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How Airbnb Hosts Can Prevent Damage To Their Property

When I talk to fellow Airbnb hosts, I always ask them if they were apprehensive about letting random people from the internet into their homes. The answer is always a clear “yes.”

The next question I ask them, is if those fears ever materialized. The answer to this question may surprise you. It’s almost always a very definite “no.”

The biggest worry that people have when renting out their space on Airbnb is that guests will damage their property. Particular questions that are often raised include the following:

• What if a guest steals my belongings?
• What if my home is damaged?
• What if my guest is highly unsanitary?
• How can I be sure that my guest will not harm me?
• How can I be certain that my guest will not bring an unwanted pet or animal into my home?

These are all reasonable concerns when dealing with complete strangers. But don’t fret just yet… Airbnb has recognized these potential perils and implemented a number of highly effective protective measures.

1. The Airbnb Host Guarantee

Airbnb has insured all hosts up to $1,000,000 in damages and losses on each on every rental. It is complimentary protection, and a policy that is backed by Lloyds of London. Although the coverage is fairly broad, the following items fall outside the scope of the coverage:

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• Normal wear and tear
• Cash and securities
• Collectibles
• Rare artwork
• Jewelry
• Pets
• Personal liability

For more information on how to file a claim, you can check out the Airbnb Host Guarantee FAQ page.

2. Review screen profiles and reviews of potential guests

Airbnb is a short-term rental social network. Guests and hosts alike are encouraged to create profile pages with pictures, videos, personal information, reviews, and references. Hosts can take advantage of the wealth of personal information available before accepting a guest. Airbnb encourages users to look at reviews, read personal references, examine photos and videos, and make sure that the guest feels like a good fit. At the end of the day, the best safety measure is a bit of due diligence.

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3. Add a security deposit to your listing

If a guest wants to implement a financial failsafe, he is free to require a security deposit. The amount of the deposit can be anywhere from $100 to $5,000. In order to use this protective measure, the security deposit must be in place before the reservation is made. A host is not allowed to retroactively apply a security deposit to an established rental agreement. If a problem does arise during the rental period and damage has occurred, a host has 48 hours to report the issue. If a report is not made within the allotted time, the host must release the security deposit.

4. Message potential guests prior to accepting a reservation

When a potential guest wants to reserve a home, he will usually shoot the host a personal message. Hosts then have the opportunity to communicate with the potential client and ask why he is in town, what he does for a living, how many people he is traveling with, etc. This is a terrific opportunity to gather a bit more intelligence before handing over the keys to the castle.

5. Set reservation requirements

Hosts can require that all guests have Verified ID. This will ensure that they have been reviewed and approved by the Airbnb staff.

6. Create guidelines for your guests

Airbnb provides hosts with two awesome ways to help keep their guests in line: House Rules and a House Manual. The House Rules provide hosts with the opportunity to outline precisely what is acceptable and what is not permitted during the visit. Potential guests can see these rules before a reservation is even requested. The House Manual is private information that is shared with guests only after the reservation is confirmed. It can provide tidbits such as the WiFi password, operation instructions for the dishwasher, and the location of the nearest café.

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Comment Section

8 thoughts on “How Airbnb Hosts Can Prevent Damage To Their Property

By Maria Rekrut on 8 August 2014

All good advice Jasper. I have my guests fill out a registration form that clearly states that if they cause unnecessary cleaning or damages we will charge their credit card. The form also asks for their credit card details plus a signature.

In 14 years I haven’t had any damages.

Happy Renting and make sure you follow your dreams.

By Jasper Ribbers on 9 August 2014

Hi Maria thanks for sharing this, that’s great to hear you’ve had such good experiences!

By Debi on 8 August 2014

I have been listing my beach vacation homes with Airbnb for over 8 years, with no problems. Until this week. We recently opened studio apartment at our private residence to rent through Airbnb (and VRBO).

Two nights ago our current guests were burgled. Evidently a previous guest copied the keys and came back when guests were out. Items were taken, but no damage occurred. We are now installing a keyless entry system that changes codes with each guest. We are all feeling a little violated right now.

I’ve reported this to Airbnb and VRBO, but have not received any direction from Airbnb, other than an “I’m sorry this happened to you” email. Our personal insurance does not cover theft, so replacing our guests stolen articles will be our responsibility. I don’t really expect either company to do anything. I have no way of knowing who did this, or which company they booked through.

By Jasper Ribbers on 9 August 2014

Sorry to hear that Debi. That’s one of the advantages of an electronic lock, you’ll never have to worry about guests losing their keys and security issues.

You may want to check out this episode of my podcast where we talk about different locks that you can use:

By Nick on 4 January 2016

I’m an AirBNB host in Melbourne Australia. My story is a little different, in that it wasn’t my AirBNB guests that stole from me, it was a druggy guy that watched my guests put the key back in the key locker and saw the password.  He cleaned out my apartment in about 3 hours, all caught on film. The guy was later caught by police, but that’s when I really investigated insurance.
I found that the Insurance companies in Australia don’t have a proper policy to cover you. Instead, you have to find a broker that understands how AirBNB works and has routes into the major insurance companies. They can then broker a specific deal which covers you sufficiently.
After going through this whole process and finding a broker who was very knowledgeable I setup It puts you in touch with him and he then negotiates the deal for you (only for Australians).  At the moment I don’t charge for the service, it’s just a matter of making sure hosts in Australia are covered and AirBNB continues to grow.
Anyway, that’s my story. I hope it has added a bit of value.  Any suggestions or advice I can put up on the site to help customers, then please let me know.

By Jasper on 5 January 2016

Hi Nick, thanks for sharing this.

By Mike on 29 March 2016

I experienced damages after a visit of four guests in my property. (Tiles from the bathroom were broken or removed from the wall…)
This is what you need to know:
1. Airbnb insurance covers only material costs, no labour, no VAT, etc…
2. The security deposits is not to take as granted, in my case airbnb did not claimed it to the guests.
As result I just received a compensation amounting to 15% of the costs and no refund were coming from the security deposits.
I let you judge by yourself the protection that airbnb offers to the hosts.

By Jasper on 6 April 2016

Hi Mike,

sorry to hear about the damages. You’re right, the Airbnb Guarantee is very limited. Do you think the damages were caused by inappropriate use of your space or was it due to wear and tear?

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