Optional Security Deposit

The security deposit isn’t “put down” it’s essentially a notification and nothing more. So if your overall security deposit is 300, no one is actually charged 300 and then refunded their money when all is good after check out. It’s just a number they see when booking. To have a second option is creating more work for yourself and unecessary. A note with the badges saying their value and that if they are lost during the guests stay x amount will be taken from their deposit will suffice. But that’s just my suggestion. Hope you can get it all worked out as I’m sure guests will enjoy the option of using the passes

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I have thought about putting it in the general security deposit - but then people will get sticker shock because there would be no explanation as to what it was for and so few people actually fully read the description. They will see “security deposit: $240”.

That is a good point and something that I have thought of as well - having to prove to AirBnB that the guests actually lost the cards. It becomes a he said/she said scenario with no actual proof.

Would this be something that I should add in my house rules - such as “Beach Badges available with cash deposit of $60 each at time of check-in. Up to four badges available.”

I would not put it in the listing.

  1. Then it is advertised and part of the listing.
  2. People do not read

I would create a message template and send it to the guests after they booked.
People will read the message, and see it as an extra service.

We do the same with the discount card we offer to our guests.


When I specified that there is no way Air would handle a security deposit for that purpose, I was saying Air would not undertake to do it, not that it couldn’t be achieved technically.

Adding language to your House Rules about a cash deposit or explaining it to guests on arrival is a logical solution, and a cash deposit appears to be the only workable solution to protect the use of your beach badges.

Yes, I would do that and I would NOT make it refundable. $6 for the pass is too cheap. $50 is more like it. And isn’t everyone there for the beach? That way, you more than cover the cost should one of the renters lose it.

$50 for use of the beach badge? It is only $8 for a daily pass.

But… would this be subject to the same rigamarole as claiming on the damage deposit? What if the guests fight paying?
I guess I cannot see why you are having trouble doing this with cash. Just easier all the way around.
Or… if they don’t want to put down cash, but still use the badge, tell them you are sending a res center request for the deposit, and once they accept it, they will get the badge.

You know that every claim on the deposit is usually denied by the guest and sometimes by Air itself. It’s for damages. Don’t use it for optional stuff. Not when cash is so easy.

Can you set up your own website for deposit-taking? Just give them the URL when they book…? But I dunno, I still think… Cash and Carry!
With guests you want to simplify, not complicate.

I think @hypertokyo has a point. This is how insurance works.

There may be a way out - this is a bit of hack (as a programmer you know what a ‘hack’ means!) :desktop_computer:

You could create a second listing, which is either a full replication of the original listing, or a stub, but with the deposit added. Then anyone who wants to use the pass, also books the second one (assuming it’s a stub). This stub will be priced at the minimum possible price which you can adjust with the guest elsewhere.

Of course, this doesn’t resolve the above-discussed question of why should airbnb get involved with all this lost-badge malarky. And yes, it’s a bit more complicated.
But still thought I’d mention this if it helps you work something out.
Good luck!

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And now you have to manage two calendars to prevent double booking. This isn’t a hack worth doing.

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You can avoid that by setting an impossible booking condition. You can probably even not publish it but only bring it ‘out of the box’ when necessary. Broadly, you’re right, but like I said, I’m not selling that idea, but hoping it may spawn others.

But he gets charged commission and also Air takes 15% to book it. This makes zero sense and can you imagine most guests? They can’t even figure out one listing, let alone two!

I did and don’t get it! Sorry.

After reading people’s responses - I see that relying on AirBnB wouldn’t be good - because then, as has been pointed out, the payment of the security deposit is at the discretion of AirBnB whether the badges were lost or not. It is also a one word against another because AirBnB isn’t actually seeing the badges be given, nor seeing whether they are returned.

I am actually thinking just have it cash. If people want to use the beach badges they are $60 cash security deposit each. I did see a listing in my area where the people provided beach badges and require a $300 security deposit. - but again, I no longer like that idea.

Yup, definitely the smartest thing.
Say a guest lost the badge and checked out.
You tried to enforce the security deposit to recover it for the badge.
The guest denied and said they’d never used it or lost it.
If you did not have proof… bang, they side with the guest. You’re out the money.

Cash is the only way. Make it an optional thing. Only if they want the badge, do they leave it.

Now consider making the deposit more than the badge is worth. Why?

Because if they lose the badge you have to make a special trip out of your day, like on your lunch hour or make a special stop to go buy a new one. Couple hours out of your day? How much is your time worth?

We can’t work for free JD! Make the deposit $75 or $100. You are serious about not wanting that badge lost.

If you want to use Airbnb’s security deposit system; you could have your guests sign out the badges. If they aren’t signed back in they haven’t been returned.

Hello JerseyDevil,

I know its been a while and hope you see my post. I was just curious as to what you ended up doing, what worked for you? I’m currently in the same position you initially described. (Trying to figure out how and what to charge to cover possible lost badges.) Did you ultimately find a successful way to manage it? Thanks!