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Looks like Airbnb has finally decided to turn its "security deposit" into an actual security deposit. Until recently, it didn't provide any protection because the money wasn't actually being authorized or collected up front. That has now changed, at least for my listing.

In an email that I received today, Airbnb notified me of the changes. Airbnb's security deposit has changed in four ways:

1) Airbnb will now authorize the amount of the security deposit on my guests' credit card 48 hours before check-in

2) If I don't set a security deposit, they will set one for me based on certain factors, such as the reservation amount

3) If Airbnb is unable to authorize the security deposit, I can cancel the reservation up to 36 hours before check-in

4) Airbnb may display the security deposit more prominently


I'm not sure if this new policy applies to all listings, I recommend you check your email to see if you've receive a similar message.

It's important to note that hosts still need to report an incident and submit a claim within 14 days of check-out or before a new guest checks in. This didn't change, so when you have back-to-back bookings you need to make sure to check for damages immediately after the guests leave.

In any case, this policy change is a big improvement. I expect guests to be more cautious knowing that a security deposit has been authorized on their credit card. In addition, when a host makes a claim, the money is actually there.

Finally, you're allowed to cancel if the amount can't be authorized. I assume the cancelation is penalty free, although Airbnb doesn't state this specifically.

What's also unclear, is when exactly Airbnb authorizes the credit card. They state that it needs to be authorized 48 hours before check-in. That means you only have 12 hours to cancel. To me it would make more sense to authorize the credit card at the time of booking.

In any case, happy to see Airbnb is making improvements that benefit the hosts, not just the guests.

Talk soon,
Jasper


PS: Eric Moeller and I did a FB live yesterday in which we provided more details about the Airbnb Legends Live event. If you're interested in the event, you can join the Airbnb Profit Club to watch the video.


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