How does the Airbnb Security Deposit Work?

In order to compensate yourself for any unwanted surprises, you can add a security deposit to your listing on Airbnb. Here at Luckey, we've summarised everything you need to know about this useful feature.

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Why add a deposit to your listing? 

Putting your home on Airbnb is not risk-free. However, a security deposit will let you limit the cost of any damage or theft by providing you with compensation. It will also act as a deterrent, making the costs of any misbehavior clear to guests long before you welcome them into your home. 

How do Airbnb take the deposit? 

In their terms of use, Airbnb prohibit any financial transactions from taking place outside of the platform. The security deposit is no different – you add it to your listing and they facilitate the whole process. Airbnb do not actually charge the amount requested at the time of booking. They simply query the traveller's account, making sure that they have enough to cover the full cost of the deposit. This amount is then "blocked" during the booking period and for 14 days afterwards. You have until the end of this period of time (unless another guest moves in before) to report any damage. 

How to add a deposit to your Airbnb listing?

 It is very easy to add a deposit to your listing. First, go to “Your listings” and select a listing. Then click “Manage Listing”, click “Pricing settings” and next to “Extra Charges”, click “Edit”. Finish by entering the amount you want and clicking “Save”. Bear in mind that this will only apply to future bookings and not those already taken. It is therefore wise to add the deposit as soon as you add a listing. 

How much can be requested? 

You can ask for anything between $100 and $5000. However, it's important to keep in mind that a deposit that is too high may deter travelers from booking your accommodation and therefore lower your fill rate. Conversely, a deposit that is too low may be insufficient to cover the costs of repairing any damage or replacing stolen items. 

How to declare a problem? 

After a guest leaves, you have 14 days to report any issues to Airbnb and request for some or all of the deposit. To do this, go to the Airbnb Resolution Center, select the reservation, and select “Request Damage Compensation”. Then click “Continue”, and indicate the damage you found. As well as adding a quote for the repair costs, remember to add photos of both the damage itself and of any invoice you may have received for what was broken or stolen. 

What happens next? 

Once you have reported a problem, the guest has 72 hours to respond. They then have the option of either accepting the amount you requested (and the sum will be transferred to you in at least 7 days) or refusing it. If the guest either refuses the request or doesn't respond, you can notify Airbnb through the Resolution Center and they will initiate a mediation process to try to resolve the dispute. 

If Airbnb conclude that the situation requires financial compensation, they reserve the right to direct debit the guest the necessary amount. If the cost of the damage exceeds the amount of the deposit, Airbnb also offer a Host Guarantee which covers costs of up to $1,000,000.


Ready to say goodbye to the hassles of managing a short-term rental and boost your property’s value?


Luckey and Airbnb
Since its purchase in December 2018, Luckey has become an Airbnb wholly-owned subsidiary.
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