Rule breaking guest evicted but now no payout?

My family and I hosted our home long term 43 days while we were traveling and renting another home somewhere else. We worked hard to get the booking and were good hosts to the guests. We put a strict cancellation policy in place because we were counting on the income in exchange for the reservation. Having this rental allowed us to afford taking the trip as it covered our rent while we were gone. Now we are looking at being $1700 in the hole because Airbnb is not paying us out for the rental.

Halfway through the trip/booking, the guest repeatedly broke house rules and ultimately had to be kicked out for flagrantly violating 4 house rules.

Short story of nightmare guest: We live in a big building with 24 apartments and thin walls in Brooklyn. We word our listing to avoid partiers and house rules are super clear on boundaries about partying. House rules prohibit: 1) playing music on our stereo above “level 9” (where can neighbors hear), 2) having ppl over after 10 on weeknights, and 3) smoking in the apartment. After the first party going until 4 am, we contacted ABNB, gave the guest a strongly worded warning, told him we would not tolerate a second time, and let it go. According to neighbors, he continued to have loud late night gatherings but they did not contact us the other nights. Then, multiple furious neighbors contacted us about a “rave” lasting until 4 am. We contacted ABNB again and told them we could not tolerate this, he had to go. They told me I was in my rights but that I had to call him and give him the news and a time to be out, which I did. I also managed getting him out (which is when I discovered the place reeked of cigarette smoke).

The day after he left, the ABNB rep said the guest had “escalated the case” until he got to a supervisor who “negotiated a settlement” with him that involved him only paying for the next two nights. Basically, they refunded his money for the remainder of the stay, despite our strict cancellation policy. When I asked how we would be paid out, they sent me a text message saying “my request to alter the dates of the booking had been granted” and that the booking had been shortened by 20 days. They told me they would only pay us out for that night and the following night. I told our Airbnb rep that I did not request an alteration to the booking and that I wanted to also “escalate the case to a supervisor” because our selected strict cancellation policy guaranteed us the income even in cases like this. The rep said a supervisor would get back to us.

So that was three days ago, no supervisor has contacted me and the case with my rep has been closed. Where do I go next?

I get that maybe it could seem unfair for this guy to pay for 20 days where he is not staying in the apartment, but that is why he should not have broken the rules the second time and forfeited his right to stay there. We held up our side of the contract and he did not hold up his. Why should my family be out $1700 because of his bad choices? We are not staying there and we can’t rent it out again (NYC 30 day min stay rules plus the late date), but we still have to pay the rent on it. We are looking at having to completely eat these expenses (not to mention come home to a place that smells like smoke).

The ultimate value to the host is that Airbnb services the contract between the two parties. If Airbnb does not uphold the contract when a guest defaults, what good is it?

I have read other threads that say essentially, “Airbnb decides and there is nothing you can do about it.” As a business person, that does not strike me as a good answer.

Anyone else have advice about how my family can go about getting paid on this contract?


In your post you refer repeatedly to your strict cancellation policy. For any booking of 28 days or more Airbnb’s long term cancellation policy supersedes the host’s cancellation policy. If you are not paid for the first 30 days per the long term cancellation policy, I would take your case to arbitration.


Thank you @EllenN.
Yes, you are right. I’m looking at my copy of the original reservation again. When the reservation was for the full 43 days, it was under the long term cancellation policy. Now that they changed it to at 21 day reservation, it has reverted to my strict cancellation policy.
I would love to take this to arbitration since the long term policy should pay out for “30 days from the cancellation.”

How does one get to the arbitration phase? When I go to, the only option i see is:
“Need to send or request money? Use our Resolution Center to send or receive money for hosting help, refunds, or any damages. Send money | Request money”

This requests money directly from the guests. Is that really what I need to do? Request $1700 from the guest?

Another issue, I don’t like it that now it shows that I had a reservation that lasted less than 30 days. The NYC gov has been known to fine hosts $1000s who rent “entire homes” for less than 30 days. From what I have heard, the city is able to monitor bookings now to look for hosts violating this rule. I don’t like that I could be flagged because of this setting that my former case rep changed. We are not making enough money off occasionally renting our home to offset this fine risk.

