Slow down in bookings due to New Airbnb Security Deposit policy

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from Airbnb saying that they were updating the security deposit policy (I am in Florida). The policy used to be that security deposits were not charge to guests cards upfront, only if we as the host made a claim within 24 hours after the checkout.

NOW Airbnb is charging security deposits UPFRONT. And the minimum is $100. This is killing my business. We haven’t gotten a booking since this policy was enacted. I don’t know what to do. How can Airbnb do this? I get that it’s refundable, but most people who use Airbnb to travel probably can’t afford an additional $100 hold.

Anyone else having an issue with this policy? Can I do anything about it?

I have not had this Airbnb upfront security-deposit fee problem.

But my bookings have increased, since I also listed my two-bedroom rental-unit on, FlipKey and TripAdvisor two months ago.

I stopped relying on Airbnb, as my only reservation resource. My last Airbnb booking was in February.

1 Like

It’s their platform so they can do what they want. If we want to use their platform, we accept whatever they say. Simple.

I’m not really sure where you get this information from. A lot of guests weren’t even aware that the security deposit wasn’t taken when they booked and that’s fine with me. I don’t want guests who are worried about a refundable $100. The way I see it is that making it payable upfront means that guests are less likely to cause any trouble or damage. Is it just me who sees it that way?


Unless all of your bookings are fairly short notice, I doubt this is why your bookings have slowed. Airbnb doesn’t attempt to place the hold for the security deposit until 48 hours prior to check-in.

Also, they mentioned that the security deposits are placed only on under specific circumstances (which they didn’t actually list). Do you even know if they are applying it to your listing?

They said that if you already have a security deposit set, they will use it and not apply their own. My theory at the time was that any hosts that don’t like the new policy, can set their security deposit to $0.01 or whatever the absolute minimum amount they will allow and then carry on as before.

1 Like

I tried setting it lower and it said $100 was the minimum.

1 Like

I recently was playing around with this and turned it off and then when I turned it back on was told $150(AUD) was the minimum. I am not sure why I put this here in a couple of cases I might have used it the guests had hidden the damage so I didn’t find out until too late and it wasn’t clear who broke it. Plus I don’t nickel and dime them on minor breakages like glasses or sheets.

Set your security deposit to $0

To add or edit a security deposit to your listing:

  1. Go to Your listings on and select a listing
  2. Click Manage listing
  3. Click Pricing settings at the top of the page
  4. Next to Extra charges , click Edit
  5. Under Security deposit , enter an amount between $100 and $5,000 USD
  6. Click Save

@TheDees. I’m feeling your pain.

My largest market is budget family vacationers. I have only a few weeks still available this summer BUT in the past week I’ve had 2 inquiries unhappy with the security deposit.

One said the $200 security deposit pushed her over her budget. I tried to explain she would be refunded if no damage.

The other booked after she understood I personally didn’t get the money upfront but she didn’t like it either.

I’m thinking of making mine $100. Truth is it’s so hard to file a claim I’m not sure it is worth the rental worries for the additional $100

That’s what I thought too but my inquiring guests are telling me that it is being charged at booking.

I need to do some checking. Airbnb has a knack for making changes for some, not others then pushing the change to all.

1 Like

@Lynick4442 , I think you missed the premise which is that Airbnb will automatically apply a security deposit on some reservations/listings when the host does not have a security deposit set.

I received that notice too. What makes you think that resetting to $0 doesn’t work?

Because you can either turn it off or set it to whatever minimum Airbnb allows for your listing. It won’t let you enter $0. It’s right there on step 5 of the instructions you posted (minimum is $100).

Edit: It won’t let you set an actual deposit amount of $0. If you enter $0, it means you are turning it off and then Airbnb can decide to apply a security deposit and they get to choose the amount.

I am with you @jaquo I do not want guests who cannot afford a $100 hold on the credit card. I prefer guests who can afford to stay in my higher than my local competition listing.



Based upon the Airbnb help function, Airbnb will set some of the Security deposit amounts. They don’t explain what triggers the security deposit

Hmmm-both of the people who complained were new to Airbnb. I wonder…


My HomeAway guests have been paying me a security deposit for years. Airbnb doesn’t get a fee if guests they don’t book, so I’m sure they will figure it out.

1 Like

Maybe it is just being HELD at booking and CHARGED 48 hours prior to check-in??? A guest might not know the difference.

Thanks Don. A number of other hosts are reporting slowdowns on Air, including myself.

Interesting because I have deposits of $500 for all my listings (even my private bedroom) with base rates from $36-$60/ night and I have seen an increase in bookings, especially long term (28-29 days), but single night and everything in between as well. I don’t know if it is being charged or if it is being held or if it has not even been implemented yet for me. I am leaning toward not yet implemented.

1 Like

I just Googled Airbnb’s net-worth which was $3.8 billion (USD), as of January 2019.

Why is Airbnb not buying more advertising, compared to the many Trivago, VRBO and ads I now frequently see on television and online?

Here are the net-worth’s of those other companies:

  • Trivago – $1.48 billion
  • VRBO – $495 million
  • – $4.5 billion

because they are raking it in without spending more on advertising? The others are spending to try to catch up.

1 Like