How to Win and Lose an Airbnb Dispute With Your Host

Our Airbnb host initiated a dispute with us, and unfortunately, we couldn’t reach a resolution. Consequently, we had to resort to the Airbnb Resolution Center (ARC). Our stay in Croatia involved renting an apartment through Airbnb for 28 nights. Following our departure, the host contacted us, seeking payment for property damages.

In the following account, we share our journey through the Airbnb dispute process, detailing the steps we took to emerge victorious. Additionally, we offer valuable tips to enhance your chances of winning your Airbnb dispute and provide suggestions for future reservations.

How to Win an Airbnb Dispute With the Airbnb Resolution Center

Here, we’ll delve into our experience in a comprehensive format. It’s important to note that the insights shared here serve as a guide for both hosts and guests. By exploring our journey, you’ll gain valuable insights into the essential steps to secure success in your Airbnb dispute through the ARC.

The Complaint – A Damaged Couch

The stay, for the most part, was pleasant. Like many of our previous Airbnb experiences, there were a few inconveniences. When you travel as much as we do, you learn to adapt quickly to the various living standards and lifestyles that locals are accustomed to.

The issue began when we arrived at our next unit in Montenegro. We received a message (through Airbnb) from the previous apartment host (from Croatia) that she was about to open an Airbnb dispute, it stated:

Correspondence #1 – Host
“I’m really sorry you didn’t tell me that sofa was broken. It could have happened to anyone but you should have told me since you know new guests are to be in the unit today. I am sincere and open person and I really appreciate when my guests are the same. The fixing of sofa is going to cost me $70. I’d really appreciate if you can meet my expenses.”

Audrey looked at me and said, “We did not break that couch.” [The couch looked something like this.] After staying in over 100 Airbnb rentals we never incurred any type of accusation like this one. Although we’ve dealt with numerous appliances breaking during our stay, we’ve never been accused of damaging anything.

We always treat the units we stay in as if they were our own. In fact, we’re what many would consider clean freaks. We take great pride in the fact that we are often commended by hosts that their apartments are cleaner after our departure!

Our track record and reviews were glowingly positive and this helped show that we are trustworthy and responsible guests. However, we do realize some Airbnb hosts are looking to make easy money.

The Absolute #1 Lesson Is to Make Sure All Communication Is Documented Throughout the Entire Stay.

When it comes to an Airbnb dispute, you never know what evidence or documentation you may need to prove your case later on. It’s highly recommended that you use the Airbnb message application on their site/app to communicate because it allows Airbnb employees quick access to the email trail/evidence.

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Host Mistakes

The two big mistakes the host made with this initial email were that they stated:

  1. It could have happened to anyone.
  2. The amount of how much the couch was going to cost to fix.

The first statement indicates that it was a simple mistake. In regards to the second statement in question, which we received the same day of departure, the host stated a specific number ($70) on how much it would cost to fix the couch. The quote ­­­­was obviously a fictitious amount made up by the host to provide some sort of emotional and financial pacification to the damage. Both statements damaged her case in the Airbnb dispute process.

One day later, the host requested $220 through the Airbnb Resolution Center!

To quote two different amounts in such a short amount of time delegitimizes the host’s claim and suggests an ulterior motive, such as extortion.

Guest Lesson

When receiving an accusation of damage in an Airbnb dispute, take it very seriously. Do not simply quickly respond with a blanket denial. You will need to begin to lay out a case/argument as to why this damage is not your fault and provide it to the Airbnb Resolution Center.

From a defensive perspective, remember, you never have to prove anything. Of course, if you can prove it wasn’t your fault, do so! If you aren’t able to prove it though, remember, just like any defense case you will need to create and display inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and irresponsibility on the part of the owner. In other words, you’ll need to illustrate (to Airbnb) why the owner’s word is questionable.

Correspondence #1 – Guest

Audrey is telling me that the couch was initially wobbly and over the month it may have gotten worse. That couch has got to be close to 20 years old. We’re quiet people and by no means did we engage in any kind of activity that would have damaged the couch so instantaneously.

We only sat on it. This must have been from regular wear and tear. If you’re getting quoted $70 to fix it, that sounds exorbitant. We do feel somewhat obligated because it did seem to get worse under “our watch.” We can give you $10 to cover parts if that helps.

In all fairness, you never told us proactively about:

  1. How loud the street noise is (when we were specifically looking to rent somewhere quiet).
  2. The toilet seat was broken our entire stay, even though you knew it was broken before we agreed to rent (you even told us after our first day in the unit that you were going to get it fixed).
  3. How the flooring was improperly installed and bubbled up during our stay (which could have caused a serious personal injury).
  4. The smell of sewage coming from the drain in the bathroom, which was trying to be covered up with the placement of the rug and plugin air fresheners (which also can cause severe health issues and/or an explosion/fire).
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Guest Lesson

  1. If you can’t completely prove that you’re not 100% responsible, try to create the notion that you’re not fully or only partially responsible.
  2. Try to create the notion that the item that was damaged was extremely old. Explain how you used the item that broke in a normal manner, and use the term “wear and tear” to illustrate that the damage was not done ALL by you.
  3. Provide a counteroffer in an amount you feel comfortable with (to make this all go away). You’re giving the perception that you’re trying to meet the host halfway.
  4. Provide other items that were dirty, broken, old, or not working properly during your stay. This will create the perception that the unit is not well maintained. Always stick with facts. Never get personal.
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Correspondence #2 – Host

I’m very sorry for having this conversation but I must say that you are not telling the truth. You completely destroyed the couch like you were using ax or something, from both sides, you dismantled it by breaking the parts and wood where the sides are holding together. This could not happen just while sitting on it. The couch is 4 years old. I need a new one now and you caused me a problem (a plate is missing too).

I didn’t want to come and search you at the main bus station not to embarrass you. As for your compensation of $10, I really don’t know how people who travel the world can even make such an offer. The things you mentioned above are things I tried to resolve as soon as you told me. You never told me anything about the noise and about the flooring. I did not have time to fix the toilet seat as I was on a business trip during most of your stay in Croatia. The advice is, to be honest first with yourself and then with others.

Host Mistakes

  1. Never apologize.
  2. Never accuse the other party of lying. This is an emotional response and can be very hard to prove. It will further delegitimize your claim.
  3. From the first correspondence to the second correspondence, the host went from stating that the damage was essentially a simple mistake to “completely destroyed the couch like you were using an ax or something.” This statement creates a huge inconsistency.
  4. The host stated how old the couch in question was. This quickly brings depreciation into question. Never bring the age of an item into play. Only discuss what the item costs you.
  5. Never admit that something (other than the damaged item in question) was broken and that the renter notified you, and you still didn’t fix it because you were too busy.
  6. Most importantly, again, stick with the facts and do not get personal.
Correspondence #2 – Guest

I’m confused and I’m beginning to think you have selective memory. You initially said that it can be repaired for $70 and now you’re stating that you need a whole new couch? And then you have the audacity to tell me that I’m the one not telling the truth.

Also, what does my traveling the world have anything to do with this? It sounds like you’re trying to extort money from me. Where did the $70 quote come from? Is this your personal quote? Did a reputable furniture repair company make it?

In regards to the damage, we’re only aware of the loose armrest nearest the window. The couch was bought used, correct? That does not look anything like a 4-year-old couch.

Your ax comment seems excessive. My point is that you never told us about the noise and the flooring. – You conveniently decided not to tell us.

Other Issues
  1. Before we booked the unit you knew the toilet seat was broken AND you knew there was a sewage leakage problem because you knew exactly where the smell was coming from. – it was trying to be covered up by a rug and air freshener.
  2. In terms of the toilet seat, I even offered to fix it for you. I just asked for parts reimbursement. Your solution/excuse to the problem is for me to sit on a broken toilet seat for 30 days because you’re on a business trip.
  3. We occasionally have issues with hosts on Airbnb that try to take advantage of us. We are paying for a service and expect to receive a certain level of comfort and quality. 95%+ of our reviews are extremely positive. As of now, I feel like you’re trying to threaten me AND extort money from me.
Couch Was Used

I would have been more than happy to partially reimburse you for a portion of the expense (which I previously stated) but you’re:

  1. Going about this very unprofessionally.
  2. Sending me mixed messages about the damage. Initially, you said it was $70 worth of damage and now in the latest message you’re telling me you need a brand-new couch.
  3. Using your knowledge of me as a world traveler against me as a way to extort funds from me.
  4. Trying to get me to pay for damage to a couch that you purchased over 4 years ago and which has most likely fully depreciated AND was probably bought used?

Guest Lesson

  1. Try to create inconsistencies on how much the damaged item would cost to fix or replace.
  2. Use the term, “extort” or “extortion” if you feel the host is increasing the damages due amount or the amount doesn’t seem practical.
  3. Address any personal attacks the other party made and illustrate the irrelevance.
  4. Attempt to get more information on the age of the item in question. The older the item, the less value it has due to depreciation and age.
  5. Explain the inconsistencies the owner is providing.
  6. Describe any other maintenance issues in the unit, (e.g., mold, electricity issues (flickering of lights/blowing fuses), plumbing odors/issues, etc. It shows an overall lack of maintenance, care, and engagement—this is one of the best ways to make sure you win your Airbnb dispute.

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Airbnb Resolution Center

At this point in the dialogue, it was fairly evident that neither party was going to agree. Whether you’re the host or guest, as soon as you believe there will be no resolution you must file an Airbnb dispute as soon as possible with the Airbnb Resolution Center (ARC).

This will give the impression that you’re the one who suffered the loss and provide slightly more clout. At the bare minimum contact Airbnb and bring them up to speed on the circumstances, ask for advice, and plead your case.

Airbnb will review the message chain and any other documentation provided. The message chain will act as a deposition transcription to determine facts and fallacies between the two parties.

It’s important to communicate any issues big or small during the stay so that they appear in the message history. Airbnb will review the information provided by the host or guest, before making a final decision.

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Hosts – How to Win

Below are a few quick tips for hosts on how to win the Airbnb dispute process:

  • Attempt to negotiate with guests without getting Airbnb involved.
  • Contact Airbnb within 24 hours of guest departure.
  • Provide specific details on what was damaged. Include photos and/or video along with receipts, invoices, written estimates, or links to comparable items denoting actual cash value for repair or replacement. Do not make up a replacement/repair amount yourself. A third party (or receipt) should be included to provide this amount. Provide the amount and do not change it going forward.
  • Join the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance program beforehand (make sure to read the fine print so you understand what’s covered). There are some limitations to the program and the host should fully understand what’s covered before signing up. The program protects against liability claims up to $1 million that occur in a listing, or on an Airbnb property, during a stay.
  • Add or increase the security deposit amount (beforehand) on the listing.
  • Show and display a high level of engagement with the guests and the property. We find that the most engaged hosts offer the best stays with the least amount of negative issues.

Guests – How to Win

Below are a few quick tips for guests on how to win the Airbnb dispute process:

  • Attempt to negotiate with the host without getting Airbnb involved.
  • Have a good track record. Take great pride in your reviews.
  • Create a logical explanation as to why the damage was not created by you or is not your responsibility. Use the lessons above to make the greatest impact.
  • Provide Airbnb with inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and irresponsibility on the part of the host.

Guests – What to Include in Your Support to Airbnb?

