Most Airbnb experiences work as they should. However, with more than 60 million guests around the world using the service, horror stories will inevitably emerge. Below, we look at common complaints from hosts and guests and suggest how you can avoid these adding any stress to your stay.

1. Last Minute Cancellations

Airbnb penalises hosts $100 who cancel within seven days of a scheduled booking (unless it was an instant booking). The San Francisco-based startup recognises that securing last-minute replacement accommodation can be a source of anxiety amongst travellers. Guests, however, cannot leave a review warning other future guests of the host’s poor hospitality. Rather, Airbnb posts an automated review on the host’s profile indicating that they cancelled a reservation to promote transparency in the community.

Before booking your accommodation, we encourage you to read thoroughly the host’s profile and reviews, as well the host’s reviews as a guest when he or she has stayed at another’s Airbnb. Importantly, you should verify the frequency of any automated reviews for cancellation by the host. If you have any concerns about their cancellation history, you should talk to the host to understand whether or not their cancellations were reasonable. If you are still concerned about your stay, then you may ask your host to sign a rental agreement.

2. Airbnb’s Policy Does Not Extend to Protecting Guests

Airbnb’s policy only extends to hosts who automatically receive $1 million host protection insurance when listing their property on Airbnb, protecting them against any damage to the home or contents. This, unfortunately, does not cover guests whose possessions are damaged or stolen during their stay.

It is sensible to protect your valuables by taking out travel insurance which covers theft in your accommodation.  As a secondary measure, don’t bring any priceless or irreplaceable items with you to leave unattended in the Airbnb accommodation.

3. Host’s Homes Trashed During Stay

Some Airbnb guests inappropriately treated their host’s homes by using the rental accommodation to host parties, orgies, leaving trash, breaking property, and have angered the neighbours.

Hosts can have their guests sign a guest or rental agreement before finalising the reservation. You must, however, disclose the requirement and the terms before booking. Airbnb suggests that the easiest way to do this is by mentioning the contract in your listing description, then copying and pasting the terms into your message thread with your guest.

Typically, hosts should outline in the agreement who will pay for damages and how, as well as specify any conditions that they require while renting out their property. Airbnb can’t however, assist you in enforcing any particular policies in your contract.

Quick Tips For Airbnb Users

Make sure that you take some time to understand Airbnb’s terms and conditions before booking or hosting your house, and to read the reviews. Hosts should take photos of the apartment’s condition before and after rental, and guests should take some snaps upon their arrival and departure.

If you are a host, think about drafting a guest or rental agreement for your guests to sign before the booking. This offers stronger protection for your property, outlining who will pay any damages and how. But remember that Airbnb cannot help you enforce any special conditions in your contract.

Questions? Get in touch on 1300 544 755.

Lachlan McKnight

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