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Security Deposit Issues

I am new to Booking.com, have a whole apartment to let, fully furnished and I must say very nervous about it.  The reason being, there doesn't appear to be any provision for any security deposit from the guests as on AirBnB who have a resolution centre in case anything goes wrong.  This is very reassuring to people letting out their homes fully furnished and means that guests take that extra special care not to break or damage anything because they know they would be liable for the damage.

Jill

23 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

If you do a search in this Partner Help page, just above the questions, you can type in your question and you will find many similar questions as yours with the answers.

You could try that to get some clarity.

We don't make people pay an extra deposit. We just ask the guests a certain amount and we are covered for damage through our own insurance.

This is not a risk-free business, but if something breaks, you can make a home-made policy that they pay you on the spot.

I have had that happen several times with smaller items. Often I flag it too, since a lot is simply wear and tear. Things break.

Differently with things stolen from your house though.

Take photos of everything you have that is of value to you, to start with.

If things disappear it is up to you and insurer how it is to be reimbursed.

I think BDC is working on a solution for the security deposit via credit card in most countries where they have not been installed yet. I don't know how long it will take.

I would just start hosting. Ask people's addresses and phone numbers at the time of booking. you will find that trustworthy people are the ones that book.

Enjoy your guests and the return.

Greetings.

Aaltje B.

4 months ago
1
Kelvin Fowler …

Weekly Home-Short Let Space is an Oxford based holiday cottage agency. We are just beginning to engage with booking.com. We still adhere to taking damage deposits and simply advise guests before check in that a damage deposit is payable. We collect this by card before checkin

Kelvin

weeklyhome.co.uk

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Aaltje-B- you are so right. This is no risk-free business. I also don’t take damage deposits. Thankfully no damage until now...

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Thanks very much for all your replies partners. I do have insurance but don't have a credit/debit card machine and I don't really want to get into that as I've got enough work cleaning, ironing, preparing, re-stocking the apartment after each guest. It would mean I'd have to hang around until their arrival which could be any time. I have a self check in keysafe so the guests have flexibility re. arrival time but I wouldn't wish to start financial deposit transactions late in the evening. Different for a hotel with lots of rooms who have staff. Looks like I would just have to make a claim on my own insurance if anything went amiss.

4 months ago
1
Kelvin Fowler …

Hi there. This is still a big risk of using booking,com for vacation rentals along with the anonymity of guests. Refundable Damage deposits I believe are essential for many reasons and not likely to go away. This is the main reason why we have been slow to add our portfolio onto the BDC platform.

There are quite a few easy to use card machines out there and you may find one that does not charge a fee if you take a payment that is then refunded to a guest (such as a damage deposit).

On the plus, it's apparent that BDC are working hard to challenge Airbnb and I'd have thought the Damage Deposit function is being investigated.

Kelvin I weeklyhome.co.uk

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Hi Kelvin

Many thanks for your quick & helpful reply. Yes, I really don't feel very safe using Booking.com and so have only limited my availability (and haven't allowed children but I do on AirBnB) To be honest I may take it off until I feel more confident. It's good to hear that they're working on the security deposit issue. Have you any idea how much the card machines cost, just very roughly? I'll look into that perhaps after all. Re. anonymity of guests, I have asked for names, addresses and contact number before people can book and Booking.com are taking the payments for me.

Jillie

4 months ago
1
Kelvin Fowler …

Take a look at iZettle. Low cost device and a standard charge of around 2% or so per transaction. It's worth asking what the charge is for when you make a refund (eg return a £100 charge you have taken on the card machine as a damage deposit). You may find that paying £2 or so to take a damage deposit is worth the peace of mind.

Kelvin I weeklyhome.co.uk

4 months ago
1
Newlinevillage

Hi,there are settings in the extranet page,I think it’s in the settings section,you can setup a damage deposit for what amount you like,you can collect it by credit card,the only problem is booking.com in the ultimate wisdom have decided to only allow you to collect this 14 days before arrival.hope this has been of some help.

