If you could use some extra cash, and you go out of town a lot, why not rent out your home?
That's what a Finneytown, Ohio homeowner tried to do, and he's now sharing his Airbnb horror story to warn others.
Extra money when not using house
Ron Kohlman was hoping to make some extra money, renting his cute little cape cod on Airbnb when he's is away.
But he wonders if it's worth it, after he says two recent guests trashed the place, causing more than $3,000 in damage.
The first incident involved a couple who left their young kids alone for 4 hours when they went to a football game.
"The kids ransacked the house," he said. "They broke the kitchen faucet, they broke the vacuum cleaner, I have a $2,000 Sunsetter awning on the back and they broke that as well."
Two weeks later, he says, another guest turned his cute little home into a party house.
"It was rented for two guests, and from what the neighbors tell me they had about 30 people here," Kohlman said.
When he returned to clean the house, he says "it was a disaster, bottles cans everywhere, floors were sticky, there was stuff on the walls, it was horrible."
Trouble getting reimbursed
Kohlman thought he'd be covered by Airbnb's "Million Dollar Host Guarantee" for owners.
But he says his damage claims went nowhere. "They want receipts for things I don't even have anymore," he said.
A website called AirbnbHell.com has dozens of similar complaints.
It says to get reimbursed for damage, owners must provide receipts or proof of ownership, something Kohlman doesn't have
"They put you through a rigmarole of documentation, and then basically say they are not going to pay," he said.
We contacted Airbnb where company spokesman Ben Breit said they will re-examine Kohlman's claims. However, he insisted Airbnb honors its Million Dollar Host Guarantee.
Kohlman, in the meantime, says he's going to re-examine his decision to rent out his home. Whatever you do, don't waste your money.
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Full Airbnb Statement:
There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents like this are incredibly rare. We are fully supporting our host under the Airbnb Host Guarantee program. The safety of our community is our priority.
Background on Host Protection Insurance
- Host Guarantee: Hosts are protected by our Million Dollar Host Guarantee [airbnb.com], which covers listings for up to $1,000,000 USD in damage -- and it's free for all hosts and every single booking.
- There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date. In 2017, there were more than 49 million trips at Airbnb listings worldwide. Significant property damage (claims that were reimbursed under our Host Guarantee program for over $1,000) was reported to us only 0.004% of the time. At that rate, you could host a new reservation every single day for over 63 years without expecting to file a significant property damage claim under our Host Guarantee.
Host Safety Tips
- Set Clear Expectations: Your listing description should let potential guests know about the unique features and amenities of your home. Even small details like the number of flights of stairs to your front door can help make sure guests enjoy their time with you. As a host, you can also outline specific expectations (like quiet hours) in your house rules.
- Set Guest Requirements: Every guest is asked to provide their full name, date of birth, photo, phone number, email address, and payment information to Airbnb before booking. Home hosts also have the option to require guests [airbnb.com] to provide Airbnb with a government ID before booking their listing.
- Read Profiles & Reviews: If you want to know more about a guest before accepting their reservation request, check out their profile or read reviews from past hosts. Hosts and guests can only review each other after a reservation is complete, so you know the feedback you're reading is based on actual experiences.
- Get to Know Your Guest in Advance: Our secure messaging tool gives you the chance to get to know guests and answer or ask any questions that come up before or during the trip. Messaging is also a great place to coordinate things like check-in or provide local recommendations.
- Keep Safety Info & Equipment Handy: It's important to equip your home and your guests with the safety essentials they might need during their trip. This includes things like a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector [airbnb.com], a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and a fully completed online safety card.
- If Anything Isn't Right, Reach Out: In the rare event that an issue should arise, our team is available 24/7 in 11 languages to support you and your guests—all you have to do is reach out [airbnb.com]. We offer things like rebooking assistance, refunds, reimbursements, our $1 million Host Guarantee [airbnb.com], and Host Protection Insurance [airbnb.com] program to help make things right.