In rebuttal to the Airbnb dispute, we typed up a formal letter to Airbnb that was two pages, single-spaced. It was quite a lengthy document. To illustrate, below is an outline of the content that we provided (to Airbnb) with subject headers and some key talking points of the components below.


  • Were they rushed?
  • Did anyone walk you through the unit?
  • Discuss any issues with the unit that the host informed you about upfront.
  • Safety concerns you observed or noticed, e.g., bars over windows, no smoke detectors, etc.


  • Cleanliness or lack of within the unit.
  • Noises, e.g., construction, noisy neighbors.
  • Smells strategically placed air fresheners.


  • Any essentials that were not provided.
  • Cleaning supplies not included, e.g., dish soap, mop, broom, etc.


  • Describe ALL issues you had during the stay that were NOT perfect.
  • Highlight any issues that you notified the host about and were never corrected/fixed.


  • If the host picked up the keys and was physically in the apartment, explain here.
  • Describe any discrepancies in the placement of the damaged item. Perhaps the owner moved the item and caused the damage?


  • Did the host quote more than one replacement price?
  • Did the host refer to your financial capabilities?


  • Question the overall safety of the unit.
  • Provide a final argument summary.
  • Bring to attention the good reviews you received in the past.

What is the Airbnb Resolution Center?

The Airbnb Resolution Center lets you request or send money for things related to your Airbnb trip, including an Airbnb dispute. For instance, to open a refund or payment request, go to Furthermore, if you’re unable to reach an agreement, you can ask Airbnb to make the final decision 72 hours after the request is opened.

When you involve Airbnb, the Airbnb team will be notified and a team member will be assigned to your case. Also, they’ll review the information provided by you and your host or guest, before making a final decision. In some cases, Airbnb may need to contact you to gather additional information, before they can make a decision.


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134 thoughts on “How to Win and Lose an Airbnb Dispute With Your Host
  1. Air B&B closed my account permanently because the host in Guadalajara lied and said I wrote to him swearing and cursing him out, and without proof, no emails or texts of my saying ANYTHING of that nature, Air B&B closed my account! They won’t even listen to me at all, and I really need my account because I have to travel to be reunited with my husband until our spouse visa eventually comes through. It was so wrong to do that to me based on false information from a rude host, I lost $500. and my account.

  2. As both an Airbnb guest and a seasoned Host of over eleven years (R.E. broker/J.D.) I find the online discussions to be quite frustrating. Self-appointed ‘legal experts’ asserting rhetoric, often perceived as facts (as you can see in the below posted beatitudes) create discord, false information and perils within the Airbnb community.

    This entire article is founded on ‘logic’, apparently only comprised of rhetoric. The summation of guest’s experience is what the author/guest bases their alleged knowledge on. The allegation, the host asked for $70.00, is totally consistent with the Airbnb Resolution Claims Form that asks for an ‘estimate’ from hosts. Hosts have a responsibility to file a claim, prior to the next guest arrival. If there was perceived damage(s), they needed to report them prior to the next guest checking in, the guest/author conveys host disclosed a same day check-out/check-in scenario.

    While author declares the statement of calling a guest a ‘liar’ an act of resolution suicide, the law in many jurisdictions requires a claim to the accusation be made. Lying, is a legally definable term that would convey an attempt to defraud or deceive and is a valid legal claim. Whereas, words like ‘ammunition’ are escalatory and could infer an adversarial attempt to conspire.

    A completely un-cited article of this nature, with content that seems purely presumptive, is journalistically irresponsible and unethical. It is speculative at best and is clearly misinformation presented as somehow informative. The author does not remedially adhere to a journalistic standard of fact based and cited information and clearly wrote an agenda filled article presented under false pretenses and ignorant rhetoric.

  3. This whole post is horrifying. I am a host with several different properties and I take incredible pride in my work and what I offer guests. But many of your statements are hypocritical, manipulative, and flat out inaccurate. Now, this is not to imply that all hosts value integrity and honesty as I’m sure there are plenty who are looking for a way to get additional money from guests. But let’s go over your statements. You mentioned that the $70 repair fee was make up. Why? Because it came to you quickly after checking out? As hosts we have a limited time window to file claims and the main one is that the claim must be made within a certain amount of time OR before the next check in. My checkout is 11:00am and my check in is at 4:00pm so I only have till then to get all my information, photos, quotes, and proof compiled and filed. For repairs I use thumbtack and when you enter in the info for what you’re needing you are shown a list of people who will do that work for you and what amount they quote it at costing. Next, you mention that it was a mistake for the host to tell you the age of the couch. Again, along with the limited time frame to place the claim also comes with the required information AirBnB makes us provide – one of them being the age of the damaged item. You said this is a negative for the host. Not true. It’s a requirement and in some cases does help guests. If you break the springs or rip the leather of a $2000 I bought two months ago it’s obvious that that’s not part of the normal wear and tear. If it’s a $2000 couch I bought back in the 90’s, yeah, I’d say the springs are ready to be done anyway (although rips in the leather wouldn’t be normal wear and tear of course). You said that the host shouldn’t call a guest a liar because it’s an emotional response and then your next reply to the host started off with an emotional response of “… you have selective hearing…”. While I do agree, calling anyone a liar does nothing to help the situation, emotional responses should be avoided by BOTH sides. You then went on to list an addition bunch of problems with the property and you think that that helps you. No. It does not. One, AirBnB policy states that if any issues arise the guest needs to reach out to the host and then the host gets a time frame to resolve the issues for you. If you brought issues to the host and they took care of them quickly it shows that the host obviously cares and does take care of things so why would they blatantly ignore an issue like a couch? You said that the host must have known of the sewage smells and whatnot because they had floor mats and air fresheners? I have floor mats located at every sink, shower and bathtub. I also have plug-in air fresheners in each property and none of that is because of sewage or damage. If they told you about it before you checked in you then had the opportunity it’s to cancel the reservation and get a full refund as the host wouldn’t be providing you with a clean property. But you can’t do the math of floor mats + air fresheners = host hiding smells and damage. You complained about a noisy location but that is not something the host has any control over. AirBnB actually has that listed on their policies as to what will get reviews removed under “Out of Control of the Host”. Additionally, making a long list of what you think makes the listing in poor shape just looks like a guest who is trying to avoid the actual issue by placing blame elsewhere. Now, the host saying they couldn’t take care of an issue because they were out of town….. for the entire time you were there is L. A. Z. Y. on the part of the host. If I go out of town I ALWAYS make sure I have someone available in case an issue arises. Our guests do NOT get ‘punished’ by having to deal with problems just because I’m busy. This is a business and that is not how a good business operates. You mention that the hosts should attempt to negotiate without involving Airbnb. That is against policy for hosts. For any damage that hosts want financial reimbursement for, AirBnB has steps. If these steps are not followed then the host will NOT get support from AirBnB to resolve it. There are also steps AirBnB has in regards to complaints about the condition of the property for guests. If there is something wrong when you check in, AirBnB gives you a certain amount of time to bring it up to the hosts. This covers the guest and the host. I’ve had previous guests contact me on the platform to let me know there was a hole in a wall behind a bed. They weren’t complaining but wanted to document that it was there when they checked in. This is important. As is taking pictures.

    So from a hosts stand point, those are my thoughts in reply to your statements. Now, as for my thoughts as to the hosts statements….. it looks very bad for the host to ask for $70 and then the following day to suddenly want $220. The only reason this would make any sense would be if people came to do a repair on it and told the host that it was not something that could be repaired and that it would have to be fully replaced. Those documents would have to be provided to Airbnb. The host calling you a liar was wrong. Even if they believed you to be lying, how does insulting someone ever work in your favor?? Duh. Of course, as mentioned above, neglecting to take care of issues simply because he wasn’t in town was just laziness. He certainly could have handled it better. But your reaction to everything he did and to even be recommending these steps to others, is just inappropriate and will not help them in the most part.

  4. Audrey & Harry,

    Thank you for posting this article. I started hosting last year and it has definitely been a learning process! Wondering if you have any suggestions for hosts who have actual damages. I have had two incidents since becoming an Air BNB host and neither of them are currently resolved. My first issue was a guest who despite listing as a non-smoking property, did smoke, damaging a brand new upholstered side chair with a large burn, and leaving smoke smell that required air cleaning. The second was a guest who spilled a large amount of purple liquid that was allowed to sit on the terrazo floor. I was able to remove the stain with bleach, but the grout was damaged and had to be resurfaced.

    I used the “resolution center” which appears to be basically a place to ask the guest for payment. In the first case the guest never responded, and in the prescribed time, if you notify AirBNB they are to get involved. That happened, but the process went off line to email and resulted in nothing. I realized the guest didn’t have his profile fully verified, and I believe it was a fake profile. As a result, I began requiring a deposit and only booking fully verified guests, so in the 2nd incident, I requested reimbursement from the guest, again no response, so elevated. This was last week and the only thing I heard was that the guests deposit was being held.

    I saw your suggestion about emailing and did so earlier today. Previously I had tried to email but that email bounced back.

    We have worked hard to have a 1st class property. Nice amenities, very clean, special touches, electronic access. Everything is in working order and NO surprises. We are in the property ourselves between guests and if we see something needing attention we address it immediately and don’t wait on the guest to find it and tell us. We have garnered 5* reviews but the losses are discouraging and it seems like AirBNB provides no help. Calls to customer service are useless.

    Do you have any advice for hosts to prevent damage and also what expectations with AirBNB should be? I’m starting to have little trust that I can EVER ANY resolution for legit guest damages.

  5. Hello,

    Thank you for this lovely post. I found your site by researching this exact topic after having a similar situation to the one you’ve described. Reading your post gave me the confidence and tools I needed to make an honest and clear case to Airbnb so that facts, not emotions could win the day.

    In fact, you’ve inspired me to write my own post to help honest people keep their money and good reviews intact.

    Thank you for writing this. I know it took a lot of time and emotional stability to articulate the issue so clearly.

  6. Hi Harry, do you information about how airbnb resolution center case manager ignores guest messages – but they didn’t close the case. The situation is Airbnb case manager hasn’t respond to my 3 last messages (Dec 7, 10, 12). The last messages that sent me is that the support team will look at the proof (documents) that I’ve sent them. Thank you Harry, for being helpful.

  7. Hello, I’m having an issue where an airbnb host is trying to charge me an absurd amount of money for something that is deff not that expensive. He claims I broke the door bottom and that there was a burn mark in his wood table. Regarding the door, that was not my group who did that. We never made such mess of anything to break the bedroom door. Also , the table burn I can agree that was us but I’m not going to pay that absurd amount for the table ($1065). I was thinking of just not paying for the whole thing and let my account get locked or banned. I’m just worried they might take me to court.

  8. Hello, I am wondering if you could give me some advice.

    My family and I stayed at a house in Kansas City, MO for 27 days in June. We left June 28, 2019. The host left a review and texts about how clean we left the house, even saying we went above and beyond to leave things in their original condition.

    Then last night (over a month after we left the house) I got an email from the Airbnb resolution center. The host didn’t even try contacting us herself first. She said in the claim:

    “Sorry to have to do this, but I’m not sure what got spilled on the living room carpet, but it will not come out and the rug is ruined.”

    And is requesting $800 (!) from us for this rug. First, we have 3 kids, one of them being a toddler. The chance of something getting spilled is not low. I’m not sure if we did something to the rug, or if something happened in the month since we left. She told my husband that we were the last renters before the house was going to be sold. Not sure if that actually is the case or not.

