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Something new in cancellation policy

My minimum stay is 30 days, and airbnb automatically imposes a policy that if they stay less than 30 days the balance of the month is not refundable. The rare time in the past when I’ve approved a change of reservation in that situation, air has assumed I would keep the balance of the money.

This time, they offered me the option to keep or refund the difference, suggesting that most hosts refund it.

In this case I refunded it because the guests left the room spotless and even washed the sheets and remade the bed, saving me lots of arthritic agony.

From a financial point of view I preferred it when I wasn’t offered a choice.

This seems to support the idea that air is veering off in the direction of favoring guests over hosts more and more.

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In the event of the two cancellations I’ve had where I elected not to refund, Air actually called to chide me into refunding more in the quote “spirit of goodwill.” Sorry not sorry. Guests canceled for no good reason, (one didn’t qualify for extenuating) and Air wanted me to eat their indecision anyway? In the other case, they supposedly had proof of a sick MIL and refunded on me anyway. Ever since, I had a bad taste about cancellations. And if Italy happens, it’s going to get worse.

Sorry not sorry.


Hey - if Air wants to be in the “friendly spirit” they are free to refund the guests on their own dime. Oh…but it’s different when the money is coming out of their own pocket, but it’s “goodwill” when someone else tosses that money out the window…lol


I just had my first cancellation in years. The traveler booked at the first of the year for a 10 ni. stay next month. I am thanking my lucky stars it was not a booking through Air or I would be up a creek with their ‘generous’ refund policy.

The cancellation came about because the traveler wanted to add a third person to my strict max occupancy of two. The reason given was that the wife had heart surgery two mos. ago and wanted their granddaughter to accompany them ‘in case anything happened.’ (Shuurrr!)

Hard-Hearted Hannah here responded that regrettably, there was no flexibility to the policy which has been in place for six years. Further, I said no, they could not use the sofa for sleeping or bring in an air-mattress but what I would do is open up the calendar to other travelers and refund any nights that are re-booked. They had no choice since they had already secured a flight for the girl.

So I issued a refund of the security deposit, cleaning fee, tax and part of the processing fee charged by PayPal…and the rest will remain in my coffers unless any dates are rebooked.

It would not have such a ‘happy’ ending if it was an Air booking.


Reader99 – your MINIMUM stay is 30 days? I didn’t think AirBnb approved of such long term stays. I though Air was about short-term stays – under 30 days…

They’ve never said anything to me. My minimum is 30, and maximum usually three or four months. That’s only so I get to know them before they can book a long stay. I’ve had two different guests who stayed 13 months, reserving a few months at a time.

My niche is people who have schooling or an internship or a short term job here, too short for a 12 month apartment lease and too long to afford a motel.

I started with shorter terms, but I have severe arthritis and can’t turn over a room fast enough for shorter terms to be realistic. My guests are more like temporary roommates.


This is exactly my stance and they’ve done just that several times.

Really, the only time I will refund is if the weather is so severe that we can’t keep our road clear of snow drifts. Or, if they’re a local or semi-local, that may show up anyway, be disgruntled and then rate me down.

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I had a guest that cancelled for this weekend because they booked the wrong weekend, they were new to BNB and worked as carers (very low income).

I couldn’t accommodate them for the weekend they wanted to travel.

I called BNB explained the situation confirmed I would be happy to let the guests cancel at no cost even though I have a strict cancellation policy.

I also asked BNB if the guests transferred to a new property would they transfer their fees which they agreed.

They then sent me a note indicating they would charge me a fee and I had 24 hours to object via email which I did and they didn’t get back to me.

I then had to call again when they admitted their mistake and cancelled the fee they were going to charge me.

I know some people on here mention BNB gives them a credit when they refund when they don’t have to. In my case they put me through a load of hassle and tried to penalise me financially. Next time I won’t bother and will keep the money.


Aren’t you worried about squatters? Do you have them sign an additional lease agreement? I would. After 30 days they are no longer guests. They are your tenants with all the rights and due process that confers.

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It’s a risk i have to take. I feel relatively safe because my guests come here for a set purpose and have a reason to go back home. I don’t rent to locals.

You could still require a standard lease agreement. Easy peasy, no muss or fuss. They lose their guest status after 30 days so you have to have an agreement in place for your protection.

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Sorry when I read it was ‘a risk I have to take’ I picture you having a gun held to your head or your family being held to ransome :slight_smile: :frowning:

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