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.