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Guests damaged carpet in front of the entrance door in communal area

hosting

#1

Hi everyone,

We’re are new on Airbnb, unfortunately, our expereince so far hasn’t been great. The first group of students we had as guests, partied a lot, judging by the 20+ beer and vodka bottles, despite our no party policy. The second family with teenagers broke the toilet flush, which we had to pay 80€ to repair. Our current guests had the fire brigade check the apartment this morning as they were cooking without the extractor fan on and the smoke in the flat triggered the communal alarm. Unfortunately, it looks like they burnt their food and in order to cool the cooking pot, they placed it on the carpet in the communal area, which left a deep burnt mark. The management company has suggested that the carpet has to be replaced and this may end up costing thousands of euro!

Is there anything we can do? The guests are still at the flat. The Host insurance doesn’t seem to cover communal area damage and we have no security deposit set up. What can we do? Has anyone experienced something similar?

Thanking you.


#2

Contact Air by Telephone Immediately. Stay on the phone until you get an acceptable answer. If you have to keep asking to speak to the next level supervisor until you get resolution. Take photos of the melted carpet. Get copies of the fire brigade report.

YOU need to get tough with guests. You need a house rule that says “no visitors only paying guests allowed in the space.” Since you apparently do not live there, you need CCTV cameras that record everyone entering and exiting you listing.

YOU also need to go back and read the Airbnb polices and Terms of Service so that you understand exactly what is covered under which situations.


#3

Also immediately add a security deposit. Even if it is not collected, the psychological edge it gives you is invaluable.


#4

they are still in the flat - make sure they also recognize they damaged - written evidence. once they leave and deny it…will be harder…i guess there is still civil action against them - but then if they are foreigners may be harder…id speak to them now.


#5
  1. Re: perhaps be clearer about what you mean by ‘party’ in your rules. I would assume this means having other people or having a function, not me and my booked guests downing some Vodkas after a hard day or holidaying.

  2. Re carpet damage and possible charge from fire brigade. Send guests, via the Airbnb message system, a message immediately factually stating they have incurred damages and send photos. Make a demand for immediate payment, at least as a deposit. Get quotes yourself before they go for carpet replacement. Get some $ before they leave.


#6

Thank you all for your advice, we texted the guests that we will be pursuing the matter further with Airbnb but no reply from them so far. I would be surprised if they did, as this will be admission of fault anyway. To be honest, my partner is afraid of further damage to his property if we were to escalate it while they are still at the flat. Just to say that the couple is of north African Muslim descent, so culturally, a bit different to us, so we are not really sure how to handle this.


#7

I cannot imagine how you know their religion, but if they are indeed Muslim, then I would be surprised if they were anything but considerate and kind.


#8

I am sure that they are considerate and kind. However, we are facing a fire brigade call out fee of at least 500€ and a damage to the carpet in the communal area that may end up in the range of hundreds of euro. We cannot get in touch with them for some reason.

If we had an issue with their religion, we wouldn’t have accepted their booking, which we did, because the lady was wearing hijab on the picture. I am just saying it looks like they have a different culture. It is reckless and inconsiderate what they did and we will not get any reimbursement whatsoever, looks like it.


#12

You can certainly ask them to pay through the ABB system but I would get whatever you can get out of them direct, cash in hand is much much better.


#13

Hi Cabinhost,

Just a bit of background info - we are talking about an apartment building, where each apartment is accessed through a communal corridor. So, the guests were cooking, without the kitchen fan on, their pan/pot got burnt, seems there was smoke everywhere. Or they were out left something on the cooker, it got burnt and they wanted to instantly cool it down upon arrival? End result is the fire brigade came, there was no fire, they left. The management company then calls and mentions there is damage to the carpet in the communal area. The carpet installer replied to me upon seeing the picture: ‘4 meters x 6 foot of carpet which is the minimum we can order from a supplier, we would then have to scrape the old carpet and underlay off the floor as it appears to be glued to the ground and then replace an re-glue the area.’ He didn’t provide a quote.

The fire engine call out fee is c. 500€. No communication from guests today. Air bnb told me to wait for ‘another department’ to contact me, they were very cryptic about the ‘other department’ and ensured there is nothing else we need to do until we hear from the guests.

So this is the story so far…


#14

They are not replying to any messages, so cash will be difficult to get…


#16

@Shelby

Have they left?


#17

No, their booking is until tomorrow, they are not replying the airbnb agent told me to wait for them to reply before doing anything.


#18

@Shelby

This is something you need to action, not sure where AirBNb come into this, they booked through them but that is about it.

So what happens if they do not reply? Once they are gone, well they are gone.