    However, the rug itself is horrible and shed constantly. She didn’t leave us with a working vacuum, so when cleaning the house, I literally swept the entire house with a small dust pan and brush.

    I guess what I am wondering is if you have advice for where to go from here? We haven’t responded to the claim yet.

    1. Hi, I’m not sure if you read this article but it’s very similar to your situation. Take the letter that we wrote Airbnb and use it as a template to fit your response and situation. The letter is in the article link below under the section “Correspondence #1 – Guest.” In your responses to Airbnb do not be informal, you should take this seriously, as I’m sure they will. If between us, you feel like you did make a mess of the carpet you could provide a counteroffer. a reasonable price to clean the carpet. However, in any kind of corresponse, I would probably not mention anything about your kids and the possibility of them spilling anything ;). Good Luck!

  9. hi there im glad to read your articles. I am currently being accusation by the host from Airbnb, and with my late respond Airbnb has directly charged me EUR220 and said they will close file and wont change the result. I feel completely upset and helpless while what the host said (stained carpet) was already there when we arrived 🙁 we didnt inform/complain host as we think it doesnt matter. Now i am drafting a letter to airbnb, wish me luck

  10. If a host makes a damages claim to a guest that is escalated to the Resolution Center, can the guest (myself) then appeal the Center’s decision if I don’t think it’s fair? How would the Center enforce the payment if I disagree with it? I don’t currently have a credit card in my AirBNB account.

    Any help much appreciated!

    1. You can’t really appeal the decision, but you can work with the assigned case manager during the dispute to make sure they side on your behalf. If you don’t have a credit card on file with Airbnb then they won’t be able to charge you, they will, however, most likely lock up your account until the debt is paid. Which means you won’t be able to make any more reservations. To get around this you can simply create a new account under a different name. Good luck!!

  11. Thanks for the the information and advice, I’ve found it to be really helpful during my dispute. I had left a key somewhere hidden for my host to grab after I had checked out and had immediately told him where the key was. He said that he couldn’t find the key and quoted me 227 euros for a lock replacement. I had requested a fully itemised receipt, which took the host two weeks to send to me. I felt suspicious as the cost seemed high for a cylinder lock replacement, and so I emailed the company myself asking for a quote of the same lock replacement and they had quoted me 100 euros. Airbnb have come in to mediate and have told me that they’ve asked for additional documentation from the host. I’m finding the situation very stressful and was wondering if you had any idea as to what kind of documentation they’d be asking for and if there’s a timeframe as to when the host will have to provide this documentation? Thank you.

    1. Honestly, I’m not sure. I would focus on continuing to keep the line of communication open between yourself and the case manager and ask them these types of specific questions. I would also clearly state the argument that it’s the owner’s responsibility to physically provide and retrieve the key. Owners that allow lockboxes (or some other variant) open themselves up to this sort of risk, and therefore it’s their responsibility/problem when keys get lost during the checkout process. It may be more convenient for the owner to dismiss themselves from the checkout process but it opens up a substantial amount of risk to them after the fact, for example, something is broken, missing, etc.

  12. This is a most helpful selection of problems and suggested actions. I recently stayed in an apartment in Philadelphia that was leased by a corporate entity, and had a host in name only. All communications were handled by Global Luxury Suites The unit was not the one shown in the photos, and the bathroom was totally misrepresented. It was so tiny that we could not safely take a shower. As we were staying for 19 days, I asked for a refund or an accomodation. Another apartment, just like the first, but still not the advertised unit, was offerred, and we requested a refund. Our host refused the refund. By then, we had found a better place to stay, as we were in town for medical appointments, and had no other choice. When I appealed to the resolution center, they wanted more photos to document my claim. When I went to photograph the apartment, it had been rented! Long story short, the case was decided in favor of the host who claimed that I should have requested accessible housing and provided more documentation. The ”double dipping” of the host was ignored.

    So, where did you send your letter to Airbnb, and to whom? I cannot seem to find a way to appeal the decision of the case manager.


    1. You must continue to work with the Airbnb Case Manager and ask them to escalate the dispute with their boss/manager.

      1. What happens after you have done that and they refuse to put you in touch with a manager? We are having MAJOR issues with Airbnb. We rented a place, were moved to another place 46 min before our arrival and it was unsafe (doors wouldn’t lock and located next to a strip club). We were traveling with our 5 year old. We did not stay there (except one night because it was 11:00pm and we couldn’t find another place at the time). We paid for that one night (more than the original nightly rate) and requested the rest refunded. This was on June 19th and we are still fighting today. Any suggestions?

  13. Hi Harry,

    One of the host during our recent stay never gave us the keys. We were stranded in an unknown town at 10PM till 1AM to find us another hotel. I got refund from Airbnb but I am wondering what about the amount we spent at the hotel to replace the booking? it was around 350 GBP.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Prasanth. K.

    1. Contact Airbnb, they should give you (at a bare minimum) a credit of 10% towards a future stay. Also, if I were in your shoes I’d ask for an additional credit for the massive inconvenience. When rebooking with a hotel, you should submit the receipt(s) on to Airbnb and they will usually refund you the cost of the hotel up to the original cost of the booking.

      1. Ohh, thank you harry for the reply. I actually booked using my points in Marriott. I will open a request and see what that have to say about this.

  14. Hi Harry, we recently rented a cabin and the host sent a request for damages to their wood counter island in the kitchen. They are claim that we had burned their wood countertop and is request $200 in damages. We thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and wiped down all counter tops and did not see any burns. We followed all of their house rules and there was no mention on any special care of the counter we needed to take. What recourse do we have?

  15. Hi

    Thanks for this post, it has made my anxiety levels drops significantly. I only hope your response to my post will do the same. On the weekend I had my very first experience with Airbnb and things were going ok until we returned home last night and got a message from the property manager claiming that we had damaged a telescope and needed to buy a new one. The group we were staying with included 2 toddlers so the property was made “child-proof” (parents will understand) right from the start. Items were moved from the bottom shelves and the telescope was shifted into a bedroom. At the point of lifting the telescope to move it, the telescope came away from the tripod it was placed on. Attempts were made to put it back on, thinking it had simply come away but we were unable to get it to reattach. We didn’t try to hide anything as we didn’t know anything was wrong. We simply put the telescope on the ground next to the tripod and left it in the bedroom for the owners to sort out when they came through the property. The property manager has sent me ebay links for a direct replacement telescope which is about $275. Without knowing the exact age of the telescope, it’s old enough that the broken part (some sort of mounting bracket) is no longer supported by the manufacturer. The property manager claims that fragments of black plastic were found on the ground where they believe an accident to have occurred but luckily I took photos around the property prior to checking out as I was concerned about the expected level of cleanliness we needed to leave the property in. I have heard stories in the past so wanted pictures to ensure we didn’t get an extra cleaning charge. The photos don’t show any plastic fragments on the ground so this part of the property manager’s story doesn’t check out. How much weight would this little factor have in the broader overall discussion? Even though I know for a fact that we didn’t cause any damage, should I just compromise and try to negotiate a better deal given the apparent age of the telescope? I don’t want to do this as it admits defeat and I don’t want to pay for something I didn’t break. The property is apparently rented by friends of the property manager so my thoughts are that they are trying to get us to pay for their damages.

    Any help or guidance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Hi and thanks for an informative article, may I ask your opinion on our situation? We returned home (UK) last week from a week in Italy. Had a great time, the apartment and host were both lovely. It was our first time using Airbnb and as we were in someone’s home I was careful to ensure we looked after it as if it were our own. Unfortunately a couple of hours after we left I received a message from the host asking what we had done as there were stains in the shower tray (photos show 2 small red stains). I replied and explained that we had just used regular branded shampoos/conditioners/soaps etc either purchased on our holiday or brought with us from home, the host replied and thanked me for the info. None of these have ever stained our bathroom suites at home, however one of the shampoos is red coloured which I believe could have caused the stain. I have now just received a request for €1500 through the resolution centre due to damage we have caused, not only does this seem excessively high but also I feel it unfair as surely we can’t be blamed for using shampoo in a shower, I would suggest the shower tray is not fit for purpose if it stains with shampoo? I actually don’t feel we should pay for any of this but would welcome your thoughts, am I being unfair?

    1. If you want to continue to use Airbnb under your current username/profile then I would attempt to resolve the dispute, taking it very seriously and following the directions listed on our site. The other option is to contact your credit card company and request them to not allow future charges from Airbnb. Airbnb will most likely never allow you to use their site again under your current username/profile. Good luck!

  17. Dear Audrey and Harry,

    I am glad to let you know that Airbnb is going to refund me for unspent nights!
    I followed your advises and it really worked.
    I am so happy!
    Thanks a lot for your kind support, your precious advises. You don’t know how great you are! I appreciate your job and big efforts in helping other people in desperate situation.
    Thank you again! God bless you! All the best and good luck!

    Best regards

  18. Hi Harry, great blog!

    I’d like some advice. We checked into a place that was overall fine. Smelt of smoke (we don’t smoke) and I was perturbed that we never met anyone, the key was left for us under a brick and we were told to leave it there on checkout.

    When we checked in, we moved the bed linen and found a tear damage and stain on the mattress. We then checked the other side and found another stain. So I decided not to bother flipping it.

    Anyway, during the stay, my wife used the iron in the bedroom (on the floor on our own blanket, not on the ironing board due to the smoke smell).

    Now seller has opened a dispute for £192 for a new mattress which he claims is 22 months old.

    Any advice here? And what if Airbnb side with him (I already stopped my PayPal authorisation). He’s a ‘suoerhost’ and I only have 1 review!



  19. Hello Audrey and Harry! I sent you an email before if you remember. Just would like to explain our situation and where we are now with Resolution Center.
    We have booked and prepaid an apartment in Malta, Sliema in April 2018 for our summer holiday in from 26.06 to 24.07.2018. Surprisingly, when we have arrived, the apartment was not ready at all (green smelly / brown tab water, mold, broken sofa, fridge with big ice in it which I had to defrost and clean by myself, broken light in the kitchen hood, broken shower sprayer), which we directly reported to the host. We have stayed 6 nights (7 days) struggling, hearing from the host as excuse “stories” about sandstorm, African rains, government construction works and expecting for quick resolution, however after several unsuccessful attempts to fix by host, we had to move out to other apartment eventually at our own extra costs. The host wasn’t intending to solve the issue immediately, besides he informed us that he is not going to call the plumber during 3 public holidays which meant for us that we had to stay in the apartment more 3 days without water. On 4th day (Friday) I had to involve Airbnb. They called him, the plumber came and gone, but the situation didn’t change, we still had brown water. We stayed 2 more days without water. Finally I decided to move out! I asked myself: Why should I stay in the place suffering, instead of enjoying our vacation? As you can imagine it was absolute necessity to protect safety of our kids and ourselves.
    Based on that we have applied for refund of remaining 22 nights, however our request was declined by host and as a result by Airbnb as well. The reason : because the host was able to fix the problem within deadline they gave him. On 7th day (Monday) the host had to replace the water tank and water heater (it was full of dirt and rust).
    Moreover the host has threatened us with legal actions for such earlier contract termination, which is completely unacceptable!
    We are very disappointed in Airbnb and their position on declining our request about the refund for unspent nights.
    I sent a request to Resolution center. After 11 days they made a decision to refund for 6 nights we spent in the place. They declined to refund for 22 unspent nights. I paid 2432 Euro for 28 nights. Yesterday they told me that they have refunded me 480 euro for 6 nights however I informed them before that I am not happy with their decision.

