A guest booked my place for 3 nights. She agreed to my house rules: no parties, no noise, be respectful of neighbors, 4 occupants max. She hosted a prom party with a large group until 4am and trashed my place: jumped on the bed, ripped kitchen back splash tiles off walls, left spilled booze pooling on my countertop (it seeped into the seam, inflated and warped e countertop so I had to replace it). ALL of the linen, comforters, blankets and towels were covered in food, make up and booze. The inside of the oven was black with food debris and a big pile of stinking, rotted food forgotten inside. The floors and furniture were floating in scattered garbage, half eaten food, drink bottles and left behind personal items. My dishes, decorations, etc we found tossed around into different rooms.
What normally takes 4 hours to clean took 12 hours. Cleaning and countertop repairs cost me over $700. Airbnb took 11 days to get back to me, despite many calls I made asking for an update. They responded via email, refusing to pay anything and described it as normal wear and tear! I emailed them back twice asking for someone to contact me, but they have not.
I have hosted for almost 2 years and have had hundreds of guests. I have never put a claim in. I have zero trust and feel no safety with Airbnb after their refusal to honor the host guarantee. If it doesn’t cover partiers trashing your home, what does it cover?
It appears that the Host Guarantee is a scam that gives you a false sense of security. If your place gets trashed you have no recourse.
Similar experience but on a much much smaller scale. Nevertheless it left a bad taste in my mouth and a genuine concern about how Airbnb would handle bigger claims where the guest didn’t admit liability. Thanks for sharing and I’m really sorry it happened to you.
No doubt you feel the same way I did; shocked.
Sorry to hear about the bad experience. If your experience is bad enough, it may make sense to escalate. The conventional wisdom is that Airbnb will suddenly remember its obligations if it appears it is going to suffer significant bad publicity over the incident. I’m fuzzy about how to go about this, but I expect there are people here who can advise about this.
And make sure to photograph and document everything if you haven’t already.
I hope you took photos of the damage?
From what I can glean - escalating the complaint onto twitter usually get things sorted in these scenarios.
Keep us posted and good luck !
Sorry to hear this happened to you. This is much much worse case compared to mine. I too feel your pain and insecurity, and I hope you get all compensation to restore your house. Publish your story on Facebook and twitter, I heard it might be helpful.
I would contact them via their public feeds on Twitter and FB summarising what you have said with photos of the damage that Airbnb say is 'normal wear and tear". Don’t name the guest or in other ways identify them.
Say how disappointed you are as a long term host to receive no support on their so called called guarantee.
Agree with Helsi…basically, I’d be trolling their twitter feed daily!
I am really sorry for what happened to your place. But I also find most interesting the things you did not write
were you there at check-in, or at check-out, or both?
if you were not present yourself, do you have a housekeeper, or a friend, who could have dropped by during the time of the guests’ stay?
did you contact the guest after her stay, asking for compensation of US$ 700 from her first, rather than just relying on the Airbnb host guarantee? If you did, what was her reply? Did Airbnb receive a copy of this conversation?
did guest pay a deposit when booking? If so, did you try to claim money from the deposit?
Hi Eberbard, may I ask you how to claim on security deposit? My guest did some damaged and didn’t want to take full responsibility. I do have a security deposit of $500, the damage replacement cost would be $550. I was advised to lodge a case through resolution centre by Airbnb customer service team. Is that equivalent to making a claim on security deposit?
Airbnb advised me to wait for 72 hours for response from guest. This guest refused all types of communication since the accident occurred. So I’m expecting no response for 72 hours. Airbnb said they would contact the guest after that, what happens if guest doesn’t respond to Airbnb either?
Did you report this to the police? The the AirBnB rules, and saw that they require a police report for anything over $300 US (see the FAQ).
@Eberhard_Blocher - I gave up charging a security deposit on AirBnB when I realized they don’t actually charge the guest the security deposit. I don’t see that there is a difference if you charge a deposit or not - the process to get the guest to pay for damages seems identical whether you whether you charge a security deposit or not: we have to try and convince the guest to pay for their damages, and if they refuse, we have to try and convince AirBnB to pay for damages (in which case they can try to collect from the guest).
That’s an interesting fact I didn’t know. I don’t charge a security deposit myself, since I don’t want this to deter potential guests from making a booking. But if Airbnb don’t charge the guest, this wouldn’t actually be the case.
Airbnb used to charge it long ago. They no longer do but I suppose guests may not realise this to be the case.
Airbnb say the deposit covers everyday breakage or say a lost item (like a towel taken down to the beach).
The host guarantee covers wilful damage (party where the host’s stuff is destroyed).
Hosts are often confused and think everything is covered by the host guarantee. Nope. So you do need a deposit on your listing unless you plan to personally cover the expense
I would still go after the girl since she must be local. Find out a local law she violated and write to her to let her know you will be going to the police to press charges. Some states have laws such as defrauding an innkeeper. Surely there is some sort of crime she technically committted. What about vandalism? they tore off your kitchen tiles. If I was 18, I’d have that $700 to you as quickly as possible. Would she prefer to have a misdemeanor/felony permanently on her record? Does she want to possibly go to jail? She needs to get with all h er prom friends and start the collection plate.
Sorry this happened to you.
@Zandra - thank you for the clarification, I never knew that.
I consider a lost towel or a broken decanter to be normal wear and tear, and cover that risk in my price.
That’s a good suggestion Freya. Thanks for your support.
Pretty sure this guest could have burned my house down and it would have been handled in the same way. In fact, one Airbnb staff mentioned that in would only be able to speak directly to trust and safety if I the police were there and an arrest was being made. I was made to feel like I would get so much support when I called in initially, “A trust and safety team member will ‘reach out’ to you and help you through the process and let you know if they need anything.”
Zandra Airbnb explained that the deposit doesn’t cover anything unless Airbnb approve your claim. They explained that deposit or no deposit, they still simply put a charge on their account if your claim is approved and don’t if it is denied. You have no say. So the deposit is all smoke and mirrors. It only gives the appearance that you have a hold on thier money and can use it if they damage something. AIRBNB is very deceitful and create a warm fuzzy false sense of security.
So all the guests have to do is cancel their Airbnb account and they walk away from having to pay. That sucks eggs. Their credit card on file should be charged!
I’m unclear whether there really is no point in having a security deposit. I too have wondered whether it’s worth having one, but it’s there for now. What we need here is an Expert Analysis. Now all we need to do is define what an Expert is and find one.