Excuse the rant:
This is the second time air bnb had screwed me on damages. First time my place was trashed by some festival goers (puke and urin on beds, beer everywhere) and my maid cleaned up and disposed of the trash before airbnb told me I needed to take photos. That is probably something they should explain when you sign up.
This time I took photos of them breaking all the house rules-leaving 1.5 hrs late, extra guests, spilled liquids on the floor and some unknown substance staining the sheets, photos of a cigarette box, cigarette butts, cigarette ashes. The next guest even complained about the smoke smell so I called the guy out for a second time with this machine to get rid of the smell. The POS guests doesn’t reply to my request for about %50 of the damages so it went to resolution. After about a week the resolution guy told me I have 24 hours to provide invoices for the services. Well I pay my handy man and maid in cash and its someone I trust so we don’t have invoices. I got a professional quote for smoke repair and it was 4 times as much as I am requesting. I explained this all to air bnb and they said too bad I need an invoice. I called my guy, got him to scan over an invoice and then air bnb said too bad we don’t accept this invoice. They did not provide an explanation. I have all this on my house rules and even have a $1000 deposit, but apparently that does not matter.
Bottom line is air bnb is so completely anti host. I am currently signing up for every other travel site I can find. I hate air bnb. You think they would at least explain to a host what is needed to get compensated fairly. I am also writing everything I can think of in my house rules with very high fines attached so that hopefully I will get something next time.
When you sign up they do tell you you need to understand a whole bunch of policies. I know I didn’t read all the fine print either but there it is.
Of course they need proof. Same with any insurance. You have to provide proof of loss and photos is one way.
Good luck with that. I think they are all more pro-guest than pro-host.
I agree. Forums like this one are a great resource for getting information. I suggest you spend some time here and read as much as you can on topics of concern to you.
This may cost you some bookings. Make sure you write these new rules when you aren’t angry so you don’t come off negatively in your listing.
Now for the good news. I assume you were booked up all summer with mostly good guests since this is the first time you’ve posted since you first joined. Did air bring you most of those guests or did you use another platform at the same time.
K9, Thank you for the reply and advice, I do not recall anything that clearly shows that you will not be compensated without an invoice that meets their unknown criteria. What about a person that cleans their own home? Do they have to write an invoice to themselves or will they just never be compensated for extra labor?
I understand they need proof, but exactly what is their level of proof? Photos and a complaint by another guest appear not to be enough. I would be happy to call the air bnb response team and they can come in person since I live close to their headquarters.
I’ve never had more than a few days in a month not booked. I am not worried about scaring away the guests that I don’t want anyway. I have so many positive reviews responsible guests will still feel welcome.
I have not used a platform other than airbnb yet, but I will be exploring all my options at this point.
I understand. I’m just saying that they aren’t going to tell you much of anything. It’s like the law. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but learning the entire criminal code would be insane. We just go along and hope for the best.
Maybe you should try twitter or facebook to publicize your complaint.
Sorry I can’t help you with that as I’ve had no problems. Perhaps someone will chime in who has experience with something similar like @azreala.
You should search the forums for posts about TripAdvisor, Homeaway, booking. com, Wimdu, everyone seems to have complaints.
With VRBO, they actually charge the deposit and it’s returned to their credit card when you release the funds after check out. I’ve never had to make a claim so I don’t know the process, but I feel more secure that VRBO actually has charged the deposit amount rather than the AirBNB system which seems purely symbolic.
Have you had a read through their Airbnb host guarantee on the Airbnb Help Centre. This might help you understand more about the process.
(not that I am saying hosts haven’t complained about problems claiming through it).
Don’t forget to give the guest a nice 1 star review so no one else gets them.
Just remember @Cmoore; when you go to all those other STR platforms, you won’t have any reviews, let alone “so many positive reviews”. You’ll be the new kid on the block trying to get a booking or two.
If you feel that way about Air, that’s your business of course. We won’t be there to help you because this is a Air Host site, not a host help site for other platforms. So good luck with all that.
Perhaps you should sit down, calm down, and ask yourself “What have I done wrong that brings these kinds of people to my place?” and "What could I have done differently? " Not being present to see extra guests? Not having surveillance cameras? Not selecting guests that are compatible with your space? Communicating with guests outside the Air message platform? Paying your “employees” under the table instead of paying them?
VRBO you can draw on the security deposit without any review. I know i had to once this year. I’m not sure the process if the guest would have disputed the claim.
Actually, people routinely post about other sites here all the time, and get answers, despite the name.