    What do you think: It is End? Nothing to be done? Why should I grant my money to the host for the services I didn’t use?

    1. Since you’ve already disputed the charge with your credit card company, the only other thing you can do is try to get Airbnb to proactively credit you back. You should go do this in a few ways:
      1) In regards to the open case, contact the case manager to ask for an update.
      2) Open your own dispute in the airbnb resolution center.
      3) Flock to social media and try to get airbnb’s attention. Contacting them through Twitter usually helps. @AirbnbHelp

      You should also contact you’re credit card company and ask for updates regarding the progress of the case. Big companies like Airbnb will usually fall behind in handling their disputes. The more you can push your credit card company to expedite the process the more quickly the case will move along and the quicker it will be closed (in your favor). I’d also ask them for some documentation where it states 180 days to work a disput, these things will usually get resolved within 60-90 days. Good Luck!

      1. Dear Harry,
        Thanks a lot for your kind support, it is much appreciated. Your tips are really very helpful, useful and valuable!
        Thank you! God bless you!

      2. Dear Audrey and Harry,

        I am glad to let you know that Airbnb is going to refund me for unspent nights!
        I followed your advises and it really worked.
        I am so happy!
        Thanks a lot for your kind support, your precious advises. You don’t know how great you are! I appreciate your job and big efforts in helping other people in desperate situation.
        Thank you again! God bless you! All the best and good luck!

        Best regards

  20. Looking for advice. We stayed in an airbnb on Cape Cod for a couple nights and had a lovely stay. We left, and a few hours later I realized I’d left my iPad, a book, and a couple other items. I immediately contacted the hostess (whom me never met) and told her. She told us she had been in the cottage and had not seen anything, nor had her housekeeper. We went back to look and my items were not there. I have no doubt I left these items there but cannot prove it. It’s my word against hers. Is there anything else I can do? The owner has multiple properties, and hundreds of excellent reviews. I did not leave her a bad review for fear she would do the same for me.

    1. Alice, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Not to be dramatic, but stories like these make me lose my faith in humanity. Unfortunately, in this particular situation, I’m afraid there is nothing you can do. My husband Harry believes he recently left his marriage ring behind in our rented apartment in Estonia and our host simply replied “it isn’t here.” I wanted to scream “But can’t you look harder?” So devastating! If the host is reputable, I really hope she takes a closer look at the staff who are going in and out of her units because the stolen goods occurred on her watch. By chance, did you happen to have any travel insurance? Also, try and remember to always give a fair and honest review. Airbnb hosts cannot see your review until both parties have submitted them and when they “go live.” The review system is set up this way so that guests cannot be penalized for any negative feedback or constructive criticism posted publicly. It’s important to share when events like this happen so that other guests do not have a similar negative experience. Think of it as paying it forward. Good luck to you.

  21. Hi there,

    I am a first time airbnb user and at my current place I put a coffee mug in the microwave and it cracked…im afraid to warm up anything else in those coffee mugs!

    what should i do?

    am i liable to replace it?


    1. I would simply contact the host on the Airbnb app letting them know what happened and asking what they would like you to do. Breaking cups and dishes often happens with normal wear and tear. We’ve had this happen before and the host usually tells us not to worry about it. A good host realizes that glass can (and will) break even when you’re trying to be careful. Mistakes happen!

  22. Hi Harry,

    I came across your article when looking for solutions to a rather irritating predicament me and my friends are currently in with an air bnb host in Spain, so I was wondering if you could maybe give us some insight on the matter?

    We checked in to the apartment yesterday afternoon (we only booked it for the one night) and almost immediately noticed a burn mark on a large sofa-bed in the living room. We didn’t report it as there were quite a few wear and tear marks throughout the house (the pullout bed from under the sofa was also detached from the main body of the sofa when we know for a fact that the same IKEA model’s pullout is actually attached to the sofa) and didn’t think it was our responsibility to report every single visible flaw/stain in the apartment. We did report a missing TV remote because we wanted to use the television and the missing remote was quite an obvious omission that we thought the host might attribute to us. Point in note: we also made a second booking for the same apartment for this coming Monday.

    Upon checking out, the host sent us a message saying that she found said burn mark, for which we were apparently to blame. We entered into a short back-and-forth email exchange politely explaining that we were not to blame and that the stain was there when we got there but was hidden under a pillow (which indeed it was). The host was adamant that she had checked the sofa prior to our check-in and did not see any damage to it. Of course we did not accept responsibility and the host cancelled Monday’s booking and requested a refund of 350 euros for her sofa (stating that the actual price of the sofa is 700 euros but is 2 years old).

    We’re very much suspicious of the host and believe she may be wanting to find a cost-free solution to replacing an already damaged sofa (see detached/broken pullout bed mentioned above). We’re awestruck and clueless as to how to proceed, we’ve so far kept our cool and been polite in the whole process but don’t quite know as to how to proceed. Should we contact air bnb? Do we take things to the resolution centre? We don’t have much evidence to prove that we didn’t cause the dreaded burn mark and she’s using the fact that we reported the missing remote as evidence that it was us that did in fact cause said mark (stating that had we noticed it we would have also reported it in addition to the missing remote (but we also didn’t report the broken pullout bed as we assumed she was aware of it))…

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your time!



    1. George, You should definitely contact airbnb and get them up to speed on what’s occurring.

      “At this point in the dialogue it was fairly evident that neither party was going to come to an agreement. Whether you’re the host or guest, as soon as you believe there will be no resolution it’s important that you file a dispute as soon as possible with the Airbnb Resolution Center.
      This will give the impression that you’re the one who suffered the loss and provides slightly more clout. At the bare minimum contact Airbnb and bring them up to speed on the circumstances, ask for advice, and plead your case.”

  23. Guys this is probably a world record what is happening to us right now..

    i sit in the apartment and suddenly the mirror in the bathroom collapsed..took a video and informed the host about what happened.his answer:you will have to pay for this..

    I was hoping he will at least ask if nobody got hurt,

    fater we left i kind of expected some claim worth of 20euros for a broken mirror which i didn’t even touch if i was not in the room, but this guy was very money oriented so i expected something coming…

    and..claim for 981 usd!!!!!!!!!!

    claiming mirror, scratched on the toilet ,scratches in the bath, scratches on the sink etc..tolat 981usd!!!

    any thoughts?

    1. I would contact Airbnb and keep them up to speed on the situation. So of course the mirror was hung incorrectly, is there any way for you to prove this through your video or other photos?

  24. What is your take on AirbNb stating that they cannot reimburse for items not included on a police report, when they clearly are listed. Then they close the claim when you ask about it to try and receive an explanation of this?

  25. Hello Harry! We just got back from our vacation in Japan for 2 weeks and we used AirBnB for the first time. The host sent us a message thru AirBnB Resolution Center regarding a broken bed. I did not know about this until I talked to my wife and said, she heard a crack when she is putting her socks on before leaving. Never intended to break anything but to our surprise, he is asking us for $300.00. We declined the amount and sent a message to AirBnB disputing the said amount but on the other hand, we felt bad about what happened because we love the place and really enjoyed our stay. How do we know if the case is closed and he is not demanding any money? Thanks

  26. Hey Harry and Audrey!
    Thanks for the brilliant blog! (Sorry for the long query)

    My situation will be the most peculiar.

    1) I had booked a whole villa in Boston (US) along with 5 more people from other nationalities for a conference. I was the initiator but we did split payment.
    2) Due to issues my trip got cancelled and I asked the host that I am okay with the loss (it was a strict policy) and that could he let me know if its okay if another guy fills in for me? Cause I do not want to lie or dont want to cancel and make others suffer. He said its cool as long as the number of people are same.

    3) Cut to a month after that, when my peers left he sent me a message telling me that he knows I wasn’t personally there but my peers have broken some tiles in the bathroom (he sent pictures) and have left the place untidy. Also he said they have taken the keys with them. (They have to return to their countries after a week stay, why would they do it?) He demanded 300$ as security (even though security wasnt listed in our billings anyway) and he asked to resolve it. He also threatened that airbnb will directly debit my account.

    Being a genuine person I asked them and they told it was already broken. Now he is threatening me that he will pursue costs anyway and he used the word LIAR so many times in the chat when I have gently told him that my peers were professional people coming for a world famous event and in fact his home was dirty and tiles were not in place. Peers even wanted to call him but to no avail.

    Now he just calls us liars and what not.

    I have checked his reviews and 2 more people have complained of a horrible bathroom.

    Please guide me.

  27. Hello guys! First of all congrats for your blog! Very helpful
    I need some advice please.
    I’m a host and rent my place in London when I’m away. A family booked it for a week and I’m checking say they cancelled as their son got ill. 10 days later they have requested a full refund and send some documents from the doctor. The doctor documents show that they went to the doctor 5 days before they actually cancelled, so they actually lied when they said their son just got sick suddenly that day and they couldn’t travel. As they cancel with no price I wasn’t able to rent the place. I do use the money I get from Airbnb to pay my rent (my landlord is aware and agreed) so if I have to refund them I won’t be able to pay the rent. I wouldn’t have mind if they would have cancelled 5 days before as that would have given me the option to rent the place.
    Where do I stand? Will I have to refund them? I offered them to come back to my place anytime for free instead of a refund but I haven’t heard from them… I’m extremely worried and anxious about this. Thanks a lot

  28. Hello! Seeking for guidance on an unfortunate situation. I am being accused for damage my host lock door. She accused that i put the key at the door so she cannot enter her own house after we check out. Then she claim the damage for 2000 euro. After put all documents at the resolution centre, the case is close. And i dont have to pay anything, because its not my mistake. But she reopen the case and airbnb request me an explanation again. So i just say that I already explain before this & the case is already close. Then after a week. They put charge on my credit card. But I already block the credit card. So what next i should do? I don’t understand airbnb say i not guilty for the first time then because i dont explain for second time they charges me. Can u guys suggest what should i do?

  29. Airbnb Host here, guest left my house and damaged my dining table which costs 3000$. I contacted the guest right after they departed to ask about the table and they confirmed that guests damaged the table. When I submitted a dispute with airbnb and with there 1M$ property damage garuntee they only stated they would provide me with a 150$ table price adjustment. I provided a quote from the manufacture stating that a new table is required since there are wood damages and burn marks on the table with bumps and major bulges and holes. Airbnb scammed me and refused to pay nothing close to my claim and I had to remove my listing from airbnb until I could fix the table at my own cost.

  30. Thanks Harry! I reached to Airbnb directly and they advised me to decline his request for additional money. These fees should have been stipulated within his house rules. This host was honestly trying to gain more money despite how we cared for the property. Thank you for your direction!

  31. You should leave a detailed review on the host, explaining exactly the situation you described above. Most likely, the host will leave you a nasty review so keep that in mind when leaving the host’s review. The $85 cleaning fee is extremely large for Airbnb. Based on the state you left the unit, the standard cleaning fee should cover these duties/expenses (make sure to explain that in the resolution center). I’d also forward to Airbnb the pictures of how the unit looked upon your arrival. I’d also ask Airbnb to offer a coupon code to you to use for future stays (based on the inconvenience and traumatic experience this host put you through).

