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Don’t cheat yourself - damages and reimbursement

Hi all, a quick post to say that I’ve had two incidences of guest damages. The first was with a vrbo guest and it could not have been more seamless to address. Then again, the guest was hyper conscientious and actually mailed a physical check in case the insurance policy didn’t reimburse me. The second occurrence happened last week with Airbnb guests that gave me a funny feeling from the start. There was nothing concrete to worry about - just a bit odd and hard to read. I even asked my housekeeper to let me know the condition of the house after cleaning. Well it turns out they brought a dog without disclosing and it was like the Bigfoot of pets and left everything completely covered in hair. Plus the floor was scratched, the wood burning stove gasket was chewed and missing in some spots, and a small rug was chewed. I’ve always dreaded confronting guests and in fact timed everything so 48 hours would pass after the guest’s review had been submitted (I.e., she could no longer edit it). I wrote her a quick note and explained that I would figure out the floor but would claim everything else and the pet fee. We had issues with a payment link (which I had to resolve directly with Airbnb) but she was patient and reimbursed me for everything. Granted the communications were a bit curt but I’m not on Airbnb to make friends - just deliver an excellent experience and be fairly compensated. Anyhow for those who are new to STR or even hesitant to make a claim, don’t cheat yourself of what is rightfully yours. It’s not always the case, but sometimes guests are quite reasonable. Weigh the risk with the return and if it’s acceptable, be concise and fair—both with your guests and yourself.

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I suspect that most of the time, most guests are reasonable.

What’s unusual is you. How many hosts go announce on a forum or social media that they had a problem and everything went well?

Thanks for the reminder.

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Glad you were able to claim compensation as Airbnb specifically excludes pet damages under its guarantee @COCabin

Sounds like you don’t have CCtV or similar to help prevent guests bringing in undisclosed pets /guests.

Well true! Ha ha. Hopefully that’s a good thing and helpful to others. Reading through a lot of posts, I was almost ready to give up on reimbursement before I even started.

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Thanks for the tips Helsi. I didn’t know that about the guarantee but glad I do now. Airbnb really seems to be doing everything it can to discourage hosts from accepting pets. And no, I don’t have CCtV but have often thought it would be helpful. My cabin is off-grid though so I’m always trying to minimize the energy draw and wifi is…well it’s satellite internet so you can imagine the challenges with that.

I allow pets and I also board dogs in my home. So pet damages are something I’m quite familiar with. Like people, most traveling pets are fine. I’ve had problems with pets here two or three times. Once the pup had diarrhea during the night and the guest cleaned as best she could, told me first thing in the morning and paid for carpet cleaning. We didn’t even involve Airbnb. Another case was a month long guest with his dog left alone in the room all day. He didn’t report the pet damage to me. He just checked out one day and left $250 behind. It more than covered the damages. A third time a dog peed on a rug and the owners didn’t tell me, but I’m not sure they even knew. It was only visible as a stain on the back of the rug. Another guest had a cat that caused minor damage from it’s claws.

Forum posts, reddit, facebook groups and the Airbnb Community Center all skew negative for the reason I already stated. So while you can learn a lot here and avoid many problems before they happen, there’s no reason to believe that this forum is representative of the typical host experience. It’s not a random sample of hosts. That’s why I tend to skew positive in my posts. I’ve been accused of being an Airbnb apologist or cheerleader. I’m not. I just haven’t had major problems.

AirBnB keeps telling me to get better traction by accepting pets. I can’t because I’m an in-home host renting a room and private bathroom and have a cat.

So glad to read a happy ending story about Air guests! Thanks!

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Always glad to hear of success stories because it can be a real downer at times to read the horror stories. Then again, those are the incidents that get all of us stirred up so it’s understandable that people need a safe place to vent.

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But they want us to take pets that guests claim are “support animals”, which they then leave in the house unattended, in violation of Airs Terms Of Service.

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