Nearly every host on AirBnb puts in a security deposit when they set up their property.  The idea is that should the unfortunate happen this amount should cover most damage that a guest could possibly do.  If you’re a long term landlord when a guest damages your property and doesn’t fix it. 

Soon AirBnb, one would assume that security deposits operated the same, right?  Your guest damages something, you provide evidence and assuming the evidence is compelling enough, AirBnb give you a portion of the security deposit sufficient to cover the damage.  But that’s not how it works at all. The security deposit really isn’t a security deposit in the traditional sense.

When an AirBnb guest damages something in your property, the guest doesn’t respond or refuses to pay, and you want to collect off of the security deposit, you first have to file a claim in the resolution center within 14 days of the guest departing and the guest has the right to respond.  If the guest agrees to pay for damages then Airbnb transfers money and that’s it. But if a guest doesn’t respond or doesn’t agree to pay for damages then you don’t get anything from the security deposit. That’s right, you can have all the proof you want, a guest won’t get money taken out of their security deposit unless they agree.  

Now, that’s not necessarily the end of things.  If a guest does damage your property and you can show evidence and the guest refuses to pay or doesn’t respond, don’t despair.  It may seem like you’re out a bunch of money but you should persist with AirBnb because often times AirBnb will actually cover the damage out of their own pocket!  No, the guest doesn’t end up paying for their damage but at least you don’t get stuck with it either.  

So while it’s not a typical security deposit with AirBnb, you will usually not be left high and dry, but keep in mind it is up to their discretion.