From costly artwork and furnishings, detailed finishes, thoughtful amenities, and top of the line appliances, most Airbnb vacation rental hosts in California spend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money creating some of the finest rentals for their vacationing guests to enjoy.
Given such a large investment in the rental space, most hosts naturally question how they can protect themselves against losses from renter accidents and incidents that cause property damage. Let’s explore what damages you can expect, what damages should prompt action, prevention steps, and recourse actions.
Minor Mishaps Are Bound To Happen
Accidents happen even under the best precautions and care. Of course, there are also those renters who simply don’t care or respect the property because the aftermath of their actions isn’t perceived as theirs to clean up and repair.
As you accumulate renters, you’ll find that little annoyances like chips on dishes, small scuffs on walls, sticky fingerprints on every surface imaginable, toilets clogging, and routine dirt trekking on flooring is just par for the course in renting to vacationers.
It’s disappointing that people aren’t more cautious by just taking their shoes off or wiping their kids hands down after eating. Yet, these types of incidences just aren’t worth the time, cost, nor energy to pursue. In most cases, it’s simply more cost-effective to make cleaning arrangements and replace inexpensive items.
Wear And Tear Condition In Relation To Damage
You’ll need to take wear and tear, such as limescale buildup, tears in worn fabrics, deteriorating furniture, aged appliances, and so forth, into account for your rental property’s contents and any damages that occur.
It’s a given that if your carpeting, for example, is in pristine condition and a guest spills a bottle of wine on it, then you certainly have cause to contact airbnb management to report serious damage. But, if that carpeting was already excessively worn and torn from age and general use, stressing over seeking compensation to replacing it now isn’t very justifiable.
It’s best to concentrate your efforts on serious incidences of damage to and theft of valuable items in good condition. In other words, one stolen towel from a big box retailer’s shelf isn’t comparable to all your brand new designer towels being ruined by a guest wiping their red lipstick stain or fingernail polish all over them.
Common areas that prompt you to act on serious damage are incidences such as:
• Theft or destruction of valuables in good condition.
• Drop incidences that cause cracked flooring.
• Structural damages, such as holes in the wall or broken windows.
• Driving over landscaping.
How To Recover Damages For Serious Offenses
Some guests will immediately call the host or airbnb management team when something is broken or damaged. They may even offer to immediately resolve the issue by voluntarily compensating for the owner’s loss But, this call isn’t guaranteed, and any offer of payment isn’t guaranteed to be enough to cover the damages.
Whether you make contact with the renter or they make contact with you, it’s best to use the Airbnb platform for all communications so that Airbnb can monitor and document the resolution process. If the renter is unwilling to resolve the issue, you can use the Airbnb resolution center to file a formal complaint.
Your Airbnb security deposit is another defense option and damage collection source. Go to the Airbnb site, select manage your space, pricing, and then security deposit to submit a claim on damages. You have up to 14 days after the guest checks out to submit your claim.
Should damages exceed the security deposit amount, Airbnb’s Host Guarantee Program covers certain damages up to a million dollars. Do keep in mind, however, that damages caused by personal liability and that involve securities, artworks, pets, jewelry, collectibles, and cash aren’t covered by the program.
How To Protect Your Finances Against Damages To Your Rental
Of course, the best recovery method is proactive prevention and assurances to cover incidences before they happen.
The absolute best way that you can protect yourself from the expense of renter damage is to invest in additional Airbnb insurance. A comprehensive coverage plan will offer you total peace of mind that all, not part or limited-to, losses and damages will be covered.
Aside from Airbnb insurance, there are a couple more proactive steps you should take to protect yourself, including:
All hosts should have an inventory of their property’s internal and external contents, including everything from utensils and floor coverings to lounge chairs and light fixtures. This should include numbers and condition notations. Support your inventory list with time-stamped photographs to document each item’s condition. Your inventory and photo documentation should be updated at least yearly.
• Guest Screening And Vetting
Be selective about who you book. Do research on social media and even through background checks before booking. Explain your property rules thoroughly beforehand so that you and guests can decide if your property is a fit for their purposes.
• Remove Personals From The Property
You may use your rental property when vacationers and other guests aren’t there. Don’t leave your personal valuables, such as photo albums, heirlooms and antiques, financial documents, and clothing, behind for guests to pilfer and plunder.
In closing, it’s unrealistic to think that renters will respect and cherish your vacation rental property as you do. By knowing what to let slide verses what to pursue as a serious damage and how to protect yourself from serious damage with proactive steps like an insurance plan and documentation, you can better manage how it is you manage your property and save yourself a lot of stress when damage does occur.
Air Concierge provides full Vacation Rental Management services including post stay incident evaluation and damage claim filing. If you need help with your rental, contact one of our Airbnb experts today!