Did I really just make this ridiculous, rookie mistake?

I’m sad to hear your experience. I have had some good experiences with Airbnb phone support and just a few frustrating conversations. I have been glad to receive payment for bookings that were cancelled very late. I’ve not tried claiming costs for guest damage to my home because there’s been none so far. Our studio is on our main residential property so we have normal home insurance.

I haven’t had any guest damage but believed they would secure funds from the guest if I did. Is that not correct? We have been glad to be paid when guests cancel late, which wouldn’t be the case if people direct-booked.

Do other hosts make concessions to returning 3rd time cash guests such as Sat night only??? Usually we have 2 night minimum weekends… so hard to say no, and she’s already told me I can borrow the keys to her villa in Italy,…,

This is not a promise that Airbnb is currently making.

You must request payment from the guest within 14 days of the check-out date. If they don’t fully pay, only then does Airbnb’s Host Damage Protection cover you and only subject to the terms of Airbnb’s program.

For example, if they let the bathtub overflow and the water damaged your living space below, that’s not covered in my reading. Or they cause a fire and your property on the same lot burns down, that’s not covered under Airbnb’s damage protection. It’s an open question whether you’d be covered under whatever homeowners policy you have.

Have you confirmed with your insurance when you a running a commercial activity out of your home that you are covered?


How would they “secure funds” from the guests? Guests who don’t want to pay for damages simply refuse to pay. Then you have to submit endless receipts to Airbnb to get them to consider paying out, which for countless hosts has proven to be fruitless, or months later Airbnb deigns to pay $200 for $2000 worth of damages.

I have a private room listing in my home and have never had a guest damage anything. Just don’t be under any illusions that you are protected by Airbnb. Just think of them as a listing and payment service. They aren’t your partner and they don’t care about you.

This is the question to ask.

BUT, if the answer is ‘no,’ it’s possible that your policy will not be renewed just based on the fact you made the inquiry. I don’t know if they could cancel the policy earlier based on the ‘uncertainty’ of the property’s use.

Sounds risky to me. Did anything in the above post about the difference between damage protection and insurance concern you? Although I see you’re in Australia and my responses have been U.S.-centric. We have Australia Hosts here who might chime in.

Sorry. You haven’t been here at the forum so long, so Airbnb doesn’t care about you. Airbnb likes the rest of us. Stick with it! :rofl:

Just borrow the keys? You don’t get to stay there? :crazy_face:

Letting her just book one night seems like something no one else can really give advice on, it’s really up to you. 3rd time repeat guest, I might, but cleaning and washing bedding and towels for a one night booking isn’t something I’d want to do unless the guest was also willing to pay for my cleaning time, since I don’t charge a cleaning fee.


As usual, this is very good (and sobering) advice from the forum. Time to do my homework, but I’ll ask for a friend.

Of course it would. If people book direct, you get to set your own rules. If you want to tell them they forfeit their deposit or half their payment if they cancel, you can.
I just had a guest who stayed with me a couple months ago through Airbnb direct book for another stay. She transferred the entire amount to my bank account. If she cancelled, which I don’t anticipate, I could keep all the $ she transferred if I wanted to.

Direct booking doesn’t mean they just pay on arrival.


Or ask another agent at the same company as a prospective customer.

@lisanddavid and @Debthecat : Do you have any guidance for @BronnyT on insurance of short-term rentals in Australia?

@BronnyT If you want more guidance here you might want to briefly summarize the facts of your listing, like where you are in Australia, whether there are shared spaces with the studio and your living space, whether the studio is in the same structure and above or below you, whether you have a pool or whether there’s anything about your property that might affect its safety (e.g., property includes a body of water, piranha pond, animals, whether it conforms to local building codes, offer guests bikes or archery practice, game rooms with axe-throwing targets, that kind of thing). [I did see ‘Crocodile Dundee’ and Steve Irwin’s ‘Crocodile Hunter’ so I know a little about Australia.]

