How does Airbnb handle security deposits?
Security deposits can be required either by Airbnb or by hosts. Airbnb security deposit requests are based on a home’s features and/or the timing of a reservation, and are never requested based on anyone’s race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, or age.
Airbnb-required security deposits
Two days before your stay begins, an authorisation hold for the security deposit amount will be placed on your payment method. You won’t be charged, but the hold means that you won’t be able to access these funds until the hold is released. For example, if you’re paying with a credit card with a total credit limit of £5,000, and there's a security deposit of £500, your credit card limit would then be £4,500 until the hold is released.
As long as no property damage occurs during your stay, we’ll initiate a release of the £500 hold placed on your card 14 days after your checkout, or before the next guest checks in. Your bank may take 3–12 business days to process the release of funds. If it turns out that we can’t authorise the hold for the security deposit amount, you’ll be notified by email and will have 12 hours to try another payment method. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll cancel your reservation and you’ll be refunded.
Try to make sure your payment method has enough money available to cover the security deposit. (If you’re not able to do that, Airbnb is not responsible for any associated fees, including overdraft fees.)
Host-required security deposits
Some hosts require a security deposit for their listing. The amount, between $100 and $5,000, is set by the host, not by Airbnb. If you’re a guest and you’re booking a listing with a host-required security deposit, you’ll be shown this amount before you make your reservation.
Host-required security deposits are different from Airbnb-required security deposits in that no authorisation hold will be placed. Guests will only be charged if a host requests to collect on their security deposit. Depending on what has been damaged, the amount the host requests may or may not be the same as the security deposit.
If and when a host makes a request to collect on their security deposit, it will be handled according to the Host Guarantee Terms and Conditions. Airbnb’s Host Guarantee is a programme that provides property damage protection of up to $1,000,000 USD for hosts of homes. Under the programme, hosts are required to provide documentation of the damaged or missing items, and request reimbursement from the guest through our secure Resolution Centre within 14 days of checkout or before the next guest checks in (whichever is earlier). If the guest is unwilling or unable to reimburse them, the host can then involve Airbnb.
Before requiring a security deposit, hosts should understand that not all property damage caused by guests is within the terms of the Host Guarantee. Exclusions may include general cleaning, ordinary wear and tear, and non-physical damages like smoking fines and broken House Rules.
How security deposits work if there’s an issue
If there’s an issue during your stay, for either Airbnb-required or host-required deposits, the claims process will work the same. A host can report an incident and submit a request for some or all of the security deposit within 14 days of checkout or before a new guest checks in – whichever is earlier.
Find out more about what happens if a host makes a request to collect on their security deposit.
Note: All payments, including security deposits, should always be made through Airbnb. Don’t ever exchange money outside of the Airbnb website. Find out more about what to do if you’re asked to make a payment off the Airbnb website.