How would you respond to guest's view of property damage?

I discovered that the guest damaged the top of the bedside table and tried fix it, or some might say, hide it. When asked her about it, this is the response:

“I fixed it, and that’s the fixed result, but if you are not satisfied with the fixing result I can give you the fee. I fixed that surface already? What else can I do to stop you from attacking me and accusing me?”

This is typical of her attitude about following the house rules. Probably no response will make a dent, as she didn’t take responsibility for anything.

It seems to me that her statement that “I fixed it . . .” is an admission that she’s responsible for the damage. Otherwise, people don’t go around fixing things they didn’t damage.

So now the question for you is documenting the dollar amount for replacement or repair.

If the guest is unwilling to pay that, I would seek payment first from her security deposit (I’ve read here that the guest’s admission gives you a credible case but of course no guarantee given Airbnb CS unpredictability).

Then any balance you’d likely seek from AirCover, which might limit the total recovery to the depreciated value of the table and require original cost documentation.

I’m assuming that it wouldn’t be practical or cost effective to seek damages in court, say small claims court, because: a) you don’t have the guest’s name and address, b) legal costs aren’t recoverable without an agreement saying they are, and c) the court would likely limit you to the insurance recovery though I wonder if there is an effective rebuttal to that. @JJD , Thoughts? [Glad to see you back!]


There is NO security deposit. There is a bogus “Host Guarantee” which only means that they will ask the guest for payment.

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If that’s right is that yet another argument for using OwnerRez, where if the Host were the merchant of record on the credit card could control the security deposit. Is this correct, @busymumsy ?

Plus on OwnerRez you can require (and markup) damage protection insurance.

Did she write her response on the message center of Airbnb? If yes, she admits she damaged it when she said “I fixed it.” Send her a request for funds through the resolution center. Indicate that the night stand has to be replaced and attach a picture of the damage night stand. If she refuses to pay, then message Airbnb asking for their assistance.

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DO NOT RESPOND except to tell the person that you have passed the issue on to AirBnb “damage control”. ONLY respond on the Platform, no private messages or phone activity. YOU DO NOT want to get into a ‘pissing match’ with this person.


There’s a new systems (I think) called AirCover that should work better than the old system but as states it depends on the CS rep. I do everything in writing and never talk to the CS on the phone. This way you can document it.

I wouldn’t respond to that. I’d put my energy into getting her out of my house instead.


I had assumed that she was out of the house, and that’s how the OP saw the damage.

Hypothetically, if she were still in the house, are you saying you would ask her to leave? And if she refused, would you cancel her stay based on her language?

Yes. She is out of the house… Thank goodness!! She was one of the worst guests that I’ve hosted during the last 8+ years. The other guests were also relieved when she left. I thought it was just me.

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Thank you. Damages aside, how does someone respond to the guest who, while on the one hand says that they did the damage, but then blames you for calling them out on it “accusing” them? She’s trying to turn the tables and play the victim?!?! I’m baffled.

I think @KenH 's advice is good. Just work through the resolution center.

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That seems to be a strange thing to say. Do you have a list of demeanours and charges? Apologies if you don’t but some hosts have ‘fines’ for everything.

@jaquo English isn’t her first language. I think she meant that she would pay to replace it… but that’s just a guess.

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You don’t. You either view it as normal wear and tear and move on, or send a payment request. You don’t engage in any further dialogue.


@HostAirbnbVRBO you are correct that using OwnerRez (and I assume other PM/CMs, too) allows you to, for AirBnB, require a CC hold damage deposit of which YOU have full control not ABB CS and for all other guests, where you collect CC payments, you also can reserve and control that CC hold.

Yes, OwnerRez, and I would assume other CMs, offers an insurance option. To be blunt, I don’t trust my cleaners to catch all the small issues I would likely claim (remote host) so I don’t use that feature.

Also, I happen to use and love OwnerRez, but I would not want to get the reputation of coming onto this board and promoting OwnerRez and only OR. I do feel using a channel manager that is the right fit for your business model can be most helpful to fostering maximum efficiency. We all run our businesses in different ways and I respect that what works for me may not work for another host.


no, that is the MO of many people nowadays. be prepared. instead of personal responsibility, people now find excuses for their cruddy behaviour and then claim victimhood, turning YOU into the bad guy.