The Importance Of Damage Deposits
We take bookings on multiple booking channels, including AirBnB, TripAdvisor, VRBO and Booking.com
All except Booking.com take the damage deposits automatically at the time the guest makes the payment. For Booking.com, we ask the guest to pay by bank transfer. Most do, but sometimes, they don't - sometimes we just can't spare the time to check and argue with the guests.
Most guests are decent and will look after a property. If they've paid a damage deposit, they want it back, so they make sure to take care.
If they haven't paid a damage deposit, they don't care if they damage a property. A damaged property may be out of use and the next guest may be affected.
This weekend, we had 2 Booking.com guests who damaged properties. The first broke a king size bed. Luckily, we were able to get a replacement bed for the next guest - we can't always be that lucky. The second cause various damage and was arrested by the police. Although the damage is not major, the property still needs to be shut for 48 hours for repairs. A condition of his release from police custody was that he agreed to pay for the repairs to the property - failure to pay will mean he gets arrested again.
If we don't take damage deposits, more guests will damage properties, causing inconvenience to other guests.
It's about time that Booking.com took damage deposits for all bookings in the same way as other OTAs.