How Airbnb Damage Disputes Are Handled

Airbnb is an online rental platform that offer nomads a place to stay during their travels. They present various accommodations for local and international travelers here and across the globe. Because disputes in this kind of business is inevitable, handling Airbnb damage issues takes a process.

Since Airbnb follows a strict and professional procedure when it comes to resolving disputes, they have a resolution department that takes care of all their hosts and guests’ issues.

What Does An Airbnb Resolution Center Do

The Airbnb Resolution Center helps you to order or submit money for items related to your travel to Airbnb. To open a refund or payment submission, please go to www.airbnb.com/resolutions. If you are unable to find an understanding, you can ask Airbnb to make a final decision 72 hours after the request has been opened.

If you include Airbnb, someone will contact an Airbnb team member that is assigned to your case. They will study the details you and your host or guest have submitted before making a final decision. In certain situations, Airbnb will need to email you to collect more information before they can make a choice.

How Do The They Handle Disputes

If you’ve broken something on your host’s property, kindly try to pay for it or fix it while you’re there. Most (good) hosts would not ask you to pay for the piece, and many are mindful that items need to be replaced from time to time.

The way Airbnb conflicts operate, any side will make an argument with the Airbnb Mediation Center. The other party must respond within three days, or they will handle the situation as stated. The host only has 60 days to claim a deposit, but the sooner this is achieved, the greater chance the host will win. If the other party declines to pay the demand, the claimant can include the mediator at Airbnb. The mediator’s decision is binding and can not be appealed against.

Let’s Analyze A Scenario – Winning a Dispute

The information stated below is based on the host and guest’s experience presented in a very comprehensive manner. This experience will give you an idea about the proper steps that you need to consider when faced with a dispute with the help of the ARC (Airbnb Resolution Center)

  • The Complaint is about a Damaged Couch

According to the guest, their stay was pleasing, but they also expected some inconveniences, just like their other experiences. And because they travel a lot, they learned to adapt quickly to diverse accommodation situations and standards based on what the locals are used to.

  • Correspondence from the Host

It started when they received a message from a previous property host through Airbnb because they came from one country to another at that time. The letter mentioned that the guest never said to the host that the sofa was broken, and it could have happened to someone else. It could have been better if the guest has informed the host about the situation since there will always be guests booking the unit. The host added that he’s an open and sincere person and would appreciate if his guests and clients are the same. Then he stated that the repair of the sofa would cost $70, and he’s hoping that the guest can meet his conditions and expenses.

–         The Guest Reaction

After reading the message via the Airbnb app, the guests were baffled because they knew for themselves that they never destroyed it. However, they find the furniture a bit weak already. The guest mentioned that they have been traveling for a long time and have been staying in more than 100 Airbnb property rentals and accommodation all over the globe. They have never encountered any complaints or accusations like this. Although they have dealt with a number of appliances malfunction issues, they have never been accused of any damage or breakage in properties that they have stayed at.

They have treated every unit as if it’s their own place. They are the “neat freak” kind of guests, so property hosts commend them in every unit they rent during travels. Their track record is highly compelling, and present themselves as responsible and trustworthy guests.

Because of this event, it made them feel that Airbnb hosts wanted to make money out of false accusations and complaints.

  • The Major # 1 Lesson is:

To always document all communication activities that had transpired during the entire stay at the property.

It is to be prepared for whatever evidence will prove a particular issue later on. Most importantly, you use the Airbnb messaging app on their website as your main communication avenue. It will easily give Airbnb staff access to the thread during the investigation.

  • Host Oversight #1

The two significant errors that the host made in this initial email is that they said:

  • This incident could have happened to anybody.
  • How much the sofa was going to cost to patch.

The first sentence suggests that this was a common misunderstanding.

With respect to the second point in question, which the guest got on the same day of departure, the host suggested a particular amount ($70) of how much it would cost to repair the sofa. The quotation was simply a fictional number made up by the host to have some form of emotional and financial liberation for the damage.

One day later, the host demanded $220 from the Airbnb Resolution Hub!

To quote two separate figures in such a small period of time demeans the host’s argument and offers grounds for an underlying agenda.

  • Lesson learned by the Guest #1

When you get an allegation of damage, take it very carefully. Don’t respond immediately with an absolute denial.

You will need to begin to put out a complaint/assertion as to why this harm is not your fault and send it to the Airbnb Mediation Centre.

From a defensive point of view, mind, you don’t have to justify something. Of course, if you can show that it wasn’t your fault, do it! But if you can’t prove that, note, just like any mitigation argument, you’ll need to build and show the inaccuracies, contradictions, and negligence on the part of the owner. In other words, you ought to show (to Airbnb) that the owner’s term is controversial.

  • Correspondence from the Guest

The guest’s response states that that couch at the property was already unstable and may have gotten worst over the month. In an estimate, the coach is probably close to 20 years old already.  The guests are a discreet type of people and would never do any activity that will damage any furniture, mainly a couch which they think is defective. They admit to having just sat on it. They find the $70 quote to fix the searing is a bit unreasonable. Although they feel obligated because they were staying at the property where the furniture is, they offer a $10 compensation for the parts.

