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Damages- refund or pay by myself?

#1

Dear collegaues,

I Airbnb-ing from 2015 and never asked for a refund. My listings have a 5-star reviews , I have lots of constant clients and I always do my best for guests.

From 2018 I started to host several couples which arrived for surrogacy babies, they stayed for 1-1,5 months. This kind of guests are new to me.

From the very beginning of a booking, they always bombarding me with messages about rental services, asking about baby nursery items- “are these items are in rentals in your country”, “please find this item for me”, about many things , so I have to spend a lot of my time to answer, trying to be polite and helpful, for people with such a sacred travel purpose- a baby.

After, they ask to organize an airport transfer, after they cancel and all this I do with smile on my face.

This time I need Your help because I feel deeply frustrated. This family arrived for a baby, doing the same- asking about rentals, transfers etc. Last minute they changed a guests number and included their 6-yrs old adopted son and their 65-year old mother-in-law. They also received a good discount for their long-term sta. So all stars where for their good stay in my apartment.

My house rules don’t allow cleaning made personally by guests- I have a natural rosewood floors all over the apartment, high quality surfaces and appliances, so I use a special cleaning products and professional cleaning service. From the very beginning, they insisted that they don’t need cleaning and their Mom (65 yrs or such) will clean (!!!). I refused and this is what I obtained instead.

When they arrived, I met them in the apartment , and made some meals for a boy, I am a Mom also and wanted to do my best for tired guests. When checking them out I checked everything by myself and there where NO stains on the floors. Look what happened next.

I usually visit cleaning lady when she cleans, rarely, to check the apartment and her cleaning quality. I saw guests where packed by beer and more beer bottles where in the balcony, also their old mom was drinking (!!!) this was strange for me, they got a small boy with them and they where expecting another baby to arrive , but ok, its not my deal, so I left.

After few days they called and told me that their 6-year old boy “broked a sliding door and sliding is not possible, so please come and repair the door”. Oh my Gosh. The door is 120 cm wide and 250 high. Its heavy. Here lived lots of big men, but no one was breaking this 2,5 m high big door… I spent 1 working day for repair.

They payed for the door (it was sliding lock broken), for taking it out from the room etc. Being in the apartment during repair, I noticed lots of stains on my rosewood floors. I asked cleaning lady, she answered that these stains where everywhere on the floor and its not possible to wash them out. Yes, its not possible, because they are from something strong, they destroyed the lacquer surface, its has an ugly look and they have to be repaired.

I asked old lady, their mother-in-law, about these stains. She was not happy with my questions and answered she has no idea about stains. She behaved as I am a piece of shit for her.

After I asked father, he denies all, he refuses to state they made these drops , he even swears!

But I am in normal state of mind, I am not drinking, or smoking, I have good vision and I definitely see the stains which are a big headache for me. Maybe they think I make money on refunds??? I better pay them but will not face such problems. If this about a broken glass, or dirty walls.

I can wash, and buy a new glass, and paint the walls for free, but this is a real damage, on a natural. Just-made (less than a year ago) these wooden floors, so what I have to do with these people?

If you were in that situation, what would you do?

They can write bad review and my reputation for which I was struggling many years, will fall down. They communicate on surrogacy mom’s forum and if she tells anyone about my refund questions, no one will book from me.

It seems I have to keep silence and pay??? But this is my apartment, not their, and they ruined the floors for me which cannot remain so for the next guests.

I keep my apartment clean and in excellent conditions which assumes no such ugly stains or such.

Do I guilty for my sadness that these people do not respect my apartment and my money I invested for their pleasure and comfort?

What should I do? I expect the price would be around 150-200 $ for local manual repair. I make interior projects so I have my discount on this.

#2

Maybe best to just repair and cover your beautiful floors with a carpet while you are doing rentals, going forward.
I’m so sorry about your inconsiderate guests, who, I don’t know, poured beer all over your floor or whatever. You could send before and after pictures to Airbnb to justify your claim, and they could keep denying it. I don’t know how it would turn out. It might be worth trying, because you probably have already lost good referrals from them to the baby adoption network.
They did pay for the door, so it is not 100% awful. Also I can guess they are under a lot of stress with the baby adoption in process, so may not have reacted so well to the floor questions. That is an explanation, not an excuse.
Give them a bad review, and review them at the last moment so they either don’t review or their review is not right on top.

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#3

I understand that English isn’t your first language but even so, I had a hard time understanding exactly what went on. I especially don’t understand this:

You’ve had a bad reputation for years? Sorry but that’s how I read it. Don’t worry about a bad review. Everyone gets them from time to time and if your others are great then potential gursts will understand that it’s a one-off.

What’s the deal with the three-exclamation-marks comments about a 65 year old woman (the ‘old lady’) cleaning and drinking beer?

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#4

Hi, I am sorry for my bad language.

Thanks for a tips!

By saying about bad reviews, I meant that I spent years , struggling for a good reviews, working hard.

By writing about 65-old woman I meant the couple insisted that she will clean instead of my cleaner (she’s their mother-in-law), and she was drinking with them, in presence of their little son.

2 Likes
#5

Thank you very much for support. I needed a friendly words, because I am full at the moment. I don’t understand why I feel shy when I have to ask tge questions about my property damages. This is unfair and I see that hosts are not in such a good conditions as guests. We have no rights and one bad review can ruin all good reputation. Thats why most of hosts are keeping silence.

#6

hdpfromva has the best advice.

Airbnb guests come from all backgrounds and some might just live on a concrete floor and not understand about taking care of hardwood floors. It seems to be a very common complaint from hosts.

Your floors would need to be professionally sanded and then refinished I’m guessing. They probably wouldn’t need to be replaced.

You can make a video recording of a walk-thru of your rental before your guests check-in and audibly record the date and who’s checking in. That way you have a record of the condition of the place to prove they did these damages.

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#7

Write up a paper listing where to buy baby supplies, etc so those guests can have a copy.

Wood floors need sanding and re-finishing, not replacing. They need to have a very heavy duty finish, not just ordinary wood floor finish.

You need to have proof that guests broke door and messed up the floor – before guest visit and after things are broken photographs – so Airbnb will consider charging guest for damages.

You really need to speak to Airbnb Customer Service immediately when/if you see such damages. You need to always communicate with guests through the Airbnb message system. This way there is a record of what has happened.

3 Likes
#8

@airbnbua I’m sorry you had a bad experience with the guests who stained your beautiful floors. However, you need to be practical and realistic – installing floors that require special care is not very practical when you have strangers living for extended periods in your apartment. I think that placing large inexpensive rugs to protect your floors might be a good idea to avoid further damages.
Don’t be upset, don’t be depressed, just be happy that the damage can be fixed :).

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