As an Airbnb host, your biggest asset is your rental property, so it’s only natural that you put a lot of effort into preventing and treating damage to your Airbnb.
However, your guests may not always think the same!
It’s a huge blow to your business when your property is damaged, regardless of the cause. Any damage to your Airbnb can affect its value and may result in lost income to spend on repairs or put your rental on hold.
But do not worry. It doesn’t always have to be this way. Airbnb has policies that protect Airbnb hosts from the inconvenient results of damage caused by tenants, such as the security deposit, host guarantee, and insurance policy.
To get you started, here are some things to consider for preventing and treating damage to your Airbnb rental home.
My short-term rental property is damaged: What to do?
When running a long-term or short-term rental business, you have to prepare for possible damage, especially if you are not present 24 hours a day.
In the event you find damage to your Airbnb property, here’s what to do:
Identify the cause and severity
If your Airbnb is damaged, remember to remain calm. First of all, find out why it happened, what could have caused it and the severity of the blow.
No Airbnb host would want their property damaged, but it could range from normal wear and tear to a major repair.
Some mistakes are common, like mud stains and fingerprints. However, it is also possible to find other damage, such as broken windows or decorations.
Determine if you are covered by the damage policy
After assessing the damage, you can check if the Airbnb host’s damage protection terms apply.
They indicate that Airbnb will compensate you for cancellations when the responsible guest does not pay them as long as they meet the requirements.
Typically, these terms apply when opting for a required security deposit or Airbnb host guarantee.
Types of property damage
Discovering the wear and tear on your property may or may not take you by surprise. While minor repairs can be made in some cases, serious damage can force you to spend unexpected costs or lose days or weeks of income.
Natural and normal wear
Owning a home means that wear and tear will come naturally, even for a short-term rental business. These are usually of two types: things that are cheap or easy to replace and items that have stood the test of time.
A broken cup still incurs additional costs when you stay in an Airbnb, but it won’t always be worth hounding your tenant for payment.
On the other hand, if an appliance breaks or something like that, you can’t blame your guest just because they’re the last to use it.
Just like normal wear and tear, it’s best to be prepared for some minor damage when a guest chooses your vacation rental. However, it can cost you more time and money to do these repairs.
Unstable tables and chairs fall into this category as they can be quickly repaired or replaced at a higher price than a simple mug.
Finally, be prepared to find yourself with serious damage to your property. For Airbnb hosts, this is the last thing they want. But better safe than sorry.
This includes any damage caused by a guest that negatively impacts your business. Regardless of whether they have booked a long-term or short-term rental, you must follow up in these cases.
Some examples of serious damage are broken glass, dents in the walls or floors, damage to furniture or facilities, etc.
An Overview of Airbnb’s Damage Policy
Fortunately, Airbnb offers protection for any Airbnb host who suffers unintentional damage to their property from guests.
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee protection will keep you covered for:
– any damage to belongings or property caused by a guest during their stay
– unforeseen cleaning or repair costs for such damage
– loss of revenue from cancellation of Airbnb reservations due to damage caused by guests
You will need to meet some requirements listed on the Airbnb Site in order to be eligible for host protection, so please be aware of them before submitting a claim.
How to deal with Airbnb damage
If you have confirmed that your guest caused the damage, discuss it with them politely and maintain communication within the Airbnb platform to document the evidence.
Make a claim within 14 days after the guest checks out of your Airbnb or until you receive your next reservation (if it arrives sooner than 14 days). You can consult the Airbnb resolution center for other questions.
In general, here are a few things that will keep you covered when it comes to the Airbnb breakages:
Airbnb security deposit
If you have a policy of holding a bond, you will have a better chance of receiving compensation.
When a guest books their vacation rental with a security deposit, they agree to the terms, including paying for any damages they may cause.
Both Airbnb and Airbnb hosts may require a security deposit at the time of booking. As a guest, the security deposit will be held in your account until the end of your short-term rental stay, provided no damage is caused.
Airbnb Host Guarantee
Airbnb also offers a host guarantee, which is damage protection of up to $1 million more than the security deposit, or if the host did not require a security deposit.
You can make host guarantee claims through the Airbnb Resolution Center. Please note that these will only cover physical damage and theft.. Cleaning costs will be at your expense.
Vacation rental insurance policy
Taking out insurance for your short-term rental covers all other things Airbnb Host Guarantee and Security Deposit cannot.
Since Airbnb focuses on guest-caused damage, consider looking into an insurance policy that protects you from non-guest-caused wear and tear or lost revenue.
It can be challenging to find an insurance company open to short-term rental business, but it’s definitely worth it! or UK clients, we recommend GuardHog insurance which covers accidents, damage by parties, water damage, burglary due to open windows and a whole host of circumstances that you may not have thought about.
Prevention and treatment of damage to your Airbnb
Even with various forms of damage protection, such as a host guarantee and security deposit, it does not completely prevent damage to your property.
Instead, here is a list of what you can do to prevent them if possible:
It is crucial to be available to visit your property from time to time for a regular check-up or for maintenance purposes.
If you don’t have much time, ask someone else to visit the property for you and take photos and clips of its condition.
Consider guest verification
Guest verification is a way to ensure that your property will be in the hands of someone who will take care of it.
You can ask your guest for additional identity confirmation, or you can choose to only accept Airbnb verified users .
You can also access the Airbnb resolution center to see if there are other ways to verify your guest.
Reduce exposure to damage
There is no room for damage if there is nothing to break. By insuring valuables, you can reduce the chances of a guest causing property damage.
Having interchangeable items also helps with faster replacement and reduced out-of-pocket expenses.
By now, you should know what to do when it comes to dealing with guest damage to your Airbnb property. Hosting short-term rental guests can be profitable, but it’s important to protect yourself from any unexpected incidents.
Be sure to take advantage of the host guarantee and security deposit, and if that’s not enough, consider getting vacation rental insurance from companies such as Guardhog. And lastly, be sure to take steps to reduce the chances of damage occurring in the first place. By keeping these precautions in mind, you can relax a little more and enjoy your Airbnb property!