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The AirBnB “Host Guarantee” is NOT insurance, as the many posts on that topic and about guest damage will show when you browse through them. If you are doing a whole house STR (Short Term Rental) you need STR insurance, because your regular homeowner insurance probably won’t cover STRs, and some companies have cancelled when they found out a house was on Air. Search the forum for posts on this topic.
It hasn’t harmed rental of my 3 rooms upstairs, but it’s a full blast seasonal market from May to September. My welcome message tells them I need name of companion for insurance if not mentioned in booking message, although my insurance doesn’t.
I do it as a filter to test 1) guest communication (do they read messages?) and 2) to see if I get any pushback about the idea of house rules.
I want to catch red flags early, preferably while they can still cancel without penalty. It has raised my spidey sense 3 times, the first one of my rare “uncomfortable” cancellations, then one that finally admitted that her local boyfriend working here for the summer would be staying over, and finally one undisclosed with guest being sneaky about it because he wanted to troll the bars and bring someone home.
I live downstairs, so I want to know who’s over my head.
Air does not provide insurance. Good news is you came to the right place to learn how things work.
Start reading - lots of good stuff here - mostly from before March 2020 for obvious reasons.
Build up a really good set of house rules - FAST. Consider if you need an exterior camera (must be disclosed properly).
Oh - and Air regularly denies claims or only gives a fraction of what is claimed. So always make sure the estimates etc are at least 200% of what is needed - so when they screw you for 1/2 of it you are still made whole.
Oh and do not ever let some Air call center idiot boss you around or talk you into “well give them another day” BS. Air is GUEST CENTRIC. They don’t care at all about hosts.
Suggesting to a new host that they submit (potentially) fraudulent estimates to Airbnb when submitting a claim under the Host Guarantee is not the best advice.
When submitting a claim, bear in mind your window of opportunity is short; within fourteen days OR before the next guest checks in, which ever is sooner.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence (here, the CC etc) that Airbnb will try to get away with paying out as little as possible, but on the other hand there is evidence, again purely anecdotal, that they do sometimes treat hosts fairly.
I suspect there are many claims made under the Host Guarantee that simply get dealt with, the host goes away happy and all is good. It’s when the host isn’t happy that the story ends up on here, or the CC or Reddit, or in some case, mainstream media outlets.
This is the dead horse I always beat. They say there are millions of hosts and millions of nights booked yearly so the few hundred posts from unhappy people pale in comparison.
I also agree that this seems unethical/wrong at worst, bad advice at best. Airbnb no doubt has decided what their payouts will be based on expert advice and years of experience. For example, if refelting a pool table averages $450 nationwide and you come in with an estimate of $1000 it seems that would be a red flag for a close look, an audit if you will, of your whole claim. I’m also imagining the conversation with the pool table repair person in which you reveal you want to make a fraudulent claim so could he please provide you with an inflated written estimate?
The maximum guest count isn’t what guests are expected to show up with. You need to book for exactlythe amount of guests who are coming. Hosts need to know how many people to prepare for and many hosts have an extra guest fee over a base amount.
Just because a place has a maximum guest count of 12 doesn’t mean you get to show up with 12 if you only booked for 6.
Absolutely. The way I put it is this - imagine I had a couple of guests in the apartment. They sneak in an extra person. The building catches fire and the firefighters rescue two people and take them off to hospital. Because they are unconscious, they can’t tell them that there’s another person in there. I’ve already told the firefighters that there were two people, because that was what I thought. So person number three doesn’t survive.
That’s a pretty sobering reason why a host must know how many people are in a building. It’s for safety reasons too that your STR license states the max number of people (here, anyway). Hosts’ STR insurance might also specify the maximum and if that is exceeded, and the host claims, their insurance can/may be invalid. Another very good reason.
Unlike Air, my sympathies are for hosts and their business needs, not the total jerks who trashed their home. Talk to me of ethics when Air effects their policies properly. We are running businesses, not charities.
