Deposit or no deposit

I hope to have my first Airbnb ready to Market by the end of this month. I have a 3 bedroom home with a family room living room and kitchen, I plan to offer it as a full house rental. My question is in regards to deposits. I see some people have little or no deposits and others have deposits upwards of $500. I’d like to know how you determine whether or not you should charge a deposit and how much. Any advice?

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I’m also a little confused on the deposit front: on the one hand, I hear it’s not ever charged unless the host files a damage claim. And on the other hand, shouldn’t that request be made/granted irrespective of a damage deposit?

So yeah, hope there’s an answer to this.

Airbnb deposits are mostly symbolic. They are not charged by Airbnb at the booking, and can only be charged through the resolution center, either with the agreement of the guest, or because Airbnb forced it (it is rare, and often non satisfactory). The amount of the deposit is not even pre-authorized at any time to check if the guest has indeed the required amount.

However, even though it is a gimmick, it might deter people who are not willing to commit to a deposit in the first place.


Thank you for this explanation! I thought it was a token gesture of sorts but I’m glad to have confirmation.

My deposit for a full apartment is $150. In the old days, Air really would run an imprint (hold) off the deposit. I have always felt it attracted a better, more responsible caliber of guest. When i did make a claim (the few times I have) i figure having the deposit makes Air ore likely to side with me. But I don’t know for sure. I have only had one claim exceed the deposit. Air sided with me and paid the claim. I really don’t know if my guest faced any consequences for her drunken damage. I hope so!

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Mine’s 250 pounds - lots higher than yours @konacoconutz :slight_smile:

I have a (probably) mistaken belief that for small amounts it would be easier to claim against the deposit than their falsely named guardantee

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All I know is that after reading this board, the deposit is mostly symbolic as Air doesn’t take it up front and then return it after a normal stay. So any charges against the deposit have to be approved by the guest. So I removed the deposit from my Air listing (but have a $100 one for my small apartment on other listing sites that charge them up front and then refund them).

Yes definitely mistaken. I have a deposit too and my experience with claiming on it was terrible. The guest didn’t approve my claim and air sided with the guest.

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I am a new host. How do I add a deposit amount to my account so that the guests pays me a % before checking in.

@Alet_Oberholzer I’m assuming you’re asking about a security deposit that will be refunded after the stay if everything’s ok. The way I do it is I send a request for extra payment through the “request money from quest” function. I sent a message saying they need to pay the deposit at least the day before arrival and then when I go and check the apartment after checkout I use the “sent guest money”. Its annoying but I think its one of the easiest ways if you’re not there to collect cash and then return it

How much is your rate, your deposit and how has it affected bookings (if at all) that you actually do collect the security deposit up front and then refund it? Have there ever been any issues with it? Have you ever not refunded the entire amount t?

@Militaryhorsegal I dont request deposits from everyone especially weekday one night stays as its too much hassle. If I do it will be to someone with no reviews. Weekdays I charge between £50-65 and the deposit is £50. Most deposits I taken were for Weekends stays and for people who seemed like they might party. My rate for Saturday night is between £150-£350 depending on season and I take a deposit of £50-100.
I dont think it affected those bookings as nobody complained or denied paying it.

I have not refunded a £100 deposit once when a group of guys had a party. To be fair it wasnt even a disaster just had to clean sticky floors and throw away bottles. They didnt even ask for their deposit back so I didnt even have to say “Im keeping your deposit”. Lol. And they left a 5* review as well.

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A bit confused… you charge and collect a deposit outside of Airbnb?