What are Airbnb's Policies?

Airbnb Policies

Anyone with a property on Airbnb should be well-versed in the policies the platform has for everything from damage insurance to cancellations. Here’s a summary of the basic Airbnb policies for those unclear about some of these technical details:

Airbnb Host Fees

It is completely free to list your property on Airbnb, and service fees are only charged when the property is reserved. Host fees are automatically deducted from the final payout the host receives from the guest.

How much is the Airbnb service fee?

While it varies across certain locations and may be a bit higher for hosts who list on Airbnb Plus, Airbnb generally charges a service fee of 3-5% per booking from hosts.

How are Airbnb fees calculated?

The commission Airbnb takes is 3-5% of the nightly rate the host is charging the guest along with the cleaning fee and optional guest fee. Tax is not accounted for in this total.

Does Airbnb have hidden fees?

Airbnb is a reputable platform whose success is dependent upon the trust of its users. Therefore, transparency is a top priority for the channel and their fees are plainly presented on their site.

Airbnb Cleaning Fee

Some hosts opt to add a cleaning fee on top of their nightly rate to help with expenses that go into the upkeep of their properties and general cleanings between guests.

Though guests will see a total that includes the cleaning fee in the search results when they browse the site for rentals, the fees will be listed separately on the actual bill. Airbnb accounts for cleaning fees when calculating the service fee it charges hosts per reservation.

Airbnb Taxes

How do taxes work on Airbnb, for both hosts and guests?

Some hosts are required to charge tax themselves based on regulations in the jurisdiction of their property listings. These hosts, only after having provided the relevant taxpayer information, may directly charge guests tax through Airbnb. Alternatively, and only within certain locations, Airbnb has agreements with government entities allowing the platform to collect taxes on behalf of the hosts, which will be reflected automatically in the payment receipt upon confirmation of the guest’s reservation.

Also, for all European Union countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, South Africa, Japan and Albania, Airbnb is required to collect VAT for its service fees. As a host, you may need to collect VAT as well if your listing is located within the European Union, Latin America or China.

For more specific questions, such as “does Airbnb charge GST or HST?”, or other local taxes, make sure to speak with a local tax advisor before finalizing your listings.

Airbnb Security Deposit

Does Airbnb take a security deposit?

There is something called an Airbnb-required security deposit, which is only charged to guests under specific circumstances that may prompt the site to take extra precautions to ensure the security of the host and property in question.

Host-required security deposits are completely optional. Hosts can opt to require security deposits from guests in order to protect themselves in the instance of damage to their properties.

How does the security deposit work on Airbnb?

Airbnb-required security deposits are activated two days prior to check-in at which point the amount (set by Airbnb) will be held until 14 days after checkout. As for host-required deposits, these will only be charged in the event that the host makes a claim within 14 days of checkout.

Airbnb Insurance

Does Airbnb provide insurance?

As renting your properties to strangers naturally comes with a bit of risk, Airbnb offers Host Protection Insurance, which provides liability coverage of up to $1 million in the event of bodily injury or damage to a property.
Make sure to acquaint yourself with the limitations and conditions of Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance by reading more here.

Do you need extra insurance for Airbnb?

Professional property managers tasked with securing the properties of their clients can never be too careful. While Airbnb’s Host Protection is great for a basic policy, hosts with many listings and many guests who need to present themselves as highly reputable may benefit from looking into additional policies tailored to the specific needs of short-term properties.

Airbnb Cancellation Policy

What is the cancellation policy on Airbnb?

Hosts can select a cancellation policy based on their specific needs in regards to notice required prior to the reservation and other terms. Some bookings are refundable while others are not and this usually affects the price of the reservation.

When hosts cancel reservations, penalties are applied unless there are special circumstances that necessitated the cancellation.

These penalties include:

  • A cancellation fee
  • An automated review indicating that you cancelled a reservation
  • Account suspension in the case of excessive cancellations

Penalties generally do not apply to cancellations of reservations made via Instant Book.

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