When did "Strict" change?

My stomach is literally churning after reading a post on another thread about the Strict policies. I have been searching to see when changes came about, but only see topics here from 2016 to 2019.

Our listing is strict and I thought it meant a guest can cancel within 48 hours of booking (which I like), and they get 50% back if cancelled before 30 days, and no refund if cancelled after 30 days.

Now it appears Strict means if they cancel between 7-14 days prior they get 50% refund, and within 7 days no refund. That means that someone could cancel 14+ days prior with ZERO responsibility.

If that’s true it is a disaster for our situation and I’m considering canceling any Airbnb listings, though they generate more than VRBO.

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Based on the following thread it appears it changed in 2018:

We have the strict policy, and I don’t like it either though we haven’t been hurt by it (so far). Most of our guests make reservations in good faith.

We’re not in a hot tourist area, like some Hosts here are. So if a guest canceled 15 days before check-in I’m not at all confident that we’d be able to rebook.

BUT I hope you’re just venting in suggesting you’d cancel your Airbnb listings. Besides the great inconvenience you’d inflict on those guests you’d be shooting yourself in the foot because when all is said and done Airbnb, for many/most of us, brings in many many bookings and by and large the guests act in good faith. We make money with Airbnb.


I was irritated too when I discovered that strict changed especially when someone blocks my calendar for a long period of time with a booking but like the other person said, it hasn’t been too bad.

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I would of course honor any current bookings, but I cannot risk someone blocking our dates months ahead only to cancel 2 weeks prior.


There’s more than one kind of risk. It seems that if this policy has been in effect for 4 years and you didn’t even notice in spite of all the upheaveal with covid, it’s not much of a risk. Mayb you’ll risk making less money by listing on half as many platforms.


I have two listings. When I set up this listing just last year I was pretty sure that the terms were 30 days, not 14.

I was surprised to see @HostAirbnbVRBO posting from 2018! Maybe it was different in various regions? I was so careful to check the appropriate one.

I know we’ll get booked up during ski season even if I cancel my Air listings. People plan their ski vacations about 4-15 months in advance.

The problem is, if I take overseas bookings and something changes due to travel restrictions, I end up being the insurance provider for their change of travel plans. Meanwhile, someone local might have booked that time and has already made plans elsewhere.

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I’m not sure as I’ve always used flexible or moderate. And now that I think of it it seems there was a change more recently than 2018. Regardless, it changed, you haven’t suffered yet so consider that when you are making your decisions going forward. If you’re sure you’ll get booked up on VRBO then it makes no sense to fool with two platforms.

Too bad. Before this I preferred Air’s platform and customer service to VRBO.

I just contacted Airbnb and they replied amazingly quickly. They’re setting me up with a ‘super strict’ policy that covers cancellations up to 60 days in advance… Quite impressed.


I’ll be curious how it affects your bookings. The words ‘super strict’ would seem to be off putting. Please report back to us on this.

From Cancellation policies for your listing - Airbnb Help Center

No it also changed again last year @HostAirbnbVRBO

I agree. Someone would need to be serious about going through with the booking if they proceed. That may be a good thing. I always get our Rental Policies signed when booking, so in this case I will note on the policies that we’ll give a refund for any cancellations that are rebooked.

I will report back how this changes things.


No . . . what?

No, it didn’t change in 2018 so that ‘strict cancellation’ meant only a 50% refund if the cancellation occurred 7-14 days before check-in? Because that’s not true.

I think you meant “Yes and . . .”

Old negative habits die hard.

Deleted by poster. 2020

Well, thank goodness they had a good solution even though I’m dumb.

You might want to amend that to say: “We’ll refund for any cancellations that are rebooked after we’ve received full payment, to the extent we do so.”

Because if your policy is worded the way you had it (maybe you just didn’t write it all out) then if the days are re-booked but then cancelled, in theory you’d owe the money since the days were re-booked. Also, if the new rebooking guest complained about something and received a refund from Airbnb under your wording you’d still owe the original guest their money back.

An excellent point! Thank you so much for those words of wisdom. I will word it that way for sure.

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I plugged in some random dates to see what came up. It doesn’t mention Super Strict at all. It simply gives the facts and encourages the guest to check what they are agreeing to. I like it!

Cancellation policy

Before you book, make sure you’re comfortable with this Host’s cancellation policy. Keep in mind that Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy doesn’t cover cancellations due to illness or travel disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Cancel by

Jan. 9

Partial refund: Get back 50% of every night. No refund of the service fee.

Mar. 10


No refund

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" Super Strict 30 days

This policy is invitation-only and available only to certain Hosts under special circumstances.

  • Guests must cancel at least 30 days before check-in to receive a 50% refund for all nights
  • If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid 100% for all nights"

I have no idea what “special circumstances” means, or how the “by invitation only” works, but it seems obvious that cancellation policy isn’t one that any host is free to choose.


Strict (the standard one that you do not pay a higher fee to get) is:
Cancel within 48 hours of booking AND at least 14 days before arrival to get a full refund. After that, you only get 50% back. But if you cancel 7 days or less before arrival, you get no refund at all.

I don’t know how long it’s been like that, but I believe several years.

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