  32. Hello! Seeking for guidance on an unfortunate situation. My family and I decided to stay in a cabin to welcome the new year. Within our booking fees a cleaning charge of $85 was included. Upon our arrival to the cabin we contacted the host and explained and sent pictures of the state of the cabin. Spoiled food in the fridge, dirty floors and bathrooms, dust and even dead bugs! The host simply responded back regarding the spoiled food as “OMG that most of been from the prior guest” and also advised that the pest control company must have been to the cabin before our arrival. We took time from our vacation and cleaned up ourselves without troubling the host for a reimbursement of the cleaning fee. We had to cut our vacation a whole night/day short and ensured we left the cabin in good state. Only challenge was that we couldn’t get rid of the garbage as the dumpsters were closed for the holidays and there were no other alternatives to dump the garbage. Dumping in store dumpsters is prohibited and leaving outside in the woods is breaking the law with a fine of up to $1000. We ensured to double bag the garbage and advised the host the same night we left. He said he would speak with the cleaning company. Then he gets back to us with an absurd fee of $15 per garbage bag for the cleaning service to get rid of. To top it off he complained we left a dirty dish, toys left behind (erroneous as these were there and we couldn’t take them as they weren’t ours) and claimed
    The cleaning crew counted 6 bags of garbage which is not the case. He brought us the Airbnb resolution and I have explained the above circumstance to them. What can you suggest? We did ensure our communication was strictly on Airbnb’s platform. I don’t want a bad review from this host nor pay that amount of money for something that was impossible to be done. Please help us with you advise and thank you

  33. So I broke a wine glass, and the host is charging me for the price of 6 (plus “service charges” totaling $30) because they cannot find a matching one. Are they allowed to make me pay for somthing that I did not break? I feel like they are being very unreasonable. what if this happened to somthing more valuable? Like a dinning chair that is broken and cannot be fixed, would they be allowed to charge me for 6 chairs and table? I think it’s ridiculous.

    1. I would try to explain to Airbnb that this glass represents something insignificant and offering a glass to a guest is a part of doing business. Accidents do happen.

  34. Hello! Thank you for this detailed post. Unfortunately, it holds disturbing likeness to what I am dealing with right now. I am in Croatia (Zagreb) and a host is accusing me of breaking his couch. The first request was for $600 which then dropped to $239 when an actual quote came in through the ARC (though only one quote). I was also told I was lying when he contacted me…and other similarities like repairs being done while we were there which we were not notified about before our stay. Also unfortunately, I have not dealt with this in the 45+ Airbnb’s I’ve stayed in and while I was very honest, non-emotional, and willing to say that damage could have worsened while I was there, my replies were not so eloquent until after Airbnb was involved (nothing bad, but looking at what you have above, it wasn’t that.) Airbnb is telling me I am responsible and must pay. Do you know of anything I can do? I’m sick to my stomach over being scammed like this. Thank you for any thoughts!

  35. Just an update: I won my case. I never saw the host’s side of the story after they escalated it to Airbnb; just received boilerplate emails from the Resolution Center. And for some reason they always email in the very early morning.

  36. Can you share how the Resolution Center process works? I’ve been falsely/mistakenly accused of damaging an appliance by a host, and they escalated to the ARC right away. I wrote them a long report giving all the reasons it was implausible to hold me responsible, but so far just have gotten a boilerplate response from the ARC saying that the host has 30 days to provide documentation.

    What I’m wondering: does the ARC send my letter to the host, and then the host replies to it? How much of a back and forth is there? Or is there none, and both me and the host just send our accounts to the ARC and they make their decision? If it’s decided in the host’s favour (absurdly), do I get any other chance to counter-argue?

    1. Airbnb will share with both parties what they deem appropriate to share. Airbnb will usually allow each party to state their version of the situation (only once) and will then base their decision on that. If you feel like you need to send more information to Airbnb during the process (before the case is closed) you should have a case manager assigned to you that you can forward that information onward to.

    2. So here is how it went:

      Aug 22 – Date of stay
      Aug 28 – Host requesting money
      Aug 28 – I replied denying the request
      Sep 26 – email from Trust and Safety specialist saying the host requested mediation
      Sep 26 – I told my side of the story
      Oct 8 – “After careful review of all related documentation and communication, we’ve determined that your host should be reimbursed for the reported damage – Please know, we are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case — we’ve issued our final decision and will uphold it accordingly.”

  37. Thanks for your post! Unfortunately I came to it too late!

    Here’s my story:

    I booked an airbnb with my wife and parents in San Antonio. When we got there the place was very dirty, with mold in the shower and kitchen, dirty linens, dirty towels and dust everywhere. Additionally the TV was not working.
    I called the host (my mistake for not using the website) and told him about all these things. He said he didn’t care and he would give us a full refund.

    I then contacted airbnb and asked them to get us a new place, which they refused to do, and after 2 hours and multiple phone calls, I got a refund directly from them. we ended up staying at a different Airbnb.

    A week later I get a message from the original host saying that we broke his TV and we owe him $2300. I of course said no, so he involved the resolution center.

    After a few messages back and forth with airbnb, they are telling me now that they “feel” the fair thing is for me to pay $1000. If I dont pay they will charge my card in 10 days. I am of course not paying anything because the TV was already broken! I told them that I didn’t give them authorization to charge my card, and if they did, I would treat it as fraud with my bank.

    I closed my Airbnb account and never using it again! I cant believe a host can just say whatever and get away with it!

  38. As a host I do think This blog to teach Tell the Lies to airbnb center is No GOOD at all

    Several time I met n host some guest that give us complains from a-z initially in order to get compensation and free stay Or big discount By their complains,
    before I feel Okay I Will refund Or pay compensation

    The last time I Dont do that anymore

    Last few days a go
    I hosting a guest that since arrival complain all about the villas condition while all the other guest in past always give us 5 star review

    They complain to See one hair in the bedsheet ( Which wE Would never knew it is the guest own hair Or my staff hair while change the bedsheet before the guest cek in ),,
    and the guest continue oN and oN … oN with a-x complaining the same night

    , I ask the guest in 1×24 hours to leave my villa . I asking them if they really dont feel to suitable with the villa at all then all they need is to cancell their reservation in 1×24 hours , and I Will fairly refund the guest 100%

    The guest complain again about they feel uncomfort about need to reshifted to other villa

    LOL crazy HEy ?? Guest seems like dont like the vila but Also guest really dont want to leave the villa

    By that response we know the guest only chasing after for a FREE STAY Or discount Or compensation By doing lots of unproper complains

    I dont interest hosting some scammer Or manipulatif guest that wanna stay in GOOD villa without paying anything By making details complains to get free stay …
    While our track record was always 5 star review

    Anyone that wanna try that oN me again As host, Will have to facing a reality to be reshifted in 1×24 hour ,…
    facing that risk of trying to black Mail a GOOD Will host

    1. You obviously have a hard time understanding and filtering information. This is a post designed to educated both the airbnb host and guest. Instead of wasting your time complaining about your guests, maybe you should be spending your time more wisely?

  39. Hello,

    I am writing here because i am having a very big problem with airbnb host and i dont know what to do. We went to this home for 8 days and everything was terrible, shower blocke, entrance key blocked, internet was so bad that we couldnt event open the email/viber. Since there was no ironing table i was ironing my shirt on coach and accidentaly made a very very small hole on the coach. firstly asked me 400 Euro and now he is asking me 1200 Euro because he wants me to buy him the whole new coach because of that very small hole. I already contacted airbnb resolution center and waiting what they will decide. That host brought so many problems for us during our stay and now asking for a nw coach. The same day that he said to me he found one coach 400 euro the same day he bought a new one 1200 Euro. And wrote me some days later that the one 400 euros was sold out and he bought a new one 1200. How come on the same day that he told me for the one 400 euro he bought a new one 1200 euro and pretending it was sold out the othr one. He obviously is lying and i dont know what to do anymore. I already sent to airbnb pictures of the things he said didnt fit with each other. Can you please help me with some suggestion?

  40. I just want to thank you for sharing your experience and expertise. It came to my rescue when I would otherwise have had NO idea what to do when accused and charged falsely by an Airbnb host. I used every word of your advice, and realized I had a very strong case. In the end, my 8 page defense won the day. Though the whole mess was traumatic to say the least, your article was not only an invaluable guide, but a beacon of hope. THANK YOU.

  41. Hi Guys,

    Wondering if you could give me some advice on this ! i stayed with airbnb over the weekend for my 21st birthday and accidentally spilled powered make up over one of their rugs. I told them immediately and said that i was happy to pay for any cleaning costs and if need be, replace the rug with the security deposit they had on their advert. They said that it was fine and they’ll get back to us with all of the information. Unfortunately, this was all said verbally the night we stayed at the complex.

    She is now telling us that we have to pay $500 for a new rug and when asking her if she looked into steam cleaning she advised us she wasn’t willing to do this as she would have to wait for the rug to dry before leasing out the apartment again. I used to work for a cleaning company and know that make up is water durable and i quick steam clean will do the trick ( the mark is very faint with the pictures she has sent me – can barely see it ) I’m a full time student with a part time job ( which she is well aware and i have told her ) and don’t even earn $500 in a fortnight. Can you please help me with this ?

    1. Airbnb no longer holds a deposit on funds. Explain the situation, what happened, and details of the rug (age, color, cleanliness) and your overall experience. If you feel responsible, offer a settlement amount.

  42. I had a medical emergency at a place I rented and paid in full for . I contacted the host Rep and my stay was extended five days in her report and after going back and forth I have received no contact and no refund . I have emergency room and ambulance bills to prove emergency and need host to settle asap. What do you suggest I have sent reports on each air bnb option

  43. Hey Harry!
    I hope you can help me: I was a guest at an airbnb flat, one evening I see that I misplaced the key and cannot find it. I contact the host, the day after they bring a spare key, but also goes through my luggage to see if I have the key. They tell me that this is the only spare key. After I left they have charged me for changing all the locks: 500 Euros. I offered 50 euros for making a copy of the keys since the keys we couldnt find have to still be inside the flat. Now they asked me for 450 Euros since they already changed the locks (they told me they did it the day I left).
    What should I do?

  44. Hello Harry… I’d like your opinion on this.

    HOST: As you are aware when we got to the house after you had left, we were unable to gain access as you had left the key in the keyhole on the inside of the door. This meant that when we tried to open the door the key would not work.

    We were in contact with you and you suggested that we try and pick the lock using a hanger. Modern day locks cannot be accessed in this way. So we had to call out an emergency locksmith. The locksmith also confirmed there was no way to pick the lock. Therefore he then had to drill the locks and replace the whole locks and barrels. This meant us having to pay £491.

    We have no choice in the matter but to put in a claim for this figure with Airbnb and ask them to withhold the return of your deposit and use that to reimburse us.

    ME: Your request is for damaged or missing items. As you stated in your messages to me, we left the place in immaculate shape when we left so therefore no damage or missing items occurred. I did exactly as your What’s App messages stated for me to do which was to put a key in the laundry room upon leaving the house. NOWHERE in any of your messages was it stated that a key left in the key slot would prevent entry into the home. We do not and have not EVER had that issue in any AirBNB home we have stayed in before nor is that a problem in our personal home.

    In my opinion, this is an issue that you’ll be sure to communicate to your future clients. In this case, I am not responsible for the locksmith fees and believe that AirBNB will find in my favor as I did not damage the property and I did not remove anything from the home.

