What to Do About Airbnb Theft or Damage

October 2, 2019 0 By Lydia

One of the problems with Airbnb is that private residential property is most likely less secure than a hotel. Generally, it is also not the Airbnb host’s responsibility to pay out if guests cause or experience theft or damage during their stay. It is a prime example of why it is important to do careful research and read the small print before booking with Airbnb or a specific host and property. Airbnb break-ins and property damage are stressful for both guests and hosts. If you are unfortunate enough to experience this, it can be difficult to know who to contact or who is financially responsible. This guide should help you to understand what to do about Airbnb theft or damage, whether you are the guest or the host.

What to Do About an Airbnb Break-In if You Are a Guest

If you return to your Airbnb and find that there has been a break-in, you need to contact the host and the police. Try not to disturb the scene, but check the property for damage or missing valuables to determine what has been stolen. You should complete a police report and get a crime reference number for it. After this, it is likely that you will have to find alternative accommodation. You may have to pay for this yourself upfront and claim the costs back later. Airbnb is not responsible for burglaries resulting in the loss of cash, jewellery, or artwork. To recover the monetary value of the stolen items and purchase replacements, you must make a claim on your own insurance policy. This could be travel insurance, or personal possessions cover under home insurance. If you do not have insurance cover and the police are unable to recover the stolen valuables, then, unfortunately, you are not likely to get them or the money for them back.

What to Do About an Airbnb Burglary if You Are the Host

Airbnb hosts are responsible for securing the property to a reasonable level, providing functioning locks on doors and windows at the minimum. If your guest left the property unsecured then you are not responsible for their belongings being stolen. Nor are you responsible for the theft of any of your own belongings if you ensured that the property was secure against intruders. If your Airbnb guest reports a break-in and theft, you must attend the scene to help them to identify missing items and inform the local police. Then it is up to you to contact your home insurance company and make a claim for your own lost or damaged property. Unless you have additional cover for renters or boarders, then your insurance won’t cover your guests’ possessions and they will need to claim for them on their own insurance. You shouldn’t rely on the Airbnb Host Guarantee because it is not an insurance policy and does not cover third-party theft.

What to Do About Airbnb Damage if You Are a Guest

If you break or damage anything belonging to your Airbnb host during your stay, then you will have to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. It is better to inform the host as soon as possible, especially if it was an accident, and negotiate with them to sort the problem out. This avoids the host getting an unpleasant surprise and giving you a poor review on Airbnb, which could affect your future bookings. Otherwise, the host will be able to claim for the damage via Airbnb so they can charge your payment method for it. Some hosts set a security deposit which you must pay when booking on Airbnb, which you will lose if you cause any damage. It is best to avoid all this and settle things between yourself and the host if the damage was minor. If the damage was more serious, you may have to claim on your travel insurance to cover the associated costs. You can challenge your host’s Airbnb damage claims if you were actually not responsible.

What to Do About Airbnb Damage if You Are the Host

Going over your property after a guest checks out and finding damage can be disappointing, to say the least. However, you can log into your Airbnb account, go to the Resolution Centre, and request compensation for damages within 14 days. Airbnb will release the payment from the security deposit within 5-7 days if the guest agrees. If they decline or do not respond, then you will have to involve Airbnb. They will investigate and decide whether you are owed a payout. You are likely to have to provide evidence for this, such as photographs of the damage. If Airbnb does not resolve it, then you should consider claiming for accidental damage under your own home insurance policy. The Airbnb Host Guarantee is not home insurance, so you can’t rely on it to always protect you from theft or damage when renting out your property with Airbnb. You should make sure that your home insurance covers Airbnb renters before you sign up.