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So, my guest did some damage and AirBNB is paying out a fraction of the claim

Hi everyone,

Going to make this short and sweet. I’m a new AirBNB host, and since I spend a lot of time out of town decided to rent my brand new condo out. Please note, this was the first time I have rented my place out, I’ve only lived in it a month, and the unit was pristine before I left. FYI all these figures are in Canadian dollars which is why they might seem expensive to some.

When I returned, a number of things were damaged, the most significant of which were gashes in the drywall and damage to the molding surrounding my bathroom door (they spilled liquid which was absorbed into the wood, which subsequently warped). They also broke a glass, and my shower curtain rod. In addition, they broke the house rules, by clearly hosting a party (when I returned the trash had not been taken out, liquor bottles were abundant.

I obtained a quote from my handyman who regularly comes and does work for me, he quoted about $270 for a complete repair, including filling the holes in the wall, and replacing the molding and it was going to cost about another $55 to replace the glass and the curtain rod. The vast majority of the $270 was labour, as disassembling the door, and the door molding was going to take time.

My security deposit was $200. I opened a resolution case with AirBNB. I could not reach an agreement with the tenant because they denied damaging the apartment, having a party, and even claimed they cleaned it. The claim was then taken to mediation with AirBNB.

Because my claim exceeded my security deposit, I was told to escalate the claim to a host guarantee claim. Their verdict: I could only claim for materials, as the host guarantee does not cover labour. Of the entire claim, AirBNB came up with the figure of only $80 out of the $320 claim because they removed the labour fees. I got 0 under the security deposit, just the $80 from the host guarantee which makes no sense to me.

Obviously this has me quite frustrated, as the remittance from AirBNB and the fees paid by the tenant don’t even cover the cost of repair, not to mention how pissed off I am that someone would wreck my brand new apartment. My frustration has been compounded by the fact that the case manager hasn’t responded to any of my emails. In the last week since I launched the claim, I’ve sent 3-4 supplying additional information, or seeking clarification.

My question is this - I thought the claim was settled through the security deposit before the balance gets escalated to the host claim is that not correct? Here’s a quote from AirBNB’s website.

You acknowledge and agree that any amount of Covered Losses payable to you under the Airbnb Host Guarantee will be reduced by the amounts you have already collected for the same Covered Losses from a source other than the Airbnb Host Guarantee, including without limitation: (i) amounts received under an insurance policy, guarantee or indemnity; (ii) a security deposit, or (iii) payment directly by the Responsible Guest or an Invitee (defined below), or other party or an insurer or guarantor of such party.

Further: Any guest who confirms a reservation at your listing will be responsible for damages up to this amount

My understanding then, is that the guest should be responsible for all $200, then the balance should be settled under the terms and conditions of the host guarantee. What am I not getting here?

A quick update guys: So AirBNB has basically said, that since the claim was beyond that of my security deposit, it automatically gets escalated to the Host Guarantee and is subject to the terms of service associated with that.

A few quick takeaways: 1) increase your security deposit and 2) never claim for more than your security deposit unless you want to get shafted.

It’s not clear, did you collect 280?

I got $80 dollars of the $320 I was claiming for.

I was under the expectation that I would get the $200, + whatever was paid out from the host guarantee.

That doesn’t make sense, call them and pester them maybe they thought you collected the 200

Hi Ryan and welcome to the forum. If you hang around and read and participate you can learn a lot which will help you in future. I’m not going to address the damages issue because I’ve never had a claim. I don’t know how it works and won’t pretend to. What I do recommend to every single host who is not going to be onsite while the guest are there is to get a security camera and install it outside of the entry door. Then when you see there is a party you can contact the guest and tell them to stop before they cause damage. You must disclose that you have the camera in your listing but it will deter people who are planning a party from booking your place. If you can’t install outside the door then put one inside the doorway pointing out the entrance so it doesn’t interfere with the guest’s privacy. I hope hosting on ABB isn’t in violation of building rules.

Thanks for the tip! Fortunately, doesn’t violate strata rules and I’m insured for AirBNB hosting.

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Terrible. I’m speechless… No words.

I had the same story and they also gave me only 80$.
If guests completely refuses damage I think they kind of throw this 80$ like a bone without meat to a dog.


I’m really sorry this happened to you and it’s completely unfair towards hosts!
Do you plan on continuing ABB?

Did you send pictures of the mess and the damage? If so keep on it. Send estimates and price quotes and pictures to Twitter @airbnbhelp and FB. Don’t let up.

Are you sure it is just not your own labor that they don’t reimburse? For example - if you were doing the repair yourself, then they would only reimburse you for the materials? It just seems ridiculous that they would not reimburse for a 3rd party’s labor.

What if someone had to hire a cleaning crew for $200 to clean up after a party? Or what if the carpet was ruined and had to be replaced? Will Air say they only reimburse for the material, and not the cost of the carpert installers?/ This is crazy!

I think the key words here are covered losses. What we think cover losses should be and what Air B&B considers to be covered losses might be two different things.

I made it pretty clear that I was using a handyman. If my case manager didn’t get that, then she’s more inept than even I have given her credit for.

Often the cost of labour trumps the cost of materials. Frankly, this is pretty much the definition of what a security deposit is used for.

No, actually it isn’t, because they’ve volunteered to pay for the materials to fix the damage, just not the labour.

Once they paid me all i asked for extra cleaners with indian guy because he admitted, but the second time they did not pay for pool guy because guest kept on refusing doing anything wrong and said, that he will take Airbnb to court if they withhold his money.

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A quick update guys: So AirBNB has basically said, that since the claim was beyond that of my security deposit, it automatically gets escalated to the Host Guarantee and is subject to the terms of service associated with that.

A few quick takeaways: 1) increase your security deposit and 2) never claim for more than your security deposit unless you want to get shafted.


Nope does not work like this. This is what they telling you IF it’s more that security deposit then bla bla… My claim was less and I still got miserable 80$ out of 350$

Look at Paragraph 12, Damage to Accommodation and Security Deposits https://www.airbnb.ca/terms and bear in mind that your Canadian provincial law supersedes conflicting terms of the AirBnB T&Cs. That includes – most especially and notoriously (if you have a look at the NY Times articles on unfair arbitration clauses) the requirement to submit to arbitration.

We had a horrendous guest who did enormous damage and was “verified” by AirBnB under a phoney name while an undischarged bankrupt. AirBnB have already paid us a substantial sum and promised more, and because this is the EU and the “Rome I Regulation” applies, we benefit from local law even though AirBnB is, for the EU, an Irish firm based in Dublin.

Success in collecting may depend on your getting jurisdiction over the guest or AirBnB, but clearly AirBnB is doing business in your province and may have appointed an agent for service of process – in which case Small Claims Court is your friend. I once sued Intercontinental Hotels in a Florida court for injury suffered in a Holiday Inn in Paris (defective chair, bedridden for 3 months) and collected a substantial sum from their insurer (not enough, but how much you get depends on your financial loss and I was unemployed at the time).

This is common. You will learn Airbnb will ALWAYS stiff the host. TheY DO NOT think of you as a customer. Just like ebay sellers. So expect this and decide if you can live with it.

I’m so sorry this happened to you, horrible. I have heard of cases like you. A set of guests dragged a fire pit on a deck and damaged the boards and airbnb didn’t pay to replace them.

I had damage done to a door, the guest admitted it and everything was paid. Including the cost of the labor. This was years ago so before the explosion of hosts and claims.

Do you have any photos of the condition of the house after the guests left?

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