    MY PM TO AIRBNB: Good day… We stayed at this location and everything was great. We’ll leave them a good review because the home was everything we needed it to be. We left the location in immaculate shape and did not take anything from the location. The request for money comes from a locksmith due to their inability to open the door because a key was left in the interior lock. I was not aware that this was a problem when we left the house. I did as I was asked which was to put one key in the washroom outside and to leave the second one in the house.

    When contacted by David, I was not aware that the key was left in the lock. I suggested he use a clothes hanger through the mail slot to hook it and pull it out. He then called out a locksmith. He also suggested that we handle this outside of AirBNB but since I believe we did nothing wrong in this case, I am asking you guys to make a decision.

    I completely understand their frustration regarding this but I am not at fault for their key system being different from any other that I’ve dealt with at other AirBNB locations and even my own home. This is something that they should communicate with their clients in the future to prevent this type of problem from happening again. In this case, the fault is on the owner.

  45. Hi Harry, I failed at getting a refund from Airbnb and am currently asking Chase to pursue a credit refund. The apt I booked was smelly, dirty, dingy and unsafe (broken front door latch, exposed light wiring). My partner and I didn’t feel it was safe to stay there and requested a refund. The host did not meet us – but sent two strangers to welcome us who wanted to know when we would be leaving so they could move in – and a contractor who was working on the house who said he would be during our stay. I sent photos of dirty floors, bugs in the toilet, exposed wiring, etc, etc. Airbnb said the photos – while showing worn and frayed furnishes – were within their cleanliness standards, I was – am – appalled. The host in turn became aggressive and confrontational. It was altogether a very unpleasant experience. I have stayed in several Airbnb’s, had good experiences and only received very positive reviews from hosts. I read in an earlier post you said the credit card company would get me refund – I hope so. Otherwise I will take the host to small claims court for a refund of my $953. Any advice?

  46. Hi Harry,
    Thanks for the blog.
    I rented an apartment for my relatives for two months and 8 days after they left I received an email from the host asking for $523 for a leaking in the drainage pipe under the kitchen. she said that the seal on the drainage was broken and the pipe was clogged. She said if they notify me, they would had the problem solved. But I checked online for the cost of leaking in the drainage, it’s way below the number she provided! and why she contacted me 8 days after they left. Please I need help!

  47. Hi Harry,
    Thanks for the blog.
    I rented an apartment for my relatives and 8 days after the left I received an email from the host asking for $523 for a leaking in the drainage pipe under the kitchen. she said that seal on the drainage was broken and the pipe was clogged. She said if they notify me we would had the problem solved. But I checked online for the cost of leaking in the drainage, it’s way below the number she provided! and why she contached me 8 days after the left. Please I need help!

  48. Hi Harry,

    I am very worried. My host made me a request for $1917 stating that my dogs ruined her house. I have a golden retriever and a beagle. She has pictures of the couch, and bed with hair and dirt. She basically bought new couch, new bed, and put a 60 hours labor work, she has receipts and it looks like she already bought everything. I am in shock. My dogs do shed but it is not that bad that you would need to replace stuff. I have not replied her yet. I am still in shock. Plus the amount is crazy. Any advice?

      1. Yes, they are. We especially looked for a place that allowed dogs. They met the dogs and play with them several times.

        1. Mari,
          It sounds like the owners met your dogs and excepted the risk of having your dogs in their unit. If this is true, I would communicate that to Airbnb. Is there any proof of this communication, perhaps through the airbnb message center? If you feel like your dogs did perform an act that was out of the ordinary, such as urinating on the carpet, I would offer some sort of payment to cover the costs that you deem acceptable. Essentially, a counter offer to their $1900, out of good faith.

          The fact that the owner spent 60 hours of labor time resolving the issue seems awfully questionable. Is the cost of the labor included in the $1900? Any host that thinks their time is going to be built into the cost of the resolution is delusional at best. This is a cost of doing business. This should not be included in the cost.

          Dogs get dirty and are full of hair. Any experienced host understands this. A unit listed as pet-friendly will have extra cleaning costs and the host should be passing on this cost through the cost of the unit or the cleaning fee (this is not your responsibility). Was the unit spotless when you arrived or was there dirt and hair from prior pets?

          Similarly to cleaning, the depreciation expense related to furniture and fixtures that are not structural, exponentially increases when pets are allowed. How old was the couch that was replaced? Did it look old? Was it in perfect condition? Relay this information to Airbnb. Is there a receipt to prove the date of the purchase? Normal depreciation for furniture is 7 years, when pets are allowed I could easily see this time-frame being cut in half. Has the owner fully depreciated the cost of the couch?
          Best of luck,

  49. Harry,

    I think your post while trying to be thorough just gives fodder to those who would manipulate with less than noble intentions…on both sides. Here are some observations:

    1. You are right that host did not get three estimates and average them before making his overture to you. Shame on him.

    2. You already admitted the Sofa was weakened over your 28 day stay so why quibble about your impact on it when you should be focused on the monetary damage itself.

    3. If you can go to Croatia for 28 days, your host is right, your $10 offer is an insult. That isn’t based on an analysis of your ability to pay. It is a basic analysis of the current inflationary costs associated with minimal polite decency, of which your $10 offer is probably 75% short.

    4. Your host jumps from $70 to $220 to a whole new sofa. He is not to be trusted.

    5. Your comment which asks if the Sofa is 20 years old is possibly another insult though I suspect the host may be being disingenuous by saying the Sofa is just 4 years old. There is a wide gap between 20 and 4 and I can’t believe there isn’t one honest adult among the lot of you who can give a reliable, objective estimate on the piece of furniture and it’s age. That’s just juvenile.

    6. Linkage of non-material complaints that you would not have dredged up unless you had received the owner’s request, is petty and probably unethical by most people’s standards. Sewage smell from drains? Really? I’m surprised at you! For goodness sakes why didn’t you just pull the black mold rabbit out of your hat. Why don’t you just tell Airbnb that you found a pentagram etched into the floor under the living room rug. It is wrong to throw the kitchen sink into the mix just because someone raised an issue for you to address.

    7. You advise sticking to the facts and that’s good advise but facts pertaining to the issue not flack meant to distract or extraneously tip the scales.

    8. After losing all our liquor, 40 DVDs, dozens of towels, knick knacks, antiques, books, 10 foot glass pane windows and antique marble table tops with each guest queried completely denying involvement; we have had to endure everything from health hazard to sexual harassment as the guest ‘come back’ for deigning to ask legitimate questions about things broken or gone missing. We’ve seen guests of guests who felt like shopping in our home, take all manner of personal keepsakes,

    9. Despite the risk to home and safety hosts take, we are made to feel somehow subserviant because you as a guest ran a check card. That does not make you either royal or right. In fact, here in the South, our guests pay $58 to stay with us. Whereas, a 3 star hotel replete with drunk carpentry jobbers, meth dealers, torn carpet and the sound of the roaring interstate out back with tax is $78. So, after shopping for my knick knacks, having three breakfasts, sleeping until noon, getting free doggy boarding and leaving with the back door key; all at below 80% of skid row prices… I am supposed to receive a two star rating from every 20th guest and feel good about that?

    10. We have had to suffer a regular ungrateful gut punch from prriodic guests who think themselves a Condé Nast journalist with some unflinching commitment to future travelers whom they’ve never met. After having stayed in our home, torn through dozens of towels, eaten three or four breakfasts everyday, secretly brought in three or four or ten additional unpaid guests, stacked nine vehicles in six allotted parking spaces, run the steam shower and the air conditioner non-stop concurrently and then walking out the door to leave a trashy review, one has to ask, “To whom is this loyalty really owed?”

    11. You got a less than honest host, it’s true. However, the solution is not a tutorial on how to sink to his level and go sling mud. Guests should not seek such unethical avenues for the win. Wecando better than being a community of skin flint mudruckers, as income destroying guests. I would expect you’d have given more thought to perhaps the better angels of your nature and not have sunk to his level.

    12. Did it occur to you to instead teach your friends some manners? Did grace and empathy even enter your mind? In a sense I believe you may actually be worse than your host for one simple reason: For all we know this was your host’s one random misdeed which you’ve detailed for us. However, there is no doubt you’ve given us ample evidence that you’ve taken concrete steps to not only catalog and institutionalize your behavior of which part of it is at least questionable but you have undertaken a Quixotic Quest, giving hope to other ‘victimized’ guests by corroding their grace as well and helping to light fire to a greater burgeoning sense of community of mutual respect which many of us are still trying to build.

    13. As far as I’m concerned, hosts should forget about the damned insurance policy, claims for missing or broken items or consistent mutual respect from guests after you’ve had a couple dozen in your home. Guests will deny and slap back hard against hosts who question them, costing hosts income without a second thought.

    14. One good thing I’ve seen change is that a year ago, I would have said the person who raises the stink in the Resolution Center first, always wins. At least those of us with 400-500 positive reviews are back to getting a small benefit of the doubt but we haven’t seen the last of obviously grifting hosts or manipulative guests searching for the third rail of Airbnb relationships where a single caustic word trumps all counter-argument, be it Sewer Stench, Leoresy, Black Mold, Sexual Harrassment, Dirty Kitchen, Host Entering or even the selling of a four year old into sex trafficking during the 28 day stay.! We have seen nearly all of this so the humor pales. We can’t have a community if everybody resorts to whatever cheap, low brow tactic needed to win without question because even if you won (though the good guy comment can’t be viewed as a foregone conclusion here), your summary is correct… we will all lose learning from the text you’ve offered us.

    1. John, sadly you are mistaken. There are both guests and hosts always attempting to swindle the system. This post was designed to assist first time participants of the airbnb resolution center work their way through the process. There are no recommendations of “low brow tactics” in the post. This is merely your interpretation from the examples stated. Based on your extremely long-winded comment I’m going to assume that you’re a hell of a stickler as a host and most likely have a book full of rules, guidelines, etc., that you dump on your guests. Maybe Airbnb isn’t the right environment for you? Airbnb wasn’t really designed to be used by unscrupulous landlord hosts looking to make a quick buck. It’s really intended for hosts who care about sharing their city/hometown with tourists in a friendly manner. I’d suggest you save everyone the hassle and open a long-term stay apartment building or just purchase a REIT for that matter. You seem to have to much anger towards future guests and the process overall to properly host. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!

      1. I agree with John’s reply. Perhaps you did not break the couch in question but bringing up issues you were not going to mention is a shocking low brow tactic. I have had many guests stay with me and I found your site because these last guests have broken and damaged the couch, the floor, the carpet. I have lived with small stuff of people walking off with my pots, pans, dishes, kitchen knives, towels, playstation controllers, dvds and breaking small things, scratching the walls, breaking tiles, that is what hosts deal with all the time, do I complain? Not worth the bad review to complain about a stolen ps controller. But these last guests broke the sofabed, vomited on the rug and rolled it up to rot…that is beyond ok. The knowlege that they will now try to state there is issues with the home rather than deal directly with what has occured is an awful idea. I am not a crazy businessperson, I am not a hotel. This is my home I share with people. If we are trying to create a community of trust, your answers to the frustrations hosts are feeling are more of attacks on their integrity.
        “Provide a counter offer in an amount you feel comfortable with (to make this all go away). You’re giving the perception that you’re trying to meet the host half way.”

        Give the perception? If you break something surely you should be honest and try to make amends. That is community. That is what we are trying to create when we use this service and invite strangers into our homes.

        “Provide other items that were dirty, broke, old, or not working properly during your stay. This will create the perception that the unit is not well maintained. Always stick with facts. Never get personal.”

