business expense.


A broken glass hardly seems something to argue about or to worry about the economic loss. Let it go.

We’re on VRBO and require damage protection with each rental. Here it is $79 that the guest pays for $3,000 of protection. Even with that we would not make a claim for a broken glass; that wouldn’t be worth our time.

As @Lynick4442 points out you could – we do – videotape the premises before each rental with a time-stamped video. But I don’t think we video with the kind of detail to videotape each glass. Without a video you have no evidence beyond ‘he said/she said.’ Even if I had the video, I might mention that but still blame the broken glass on gremlins. I wouldn’t create a Perry Mason gotcha’ moment for a broken glass.

I’ve had the experience of a glass breaking in my hands as I removed it from the cupboard. Actually I think it was weakened as I rested the glass after many uses against the ice dispenser in the refrigerator. Maybe that’s not your situation but glasses can break not as a result of negligence. Even if there were negligence – say the guest dropped it – so what? Let it go.

If the glass were expensive I would feel that was on me for having an expensive glass in a moderate kind of rental.

I wouldn’t charge for it. It would just feel petty to me and not worth anyone’s energy.

To me I would think to myself, “The cleaner SAYS it has left the house in perfect condition.” Not to say that the house cleaner is lying but anyone can miss things. When I go around to take the video I often find some small thing that the cleaner has missed.

If it were me I would message the guest "I’m so sorry that the glass broke. [Edit to mirror what the guests reported.] Thank you for letting me know.

The housecleaners assured me that they left the home in perfect condition, but weird things can happen [or, somehow that might have been missed depending on what the guests reported (I wouldn’t contradict the guest)! Please know we have a broom and dustpan in the hall closet as well as a vacuum. I’m so sorry for any inconvenience.

How otherwise is your experience so far? Is everything as you expected? Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests."

[I’m actually in the floor below and so I might volunteer to come up and vacuum it up if they’d like. but my message above assumed that you are not so close.] I know many hosts are reluctant to use the word ‘sorry’ when the Host does not feel it has done anything wrong but that’s what I’d probably say.


This is why I spend 10 minutes taking a video of the cottage on the day the guests are supposed to check in. I got this idea from this forum (thank you whoever posted it! Looks like it’s @Lynick4442 thank you! )

I think the video is so important that if I couldn’t do it myself, I would pay the cleaner to take a 5 minute video on the way out on their phone.

When a dog damaged a door in the cottage, I had the video to prove to the guest that the damage was not there on check in. Guests didn’t argue but I was glad I was prepared.

actually your phone will store the meta data for you, perhaps the app date stamps the video on the front? (I could fake that if needed).

I also film if I get the feeling the guest is going to be picky. We don’t do it all the time. We have 3 listings and this week we have 10 groups staying over this 7 days, that’s a lot of extra work to do! I should probably try a bit harder to take a few basic snaps each time.