By The Hospitable Team
In a perfect world, if you did your job well as a host to make your guests happy during their stays, you actually wouldn’t have to worry about giving them a refund. But in the real world, plans may change, and sometimes, under certain circumstances, you may be asked to give back the money.
So how should you handle Airbnb refunds for guests? In this short guide, you’ll find some useful information that can help you get the best outcome for your Airbnb business and reputation.
Airbnb Refunds: What Are the Terms?
So when can a guest ask for a refund? In fact, there might be several reasons for guests to ask for Airbnb refunds. For example, family and health issues can cause a guest to cancel a trip, or nasty weather can impact a person’s travel plans. As to work trips, they can also fall through at the last minute.
Airbnb identifies several scenarios or issues in which guests are eligible to receive a refund:
- Inability to access the accommodation. That happens when a host cancels the booking within 24 hours of check-in, changes the reservation to another listing without the consent of the guest, or fails to provide the keys or access code for check-in.
- Incorrect or inaccurate listing description, for example, the number of rooms or beds is different, or accessibility features are missing. Then, your guests have reason to request a refund.
- Key amenities are missing or not working, for example, the kitchen is under construction, or the heating system is broken during the winter. It can also relate to home appliances that don’t function as they should or are broken.
- Airbnb property is not safe or clean. If a guest arrives and finds that the property has not been cleaned (dirty sheets, rubbish lying around), they have a right to request a refund. This also relates to safety or health hazards such as infestations, broken locks, or extreme mold.
Keep in mind that most of these issues can be avoided with careful planning and preventative measures like regular cleaning and maintenance. It’s also important to create an honest and upfront listing to manage your guests’ expectations and communicate with them at key moments to show you care about them.
You should always be available to your guests, quickly respond to their questions, and be ready to address their concerns if any issues arise. It may be rather time-consuming, but with Hospitable.com, you’ll be able to automate conversations with your guests and save a lot of time.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
What Is Airbnb Refund Time?
If guests encounter any of these situations, they need to submit a claim to Airbnb within 24 hours. Airbnb will make the final decision about whether or not the guest will be reimbursed or book alternative accommodation.
First, guests will need to gather evidence to support their claim, for example, take photos or videos to document issues like dirty linen or incorrect access codes.
Then guests have to send a request to their host. They’ll have the option to ask their host to fix the issue if they want to continue their stay or request a refund if they’d rather cancel their reservation. It’s important to do it within 24 hours after they notice a travel issue because it may impact their refund amount.
After that, guests have to wait for a response. You, as a host, will have 1 hour to respond. If you don’t, Airbnb will review the claim and respond to the guest with their decision.
As to Airbnb refund time, if a guest is eligible for a refund, they’ll get it automatically within ten days or maybe even sooner. That depends on the original payment method.
But generally, most hosts prefer to quickly resolve any issue by fixing it, offering a partial refund, or both.
Airbnb Full Refund
If your guest contacts you directly before their check-in date, you have the power to issue a full refund if it is stated in your cancellation terms. Just go to your Reservations overview, select the reservation, and click Issue Refund.
Airbnb Partial Refund
But what if a guest has a problem during their stay? Let’s assume an offered amenity like Wi-Fi is missing, or the hot water doesn’t work. You should discuss the issue with your guest to determine what has concerned them and what kind of refund they want.
You, as a host, can send them a partial refund through the Resolution Center. Here is what you need to do to issue an Airbnb partial refund:
- Go to Resolution Center and click Send money.
- Choose a guest to send money and click Next.
- Under Select a reason, you need to choose the reason that best describes your refund situation and click Next.
- Enter the refund amount, and add a message to your guest.
- Click Next and then Send.
Your guest will receive a notification about the refund, and Airbnb will process your transaction within 48 hours. Once you submit the refund amount, the transaction is considered final. As to any additional refunds, you or your guest will need to submit a new request through the Resolution Center.
One way to prevent a situation where a guest demands a refund is to gather a support team. It should consist of a cleaner, a plumber, an electrician, and a co-host who can help you handle challenging hosting moments.
Create a cleaning checklist for your cleaner to ensure that your rental space is clean and shiny for new guests. And take advantage of using short-term rental software like Hospitable.com that can help you assign tasks to your team automatically and ensure perfect communication with guests.
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Airbnb refunds are a part of the experience of being a host or a guest and are regulated by a specific set of rules—terms and conditions developed by Airbnb. All users who have booked accommodation through the platform can request a refund if any problems with their booking arise.
There are two types of scenarios that justify a refund: a reservation canceled either by a traveler or by a host or an unexpected incident that occurred during a guest’s stay. The good news is that Airbnb has made the refund process automatic and as easy as possible for you as a host.
In most cases, Airbnb hosts don’t encounter any serious problems with running their businesses. But there are some situations when problems may happen despite your best effort. Read this article and make sure you’re well prepared.
Vrbo cancellation policy is a must-have for any host. It will allow you to provide your guests with the necessary information about their booking and be covered if your guests don’t show up. Explore the options and best practices in our guide.
As a host, you want financial certainty and zero cancellations.
Your guests, however, want maximum flexibility with the ability to cancel the last minute (without any penalties).
Is there a happy medium you can reach that matches your risk to reward when it comes to selecting the right cancellation policy?