        This is horrible! What you are actually saying is to try and discredit the host by thinking of other things that aren’t working? Terrible! I understand the host and guest might not agree on extent of damages but surely dealing with the issue/damage at hand is the honest and desired method to solve this amicably.


        Liz B

        1. Liz, You’re naively looking at this from only a host’s perspective and from the perspective that there’s only good people in the world with moral character. For example, stating “If you break something surely you should be honest and try to make amends.” is assuming that everything is perfect in the first place. In reality, especially traveling through Europe most construction (we’ve come across) is done by the owner and is built so unprofessionally, that if we touch something the wrong way it falls apart. We’re constantly standing in ankle deep water in the shower, stoves burners don’t work, fuses are blowing, etc. Not to mention almost all of the furniture is made from cheap plywood (that wouldn’t last 1 year in a dormitory). Unless you’re going over the entire inventory with guests between check-in and check-out there’s no way to control little things from breaking. If I hosted, I would make sure things were built to last and easily replaceable. I definitely would not have PSP’s laying around. How do you guests aren’t stealing games? Very naive and very bad judgement on your part.

  50. Hi,
    Thanks for your post, but I’m a host and have an excellent history. I totally agree with stuff getting broken, I have this case currently the guest smoked in apartment which clearly states NO SMOKING due to condominium rules and the smell. The guest had a party if some sort when she reserved just 1 person and used my soap dish as an ash tray ,messed up curtains, starched up beautiful wood floors biggest digs and burt toilet seat.
    I sent in evidence to Airbnb resolutions center they grated me everything else except the toilet seat, reason wasnt severely damaged okay severely or not its still burts and very noticable and i dont want my future guest sting on burnt seat and thinking its oksy to smoke in apartment.
    Questions- How could i reach a Resolution center Manager??????
    The case worker kerps saying accept my offer you are not going to speak to a manager i guess she can see when i call customer service .

    1. Hi Jill,

      We’re sorry about your bad experience. It sounds like you ended up with some pretty rowdy guests. It sounds like Airbnb has provided an finalized compensation offer, but you are still asking for more to cover the cost of the toilet seat?

      I’m afraid we don’t have any additional information on how to contact a manager specifically. Often times, we have received further assistance when using the power of social media. I believe their twitter handle is @AirbnbHelp – you may want to put your issue out there in a more public manner.

      This may be a case that you just may have to except Airbnb’s final offer, purchase a new toilet seat, and take proper precautions to ensure future guests come with reviews stating that they have been responsible and reputable past guests.

  51. Hi Harry, thanks this blogpost is useful! My host is accusing me of throwing a party at her place because she sees confetti all over and in her swimming pool and has requested for us$70 damages to clean up the confetti. I did not throw a party, it was a two person private birthday celebration and the little bit of confetti in the pool was an accident. Also, I had experienced multiple issues and an overall unpleasant experience when staying at her place.
    1. House was not available for check in at 2pm – it was locked with no key available for me. I had to contact the host for help.
    2. TV was not working. When i booked the place I clearly asked if the tv was okay (as some people had complained in prev reviews) and was told there were no issues. This took 5-6 hours to resolve.
    3. Their pool leaked and flooded the living room and kitchen. We had to bring out the rug and towels to wipe the floor… imagine if the water got to the electrical appliances!
    4. Flloorboards in the bathroom were unstable and could cause serious hurt.
    5. Place says ok to cook and I informed them of my intention to beforehand. However the ventilation was so bad that it is impossible to do so without smoking up the whole house. This made the house unbearable and we left a night early. (I informed the host of this before I left)
    6. Water heater is not working

    Any advice would be much appreciated? It’s not a large sum (relatively speaking) but I am extremely unhappy with the way the host handled the multiple issues and also the standard and quality of the house which they market as a “luxury property”.

    Thanks so much.

    1. Crystal,
      I would ask the host to provide pictures of the damage/desecrated property and 3rd party pricing quotes related to the additional cleaning costs. Does the unit charge a cost to clean the unit? If so, a pool is obviously going to cost more to maintain. Hosts should have the pool properly cleaned in between guests. God only knows what happens in pools on Airbnb! Costs to maintain the pool should be included in the cleaning cost or nightly price of the unit.

      In addition to the above, I’d also list (as you did) all of the complaints with the unit (not the host, don’t make it personal). Finally, make sure to list these grievances in the formal review to warn fellow travelers of possible issues with this rental.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Audrey & Harry

  52. Hi, thanks for the helpful blog. I have just been informed by a host that I have damaged something, which I did not notice at the time, and she is going to go through the resolution centre. She hasnt asked for any amount yet and we are still waiting to hear from air bnb. My question is, how much can hosts ask for – can this be more than the security deposit? ( Which btw is quoted on the listing but was not taken from my account). I’m just worried she will ask for an exorbitant amount of money since she kept saying how expensive it is etc etc.

    1. Hi Jane, Usually the host and guest will work together in order to come to a reasonable solution before getting airbnb involved. Having the host go directly to airbnb seems like it would be a red flag that they host may be difficult to deal with, perhaps. From what I’ve been told by airbnb, they are no longer using the deposit functionality on their site. Why it’s still displayed on some listings is a mystery. Therefore, the amount of the deposit is irrelevant. From my knowledge, the host can request whatever amount they want (big or small). Best of luck!

  53. We have been charged £275 for breaking an oven and a key, we did not use the oven all weekend and are 100% certain we did no damage to it. I have currently cancelled my debit card, and ignored all contact from the hosts since receiving the charge notice last night. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      1. It is currently just an email requesting £275, i have just received another email stating that if no response is made by 10th November then the hosts will get AirBnB involved

      2. The hosts sent an email asking for £275 and if this was not received by 10th November airBnB would be contacted

        1. James, respond through the airbnb message center and ask her:
          where is the 275£ number coming from? has she received a quote to fix the oven from a qualified service person? is this just a number she pulled out of thin air? how is the oven broken? what exactly broke on the oven? how did the oven break on your watch? what’s the age of the oven? when was the oven purchased? provide a receipt of the purchase of the oven? how are you responsible for this appliance breaking? most importantly, please provide adequate documentation that proves that I broke the oven during my stay.

          if the host does open a dispute I’d address all of the questions above (and then some) and ask Airbnb to provide a $100 credit to me for the inconvenience of the matter. It’s absolutely ridiculous to think someone broke an oven. Have you ever heard of someone breaking an oven? Appliances break. Appliances are not made the way they use to be. Things break. Hosts need to build depreciation into their prices.

  54. I would be so very grateful if you could advise me regarding a $210 charge for my recent airbnb stay. I was displaced due to the recent hurricane and a host graciously offered to let us use a room in her home a few days. We had to scramble to find a new apartment during that time as our old home was condemned, and we found 200 miles from her home. Because of the distance, we thanked her remotely for her accommodations, ended our stay early, and sent her a package back with the house keys. However, evidently the keys were lost in the mail. She is charging $150 for the keys and $60 for towels that we did not take and which could not be worth more than $10 total. We are obviously not in a position to pay for the charges. Any help greatly appreciated!

    1. Gene, There’s no way you’ll need to worry about the towels if you explain that you left them exactly where you found them. I’d also mention something about the age of the towels, how they looked, and in your opinion the true value. In terms of the keys, you put yourself in a tight spot mailing them, I’m assuming standard mail? Do you have any receipts with USPS? Regardless, did the host provide anything related to how she came up with $150? I’d ask her to explain where this number is coming from. Is it to make a copy of the keys or is she replacing the entire lock? Does she have an official quote from a reputable repair man for this work? Probably not, which means she pulled this number out of thin air. If I were you I’d:
      1) Ask for more details surrounding the cost of the keys, why is it costing $150, what is her plans; replacement or copy? Does she have a replacement set of keys and is making a copy or is she replacing the lock? You really want her to change this $150 to any other number. It will show that she’s grasping for straws and is confused.
      2) I’d also mention to the host that she is partially responsible for this whole situation. There should have been a formal key exchange with documented procedures. Initiated by her. She should have told you the exact/specific instructions on how to get the keys to her. Did she provide written instructions on how to get the keys from you to her? If she agreed to have them mailed to her than she accepted the risk that they may get lost.
      3) After she gives another number tell her you feel bad and feel “partially” responsible and that you’d be willing to give her $15-$20 to cover some of the expenses related to the keys.
      4) I would not bring up the towels. I would let Airbnb resolve that dispute as it will be a sure win for you. Once again, during the checkout process she should have noticed that the towels were missing (if so) and should have brought this up to you at the time.
      -Audrey & Harry

  55. Hi, we stayed in an Airbnb that was hostel-like and got given another room, not the one we booked. After asking for the room we booked, the host said he has given it to somebody else and we are staying in his brothers room that is not on Airbnb. To me these two statements, make me so confident that we will win this dispute. To spare you the details, we left after one night and requested a refund. The host does not want to give us a refund so we involved Airbnb. Do you know how long it will take till we get any form of communication from Airbnb, since in 48 hrs our booking will end and I would like to hear back from Airbnb about any times it may take to get a resolution.
    Any help on that would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Marina,
      Did you happen to take any pictures? Was there any dialog through the airbnb message center between you and the host? If things are documented properly I’d feel very confident that you’re going to win this dispute. It should occur in less than 4 days. I’d be surprised if it lasted more than 1-2 days though based on your circumstances. You should also advocate for a credit for future stays for the inconvenience of all of this. It’s totally unacceptable that a host would do this to you. At a minimum you should expect a $50 credit and don’t be surprised if they offer you $100 for this debacle.
      – Audrey & Harry

      1. Hello Audrey & Harry,

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! You guys are legends! Helping people in need… I have requested Airbnb to get involved 4 days ago and have not heard back anything yet, this is what is worrying me a bit, as they are not contactable in general. I had involved pictures and the whole dialog is readable through the message center. Tomorrow is our “official check out day” and I don’t want the funds to be transferred… and I would have also expected Airbnb to come back to us sooner and I just don’t know which next step to take to get in touch with them, or if it is just a waiting game now?

        Thank you so so so so so much for your advice!

        1. I’m surprised you haven’t heard back yet. Did you contact them at OR they are very responsive via twitter at @AirbnbHelp – I usually send them a tweet to notify them and initiate a case with customer support.

          1. I know, right Audrey? They don’t accept E-Mails (it bounced back), but I have send them a post through facebook and have twittered them. Yes, I find it very hard to somehow get in touch with them and feel left alone… Thank god for you guys! I will let you know if I hear back from them! Thank you so much so far, though!

    1. Sure we can try to help. Where are you in the stage of your Airbnb Resolution? Have both parties already submitted their rebuttals and claims? Is this Airbnb’s final ruling?

  56. Hello,

    I and my fiance are in a battle. The hosts claimed we damaged their electrical appliances yet we didn’t. What we do admit to doing is using their heater without permission (it was very very cold and we are from a country that lies in the middle of the equator so we do not know what to do in 10-degree colds!) which caused the electrical system to trip. It damaged the small 160X120 electric blanket they had provided (did I mention it was very very cold?) and we did agree to replace it, and also requested, if possible, for them to get us a heater. They never provided a receipt to show how much the damaged blanket cost, they only mentioned the cost and asked us to refund them which we did but they bought a heater plus a queen size electric blanket. Mind you, the electric system kept tripping and they said they’d fix it but they never did. AirBnB is now demanding $88 dollars (a whole $54 dollars more than what the host demanded) and we feel duped!

