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Man says Airbnb ignored host protection guarantee

Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 20:23:14-04

Have you thought about making some extra money and renting your home on Airbnb? 

The company says thousands of Arizonan's are doing it.

Maybe you're holding back, concerned about guests damaging your place.

Well, Airbnb touts that it has your back as a host.

It offers protection policies for free.

They offer up to $1 million in damage and liability coverage to hosts for each guest.

But Lee Bergeron says he's had a heck of time even getting Airbnb's attention about his damage claim.

Lee says he built a Phoenix home strictly for renting on Airbnb.

And he says he's had a lot of success, renting it about 90% of the year.

But this summer, Lee says one guest changed everything.

He says he was there when the woman checked out.

Inside, Lee says the place was a mess and showed me pictures of what the guest left behind.

He says there was blood, hair dye, even feces on the walls and floors.

Lee says he found a crack pipe and burn holes on the sofa and other areas.

He estimates about $7,000 worth of damage.

Lee filed a police report and then he contacted Airbnb because of their host protection guarantee.

But he says Airbnb didn't seem to care.

Lee says he repeatedly called, up to 20 times, and kept getting told he'd be contacted.

That didn't happen.

So Lee let me know and we contacted Airbnb ourselves.

In our case, it was a different story.

Airbnb investigated, took accountability and acted quickly.

In a statement to us, Airbnb says: 

"Our host deserves faster assistance than he originally received and we apologize for this delay. We have no tolerance for this type of guest behavior and we have permanently banned this guest from the platform. There have been over 400 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and negative incidents are extremely rare."

The company reimbursed Lee more than $6,126 for the damage.

And they say they "permanently banned" the guest.

Still, Lee says he's done renting through the business and has even sold the Phoenix house.

If you're considering renting your home with any listing business, make sure to read what protections are offered and any exclusions that might exist.

And consider whether getting an additional policy through your homeowner's insurance is a good idea.

Click here to learn more about Airbnb's host guarantee.