Vacation Rental Guide / What is Airbnb? / Becoming an Airbnb Host / How Does the Airbnb Security Deposit Work for Hosts?

What is Airbnb Security Deposit?

When guests check in to hotels they are often asked for a credit card as a security measure, protecting the hotel in case something in the room gets damaged or destroyed. Similarly to hotels, Airbnb allows owners listing on their website to add a security deposit on their house, apartment or condo. Although this security deposit is optional, beware that it has nothing to do with the Airbnb’s host guarantee. The Airbnb security deposit is used to further ensure that their property is protected in case of minor damages per stay, whereas the Airbnb host guarantee provides a protection coverage value of up to $1,000,000.

A security deposit can be useful to ensure that the vacation rental home is taken care of regardless of the wear and tear. All too often, guests can cause damage in the property, and this causes problems when homeowners have to cover the costs out of their own pockets and not out of the renters. A security deposit will cover if any damages were made to the furniture, amenities (such as bed sheets, towels and glasses) and the property itself. A security deposit can also be used if a deep clean is necessary after the guests’ stay.

How to Add an Airbnb Security Deposit to your listing

As the Airbnb host, you can easily collect a security deposit from your listing by following the next steps:

  1. Log in to the Airbnb owner login page
  2. Go to Your listings and select a listing
  3. Click Manage listing
  4. Click Pricing settings at the top of the page
  5. Click Edit next to Extra charges
  6. Enter an amount for your security deposit under Security deposit
  7. Click Save

Once you activate this setting, it’ll only be applied to new reservations and not those that have already been booked prior to the change being made. As well as having a security deposit, you are entitled to put additional fees for guests such as a cleaning fee and a charge if extra guests come to the property:

airbnb security deposit

Airbnb Deposit Amount

Airbnb doesn’t specify an amount for the security deposit, it is all up to the host to consider which price they wish to list. There are some factors you should consider when deciding the amount, such as the location and size of the property, whether it was recently renovated and contents within the property, including expensive furniture and items. If you’ve experienced damages made by guests before, or if it is a reoccurring problem, then it may be a good idea to set a slightly higher deposit. In addition to the Airbnb security deposit, it is essential to have insurance for your vacation rental, protecting both you and the guest.

How does Airbnb security deposit work?

According to the Airbnb security deposit policy, guests don’t have to pay the security deposit when they book a stay at your property. Instead, two days before arriving at the property, an authorization hold for the security deposit will be placed on the payment method that was used to book the accommodation. If the guests caused damages, then they will only have to pay after their stay and when the host uses the Airbnb’s resolution center to claim it. This can be requested within 14 days of when the guest checks out or when a new guest checks into the property. If the host does not request the security deposit within this amount of time, the owner will no longer be able to retrieve the deposit.

How to claim Airbnb’s security deposit

Vacation rental owners can report damages and claim the security deposit up to 14 days after guests leave their property. To file for a security deposit claim, you will have to visit Airbnb’s Airbnb’s resolution center and send photos, receipts, invoices, written estimates and all the information that denotes actual cash value for repairs or replacements of all your damages. Airbnb will then go over your documentation and move forward with collecting the deposit.

Through the Airbnb security deposit claim, the host can submit a claim and make sure they retrieve the funds needed to repair the damages. Note that homeowners must make a claim first, they simply cannot just receive the deposit without going through the procedure. Once the claim has been submitted, the money then goes through a dispute resolution and it can either be taken care of by both parties involved or Airbnb can provide a mediation that provides further help. It is essential to have photos and documents of the damage to the property as evidence to further back up the claim.

It is strongly advised to only collect security deposits through the Airbnb website, to make sure payments are secure and to avoid Airbnb scams. 

Security Deposit issues

Airbnb security deposit issues rarely occur, but if they do, they need to be taken care of sooner rather than later.

These issues should be brought up as soon as possible, as the deposit is not held onto for a specified amount of time and cannot be collected after that. 14 days is the maximum amount of days that the deposit can be held onto. This is important to think about when considering whether or not you should collect a deposit for the Airbnb listing that you have. Many choose to do so to ensure that they have protection against vandalism, damage, and theft that might occur inside the property while someone else is renting it. It is an assurance that is allowed on the website.

Although having a security deposit can deter guests from booking a rental, it will always work out in the homeowners’ favor. If a guest wants to throw a party, they are unlikely to book a rental with a security deposit. If the property, furniture and amenities are expensive, it’s a guaranteed measure that the host will be protected from paying for damages and replacements.  As a host, it is necessary to take all the steps to protect and preserve the property.