How to Avoid Airbnb Refund Hunters

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With the creation of Airbnb, you can now rent out space in a single room, apartment, cottage, or house in a different city or country for several days. But what if your guests back out of their booking? One Airbnb host disadvantage is guests canceling reservations out of the blue and asking for a refund.

Conditions That May Warrant a Guest to Ask for a Refund

Before you can host guests through the Airbnb website, you need to fulfill Airbnb’s basic requirements. Here’s what they include:

  • Respond promptly to booking queries and reservation offers.
  • Accept pending booking requests.
  • Take reservations seriously. Don’t evade cancellation requests.
  • Retain positive reviews for your property.
  • Deliver the necessary amenities on your property.

Failure to honor these conditions may warrant a guest requesting a refund.

Necessary Amenities Hosts Must Provide for Guests to Avoid Refund Requests

Hosts need to supply a few essential items for a guest to stay comfortably. They include the following:

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand and body soap
  • Clean towels
  • A pillow for every guest
  • Clean bedsheets and covers for the beds

Common Causes of Refund Requests from Airbnb Guests

Airbnb may approve a guests refund request due to the following reasons:

  • A host waiting to cancel guest reservations
  • Locking your guests out of the house due to misunderstandings
  • No or slow internet access
  • Misrepresenting your house in your listing
  • Dirty and unhygienic house conditions
  • Unsatisfactory basic amenities such as lacking soap and clean towels
  • Poor host response to guest concerns

How Can Hosts Avoid Refund Requests from Guests?

Getting numerous refund requests can bring your business to a halt. The refund hunters might also leave negative reviews that could hurt your Airbnb venture. Avoid refund requests by doing the following:

Always Accurately Describe The Property

Always ensure your place has everything selected on the listing that you have available, and be sure all items are in good working order for guest use. Guests filter out their preferred accommodation based on what is on the list. If you list having Wi-Fi services and the guest finds it unavailable, they will most likely give you a negative review. They might also request to cancel the reservation and ask for a refund.

Deliver Essential Amenities

Providing basic amenities such as clean beds and towels makes your place desirable. No one wants to rest in a dirty place without soap and toilet paper. Stock your place with adequate items depending on the number of guests your property can hold. Back-up supplies should also be available in case of emergencies. 

Avoid Last Minute Reservation Cancellations

Most Airbnb guests are travelers with plans and travel timelines. Canceling reservations just before they move in can negatively affect their plans. This cancellation could, in turn, earn you a negative review and a refund request. Airbnb is strict about hosts canceling reservations, and if you are at fault, they could terminate your contract as an Airbnb host.

How Do Hosts Refund an Airbnb Guest?

You could do everything right, and the guest still cancels their reservation or asks for a refund. If a guest cancels the reservation before moving in, Airbnb follows your cancelation policy to determine the amount to be refunded. You must set your preferred policy.

Create a Cancellation Policy

Cancellation policies protect you from unexpected guest cancellations. A guest has to consider the impact the cancellation will have on their payment. Airbnb provides several policy options to choose from. They include:

Flexible Policy

As the name suggests, this is the most flexible plan. It allows your guests to cancel reservations up to 24 hours before moving in. If they cancel within the time frame, you refund all the money. If they cancel after the time frame or stay at the property, you will be paid for the nights they stayed plus one more night. 

Moderate Policy

This plan gives guests up to five days before checking in to cancel their reservations. You refund the whole amount if they cancel within the threshold. If a guest cancels after moving in, they pay for every night they stay plus one extra night. You will also retain half of the amount payable for the remaining nights.

Strict Policy

The guest is required to cancel the reservations 48 hours after requesting accommodation. They must also cancel two weeks before arriving. If the guest cancels within that time-frame, the receive 50% of their money back. If they miss the deadline, you will retain all the money.

Strict Long-Term Policy

If a guest books 28 nights or more, it’s considered a long-term stay.

With a Strict Long Term Policy, guests have to cancel reservations 48 hours after placing the request. The guest is also required to cancel at least 28 days before moving in.

If a guest cancels after checking in, they pay for the nights they spent at your place. They also pay for thirty extra nights.

Flexible Long-Term Policy

Guests must cancel within 30 days of their date of arrival. If they fail to do so, hosts are paid for every night spent, plus up to an additional 30 days.

Non-Refundable policy

You could cushion your Airbnb business against cancelations by selecting the non-refundable option. You retain 100% of the money even if the guest cancels the reservation. However, you run the risk that some guests may not even consider your property without a money-back guarantee.

How to Process an Airbnb Guest Refund

If the host cancels the reservation, you have to refund 100% of the payment. To do so, you may use your Airbnb app or desktop site and navigating to the resolution center and send money. Then select the reason for sending money. You may also contact Airbnb directly by phone or through the messaging portal and ask that a refund be issued to the guest.

The guest may ask for a refund before or after checking in to your place. If they cancel before checking in, the system refunds them automatically based on your cancellation policy. If they have already moved in, you need the assistance of Airbnb in the refund process through the Resolution Center.


Sometimes inevitable circumstances force the guest to request refunds. When this happens follow the outlined steps in the Airbnb app. Setting cancellation policies can help you to automatically refund money to your guests depending on the situation. And having a money-back promise may create more booking requests for your property. But do be wary of guests looking for a free stay as they “hunt” for refunds. 

About the Author Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones is an award-winning writer and editor from Oklahoma City, OK. Her work has been published on influential sites, including Entrepreneur and International Business Times. She spent several years in property management and leasing, handling short-term rentals, student housing, and community rentals. Rachel is also experienced in staging and real estate photography. With a B.A. in English in her back pocket, Rachel combines her passion for property management with her storytelling ability to offer Airbnb hosts helpful advice as they monetize their homes.