#19

I’m afraid I’m still confused about the whole thing. I’m assuming that the students who left 20+ empty bottles (not a sign of partying as @Emily says) or the people who broke the toilet flusher (which I’m surprised cost so much) aren’t relevant? Or is it that you claimed from Airbnb or your insurance company for those?

Where is this apartment? Where are you that the fire brigade automatically come out if the fire alarm goes off and then charges the apartment owner? I set my fire alarm off regularly just by burning toast :slight_smile:

Or did the guests call the fire brigade?

Who is the management company and who is really responsible for the communal areas? Does the management company arrange for insurance for these areas?

Still confused!


#20

The apartment is in Ireland. I don’t know why the fire brigade was called and who called it. The call out fee is 500€ for the area we live in. The property management company called yesterday to say the fire brigade was at the flat and that there is damage to the carpet in the communal area, which was confirmed upon inspection.

I am not sure what is covered by insurance policies, I mentioned this is the third time hosting, so there is a lot I don’t know.

The family with teenagers stayed 5 days and on the third day of their visit they called to complain that the toilet flush is broken. Normal wear and tear. (sigh) Plumber charged 80€ call out fee, that wasn’t paid by the guest, as they claimed flush was already broken.

I think that what happened yesterday was - most likely the guests were cooking and went out to the nearby shop to buy something, judging from the burnt pot spot. The house must’ve filled with smoke and triggered the alarm, possibly when they ‘cooled’ the burnt pot on the carpet in the corridor. How exactly the fire brigade ended up there, I don’t know.

I have to speculate on these things. I just know that most likely there will be a charge for the fire brigade call out as the owners are responsible here and am not sure what will be the solution with the burnt carpet in front of the entrance.

I am sorry if this is still not clear. I mentioned the bottles and the broken flush as they were not entirely positive experiences, again this is only third hosting experience, seems like I was complaining of normal occurancies.


#22

I know nothing about Irish law but as the owner of the apartment - who wasn’t even there at the time - then I find it hard to see that you’re liable. If you were, then people would be making prank calls to their neighbours’ houses to annoy them and cost them money. (Sorry, that’s the way my mind works!)

Yes I can see that the loo thing would be wear and tear. I know that it can be hard to fit everything in when you’ve got only a few hours between turnovers but the simple plumbing/handyman videos on YouTube can save hosts a lot of money if they DIY.

Every host is very, very different. I had a nice middle aged couple last weekend who, during a three night stay, left at least 25 empty bottles in the garbage.So I don’t mind that. I’ve had windows cracked, toilet mechanisms broken, baths bunged up … so much over a period of years. I see most as being just part of my job; part of doing business. These things would really annoy some other hosts.

On the other hand, I have a couple of women in now who have a great time - laughing a lot. The noise of the laughing is driving me mad - something that other hosts wouldn’t be bothered about in the least! So we’re all different.

But minor damages will happen and it’s as well not to rely on Airbnb. Their conditions are too complex when you’re busy. Be sure to have your own insurance and find out what the situation is with communal areas - I rteally don’t think that you are responsible for something your guests did. Or might have done? Do you (and the management company) actually know that it was your guests?


#23

I think that the host’s attitude depends on whether they do this as a business, like majority these days do, or if this is more of a casual thing - say you do it to earn a bit of cash for a home repair, a holiday etc.

My partner had a chance to rent his flat for a couple of weeks and decided to give this a go. I find it unusual that within days the toilet flush is broken, the carpet is wrecked and the fire engine pays a visit when none of this has ever happened in the previous 7 years: wear, tear, fire hazards…

Perhaps the reputation of the corporation has also changed, or guests’ attitudes have, or it is all just attributable to human behaviour - if it’s not your home, it is someone else’s consideration. If I go to a hotel, I don’t get the feeling I am at someone else’s home. And many of the Airbnb properties are not anybody’s homes, so it is all about the business, for the hosts, and the guests.


#24

Actually, when I first started hosting, things that normally were fine started going wrong. Some of that was lack of maintenance on my part, some of it was guests see what you think is OK are actually not (for example, my toilet did not flush correctly unles held down), some of it was pointing out the obvious (the window sticks in wet weather, while i never opened them), or that the stove smoked (never used it for more than warming up).

Not saying any and all that happened were anything but abuses, but just adding to the discusssion, to remember that guests are not owners, and they view your house’s mechanicals from the standpoint of assuming it all works like theirs.


#25

Thanks everybody for your input. I have just one last question. Obviously the guests have now left and we were communicating through the Airbnb Resolution Centre. They claim that they did not cause the damage to the carpet. There are no CCTV recordings to substantiate they did it, so this is a lost cause. Should we leave a review or not?


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