Unethical is Air regularly denying 50-100% of valid claims. We see these every day on various forums.
We’re not talking about a stained throw or inexpensive area rug, but serious damage - and the entire stay is down for days or weeks. So, lost revenue as well from bookings.
Guests are adults and they made choices. If they trash a stay and close it down for repairs, there should absolutely be consequences. Regardless, one would still be “in the red” - even if Air actually paid out 100% of what was asked.
Not a bad idea to add loss of booking revenue to house rules & separate booking contract.
It’s always weird to me to seen grown folks justify lying. But that is the business model for a lot of people. Really, not talking to you at all would be the best route but I just hate to leave what I think is bad advice hanging out here unchallenged. I hope the casual reader doesn’t think most hosts are so dishonest.
It’s called “running our business”. Some stained linens or towels, or a broken glass, etc are a cost of doing business. Major damage is not.
If a host does actually get more than is needed, they can (and should) give the excess back. Naturally, there should not be “penalty” money taken at the final tally. Just like one does not get extra compensation with traditional insurance claims for our time, trouble and inconvenience.
When an OTA has an apparent policy of routinely awarding 50% payouts, they foster this behavior. A host is justified in doing what is needed to be made whole. The OTA’s behavior is dishonest and unethical. The host did not cause the damage and should have every right to be made whole on those damages. If hosts are forced to state damages in a way to help ensure they are actually made whole, then so be it.
Air should simply compensate claims properly and the guest be forced to pay the correct damages. Period. End of story.
Just like a hotel. Expedia does not get to mandate to Sheraton or Marriott that they “only get 50%” when a guest causes damage.
Some hosts will agree and others will not. Those are choices for each of us to make.
LOL. Ok whatever. Our business policy is “you break it you pay for it”. Just like a hotel. That is perfectly fair and ethical in every sense.
That may not pop up here so much but there are plenty of such cases on other forums, sometimes with extensive and very costly damages.
As we’ll be taking a direct security deposit, that control will be in our hands, where it belongs, just like with our regular tenants, who have been fine. We have only needed to keep part of a security deposit one time for damages in nearly 13 years.
These are great questions for a new host to be asking! I’ve been hosting since last summer and have learned so much and this site has been helpful on several occasions. This is what I do with booking requests and I have yet (fingers crossed!) to be burned:
When I receive a booking request, if the person has just one 5 star review and kind words said about them as a good guest, I approve the booking. Host reviews are so important.
When there is no review or they are new to Airbnb, I strike up a chat with them and ask about what brings them to the area, who they are traveling with and if they have questions. You can learn a lot about people via their communication with you.
If I get a “party” vibe, I have declined people and referred to them to a nearby area that serves that scene much better than our quiet residential area.
99% of the time, they are super nice and I will then send them a rental agreement with all of the house rules outlined. I ask at the end of that document for them to include names and ages of everyone in the traveling party. It’s good to know who will be on your property and God forbid, if an accident were to happen. Most people send this right back to me and there is rarely push back.
This process seems to work pretty well - I’m always nervous about rowdy guests as our property is our second home and very dear to us. We have been very fortunate! Good luck to you!!
The max number doesn’t matter. You have to book for the correct number of guests. The max number for our largest apt is 4 people. But, if you book for one person and show up with four people, you’ll either need to pay the extra $60 per night or leave immediately (without a refund). Might put a damper on your trip. Not only the extra guest fees but if you’re bringing four people, we’ll put supplies and snacks and beers in the apt for 4 people, but if you book for one…not so much.
Holy crap, I just looked at your profile and you’re a host. You know better
Anytime someone books for one person and does not specifically say, “It’s just me” or “I’m on a solo trip”, then you need to write back and ask them directly if it is just them (because it isn’t). We get a lot of solo travelers because we give them a special price and every single person who was actually coming by themselves has told me that in their booking message. Everyone else booking for “one person” was bringing at least 1, if not 4, other people.
But I don’t think you need all of their names. What for?