Damage or Wear and Tear?

I have been hosting our second home all summer on Air. Today when we went to clean we found that this week’s guests took one of the Ping-Pong Paddles and hit the table. It left big dents on the table and ruined the paddle. Is this considered normal wear and tear or damage? If damage I am not sure what to ask for. The table is still functional, and it was second hand to begin with. The paddle is not. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thank you for the forum in general, this is my first time posting but have frequently been able to find the answer to my questions with a search.

Thank you for your time!

That is a difficult one.

Unless you saw them doing it, it is hard to prove damage.
We have a pooltable, and every year I have to replace all 4 of the cues, because they are broken or split.

I see it as wear and tear. My guests are happy with the table, and some of them even book my listing because of it. So it is worth some money.

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“Unless you saw them doing it, it is hard to prove damage.
We have a pooltable, and every year I have to replace all 4 of the cues, because they are broken or split.”

Thanks Chris,
I feel that way about the Paddle we had a group of younger kids and there was much…peeling that week. A little tikes basketball had its outer layer removed and a paddle had much of the rubber removed. I thought that was wear and tare and didn’t think much of it easily replaceable. The table is the hard part, but you are right I can’t prove it and otherwise they were great guests!

I think you would need a before photo of the table to prove your case and claim. However banging the table is not fair wear and tear, you’re meant to be banging the ball! You could introduce a deposit scheme for the table tennis like most holiday places.

In my opinion the paddles are too small or a cost to care about. I would be upset with the table, I could see asking for cost of replacement if that is what you are going to do. Guest may deny it, but you can try to get compensation.

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As others have mentioned, this is difficult to prove, but I also agree this should not be considered wear and tear.

Letting out property on Airbnb can be problematic because with whole house rentals, people tend to not be very respectful, thinking, “Oh, it’s just a vacation rental.” They don’t see it in terms of being someone’s personal home. I think if hosts go out of their way to impress that people are renting another’s family home, they may treat it better.

I would suggest adding something along these lines to your House Rules:

We are happy to be able to share our family’s vacation home with our valued guests. We hope you find it as comfortable and relaxing as we do, and respectfully ask that you treat our home and its contents with the same care you would your own. Please note that any damage that affects either the aesthetic value or usability of the house or its contents will be charged against your security deposit.

I’m not saying it will have the desired affect on everyone, but humanizing yourself and your home may induce some people to take better care. And, by having the statement in your House Rules, you will have an easier time collecting it from Airbnb.


I agree that the Paddles are too small to care about. And they did deny it. I picked the table up for free on swap sites, so I don’t feel good asking for replacement. Taking photos is good to think about for the future. We have a longer term students coming in next week (not through Air). We will have to take a bunch of “this is the state of” photos for when they leave in May. Thanks for your help!

Chris thanks for the word suggestions. I will make sure to update our listing.

It doesn’t matter if you got an item in a thrifty way, it’s the cost of replacement which counts!

I now remove the pool cues when there are little children.
And if they want to play, I only give them when there is an adult with them.

Adding more text to the house rules does not accomplish anything, mostly the kids play alone. And they do not read the houserules. And with AirBnB, deducting from the deposit only works if the guest agrees.