The guests added that the host never informed them about the following issues about the unit:

  • The loud street noise when, in fact, they mentioned explicitly that they prefer a quiet location.
  • The toilet scat was also broken during their entire stay. The host also told the guest that he would have it fixed the following day, which they never do.
  • The flooring bubbled up and was obviously improperly installed. It can cause some fatal incidents.
  • The sewage odor from the bathroom drain can cause health issues, fire, or even an explosion, but instead, they put a rug and an air freshener to cover it up. 
  • The lesson gained by Guest #2
  • When you can not wholly show that you are not 100% accountable, strive to establish the notion that you are not entirely or partly liable.
  • Try to establish the notion that the broken object was incredibly old. Explain if you used the item that broke in a typical way. Use the word “wear and tear” to demonstrate that any of you did not do them harm.
  • Provide a counter-offer of the sum that you are secure with (to make it all go away). You’re giving the feeling that you’re trying to meet the host halfway.
  • Provide any things that have been dusty, missing, old, or not working correctly during your visit. It causes the impression that the machine is not well managed. Always hold to the truth. Don’t ever get personal.

During the course of the issue, the exchange of conversation between the host and the guests presents other detail that can validate who the winning party could be.

  • Host Oversight #2
  • Don’t ever apologize.
  • Never suspect the other side of lying to you. It is an emotional reaction, and it can be complicated to confirm it. It would delegitimize the point more.
  • From the first communication up to the second, the host goes on to say that the destruction was simply a simple error of “absolutely breaking the couch like you used an ax or something.” This assertion causes significant inconsistency.
  • The host said how old the sofa was. It quickly puts depreciation into question. Never put the age of an artifact into play. Only discuss what the item cost you.
  • Never admit that something (other than the defective object in question) was broken, and the occupant told you, and you then didn’t repair it because you were too distracted.
  • Most notably, once again, stick to the truth and don’t make things personal.

The guest answered the host back and stated a number of instances and details to remind the host what they have talked about prior to their arrival to the property until this time that they are exchanging messages about the couch’s damage. 

  • The lesson gained by Guest #3
  • Try to establish inconsistencies in how much the broken object would cost to repair or restore.
  • Using the word “extort” or “extortion,” whether you believe like the host is increasing the number of penalties owed or that the amount does not appear realistic.
  • Answer any personal attacks taken by the other side to show irrelevance.
  • Try to get more detail about the age of the object in question. The older the item, the lower its value due to depreciation and oldness.
  • Explain the contradictions provided by the owner.
  • Classify any other maintenance problems in the device ( e.g., rot, electrical issues (light flickering/blowing fuses), plumbing odors/issues, etc.). It indicates an utter lack of upkeep, treatment, and dedication.

What the Airbnb Resolution Center will Do

It was evident at this stage in the conversation that neither side was going to consent. If you are either a host or a visitor, as soon as you feel there will be no solution, you must file a disagreement with the Airbnb Resolution Center (ARC) as quickly as possible.

It is going to give the impression that you are the one who suffered the defeat and brings a bit more clout. At the bare minimum, call Airbnb to get them up to date on the circumstances, ask for advice to plead your case.

Airbnb will review the chain of messages and all other documents offered. The communications chain will serve as a deposition transcript to determine the two sides’ evidence and flaws. It is necessary to convey some significant or minor problems during the stay so that they show in the background of the post. Airbnb shall check the details submitted by the host or the visitor before making a final decision.

What to Include in Your Support to Airbnb?

CHECK-IN Method

  • Have they been rushed?
  • Has someone been taking you around the unit?
  • Discuss any problems with the device that the host has told you about beforehand.
  • Health-threatening issues that you have encountered or found, like broken window bars, no smoke alarms, etc.

INITIAL UNIT IMPRESSIONS

  • Cleanliness or lack inside the unit.
  • Noises, such as building, noisy neighbors.
  • Smells accurately positioned air fresheners.

CHECKLIST INVENTORY OF THE UNIT

  • Any necessities that have not been issued.
  • Cleaning not included, e.g., dish soap, mop, broom, etc.
  • INCURRED Complications DURING THE STAY
  • Describe all the problems you had during your stay that were not fine.
  • Highlight any problems you have reported to the host that has never been corrected/fixed.

PROCESS CHECKOUT

  • If the host claimed the keys back and headed to the apartment physically, explain here.
  • Describe some inconsistencies in the location of the damaged object. Perhaps the owner has moved the furniture and caused the damage? Things like that.

CONCLUSION:

Let’s face it, there are bad hosts, and there are bad guests. The way Airbnb disputes work is either party can create a claim with the Airbnb Resolution Center. The other party must respond within three days; otherwise, the claim is processed as reported. The host has 60 days to make a claim on a deposit, but the earlier it’s done, the better chance the host has of winning. If the other party denies paying the claim, the complainer can then elect to involve a mediator at Airbnb. The mediator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.

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