    I’ve withdrawn all cash from my account. They can suspend my account for all I care! Homestay websites are many!

    I feel duped and I cannot help thinking of the worst – racism. Because we are “poor” black Kenyans and they are “rich” whites and Indians, our cause is irrelevant!

    I am f*king pissed!!

        1. I’m getting the sense that maybe you weren’t thorough enough with your response to Airbnb. One of the recommendations in our guide that we stress immensely is that people take this process seriously. You need to treat this like a court case. For example, if you simply say, “I used it”, and do not stress the reasons why this was not your fault then of course you’re going to lose. Additionally, you admitted that you would pay for it! Not exactly the brightest move. Now, not only did you tell the “judge” you did it but you also stated you’d pay for it! Essentially, you told Airbnb that you used it, you broke it, and you’d pay for it. Consider this case from this perspective that we are proposing. What else is Airbnb supposed to do other than find you responsible for the damage? What are your thoughts? Also, is this resolution case now closed?

          1. Thanks for this. But believe me when I say that we were thorough in explaining in detail how the process came to be. We did not summarize it, we went in full detail, stating expressly that in our use of the heater, it was not with malice, and also, we did discuss the issue at hand being the electrical problems. I believe that where we went wrong was handling the case verbally and thus not having evidence to our discussions.

            Thank you anyway. We will not continue using AirBnB and we will not pay the amount.

        2. Racism? My god. You broke their blanket and other rules, admittedly. You are guilty of being stupid. You used their appliances without permission and broke their items, and now you complain about $88????????? AND CLAIM RACISM???????? Oh my goodness hahahahahahahaha

    1. If your stay was in USA, then you are by law to be furnished with a heater at all times in any rental and there is a minimum heating and cooling requirement the host must provide. therefore, you are entitled a full refund for the host violating a State Code Ordinance and they can be fined by the state and possibly have their license to rent revoked.

      15.20.080 Hotel/motel – Guestroom – Minimum requirements.
      No person or hotel/motel may offer for rent, use, or occupancy any guestroom that does not meet or exceed the following minimum equipment and amenities:
      A. An American standard double-size mattress or larger made with 100 percent new material resting on a box spring and supported on a frame or pedestal and maintained in a sanitary, nondefective condition;
      B. Clothes closet with clothes rod;
      C. Luggage rack or luggage support counter;
      E. Lavatory;
      F. Bathtub or shower;
      G. Heating and air conditioning under guest control;

      under California code of regulations:
      25 CCR § 34
      § 34. Heating.
      (a) Every dwelling unit and guest room used or offered for rent or lease shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 70 degrees F at a point three feet above the floor in all habitable rooms, and when the heating facilities are not under the control of the tenant or occupant of the building owner and/or manager, shall be required to provide that heat at a minimum temperature of 70 degrees F, 24 hours a day. These facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe condition and in accordance with Chapter 37 of the Uniform Building Code, the Uniform Mechanical Code, and other applicable laws. No unvented fuel burning heaters shall be permitted. All heating devices or appliances shall be of the approved type.
      (b) The provisions of Subsection (a) are subject to the exemption for existing buildings provided in Section 103, of the Uniform Housing Code.
      (c) Those buildings and structures which are exempt from the requirements of Section 103 shall be provided with heat at a temperature as close to 70 degrees F as the existing heating facilities are capable of providing at a point three feet above the floor in all habitable rooms when the heating facilities are not under the control of the tenant.
      Note: Authority cited: Sections 17003.5, 17921, 17922, 50061.5 and 50559, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 17920.3, 17921 and 17922, Health and Safety Code.
      1. Change without regulatory effect amending section filed 6-23-2004 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2004, No. 26).
      This database is current through 1/11/19 Register 2019, No. 2
      25 CCR § 34, 25 CA ADC § 34

  57. Thanks Audrey and Harry for the post. What would you recommend here? Our entire building is non-smoking. The unit, the common areas, all of it. I put it in my house rules that smoking isn’t allowed. I also put in my house rules that any violation of the condominium rules is the responsibility of the guest plus an administrative fee for my time. (Mainline hotels charge a cleaning fee for smoking). Plus, I told the family at check in to not smoke because I could smell it all over them. I then got a letter from the association’s attorney the day they checked out notifying me of the violations of smoking at the pool and drinking beer from glass containers at the pool. I also have testimony from the board member who stated that he was the one who told the guest to not smoke. The guest is incommunicado. Now what?

  58. How long does it usually take AirBnB to get involved after you escalate to them? I recently stayed at a hotel in a small town through AirBnB. I had to call the Hotel to actually get them to log in and accept the booking and I exchanged several emails with them. On the day I checked in AirBnB charged me for 2 nights on my CC per usual. When I went to check out of the Hotel on the Monday, the hotel desk would not let me leave saying I hadn’t paid. I showed them my bank alert of the charge through AirBnB but they insisted I had to pay! I called the owner of the property and he said that we were the first AirBnB Guests and he had ‘no payment arrangement with AirBnB’. Clearly this host does not even know how AirBnB works. They told me to pay the fee for the two nights again and would not let me leave until I did. So I took a receipt and copy of my payment slip from the hotel as evidence that I had to pay again. I told the owner he would need to issue me a refund through AirBnB which he didn’t and he has ceased all communication with me. I’ve posted all this evidence in the Resolution Centre and messaged the Host again to ask for a refund through AirBnB which he didn’t reply to at all. So I escalated 3 days ago. I haven’t heard anything from AirBnB and am considering going through my Credit Card company. However I still want to use AirBnB and don’t want the dispute to put my AirBnB account at risk. So should I wait? I think I have 30 days to file a Credit Card dispute. Just not sure what to do. What do you advise?

    1. Hi Natalie,
      Thanks for checking out our site. From our experiences, a dispute with Airbnb, through the resolution center is usually resolved within 4-5 days. We wouldn’t be too concerned about the situation you’re currently in, mainly because, all of your transactions occurred electronically through your credit card. There’s a record created that shows that you already paid the Airbnb host. Airbnb should advise you on how this should be corrected. If Airbnb does not get this refunded to you then we would proceed to open up a dispute with your credit card company against the merchant. You have up to 3 months (and sometimes even longer) to open up a dispute with your credit card company. Either way, you’ll get refunded (guaranteed).

      It’s now just a matter of now dealing with this bad ordeal. Airbnb is responsible for making sure your booking goes smooth. If I were you I’d ask them to provide a credit/coupon to your Airbnb account for the HUGE inconvenience and STRESS of having to deal with this. This is of course beyond refunding you the amount that was double charged. We’d assume they’d issue you a credit between $25-$50 (maybe $75) for having put you in this situation. Make sure to aggressively ask/pursue a credit for this inconvenience. Explain to them how stressful this has been. Please let us know how it goes.
      – Audrey & Harry

  59. We are in same situation as you guys, but with the toilet!. Host told us that we broke and bla bla bla , but we even didn’t touched it. Currently fighting through resolution center, right now easiest way is to block airbnb from credit card company side )

  60. Thanks to your blog post a group who stayed with us left me with human feces / excrement all over our belongings plus a bunch of other cleaning and damage. Afterwards they wrote repeatedly to airbnb with a list of falsified claims mirroring your blog post exactly. Why do you want to support criminal behaviour? We as hosts have no protection at all from these people, we have our hands tied. It is highly unlikely a host would ever risk negative feedback to get payments for damages unless something really bad has taken place. We are super hosts, have never received 4 stars feedback or lower and were left with someone’s sh*t to clean up (literally) which they just got out of paying for thanks to winning the case in the resolution center using the tactics from this blog. This is after airbnb was made aware that they had disappeared, changed their names and removed their verified details. I had to buy new linen, towels and quilt for the new guests and went out of my way to help these people providing free breakfast and a bunch of other items, only to be left with an unhygienic, health risk to my house which was not only degrading for me but also my cleaner and boyfriend. I didn’t even ask for replacement fees only for two towels to be replaced, I offered to send the soiled ones to them so its at no cost to them. Still they tried to get out of it, the towels they used were designer and brand new and more expensive than the ones I provided receipts for in the resolutions center. Of course I received a retaliatory feedback comment with 1 star rating: thanks to whoever authored this blog page. The guests’ names were: Chad Warden, Tracy Warden and Jack Warden they are currently living in the UK but are Americans from Indiana if any host would like to block them from booking. Jack Warden didn’t stay with us but I’m guessing it’s one of their kids whose names they borrowed while trying to get out of the claim (what lovely people).

    1. First off, shame on YOU! People soil your “designer” towels and you blame it on a blog post? The post was designed to help and guide both the host AND the guest through the Airbnb resolution center process.

      Secondly, shame on YOU (again) for accusing us of supporting criminal behavior. You’re looking to point your finger at someone, to blame, externally. You should be looking internally to figure out what you could have done differently. You’re obviously new or unadaptable (or both) to the hospitality industry. You are not offering the correct services to the specific type of clientele visiting your establishment. You are also (obviously) offering the unit at the incorrect price point. For example, you’re having an aneurysm over cleaning the unit and replacing some towels. I’m fairly confident (based on this bizarre comment you left) that you’re a super host in disguise. Meaning, for example, a super host doesn’t post psychotic comments like this to other Airbnb users. Many avid Airbnb guests know that staying with a super host does not guarantee a phenomenal experience. We’ve stayed with super hosts before and have been shocked to find out (for ourselves) the poor levels of service, cleanliness, and helpfulness provided. We believe some super hosts receive the title “super host” and it (sadly) goes to their head. This may be what has occurred in this specific circumstance?

      Thirdly, shame on YOU (yet again) to blame someone (other than yourself) on receiving a 1 star review. We don’t know you, have never heard of you, and have never stayed at your unit. But you insist on blaming us for YOUR poor performance rating?

      I have a feeling that you lost your dispute because you didn’t follow many of the tips we provided to the host (in our post). The most important lesson we identified in our post was to 1) Do not get personal/emotional. You obviously did, and lost.

      Stop what you’re doing and take a DEEP breath. After you’ve exhaled please read the complete post in its entirety in order to learn the best way for hosts to win disputes (in the future).


      1. One of life’s great pleasures is to watch two idiots agree on something and then hear one of them say “Great minds think alike”.

    2. Yes , i completely agree with you . Being a host we would never do something which would turn out to be a negative outcome for our business , recently one guest from Delhi(India) spoiled my bed linen and covers as it was all covered with blood . When i asked them about the damage they denied and now being a new host (got 5 star reviews 3 times till now ) i have approached resolution center and i have very less clue whats going to happen next . I have submitted the relevant pictures and documents to the airbnb resolution center .
      The guest Mandeep Gupta was from delhi and had payed only for 8 guest when there were 11 of them and they even broke a door handle which we fixed at our own cost . (horrible experience )

    1. Hi Joann,
      We received a message from the host of a unit we visited that we damaged their couch and wanted to be reimbursed. We knew that we didn’t damage the couch. Additionally, the host ended up giving four different quotes on how much they should be refunded! One quote was for a new couch. Another quote was for over $200. $200 is a lot of money just to give someone, don’t you think? You don’t just give someone $200. This is a highly discussed topic among travelers and there’s very little assistance online regarding the topic. We thought this article would help guide both hosts and guests if they ever got caught up in the Airbnb Resolution Center.

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