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Guest Vehicle Broke into at my AirBnB property-Am I responsible?

Hi,

This is my first post. I’ve been hosting for about a year and a half now without any major incidences. I received a phone call a little while ago from a guest who checked in early yesterday at 8:30 am, mind you, and informed me his car had been broke into. He left me a message and my alarm bells went off because of the way he phrased it—“my car got broke into on your property”…so I am ready for the are you gonna pay for questions and how much insurance do you have? Just curious if any others have had any experience with this?

Thanks for any input you have.

Dr. Soos

It’s incredibly unlikely that you are responsible. Vehicles always have their own insurance policies. He needs to contact his insurance company. They will determine who is responsible and if necessary, they will attempt to collect damages from the responsible party.

Of course, his stay is now tainted, so you can expect to see “my car was broken into while parked on the host’s property” in the review, probably accompanied by some lower star ratings in location, value, and overall.

Edit: I want to add that you need to insist on using Airbnb’s messaging system for communications with this guests. Do not use texts or phone calls or e-mails. Do not offer any compensation. If the guest requests or demands compensation, tell the guest to contact Airbnb.

Hopefully, it’s just a random theft, but one thing to consider is that the guest is trying scam you for damage or theft that never occurred or use YOU as an insurance policy for damage or theft that occurred prior to check-in. This is why you need to let Airbnb handle things.

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This is what his car insurance is for. (Although I suspect that if you were negligent in any way - for example, not locking a gate in a ropey neighbourhood - then he could try).

But what a good idea for a scam. Spend a lovely time going on holiday to fabulous Airbnb rentals in wonderful locations and claim your car was stolen. I wonder how many new and green hosts would pay up???

Checked in at 8:30am?!?! Was there any particular reason given for the early check-in? Is that something normal for your rental?

My Spidey sense tells me that the guest will be asking for a refund before this is done…

Reply to the guest on Airbnb. Say you are sorry to hear his car got broken into . Remind him that he needs to call the police to report the crime and make a claim on his car insurance. Also ask him to keep all further communications on Airbnb. @drsoos

Why do you let your guests check in so early by the way?

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Goodness, I missed that the guest had checked in so early. I know it’s probably not relevant to the stolen car thing, but how did that happen?

Get outdoor cameras immediately…as in yesterday…to help prevent this from happening in the first place and to help the guests if in fact there is a problem.

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Thanks everyone for the information, the early check in was due to his request and since no one was there and it was clean I allowed it. I have since learned the supposed window break happened during daylight hours, nothing stolen, he did not initially do a police report but later that night after my recommendation he did. My husband brought him some plastic and tape to cover the back window and the guest arranged replacement the next day. Due to way the glass broke my husband and the policeman both believe heat possibly was the culprit instead of criminal action. He initially did want me to pay for the glass which I referred him to AirBnB. I will communicate through the platform regarding this matter. Again, thanks for all your comments.

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My truck was broken into at a Holiday Inn in Denver and no, Holiday Inn didn’t pay anything.

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This happened to the rear window of my son’s Grand Cherokee last year. It was parked at his high school. Everyone first thought it was a break-in, but the campus police looked at the security cameras and said nobody was in the parking lot or even nearby.

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Another reason for cameras!

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It baffles me that they would think you would be financially responsible. Sure if you had an unknown maintenanced tree that broke and hit the window and broke it then I could see that because it would fall under some sort of negligence. But you do not control the weather or the city and unless he has proof that he didn’t do it himself and is just trying to get someone else to pay then it’s definitely on him.

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What is it about this forum that makes glass explode on its own?

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This a thousand times!

While there are guests that in this case, claim a window. I always say to myself, did I see a whole window during their check in, and the evidence that the glass was intact, before the stay, then the issue becomes, a security camera. Which guests do not like. But wow, has it helped us with guest theatrics. AirBnB would likely reward it. Which means, that certain. numbers of hosts might experience it, and at some point recognize it when it comes in. We were blamed for a broken kindle, for a tent rental, when a bed frame was moved. There was guest property all over the tent, you’d be shocked, if you could even find a kindle. We didn’t break it, and we never actually saw it intact. Or in its original shape when it arrived. So we just told them to go to airbnb. Air will ask you your side.

We had a guest a day or two ago, off another platform. Who has strictness and won’t give up a penny unless they have to. A platform I can say I’m not that happy with after they wouldn’t fess up to the liability share on the calendar sync issues, which you’ve seen in other forum topics. Leading to double book incidents, which we are tagged for as hosts, and I began to feel that was a game, and almost dropped that platform. Until it seems to have not occurred this year, hopefully because they did changes. I can see the data appear a lot better, even though there’s still no customization for hosts. But back to the family that stayed with us, came in very chirpy and happy. Kept bringing up, we would like for someone to cook for us. We don’t cook for our listings, and there are others in our area that do, so we tell people its okay to book over there LOL. But suddenly after a rest period, we have this presentation, we would love it if someone cooked for us. So as a host you try and recommend, but we did not. And the next day, one of the children who remained in the vehicle, was said to be sick. However, they want to take them to a hospital for a scan. I’m like what’s the issue? Did they eat something they shouldn’t have, you know like some kids will swallow small objects. This was not a tiny kid though, so its likely to have been moot, but maybe for tweens. They are moody. They have 3 kids, so they got to have some sense since they all look good. But we felt like there were tendrils trying to attach us into this scene. But we weren’t detached, I mean if something really happened, and they need a CT scan? That’s pretty serious in my book. They don’t pass out X-rays or CT Scans for 150 miles out here, so kids don’t get them unless its a big time problem. that’s what he wanted, was a scan. But couldn’t tell me what happened. And its a kid, if I took my son for every stomach ache he ever had, or motion sickness from travel for a CT Scan they’d lock me up for being a parent that is imposing illness upon my child. LOL. Its been 24 hours and we haven’t heard of anything but we were glad it wasn’t on airbnb. Only because we could see how it played out without the insurance bait, in the mix. But its not up for me to decide an insurance claim, that’s clearly AirBnB realm. Make no mistake though, they will throw you under the bus, in the live gaming. We’ve had a few, probably more stories than can fit here, of attempts to refund by creationism.

And by creationism, I mean, a scene or a set up, to get you to take some type of responsibility during their stay for something that happened while they were jotting through our area. I mean refund heists they try a lot, because Air rewards them, and we don’t have that on other platforms. But in this situation I describe, they very well could have said we had something to do with the illness, water, had we fed them we would be on the hook there. Had we even recommended somewhere, it would have attached to us. Then we are in effect being held liable for their experiences during their visit, and its being tried with a fine tooth comb I feel at times. Sometimes I feel its developer related, because we have a lot of guests that their entry includes, who owns this property, how are properties obtained in our area, when did you get this property, how are you doing this etc. If you write down the interaction, you have the script when others show up with the same annoying plot, starting with, and you’ll have a red flag list that can help you.

But I wholly agree with the earlier commenter, host. They will throw you under the bus in the reviews. And it will lead to copy cat reviews. And then you will find that there’s a likely algorithm for that type of property value and customer reviews analysis, and its a way for developers to get you to lower your expectations, if they are pursuing a property aggressively.

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