Damage Deposits by Booking.com

A few months ago, I was invited to take part in a "zoom" type meeting with Booking.com to discuss damage deposits. I explained the necessity for taking damage deposits:

  • a) guests tend to look after a property because they want their damage deposit back
  • b) this helps prevent damage to a property and inconvenience to the next guests
  • c) the primary aim is to protect the property and protect the next guests, not to make a little bit of extra money

I explained many issues with taking damage deposits separately by cash and bank transfer, such as:

  • a) we cannot take cash on arrival as we have multiple properties and do not know when guests will arrive and cannot wait around for them - they are often delayed on their journeys
  • b) we cannot guarantee that guests will bring cash with them
  • c) if a guest arrives without cash, it will just create bad feelings if we refuse to let the guest into the property
  • d) we should not be meeting guests face-to-face to take cash due to Covid-19
  • e) it is unfair to make guests wait at a property for us to inspect the property before refunding them in cash
  • f) cash is never a good way to do business as we need proper electronic records of the deposit being paid and also being refunded
  • g) if we do make guests wait and find damage and need to claim, it will end up in arguments with guests, which can put the safety of our staff at risk
  • h) taking damage deposits by bank transfer is a lot of extra admin work, especially with refunding guests, as they often don't give us correct bank details
  • i) other booking channels include the damage deposit as part of the booking payment, which makes it easy for everyone, and they automatically refund 7 days after departure, unless a claim is made
  • j) we manage a lot of properties but many are not listed on Booking.com yet because every time we add a property, it's a battle with Booking.com to get damage deposits by bank transfer set up (this seems to have got better now)

I said that Booking.com should not be different to other booking channels - they should take the damage deposit payment at the time of booking, just like the other booking channels do.

They showed me some Extranet screenshots for "Damage Deposits by Booking.com". There were different versions with different ways of setting up the damage deposits and different wording. Some of the wording suggested that a fee might apply for using this. I said again that Booking.com should not be different to other booking channels and should not charge additional fees.

Since then, I've heard nothing.

Has anyone else heard anything?

M Adamopoulou

Thanks Isle for sharing with us this detailed and informative post.

Wish you all the best.

Tiago - Produc…

Hi, Isle.

Thank you for your feedback now and also for the insights shared during the session with the product teams. 

The new damage deposit project is still in progress and we intend to start a closed pilot during the first quarter of 2021 - so hopefully during the first half of the year we will be able to share some more news with all of our Home partners.

We'll keep in touch.

Thank you once again for your patience and insights.

Wish you a great 2021.

Isle of Wight …

Do you have any update on this? Damage deposits are a real drain on our time, especially with having to chase guests to pay it and guests demanding almost instant refund after checkout.

We have another 15 properties that we want to add to Booking.com, but it's just not viable to add these while damage deposits take up so much of our time. AirBnB / TripAdvisor and VRBO make it so easy so the properties are all listed there .....

Whitewells Far…

It's reassuring to know that we're not the only ones with this problem.  We've 7 cottages and the scenario you've described can be fraught with ill feeling.  We've just had another guest demanding their 'good housekeeping deposit back straight away', their cottage is not in a clean and tidy condition, bins overflowing, dirty grill pans etc.  Booking.com should be supporting us to stay safe and put in place a system where damage deposit can be taken at the time of booking.  I would also like a guest review option where we could leave honest feedback on guests then perhaps we wouldn't be in a position where we are afraid not to return fully a damage deposit incase we receive negative feedback.  Booking.com do seem to support the guest not the accommodation providers.

Ezia Di Capua

Good evening hello everyone, I do not apply the security deposit. Honestly, I have always been very lucky, my guests have always been very polite and have never caused any harm. Was I too lucky? Would you advise me to ask for a security deposit for security? ..... Kind regards Ezia

Isle of Wight …

Yes Ezia, you have been lucky! And yes, definitely take a damage deposit. Guests don't care that you paid £1000 for your TV or £2000 for the bed. They only care about the £100 damage deposit. They want that back, so they look after the property.

Ezia Di Capua

Hello dear, I don't want to take advantage of my luck anymore and I will insert the security deposit. ... even if I don't even know how to do it .... someone gives me information about it? Greetings hello - thank you very much very much


Ezia Di Capua

Ciao e buongiorno a tutti,  non so nulla riguardo il deposito danni ma, è un tema molto importante che andrebbe davvero portato avanti da Booking ma, a riguardo non ho sentito nulla neanche neanche nel corso degli ultimi incontri Click online.

Un cordiale saluto dal Golfo dei Poeti