Starting this month, it will be highly unlikely for a host to either 1) cancel your Hawaii Airbnb reservation, 2) provide deceptive listing information, or 3) offer unsafe conditions. Why? Read on for the details that guests will find comforting.
We have both used Airbnb many times before, and one thing that turned us off a listing was seeing comments that the host canceled a reservation. When that notice appeared more than once, we quickly looked for another place.
While we have never had an Airbnb reservation canceled, you’ve reported in comments that it has happened to you. Nothing is worse than being left, especially near the last minute, looking for another place to stay in Hawaii. Airbnb will help you find alternative accommodations, but that may not always be to your liking.
Starting August 22, new rules will discourage Airbnb host cancellations.
And that’s excellent news. Because when you connect with a listing that you like and end up booking, the last thing you want is to have that canceled. Each Airbnb is unique, and the replacement may not completely match your needs.
Previously when hosts canceled a guest’s stay, they were penalized $100 for cancelations they created within seven days of arrival and $50 outside seven days.
New fines up to $1,000 per incident.
But now, hosts must pay up to $1,000 for those same cancelations when the issue was preventable. The amount depends on how much notice was given and can be 10% of the reservation with more than 30 days’ notice, 25% within 30 days but more than 48 hours before check-in, and less than 48 hours is 50% of the reservation cost.
Airbnb said, “When Hosts cancel on guests for preventable reasons—like accidentally double-booking or wanting to host friends and family instead—guests lose the confidence to book on Airbnb, and this impacts all Hosts and hurts our entire community. For these reasons, we’re updating our Host Cancellation Policy.”
When Airbnb hosts cancel for preventable reasons, the fee will be deducted from their future earnings. My next question is, who gets the $1000? Does it make Airbnb richer, or is that passed on to the guest who had their reservation canceled? Our feeling is the guest should be compensated.
Health risks and places that differ from listing descriptions incur the same penalties.
A fee will also be assessed when guests cannot stay due to significant health risks, including severe mold, or when the place “is substantially different from the listing description.” These are treated the same as last-minute host cancellations, and a penalty of up to $1,0o0 is applied against future guest earnings.
Have you experienced situations these new rules are intended to alleviate?
We have both had some problems like the above. At a Paris Airbnb, a washer and dryer were supposed to be within the apartment which for a long stay was an important feature. The listing didn’t say that the washer/dryer was actually located in someone else’s apartment on the floor below and that arrangements would need to be made with the guests staying there in order to ever use it. This came as a complete surprise for all parties. Can you imagine the surprise for the guests in the other apartment, when they suddenly found that their washer/dryer was shared with someone else? In the end, it turned out okay and everyone ended up being friends during the stay.
On another occasion, prior to Airbnb getting their photos under better control and implementing a photo verification process, we were surprised when a cottage, appearing beautifully large in its photo appearance and without square footage listed, had been shot with a fisheye lens and was diminutive in size.