Security Deposit does not protect hosts

Hi everyone.

I recently hosted three guests from Singapore who not only messed up my apartment (left trash, urine stains and grease stains behind) and did not adhere to my house rules, they damaged a brand new dining table chair bought two months ago.

I requested AUD79 from the guest for the damaged chair (backrest detached witj deep scratch marks), he refused to pay. So I involved Airbnb. Despite providing Airbnb with video, pics, sales invoice and other documentation proof, Airbnb took the side of the guest. Airbnb said the damage was “ordinary wear and tear” and the guest was not liable. They said their decision is final and cannot be overturned.

From what transpired, the security deposit does not protect hosts from theft or damage as Airbnb is clearly on the side of guests. And Airbnb made the resolutiom process very tedious. Their replies are very terse. You’ve been warned.


Hi Andrew,
Sorry to hear about the crap you’ve been though. Not to deny you or anything. But hosts have different views on what is wear and tear, and what kind of damage can be charged to guests. Perhaps you can show us pics ( dunno if that is okay though ) for the damage to your new chair.


Here are pics. The backrest cannot be screwed back. I showed the damage to my next guests and they said it looked like the backrest was pulled out. The scratch marks cannot be removed as they are deep scratches.


Thanks for the pics Andrew. That is terrible indeed :fearful: Sorry to hear about the damages.
Now I know never to rely on Airbnb.

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I am appalled that Airbnb said the damage was “ordinary wear and tear.” Are they blind?

The security deposit is just a mirage. Same with the house rules. They do not provide security and protection to hosts.

Be careful fellow hosts. Fingers crossed the same unpleasant experience won’t happen to you.


See my thread from a week or so ago:

Security Deposits are Bad for Business

Thanks for sharing your experience Andrew. I agree it’s all a mirage.

I make little mental notes to try figure out if there is any secret formula to this madness…every time I hear a new story.

One poster recently did not have a security deposit, and Air paid out everything when he filed the Host Guarantee. I believe the damage was around $800. But the guests did actually admit to the damage…just refused to pay. I wonder if we tell guests to just admit to the damage, if Air will pony up.


Hi everyone.

I found out from Airbnb website that when host requests for money from guest for damages, the host needs to provide Airbnb with video, photos and documents. The guest does not need to provide any documents. They only need to agree to pay or not. This is very unfair. It is obvious that Airbnb protects and takes care of guests more than hosts.

I am now thinking if I should continue to be a host. Really lost faith and confidence in Airbnb.


I suspect that the problem is not generic AirBnb Customer Service, but rather some of the regional CS Centers. We seem to hear an inordinate amount of “Bad CS experiences” from SE Asian/Aus CS and Eastern European CS. Not so much Western Eur/GB or American…

This seems to be common in Australia unfortunately due to many of our customer service roles being outsourced to cheap third world countries.

I had a major issue with Apple Aus who outsource to Asia and was treated like absolute dirt, while people in the US tell me that Apple is a great company.

The limited experiences I’ve had with AirBNBs staff in Manila are very poor. I was escalated to San Fran once and the issue was handled much better

Guys, we need Airbnb to give us assurance that they are fair to both parties, hosts and guests. It seems they value guests more than hosts. If we cannot use our “mirage” security deposit, how can we protect ourselves from guests who damage our property?

Another problem is bad customer service. Rude, unhelpful and unprofessional. Airbnb needs to improve on this area. My experiences with their agents Priyanka and Lea have caused me a lot of distress.

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I don’t think it’s just a regional issue. So far, I had no problems with the Airbnb reps but other hosts near my area experienced otherwise, which is a lot like your case Andrew. I think it’s also a matter of difference with each individual rep.

I think you got the s**tend response this time. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the same the next time crap happens with such lowlife guests. But again, you decide what you do:)


Attached are the Airbnb agent Lea’s terse reply to me, saying “we cannot compensate for wear and tear”, and a quote taken from Airbnb website which encourages hosts to implement security deposit to protect against wear and tear.

So either Lea is contradicting herself or Airbnb is lying to us. I believe and hope that what Airbnb stated on its website is true.

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It’s possible that Lea is conflating the Host Guarantee, which doesn’t cover wear and tear, and the security deposit which apparently does.

I personally don’t think it’s a wear and tear issue however Airbnb may have shot themselves In the foot if they have explicitly said it’s a wear and tear issue.

I guess go back and confirm you’re claiming against the deposit, not the host guarantee.

And for those thinking the host guarantee and the deposit were one and the same … well apparently not. Don’t remove the deposit from your listings peeps !!


It is disheartening for sure, but what’s the alternative? The other platforms aren’t going to be any better.

I think the best thing to do is furnish our places with second hand items if possible and just be prepared for some losses.


I have also had a similar expperience with Airbnb.
Is is ridiculous that Airbnb lets the guests get away with this kind of abuse.
Please use the “Report a Bad Tenant Databases” at the bottom of the listing to report these deadbeats.

the report

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The resolution center has always been like this. If they offer $25 and that’s unacceptable, then hit deny offer. At that point ABB steps in.

