How to win AND lose a dispute with the Airbnb Resolution Center

We rented an apartment through Airbnb for 28 nights during a trip to Croatia. After leaving the apartment, the host contacted us requesting payment for damaged property. We could not work out a solution together and were forced to go through the Airbnb Resolution Center (ARC). Below we’ll share our experience in a very detailed format. Keep in mind that the information provided is intended to help guide both parties (the host and guest). Through our experience, you’ll learn the necessary steps to take in order for you to win your 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 in our next unit in Montenegro. We received a message (through Airbnb) from the previous apartment host (from Croatia) that 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.” After staying in nearly 50 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 actually cleaner after our departure! Our track record and reviews were glowingly positive and this helped show that we are trustworthy and responsible guests.

The absolute #1 lesson – Make sure all communication is documented throughout the entire stay. 

You never know what evidence/ammunition 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.

Host Mistakes

The two big mistakes the host made with this initial email was 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, in 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 in order to provide some sort of emotional and financial pacification to the damage.

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 provides ammunition for an ulterior motive.

Guest Lesson

When receiving an accusation of damage, take it very seriously. Do not simply quickly respond with a blanket denial.

You will need to begin to layout a case/argument to why this damage is not your fault.

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’s 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 are 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 obviously trying to be cover-up with the placement of the rug and plugin air fresheners (which also can cause severe health issues and and/or an explosion/fire).

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, use the term “wear and tear” to illustrate that the damage was not done ALL by you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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 dismanteled 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 compesation 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 buissiness trip during most of your stay in Croatia.  The advise 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 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 cost 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 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 me 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?

 As far as 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 axe comment seems excessive. My point is, 

You never told us about the noise and the flooring. – You conveniently decided not to tell us.

1.Prior to us booking the unit you knew the toilet seat was broke 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?

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.

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.

Need more information? Check out Part 2

Part 2 – How to win AND lose a dispute with the Airbnb Resolution CenterAirbnb Cover

Airbnb Resolution Center (ARC)

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 ARC. This gives 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.

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.

Hosts – How to Win

  • Attempt to negotiate with guests without getting Airbnb involved.
  • Contact Airbnb within 24 hours of guest departure.
  • Provide specific details to 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 in order 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

  • Attempt to negotiate with host without getting Airbnb resolved.
  • 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’s on part of the host.

Guests – What to include in your support to Airbnb?

We typed up a formal letter to Airbnb that was two pages, single-spaced. It was quite a lengthy document. 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 placement of 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 Resolution Center lets you request or send money for things related to your Airbnb trip. To open a refund or payment request, go to If you’re unable to reach an agreement, you can ask Airbnb to make the final decision 72 hours after the request was opened. When you involve Airbnb, the Airbnb team will be notified and a team member will be assigned to your case. 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.

44 thoughts on “How to win AND lose a dispute with the Airbnb Resolution Center”

    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.


  1. 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).



  2. 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 )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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?

    Liked by 1 person

    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


  4. 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?


  5. 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?


      2. 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.


    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?


  6. 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!


      2. 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.


      3. 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!


  7. 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


  8. 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. 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.


  9. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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!


  10. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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


  11. 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.


  12. 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!


  13. 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.


      2. 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,


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