Mike

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Thanks Kelvin but I think I'm going to leave it because to take a deposit every other day with my two day bookings will drive me nuts I think?! I'm trying to make things simpler and it will be a lot of hassle as I do everything myself. Booking.com are much more expensive than AirBnB commission-wise (12% more) but it's a much more difficult platform to use and they don't offer as much help or take care of the security deposit etc, well at least at the moment. Thanks anyway.

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Thanks Mike - yes, I've seen those settings but I don't want to take any credit card payments myself. Cheers/

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I have heard so many complains about security deposits from AirBnB hosts.

Does AirBnB really supports hosts when serious problems occur???

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I think as many partners have suggested in other threads the only solution is having private insurance. Its the only way to cover your damages 100%.

Wish all guests are responsible...

4 months ago
1
Newlinevillage

Just a point when renting property you should always have insurance which includes public liability

Mike

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Thanks-Newlinevillage I know public liability is very important.

Hope nothing important ever occurs because sometimes its diffidult to deal with insurance issues....

Maria

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Yes, I do have public insurance but I feel that if the guest knows that they will have to pay for any damage, they tend as a general rule to be more careful. I've been doing AirBnB for just over 3 years now and I did however have to make one claim from some unruly 20 year olds who damaged several lovely things - booked through the parents profile. AirBnB did sort it out for me in the end although of course these things take time (as with insurance companies) with a lot of photographic evidence, receipts and repair quotes going back and forth. I don't both about the odd broken glass etc as that is to be expected but this felt like malicious inconsiderate damage!

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Certainly, you have a point that guests are more careful if they know they have penalties for any damage. I worry sometimes about what guests might do but since I live in the same residence it makes things easier to control...

Thanks for your feedback it helps to know...

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Yes, I live in the same building too - which can be a mixed blessing! ;-)

4 months ago
1
Newlinevillage

I suppose that’s the benefit of taking a deposit,and you only return it once the property has been checked out for damage. Sign up with a company named Stripe,they will take the credit card payment themselves,then pay it into your bank account,and then refund it when you want,for no extra charge with a very low fee,

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

No, thankgoodness for me its only a good blessing so far...

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

-Newlinevillage thats a very interesting suggestion...

4 months ago
1
Sarah Heard

I understand all the comments made here, I try to think positively that everyone is simply trying to have a nice holiday, like myself when I go away. Our apartment is in inland Spain and here we have to take all the passport / identity document details and pass them onto the police which I think helps us in terms of any issues.

I have experienced a problem only once with a booking.com booking and unfortunately as the earlier posts say it was with our youngest client (in his early 20´s) when we found that the apartment had obviously been used for a party (various items were missing, including, strangely, the duvet and pillows - but nothing of serious value).

I contacted booking.com to complain and after providing photographic evidence they refunded me the comission on the stay and recommended I take a security deposit next time. I felt they were supportive of me as a host however I wasn´t reimbursed for my loss. In reality I was more concerned that they prevent the client from booking again but they couldn´t give me any guarantees on this.

Overall I have been a client for nearly two years now and this was a one off occasion, I have had more than one group of other "younger" clients who stayed and left the apartment almost cleaner than when they arrived.

In reality no nominal "security deposit" will stop the people who want to abuse the privelige of staying in your accomodation, but good insurance can help you recover if the worst were to happen.

4 months ago
2
Jillie2townend

Many thanks for your comments Sarah and fingers crossed the insurance will do the trick? I was sorry to read about your bad experience. The youngsters who let me down on AirBnB and damaged things were actually market traders at the local Christmas Fair selling jams, marmalades etc. They took a lot of items out of the property and used them on their market stall as either props or to cut things up on! The kitchen was left in a terrible state with new taps broken, worktops scratched etc. etc. It was a family business booked by mother but she never actually acompanied them and all they were thinking about was making a quick buck...... so not holiday people sadly. So you see, once bitten, twice shy. I did give them a bad review obviously so at least I know they won't be coming again through AirBnB but they could quite feasibly book on Booking.com and that thought terrifies me!

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Very terrifying situation. Hope it never happens again to none of you..
Thank you both for sharing your stories with us so we can be more careful with our future guests.
Take care...

4 months ago