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Insurance Broker in Australia
Veronica at Cenata


We are in a regional town in NSW, the listing is a new structure on our half-acre property about 60 metres from our home. Has kitchenette and small bathroom. No shared spaces, no pool, only animals are 3 chickens. A couple of gum trees that could drop a limb and lots of native birds. There are a couple of crooked sandstone stairs to the private guest garden fenced for Airbnb pets at the back. Garden can be a bit dark if guests don’t switch the outdoor light on when they leave and we can’t go in to turn it on for them. We have other lights but it’s very well lit with the guest light on.


As you might have heard we’re litigious in the U.S., where more than 80% of all lawsuits are trips and falls. Here in Massachusetts you need railings whenever there are three or more steps (four steps in many other jurisdictions). But look for trip hazards on your property, keep walkways/paths clear of them is one thought.

So make sure that you follow whatever the building codes are, as a minimum. I don’t know whether a solar motion-activated light makes sense given the wildlife there.

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I wouldn’t, not only because turnaround takes me so much time, but also because it means you’re potentially missing out on longer, therefore easier and more lucrative, bookings.

It happened once for me that I got a booking request from someone who wanted to book for just one night. When the request came in, I was on a hike with some friends from out of town and I told them my dilemma. They were of the opinion that I should rent it out for one night because, with the cleaning fees, it was a not-inconsiderable sum, and how could I say no to $400?

But before I could respond, an instant booking came in for 4 days over the same weekend that invalidated the other request (I can’t remember if it was a booking request or just a query). If I’d taken the 1-night booking I would have lost over 500 dollars. (This was back when we were new and most of our bookings were on the weekends, so one night on a weekend basically meant we wouldn’t make any other money for the rest of that week.)

I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t override my rules and do 1-night bookings!


I am in Sydney and I spent a lot of time looking for a STR insurer and I concluded that the best deal at the time (this was about a year ago) was St George Underwriting Agency. I believe they have merged with a company called Property Insurance Plus.


I probably would, assuming I want them to keep coming back. I’ve done that kind of thing for repeat guests in the past and it’s always turned out in my favor. I look at it as an investment.

I’ve done enough favors like that for repeat guests over the last few years that at this point I don’t depend on Airbnb at all. They could kick me off the platform tomorrow and I’d still have a full calendar. And I like that.

There’s no price slashing to get bookings in the winter because my regulars will pay my regular price all year long. And there’s no box of chocolates with repeat guests. I know exactly what I’m going to get. And I like that too.

You have to do what works for you but don’t underestimate the longer term investment opportunity you have with that guest, with the immediate bonus of taking Friday night off and keeping it just for you (while still collecting cold hard cash for Saturday night).


I have done off site bookings in the but it was for a police officer and it was booked through a girl I know who works at the police station and a couple of doctors booked through our hospital where I worked, so it was fairly safe. (Will never do again though). In saying that I would never book outside of this site because there are alot of bad, unscrupulous people out there happy to screw over good people like you. In the news lately there is a horror story about a couple in the USA that did a booking offsite and have not been able to get the guests out of their place and apparently don’t have a leg to stand on with regards to tossing them out. Have a good day

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Do you realize that if a guest books through Airbnb and refuses to leave when their booking is over, that exactly the same scenario can happen? Airbnb isn’t going to force the guest to leave, and depending on eviction regs in any given area, it can be the same horror show as if they had booked direct.

Just a quick correction on the word ‘eviction,’ which is a court proceeding in the U.S. that pertains to tenants.

In a short-term rental we have guests.

If they don’t leave on time we can call the police to ‘eject’ or remove them, just like a dinner guest who won’t leave. Guests are guests, even if paying guests. They are not tenants, who as you rightly point out are subject to eviction depending on the eviction laws in any given area.

The guest might complain, of course. Our rules say that they can be ejected, but regardless we can do so. If the ejection was inappropriate they have legal contractual rights under the agreement (they can sue for monetary damages) we have with them, but they – the guests – have no right to stay.

It’s important in the U.S. to get the words right because if you tell the police you want to ‘evict’ them the police might know or be told that eviction is a court proceeding and that therefore they cannot help you.

EDIT TO ADD: This assumes that the rental is not of such a length so that under local law they in fact become a tenant.

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