I have had a family emergency and need to cancel a guest stay because i need the home available for the family, this is my 1st time cancelling, what is best practice and penalties?
You must call AirBNB and try to convince them to use the extenuating circumstances so avoid the penalties. Use clear language, and be prepared to provide “documentation.” I don’t think any of us know what that documentation looks like, but they may ask for something.
You have probably looked up this information already, but here is what BNB identifies as extenuating circumstances for hosts
From what you have said, you would be looking at the first one they list
Unexpected death or serious illness of a host, guest or immediate family member. They will ask for documentation to back up your claim.
Of course we don’t know your circumstances, so it might be something not covered by their policy.
I hope everything works out for you.
I would suggest not saying you need House for family. Just keep it simple, serious family emergency, succinctly state, x, mother, child etc, ( immediate family member, as generally distant relatives ie cosuinfs, inlaws aren’t considered, not that I agree)