Airbnb is an online payment platform that connects potential guests with ‘Hosts’ who wish to rent their home as holiday accommodation.
The Host must follow Airbnb’s policy, but the contract for the accommodation is between you the guest and the Host.
- Never send the Host money outside of the Airbnb website, for example through email, via bank transfer or a third-party booker. This may be fraudulent – if you have already made the payment let Airbnb know immediately and check that your reservation has in fact been made.
- You will sometimes need to pay a local tax to your Host, but this should also be processed via the Airbnb website, but many times this is included in the full reservation cost.
- If you have your suspicions about any contact made by a Host – report this to Airbnb.
- Never share your email address before a booking is accepted, and be wary of emails claiming to be from Airbnb.
- Paying an communicating via the Airbnb website helps ensure you are protected under their Terms of Service, Payments Terms of Service, cancellation policies, Host Guarantee, Host Protection Insurance and other safeguards they have in place.
- A couple of scams to watch out for are:
Phishing scams – designed to trick you into following a link that looks like it takes you to Airbnb’s website, or another trusted site. This scam will try to get you to share personal or financial information, passwords, or other email addresses on your device. It may also be a way of spreading malicious software.
Travel scam – you are offered a great deal on a reservation if you send a deposit using a wire transfer such as Western Union, Money Gram etc. Your money is then taken and no reservation is made.
How to complain
All complaints about your accommodation should be made through your Airbnb account. In the first instance complain to the Host to give them the opportunity to put things right.
The next step would be to contact Airbnb directly. To submit a valid claim for your reservation, Airbnb require you to:
- Contact Airbnb within 24 hours of check-in to document the issue and place a hold on the host's payment. Include photographs or other evidence of the issue as part of your claim.
- Be responsive to Airbnb’s requests for additional information and cooperation.
- Not have directly or indirectly caused the issue.
- Have used reasonable efforts to resolve the issue with the Host prior to making a claim, including messaging your Host on Airbnb to notify them of the issue.
After the 24 hour period, all complaints should go through the Airbnb’s Resolution Centre (www.airbnb.co.uk/resolutions.)
If you are not happy with the response from Airbnb, contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or visit: www.nidirect.gov.uk/consumerline