You will read online quite a few stories of unsuccessful deposit claims. Usually shared by angry/disappointed hosts. How frustrating, your beloved guest left your property without telling you that he broke your brand-new curved LED TV or left a large wine stain on your expensive sofa. Indeed, it is frustrating and it should be covered by the Airbnb Host Guarantee program.
Many people mix up the host guarantee program (host protection against property damages) and the host protection insurance (which is an insurance covering damages caused to a third party during your Airbnb experience). We are talking about the Host Guarantee here. ( You can see the differences between those two program here.)
Why hosts often don’t claim compensation after damage?
- Most of the time, hosts don’t dare to claim the deposit after damage, because it they are afraid to receive a bad review after proceeded to the claim.
- Secondly, hosts usually think that the process is too difficult and they will most likely never get any compensation.
Although those 2 reasons are understandable, this is not what I have experienced using the host guarantee program. Usually, after submitted clear pictures, most of the guests will agree to release the deposit by themselves. In the other cases, Airbnb support team are being quite fair and responsive to the host’s request if well documented.
5 Steps to successfully claim Guest security deposit
1. Act quick
According Airbnb host guarantee policy, you have 14 days from the guest’s checkout or before the next checks in to claim a reimbursement. That said, you should always file a claim as soon as possible. Even if it means before the checkout date (in the case of serious damage for example, they could allow an earlier cancellation of your guest stay). For the most common damages, you should claim as soon as the guest checked out.
Tips: You are not sure how much the damage will cost you? Make an estimation (don’t hesitate to make a high estimation, which can be review lower later). FILE THE CLAIM EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT THE COST.
2. Document your case
To avoid any endless talks, always document your claim. Using the Airbnb Resolution center, attached as many as photos as possible where the damages are clearly visible. Attach invoices or quotation of fixing/replacing costs if you have.
3. Explain the issue to your guest
THIS PART IS VERY IMPORTANT.
You are angry and upset? The guest clearly ignored your no party policy? Please go outside to have a walk and breathe deeply. Then you can start writing to your guest in the Airbnb Resolution Center.
The way you will request to your guest is a big deal and can have a big impact on the resolution of the issue. The guest even may accept to release the money by himself.
- Always use Airbnb Resolution Center to communicate about your claim. Do not accept to talk about over the phone or any other communication channel.
- Give your guest the benefit of doubt. No matter how difficult it can be to believe. He may not be aware that he broke something. Really?
- Don’t get emotional. In the case that you need to escalate the issue to Airbnb support team, they will have a close look at the way you tried to handle by the problem by yourself. Airbnb loves professional hosts and they will most likely stand by your side.
4. Escalate the case to Airbnb support
Your guest declined your request for money, or haven’t replied within 72 hours? Go to your Resolution Center, it is time to involve the Airbnb host support.
If you follow carefuly those steps and behave professionally your claim will most likely be a success. Either the guest himself will end up pay for the damage he has caused. Either Airbnb will release the refund. Note that the amount of your claim can be higher than the deposit that you have setup on your listing.