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    Changing our policy on avoidable Host cancellations

    Here’s why we’re making these updates.
    By Airbnb on Jul 20, 2022
    6 min read
    Updated Aug 18, 2022


    • Preventable cancellations hurt guests, Hosts, and Airbnb, so we’re changing our policy

    • If you cancel for preventable reasons, a fee will be deducted from future payouts

    • Cancellations for valid reasons beyond your control won’t incur fees

    As our partners on Airbnb, Hosts do an incredible job of honoring reservations and going above and beyond to support guests every day. That’s why guests from around the world trust complete strangers with some of the most important days of their lives—from summer vacations and staycations to honeymoons and anniversary celebrations.

    But when Hosts cancel on guests for preventable reasons—like accidentally double-booking or wanting to host friends and family instead—guests lose the confidence to book on Airbnb, and this impacts all Hosts and hurts our entire community.

    For these reasons, we’re updating our Host Cancellation Policy. The updates to the policy will apply to all cancellations on or after August 22, 2022. This policy has been in place for years, and included small fees if you had to cancel a reservation. The fee amount depended on how close to check-in you canceled. Previously, we charged $50 USD for cancellations of reservations more than seven days before check-in, and $100 USD for cancellations of reservations less than seven days before check-in.

    We found that this fee structure doesn’t adequately reflect the costs of moving guests into a similar or better place, often at the last minute, after a Host cancels for an avoidable reason. It also doesn’t reflect the impact of preventable cancellations on guests, Hosts, and Airbnb—including the loss of trust guests can have when a Host cancels on them.

    Changes to our cancellation policy fees

    Going forward, if a Host cancels a reservation for a preventable reason, an updated fee will be deducted from future payouts. The fee depends on the reservation amount and how close to check-in the reservation is canceled.

    A fee will also apply if a guest is unable to stay at a place because it poses a significant health risk, like severe mold, or because the place is substantially different from the listing description, like if a Host lists a three-bedroom villa that is actually a one-bedroom apartment. These reservations (and other examples below in the “Answers to frequently asked questions” section) will be treated like last-minute cancellations.

    The minimum cancellation fee is $50 USD and the maximum is $1,000 USD under the updated policy. The total reservation cost used to calculate the fee includes the nightly rate, cleaning fee, and any pet fee, but excludes taxes and guest fees. For stays 28 nights or longer, the reservation cost up to the first 30 nights is used to calculate the fee.

    • If the reservation is canceled more than 30 days before check-in, the fee is 10% of the reservation amount.
    • If the reservation is canceled more than 48 hours and less than 30 days before check-in, the fee is 25% of the reservation amount.
    • If the reservation is canceled 48 hours or less before check-in, or after check-in, the fee is 50% of the reservation amount for the nights not stayed.

    These consequences from the cancellation policy remain the same:

    Support when unpredictable events happen

    If you have to cancel for unavoidable reasons, we’ll work with you and help your guests find another place to stay, without fees. These situations include:

    • A valid reason beyond your control, such as emergency repairs (like a gas leak or a burst pipe) or serious personal illness that prevents you from hosting.
    • Proof that a guest intends to have a party or break your house rules.
    • An extenuating circumstance, such as declared emergencies and epidemics, certain natural disasters, or government travel restrictions.

    If you host using Instant Book, you may be able to cancel for additional valid reasons.

    If you’re not sure if your situation qualifies here, contact us before you cancel. Please remember that you should never cancel for any reason that violates our Nondiscrimination Policy, and any misrepresentations regarding your reasons for canceling can lead to additional consequences.

    Answers to frequently asked questions

    What type of evidence can I provide if I need to cancel? 
    If you have to cancel for a valid reason beyond your control, you’ll be asked to submit proof to Community Support. For example, you might provide photos, videos, and other documentation in the case of emergency repairs, or a letter from a doctor in the case of serious personal illness.

    If you’re canceling because you believe a guest will have a party or break house rules, you’ll be asked to submit evidence to Community Support. This may include message threads and texts with your guest or other documentation.

    If you’re not sure if you have a valid reason for a cancellation, contact us first. We’ll work with you to review your evidence together.

    Please remember that suspicions about guests having parties aren’t always accurate, and you should never cancel for any reason that violates our Nondiscrimination Policy. If you’re concerned your guests may violate the Party and Events Policy or your house rules, try messaging the guests and asking these follow-up questions:

    • Who else will be staying with you?
    • What’s the purpose of your trip?
    • Can you confirm you’ve read the house rules?

    What happens if a guest finds a missing amenity or similar issue at my place?
    Airbnb will assess a cancellation fee under the policy in the rare case that a space poses significant health risks or is substantially different from how it’s described in the listing, and the guest notifies Community Support soon after check-in. In some cases, your listing may be suspended until Airbnb has received confirmation that any violations have been corrected.

    These situations would qualify as Host cancellations after guest check-in and result in a cancellation fee of 50% of the reservation amount for any nights not spent in the place.

    These circumstances include:

    • Conditions in the space pose severe health risks: For example, mold is visually present in a Host-controlled space.
    • Incorrect home or room type was listed: The listing’s location or room type is substantially different from what is listed, like if a Host lists a three-bedroom villa that is actually a one-bedroom apartment.
    • Incorrect location was listed: The listing’s location or address is incorrect and intentionally misrepresented, like if a Host says their house is in Los Angeles but it’s actually in the nearby city of Burbank.
    • A critical amenity is missing: The listing lacks a signature amenity that was highlighted in advertising, like if a Host says their space has access to a pool but it doesn’t.
    • A substantive change is made to a reservation by the Host at check-in: This could include substituting one place listed on Airbnb for another.

    What if my guest and I agree on a cancellation?
    If your guest reaches out and asks to cancel their reservation, and you’re comfortable with the cancellation, you won’t be subject to the fees or consequences in this policy. Your guest will need to initiate the cancellation with Community Support.

    From there, you’ll have the chance to confirm your guest’s request. If you confirm, neither you nor your guest will be assessed fees or consequences. If you don’t want to approve their cancellation request, your standard cancellation policy will apply to their reservation.

    Please keep in mind that it’s a violation of the Host Cancellation Policy to encourage a guest to cancel a reservation that you can’t honor.

    What happens if a guest cancels a reservation?
    Your cancellation policy applies as usual to guest cancellations.

    If a Co-Host cancels a reservation, will that apply to the Co-Host’s account?
    Cancellations are always tied to the primary Host’s account. When a Co-Host cancels a reservation for an avoidable reason, the cancellation will impact the primary Host’s account for that listing.

    Do these fees and consequences apply at the listing level or the Host level?
    Fees and consequences associated with the updated cancellation policy apply at the Host level. For example, if you have five listings, and you have to cancel a reservation for an avoidable reason on two separate listings, both of these cancellations would apply to your primary Host account.

    What happens if I have to cancel due to software-booking issues that led to a double-booking?
    In case of an issue with our service, Airbnb will waive any associated fees and consequences. If a problem comes from a third-party software provider, and a Host needs to cancel a reservation as result, the Host will need to provide evidence of the third-party’s incident or outage for consideration when requesting a waiver of any fees and consequences.

    Evidence could include (but is not limited to) email communications from a third-party provider regarding an incident or outage, or evidence of a phone call with a third-party provider, along with a summary of that call.

    Get tips to avoid cancellations

    We’re updating this policy in the hopes of having even fewer avoidable cancellations and creating even more trust between guests and Hosts on Airbnb. If you have any questions or feedback, please share them with us

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
    Jul 20, 2022
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