Deposit access?

I’m new to airbnb and unfortunately a picture went missing during my second guests stay. It wasn’t expensive, something I got from home goods ages ago, but the guest insists she didn’t take it (she had kids there so perhaps one broke it and hid it in the trash, it was a glass framed picture. I thought I could automatically take it from her deposit but saw that I have to work it out with her and that if I can’t airbnb will step in but I have to have that happen prior to the next guest checking in. Someone else checked in that same day. So I’ve pretty much let it go but what do I do in the future and is there any way to access the deposit??

No. Just the procedure that you outlined here. AirBNB and the guest decide if you get any of the deposit money. [Yea, think about that one for a moment!]

No, there’s no other way to access the deposit. Just be sure that you have STR insurance to cover any losses but be aware that items will be broken or disappear. Make sure that there is nothing in your rental that can be easily broken or stolen (even if accidentally).

You’ll find that occasionally guests do break things (don’t we all?) and sometimes something like a towel will disappear - which is probably due to hasty packing more than malicious intent.

Over time, losses will balance out. Have your prices set to a level that accommodate the occasional loss/damage. As you know, stores do this to cover shoplifting.

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Thank you both. I completely expect things to break (she also broke a towel rack but said it “fell”) or “disappear” so I’ve made sure that everything in the house is inexpensive…I no longer live there so it’s strictly for air b n b use so anything that breaks or leaves isn’t as big a deal as it would be if I lived there. Thank you for the suggestion to get insurance I hadn’t thought of that.


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I think that this strategy is fundamentally flawed. For one thing, good quality is much less likely to break. Guests know the difference and if the place feels full of cheap stuff, they won’t really treat it like their home. They will just not respect it, nor will they see value in staying in a place where the stuff is cheap. You can “feel” cheap almost instantly.

Cheap is different than inexpensive, of course. Rickety chairs, a sofa that has no spring, a bed with a slump in the middle, things like this will make guests feel that you are just in it for the money, not to provide a “home away from home” experience.


I expect OP means she won’t hang limited edition, signed prints in her rental. Instead, she will hang art that isn’t valuable, so probably not dollar store art, but home decor art. I buy pictures at thrift stores or yard sales as I can find more variety than what is generally available at home decor stores.

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Hi @Saranah,

Unfortunately, you won’t have access to the deposit in the future, in an event of damage/stolen things, you need to contact the guests and get them to admit they caused damage/stole your belongings, and you have to ask them to pay. If they refuse to pay you, you have to open a case with Airbnb, and you have to prove the damage is caused by guest, the things stolen exist, and you will probably need to provide police report for that.

My advice, take a very detailed video that records the condition of your property and also records every item in your property (unless you think the item is not worth recording and you can pay if it gets damaged or missing). And take such video regularly, preferably before every guest check in. This is a lot of trouble and I only did it few times when I first started hosting and I stopped. But recently a damage occurred and it was difficult to prove because I didn’t make such video.

Anyway, even with the help of video, sometimes you still can’t prove damage, such as broken electrical appliances, Airbnb will ask for a professional report stating the damage was caused manually instead of breaking down itself (even you get such report, guest can still argue they are not the one who break the thing). You may still end up paying for your guest damage. And short term rental insurance is important in case of major damage like fire. I doubt Airbnb would cover that.

Good luck hosting, and be careful not to allow party people into your property.

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When I said inexpensive I was referring to art on the walls. I used to live in the house and all the furniture is from when I lived there. Not expensive but not run down and “cheap” I’ve stayed in an air b n b before and I know what I would expect from a host and I’ve provided that for my guests with great reviews

Got it.

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