When i first started doing ABB almost 4 years ago, I didn’t know what to expect as far as support and reimbursement for damages. Then when I had my first bad experience, they were amazing and I felt so much more confidence going forward with being an ABB host.
That all changed last year when I had a guest who’s dog peed all over two plant fiber mats in the bedroom and livingroom, two small carpets in the bedroom and two duvets. They were not only unsympathetic but told me I had 3 days to submit all the receipts and docs to verify my claim (3 days to figure research and find replacements or cleaning solutions for all that damage while under tremendous work pressures). It added SO much more stress to an already stressful situation.
In the end, after I got them the requested info, the guest only admitted to some of the damage so only paid for a small percentage and ABB gave me a an additional amount that altogether covered about 2/3’s actual cost. They just took the guest’s word over mine (despite the fact he was a first time user and I had been with ABB for 3 years at the time and a “super-host” for 2). Now, I know that they really don’t care about the hosts and that makes me all the more careful about who I bring into my home and is also making me consider whether I want to continue with ABB…

WARNING - Do not waste your time with a security deposit with Airbnb! It is totally worthless as they do not pay out. Airbnbs policy is NOT to pay out! I am pretty sure they train their case managers to be as unhelpful and almost obstructive when it comes to making a claim.

My blood is boiling as we speak as yet again when i have had to make a claim for a guest issue i have had to fight a battle and lost for no reason . All they do is throw obstacles in your way and constantly change their policies and reasonings.

I am a property manager and list 34 properties with them with a turnover of $250K with Airbnb. I have over 360 reviews averaging 4.9. I am not a bad landlord or agent, i look after my homes and my guests but get treated like trash from Airbnb. Airbnb needs to realize that without owners and managers like me they would not have a produce to sell. They would have no business.

Their PC philosophy i believe has actually turned 180 degrees and instead of it being there to protect both parties, the host and the guest, it has become very much biased towards the guest. I expect because they don’t want bad reviews from guests saying Airbnb took my money! Well do you know what, in my experience those guests who have had money deducted from them have had money deducted for a reason.

In 3 years i have had to probably make a dozen claims. Every single claim maybe except for 1 or 2 claims is like strapping on my armor and heading in to battle. Almost every single claim takes over an hour of my time writing emails to case managers who are not interested in facts, pictures they are just interested in paying out as little as possible and if anything at all. I would not be surprised at all if they are targeted on paying out a percentage of the actual claim.

I have had numerous claims that have taken up 3+ hours of my time and effort. The previous claim prior to this one which has made me write this report was for a guest who used the home to hold a drunken birthday party. Even though we clearly state in the advert and house rules no parties or gatherings are allowed. The guest put a hole in one of the bedroom walls and we had hand prints with dirt and blood all over the walls and house. They also badly stained a number of towels. So i claimed for extra cleaning time, 2 towels and a repair to the wall. It was all done on headed paper with the correct amounts. Photos and invoices were attached. Airbnb did not want to pay, they then decided they wanted external quotes for the repair and cleaning. My company is a property management and maintenance company, this is what we do. I quoted $7 for each towel and $35 for the repair to the 3" hole in the wall. $35!!! Airbnb insisted that i get a quote for this, i explained that if i get a quote for this it would be around $75 - $100 for a company to come in and repair this. So i am saving them / guest money. This claim nearly took 2 hours of solid arguing and writing and it was not until i threatened to write to the board that this got resolved.

So todays battle against Airbnb is for a guest who trashed a home and it cost an extra $50 in cleaning and they damaged 2 bath towels, they were found in a cupboard covered in human excrement! They also badly stained 2 hand towels and 2 pillow cases. So this time the external cleaning company i use invoiced me for the replacements and the extra cleaning time. This was forwarded on the day of the guest leaving along with photos of the damaged items.

Two days later i receive an email from the case manager telling me i need to send receipts and a correct invoice? When i questioned what was wrong with the one i sent she said it was not valid. So i responded that these invoices are valid with the IRS and both my account and the cleaning companies accountant so why was is not valid for AIRBNB? No answer!

After 2 more sets of emails i was asked for receipt of the towels. I explained to her that i do not have receipts because i personally did not replace the items as the cleaning company did and that Airbnb will not allow me to claim direct because you want it from an external company, therefor how can i give you a receipt. So i tried to explain to her that the receipt is the invoice, it is a valid invoice stating the price i have paid for the replacement towels. They refused to accept the invoice but wouldn’t tell me why. They kept asking for different photos, even though they had them all. In the end they sent me an email telling me they were refunding me $12.99, because that is the price for a hand and a bath towel from Amazon Basics! That is very nice of them to assume i use the cheapest of towels possible.

At this point i receive a response from the guest apologizing and admitting the damage and saying he would pay, he never paid but it is in the message thread that he admits to it.

So when i questioned Airbnb that when they can see the guest has admitted to the claim and that the claim covers more than 2 towels, why have they only paid out $12.99. I got a response saying i have not supplied enough information!!! Are you kidding me!!

I believe that Airbnb purposely make it hard and frustrating to make a claim to stop from hosts doing so.

The problem here is that yes it will stop me from making a claim because they will no longer have my business. They have decided not to upset a guest who i have proven has wiped his bum on my towels and trashed my house, but to upset their client who gives them a product to sell and generates $250K with them per annum.

I have now listed my homes with as many similar sites as i can possibly find just so i have less booking with Airbnb and eventually all of my homes will be removed and at that point i would have expected to have 50+ homes listed with them generating close to $500K.


I would never use AirBnB for a stand alone listing where you need a Security Deposit. Amazes me people take the risk.