Optional Security Deposit

I have looked and I see no where that AirBnB allows you to charge an optional security deposit for something that someone may want to utilize but others may not.

In order to pay for the lifeguards, restrooms, water fountains, trash collection, security, etc - most New Jersey beaches sell beach badges. I have four beach badges for Seaside Park - which I have lent out to guests, but every time I do I am nervous that they will lose them. I would like to charge a security deposit to ONLY those guests who would like to use the passes. If they don’t want to use them - then they don’t have to provide a security deposit.

How do people handle optional security deposits? I can do what the rental agencies do when rental houses offer beach badges, and that is ask for a check. But it really doesn’t do any good if the check bounces anyway. I would rather do it through AirBnB.

We aren’t talking about a small sum here. Beaches charge different amounts, but to replace the badges for Seaside Park after their preseason sale, it would be $60 per badge. If I lend out all four badges to someone - I am essentially handing them $240.

AirBnB do not have that sort of facility.

Can you explain a little about what these badges are? They give access to the beach? (Sorry I keep thinking of those Christie memes when we are talking about your place and beach access! )

I think you ought to either take a large cash deposit of $100 for each badge.
Leave Air out of it. Too complicated.

And now… just because I have to…


You can’t charge an additional security deposit through Airbnb, but you can charge an additional fee to guests who choose to use them, to cover the risk of loss.
If you assume one of every ten guests lose one badge, you could charge all guests $6 for use of the badges and you’d be covered.

1 Like

That only works if the 10th guest is the one that loses the badge. If anyone before that loses them - then it is a loss. If the first guest were to lose them - then it is really a loss because then I am still out $54.

Yes, you’d be out $54 initially.
But you’d also recoup that total amount from the next nine guests.

Not if I had to replace the badge - it would cost me $60 to replace it - so now I spent $120 for a single badge - minus the $6 the person who lost it paid so technically I have to now recoup $114 from the next guest who use it in order to just break even and hope no one else loses it in that time.

Does $12 work for you?
You do understand that the one in ten ratio isn’t based on anything. You should figure out what the risk probability is based on your own data.
You could just give notice to the guests using beach badges that if they lose it they’ll have to pay a replacement fee of XX dollars.


I do understand that - but I’m saying it doesn’t help me at all if the first person who I charge to use it - loses it. $12 doesn’t change a thing - especially since it would cheaper for them to just get a daily pass for $8 or $10.

I need to be able to charge each guest a security deposit to make sure that they are the ones who are responsible for NOT losing it. That way - I can replace the badge regardless of whether they are the first or the 10th or the 5th person who loses it.

Here’s an idea: get them to buy their own daily badge.


I was trying to offer the beach badges to guests just as rental houses do. Sort of defeats the purpose of telling them to go buy a daily badge, Rental houses offer them for free - but collect an OPTIONAL security deposit which they get back when they return the badges. If they don’t want the badges - then they don’t have to leave a security deposit.

Just do what the rental houses do. Ask for a $60 cash deposit from guests if they wish to borrow the badge. When they return it, give them back the $60



We have a similar situation at Tahoe with punch cards for a couple of private beaches, golf courses and Rec Center facilities in the community.

Several years ago, I rented out our lakefront house for a couple of summers and would leave out the 4 punch cards for guests to use. They would get a discounted fee for beach, golf, etc., privileges.

I collected their security deposit in advance of their arrival, either by check or PayPal and attached a significant replacement value to the cards if they were defaced or lost or confiscated. It was a risk if they wanted to use the cards and many didn’t because we already had a small but private beach. Those that played golf or worked out, were very careful with them and no one ever lost a card.

The housecleaner knew to check and see if the punch cards were on the bar after the guests left and when she reported the place was okay, I would refund their security deposit.

Unless you or someone was on hand to take the deposit in cash, as Kona suggested, your only option would be to collect it in advance because I’m sure there’s no way Air would handle a security deposit for such a specific purpose.

Keep them out of your listing description and offer them as an extra service upon arrival and ask for a deposit in cash.

Yeah - I currently don’t promote them in my listing. I offer them on a case by case basis once the people are here. I give the number of badges they need in a ziplock baggy - that was it is much harder to lose them. Yesterday I gave them to three college age guys and at the end of the night they gave them back to me. They were very appreciative of it. I may not have done that - if they didn’t walk in and one of the first things they asked was “are there any special house rules we should be aware of.”

On Saturday I have a single mom, her teenage daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend coming. She told me how she is on a tight budget, but she really wants to enjoy things with her daughter while she has the chance. She is one person I offered the badges to ahead of time because she will be going to the beach before she checks in - so I told her to swing by and I have beach badges for them so it can save her some money.

You can inform your guests upfront about the deposit.
Then they can decide if they take some extra cash or not.

We offer our guests discount cards, we inform them upfront about these cards and tell them they can buy them from us.
We do not make any money on these cards, but the guests can save a lot of money when they use them.
We have noticed that when the guest is informed upfront (but after booking), most of them buy the card.

If we do not inform them, they often hesitate, and think we want to make extra money from them.

I’m a web applications developer/programmer - AirBnB could easily add the ability for hosts to put in their own optional security deposit stuff. Simply include the ability to add a description and the security amount, then when it is shown to the potential guest, it would present them with a checkbox, the description and the amount. If the checkbox is clicked then on booking , it would get added to the guest’s payment information just like any other security deposit. A number of items could also be added and the total security deposit can be based on the number of items the person needs.

This would work for beach badges as is my case, or you can do it for bikes or any other items that you may want to lend out to guests, but would like a security deposit for.

I’m not clear on why you would need an additional deposit unless you are wary of air collecting the money for you (rightfully so), just include enough in your air deposit to cover the passes. If someone loses one or all go through air to get your money back. the deposit you list is a threshold amount that is the MAX someone can be charged for damages or theft. Air only charges a persons credit card if you file a claim so no one is actually refunded their deposit upon checking out it was never charged in the first place and is just a notification of what the owner CAN charge if a claim is filed.

I don’t want to have to have everyone required to put a $240 security deposit down for something they don’t want or need. If a person only needs one badge - they can do a security deposit of only $60. If they aren’t planning on going to the beach - then they don’t have to worry about any security deposit.

My post is all about how I would RATHER have the ability for AirBnB to provide an optional security deposit but since AirBnB currently does NOT offer this functionality I am wondering how others handle it.

Why would you like to have this?
The AirBnB deposit should be kept strictly to the rental.

All other optional things should be kept outside of their grasp and policies.
Do you really want having to prove to AirBnB that your guests lost the cards? And having to depend on the mood of the AirBnB rep to see if you get your money back?

1 Like