I’ve never used Airbnb’s arbitration. I assume that you have to wait until Airbnb has made a final decision. If I were you I would call Airbnb and tell them that you never agreed to shorten the guest’s stay so they need to pay for 30 days. In case they reach a decision that you believe to be unfair to you; here is a link to the portion of Airbnb’s terms of service that details how to initiate an arbitration.

Thank you again, @EllenN.

Relevant long term cancelation policy clause:

“Regardless of the checkout date chosen, the guest is required to pay the host for the 30 days following the cancellation date, or up to the end date of the guest’s original reservation if the remaining portion of the original reservation is less than 30 days.”

According to this, we should be paid for the entire 43 day period.

I’m on the line with a new cust service rep now and she seems to get it so fingers crossed . . .

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Wow, sorry for this nightmare. Glad it seems to be getting resolved though.
But a couple of things come to mind to comment on.

You say you pay rent on this place. You are not the owner? Does the owner know and approve of your doing STR?
I’m not asking to chastise you. I’m just saying that if you are doing this without the owner’s permission they might know by now because of the disruptions that took place. It could put your owner at risk of fines or HOA sanctions. You could also be putting yourself at risk of getting evicted.

Second, and we say this continually here…

Air is NOT a good platform for long term rentals. For a number of reasons, but the nightmare described above is one of them.

thanks for the input.

Always appreciate the double checking to make sure I’m complying with the intricate laws and rules. I’m in the clear with my landlord on these long term rentals. My landlord has granted me permission to sublet the apartment when I need to travel for work in the past. But bad seeds like this guy put the whole thing at risk.

I will search for the threads with discussions about ABNB being bad for long term rentals. Since us NYC folks can’t sublet a whole apartment for less than 30 days without risking big fines, it would make Airbnb kinda useless to NYC hosts if long term were not viable.

From Airbnb’s site:

"Can a guest alter or cancel a long-term reservation?

The Long Term cancellation policy is automatically applied to all long-term reservations of 28 nights or more and requires a 30-day notice for both changes and cancellations.

Changes to long-term reservations

If a guest wants to change their reservation, they must submit a change request to the host.

If the guest gives more than 30-days notice, the changes will happen automatically and the guest will be charged or refunded accordingly. If the guest requests a reservation change, or wants to extend their stay, the host will need to accept or decline the changes.

Airbnb service fees are also adjusted if any changes are made to the reservation price."

It sounds like your guest only gave 20 days notice instead of 30?

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The whole wording doesn’t even make sense and is contradictory:

  • If a guest wants to change their reservation, they must submit a change request to the host.

If the guest gives more than 30-days notice, the changes will happen automatically and the guest will be charged or refunded accordingly.

  • If the guest requests a reservation change, or wants to extend their stay, the host will need to accept or decline the changes

The guest did not change the booking, they were for the want of a better word evicted and the reservation period altered accordingly.

The discussion seems mainly about a Guest cancelling, which did not happen.

Update: October 3

After 9 calls to Airbnb, Brett, the supervisor of my original CS agent has decided not to honor the long term cancellation policy and give me the payout due for the reservation. His explanation was that the documentation showing multiple neighbor text messages at 4 am was sufficient to get the guest kicked out but insufficient in his opinion to payout on the cancellation policy because there were no pictures, he said. The violations of the house rules were not visual-- noise complaints at 4 am from multiple neighbors describing a rave in my apartment. I asked to further escalate to whomsoever is his supervisor to further negotiate a resolution as the questioning of my documentation was an arbitrary addition of new complexity. None of the house rules that were broken involved something that a camera could see.
I told him that I would be pursuing arbitration as described in Section 19.3. I went over Section 19.3 with him and asked him to give me the email address to which to send the notification of intent to pursue arbitration. He put me on hold and then told me he would need to transfer me to a “Special Team.” I was not transferred; he hung up on me. When I called back, the new rep answering the phone said she could not hear me and hung up.

Post on the Airbnb Facebook page.