Airbnb has instituted a major policy change that should significantly cut back on host cancellations. As of August 22, 2022, hosts may have to pay up to $1,000 in fees if they cancel a reservation or are unable to deliver the product they promised.
Host Cancellation Fees Enhance Integrity of Booking
I like and use Airbnb, but I’m the first to admit that it has its shortcomings, many of which are relatively easy fixes.
Its new policy regarding host cancellations goes a long way towards guaranteeing that you’ll get the space that you booked. Prior to the rule change, hosts that cancelled would pay a $100 fee if they did so within seven days of check-in, and a paltry $50 if they did so outside of that period. Compare that to the consequences of a renter cancelling, which could result in your receiving no refund (based on the cancellation fee schedule).
New Host Cancellation Penalties
The cancellation fee can range from $50 to $1,000, depending on the circumstances. Airbnb states that these charges are to offset the costs of relocating guests at the last minute.
- 10% of the reservation amount for cancellations 30 days or more from check-in.
- 25% for cancellations between 48 hours and 30 days prior to check-in.
- 50% for cancellations within 48 hours of arrival
These fees are also assessed if the renter arrives but the location is not what they were promised or is uninhabitable.
Hosts Still Have Built-in Protections
Hosts are still protected if the reason for the cancellation is unavoidable. For example, if they discover that you are going to throw a party, they have a right to break the reservation. Likewise, an unforeseeable event such as emergency repairs or natural disasters would be considered valid reasons that an owner could cancel without penalty. Likewise, if the owner and customer both agree to cancel the reservation, they can do so by contacting Airbnb and will not face a penalty.
A Big Step Towards Protecting Renters
The new host cancellation policy represents a tangible step forward towards restoring the balance between renters and owners. There’s nothing as frustrating for a renter as a last-minute cancellation on a long-planned trip, and there’s certainly no guarantee that Airbnb would be able to find a comparable or better property. But by adding an extra zero to the potential cancellation penalty for hosts, Airbnb is making it far more costly for owners to pull their property off the market once a reservation is made.