I didn’t read through all of the responses. So, hopefully, this isn’t covering ground already mentioned. I just had a family from Greenwich, CT, that had about 6 positive reviews. I met them – seemed like nice enough people. The wife and I discussed Airbnbs in Europe. She mentioned staying in Venice (this will be relevant, later). They stayed for 4 nights – mom, dad, one son in his 20’s – they were visiting the other son who attends college, here, and he was not planning on staying at my place. My daughter and I arrived to clean about an hour after they left. I found 9 cigarette butts, ashes, and package refuse in the dry leaves of the open space that abuts my place and in my neighbor’s patio. My house rules state NO CIGARETTES OR ANY TOBACCO PRODUCTS INSIDE OR OUT (I’m in Colorado so I let them smoke weed outside). I also have in my house rules to be very careful of anything flammable since I am on the open space and it is very dry here. They also drank beer and vodka upstairs (against the house rules), spilled drinks on the carpet and wool rug (red wine on the rug!), broke a glass that we found in the garbage that they didn’t mention, didn’t take out any of the garbage (also a house rule), I found pee stains on one set of sheets and a towel and pee on the bathroom floor (gross!), sticky stuff on a bedroom end table, I am missing a coaster (why?), and they left the place in a general MESS!. I was mostly upset about the cigarettes and the blatant disregard for the safety of my neighbors and the woods/wild animals. They could have started a forest fire. I re-read the reviews – not one from Venice, which could have been that the host simply didn’t write one – or, they could have had a bad review and just opened a new Air account. I have in my house rules that the deposit will be forfeited if they break any house rules. I called Airbnb and – nope! They couldn’t help me, at all, except to refund me for the one glass (I get glasses at the thrift store, so I deemed it not worth the hassle for $1). I cannot hire a professional carpet cleaning company because my place is too far from the parking lot for the van to reach. So, I had to clean the carpets, myself. I wrote a nasty-ass review, and the guest has since deleted that account. I’m sure they will just make another one. So much for trust and safety. This also happened to me with a horrible host in Italy. I couldn’t leave a bad review because Airbnb relocated us (it was such a horrible place and the host was MEAN!). But after a subsequent nasty review by another guest, the host took down that page and put up a new one. I have contacted Airbnb several times about this loophole – not one response, ever. Even the Air CS person a couple of days ago agreed that it is a problem – very sympathetic, but no resolution. Sucks.
Yep, unless one has control of the security/damage deposit, we hosts are up a creek. Air’s policy and practice sucks in that regard and while there are some who have fared well in the past on collecting for damage, those feel-good stories are becoming more rare.
I’m grandfathered in on the original TOS on another platform so I am still handling my reservations and payments. That means vetting to my heart’s content and keeping monies for wrongdoings…and I have. There is no substitution for being in total control and I shake in my shoes whenever I get an Air booking because it’s a gamble with a capital “G”.
I have no solution but can only (also) sympathize.
I sympathize and hate bad guests like these… But frankly, it’s up to YOU to know their policies and not blame THEM because you don’t know their policies.
You can’t wait for them to “tell me what to do”… You need to know the procedure. If you had all the ducks in a row for the claims you would have been compensated properly I’m positive.
But then you got burned again for the same thing and honestly, why didn’t you learn from the first res center case?
Also… You didn’t ask, but because you’ve been having this happen frequently, i suspect something is off here. Do you have firm rules about no parties or events? Rules about no additional people? Do you have exterior security cameras? Are you allowing too many guests? i allow only two but when they have brought one more, it turns into a party.
You need to be much more firm with guests I have a feeling. This is just a guess and a feeling.
Take another look at your listing and make sure all the behaviors you are having issues with are firmly and clearly prohibited, along with the consequences of behaving badly.
I’m so sorry! And that’s absolutely ridiculous that air won’t help. Every time I read this forum I get scared. We’ve been lucky we’ve had mostly great guests with a few somewhat challenging guests, but nothing terrible. Seriously, there should be better protection for hosts.
Don’t be scared! Most of us have great guests and only rant about the two or three who suck.
I’m always posting here that people need to leave honest reviews. But I’ve been doing some review reading lately and I’m discouraged. There is always the problem of the host who doesn’t review poor guests at all but even if they do, do they just delete and open a new one, or book under their partners name? And how about those youngsters who have a new SO every few months or years? I read reviews that say things like “Sarah and her boyfriend were great,” but I’ve no idea if it’s the same bf. So many people on Airbnb since 2015 with no reviews.
I have an upcoming guest who has several reviews stating how difficult/unreasonable/unfriendly they are. They asked a question and I answered and then I went to have a look around at the reviews and profile. Before I could block the day they booked via IB. I think I’ll be fine as I know what to expect and I’ll be proactive but honestly I don’t think this person should be using Airbnb unless it’s an “entire home.” I was checking another guests reviews and came across a negative one for her and her response. Again, it made me nervous. So I went to check the host’s profile and they have a bunch of unhappy guests. In that case I’d blame the host and I had no issues with her at all.
I guess like the airlines, airbnb is going to have a lot of unhappy guests and hosts but it won’t matter.
You do have the chrome extension installed? Easy way to see what guests have said about other hosts they have stayed with.
I don’t. I haven’t bothered to install it since I have IB and it seems like a bit of “ignorance is bliss.” I’m going to worry about this guest for nothing (probably).
As you have Instant Book, you are permitted to cancel penalty free if the guest’s reviews of prior hosts make you think that you and this guest aren’t a good match.
Yeah. Gosh… Several bad reviews is not a good record. You have been lucky K9… Hope your luck continues but if it doesn’t you know where to find some shoulders to cry on.