Tornados and loss of power

Hi all, I just discovered this site. we have a house on Cape Cod and this week there were tornados that touched down all around the home. Our guests have been w/o power for 2 days and probably the rest of the week. Now I know we don’t control the weather and they are being great about it, but should we do a partial refund? TIA

It’s hard to phantom, not knowing your guests, but I would probably refund something, or make sure you at least bought them a dinner somewhere that has electricity. Maybe they are enjoying the Adventure:)
If they are uncomfortable staying, it’s a different story. I only say this because if we get red flag warning, which = high winds and fire danger, or an actual fire, I would totally understand a guest being uncomfortable and wanting to leave. I would offer to try to re-accommodate them with help from Air at that point.

Thank you, we are thinking of a small refund. I like the idea of buying them dinner!

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Keep in mind that if your guests complained to Airbnb (dring or after) their stay, Airbnb might just refund them 50% or all.

Take a look at this thread for ‘only’ missing wifi …

…so the host really did pay for bad weather.

yes u should give them small refund, I know it Is out of ur control but it is unfair to guests also to have an accommodation without power in 2019

@AlexSJ, I have this rules in all my listings since then no issue / NO REFUND

We provide unlimited WIFI- But from time to time provider will go carry maintenance which led to short period without WIFi we will provide a portable wifi for the time being if we are aware of it but we wont be responsible for money back because the WIFI IS NOT WORKING

  • We will endeavour to ensure that all appliances etc. in the apartment are working properly, there is not damage to the apartment and the apartment is clean. If you notify us of a faulty appliance, or the apartment is not spotlessly clean, or of something wrong with the apartment, we will take all reasonable steps to have the fault corrected as soon as possible. Where you notify us after hours, we will endeavour to have the fault corrected as soon as possible on the recommencement of business hours. The existence of a faulty appliance or another issue with the apartment will not entitle you to any discount on the booking fee. We do not control maintenance in the building in which the apartment is located. In the event of a fault in the common area, e.g., the lift not working or there being no hot water, we will notify the body corporate of the fault immediately. However, the existence of the fault will not entitle you to any discount on the booking fee. We assure you that my apartment is in quality building and that common area faults are always attended to by the body corporate promptly.
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I’m hearing that power may not be restored until Friday!

When it comes to basic amenities, like hot water or having an elevator if you’re on the tenth floor then it doesn’t matter how many disclaimers you have, if it was me and they weren’t reinstated in what I (not the host) considered a reasonable time, I’d be on to CS looking to be relocated and refunded.

Given the shift in Airbnb’s perspective towards the guest these days, I’d be surprised if my (the guest) request wasn’t granted.

We’ve been fortunate, no major “outs” of anything, other than a lavatory; and that is a story in itself. How we managed to get away with that one, and got 5* overall, still confounds me!


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@Wings4031. Welcome!!

I was on the phone with a coworker when the tornado warnings (two had been spotted) occurred. She sent me a pic of the emergency warnings. Thankfully she is ok.

I’m glad you didn’t have damage. Personally I would get ready to refund.

Cooking, bathing, laundry, entertainment etc. are difficult without power. That’s not the vacation they signed up for.

Are you on Airbnb? An option may be to offer them a free or highly discounted rental (enough to cover your costs for power, cable, internet…) for a later date so you don’t lose you current revenue.

If the guest complains to Airbnb, Airbnb will probably issue a full refund regardless of whether they stayed all week because they endured the “no power”

For 3 of the past 4 years I’ve lost one month of rental revenue due to hurricanes although my condo was not damaged & had power. Unfortunately flooding made it difficult to get to (but not impossible). Airbnb allowed full refunds due to the potential of a problem.

I managed to reschedule a couple of the bookings so the revenue was postponed instead of lost.

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@JohnF I don’t mind guests asking for relocation if there is a major issue and I have no problem with that, but what I refuse is if guests accept a given situation at the time of their stay and after the trip is over, ask for money back.

2 years ago I had 3 guests from the US for 3 nights, 1st day I made sure they arrived safely, 2nd day I asked them if everything was ok, and the previous night before departure they asked for later check out I agree to let them check out 1 hour later.

10 days after their stay, I received a request to refund 50% of their stay because they were no WIFI, ??

Do you find that normal ?? to me no, I was nearly every day in contact with those guests, at no point during conversation they mention the Wifi was not working?

A simple phone call to the provider will have solved the issue in 99% of the case. When they request a refund from ABB adding they were on a business trip, sorry my ass this was 3 young guys,

I lost it I had this long rule and show to ABB at no point during the 3 days guests tried to contact me for WIFI issue, they never got their money back.

When guests have any issue is to act, if a guest tells me tomorrow there is work from my next-door neighbours and they cannot sleep/relax or want discount I will immediately call ABB to have them relocated. It happened before, and at the end, the guests suddenly refuse to be relocation and decide to stay. I always remind guests when they book ABB listing or apartment they are staying in residential building, so others owners have right also, they are allowed to make apartment improvement at a reasonable time of the day so they cannot except others tenants to stop living because we run a short let.

I’m not disagreeing with you, what I’m saying is that your disclaimer won’t carry any weight with Airbnb if a guest report a loss of amenity.



MissSwan - that is what I heard, but thankfully out guest got power back last night. So it was only 1 full day of no power. we kept in touch witht hem and they were very cool about the whole thing.


well, i had a family who was going to a wedding when a pipe in the street broke and the water was shut off for a day, so they couldn’t use the bathroom or take a shower. so they called CS who arranged hotel rooms for them (i don’t know who paid for them but not me). I refunded the guests for the night they didn’t stay with me. If I were in their shoes i’d have appreciated if someone did this for me.


@Wings4031 you got lucky as power was out here in S Chatham for 45 hrs and my tenants have been understanding about it.
Btw, have you registered yet with MA DOR for your STR? You’re not responsible for reporting or collecting it for Airbnb rentals but still required to register.

pleasantforestshores - what is MA DOR?

Glad your residents are being cool about it, ours were too but we still felt terrible. out of our control though

Umm, you’re renting out a house in MA on Cape Cod this summer and don’t know what DOR is, with all the discussions of STR tax going on for two+ years? Any MA Airbnb/VRBO/etc host has to register with DOR (Dept of Revenue - state vers of IRS) as of July 1, 2019 per Chapter 337 of the Session laws and if you get rent or any other fee directly from guest, have to charge the appropriate STR tax and remit/report it to DOR the following month.

They may not be residents of MA and not necessarily aware. Being on the cape I believe that you may also have to collect a tax by the town and potentially a water tax. I just briefly about it yesterday so it may be worth investigating.

@MissSwan - even if they’re not residents, if they have rental property in MA, they should be aware of this already. And yes, most towns have a local tax (0%-6%), and in some cases, another local type tax/fee (3%+), and the Cape & Islands wastewater (2.75%) but Airbnb is required to collect and remit any taxes for rentals paid via them. We are only to collect tax on rentals paid directly to us without any intermediary like realtor, etc.

The article I read said that the host would be the one collecting the local tax and fees. This could be mistaken and since I’m not a resident I’m not fully aware of the situation there. Again I was just saying that it’s definitely worth investigating to be sure everything is done properly. It sounds like there is a whole lot of confusion