A guide to Airbnb refunds

A guide to Airbnb refunds
Airbnb Advice
June 28, 2021
Stefan Nikolic

Ah, the time has come. Despite your hard work and best intentions, your guest has asked for a refund. So what are some reasons to offer a refund? And how do you offer one? We answer all your burning Airbnb refund questions!

Ah, the time has come. Despite your hard work and best intentions, your guest has asked for a refund. So what are some reasons to offer a refund? And how do you offer one? We answer all your burning Airbnb refund questions!

Eligible Reasons for guest refunds under Airbnb’s Policy (according to GuestReady)

  • If you cancel a reservation within 24 hours of a guest’s check-in or change your guest’s accommodation. Also included are guests receiving incorrect lockbox codes that mean they can’t access the property for some time after their check-in.
  • If your guest arrives to find your space unclean (eg. dirty bathroom, unclean sheets, bug infestations, broken locks, and terrible mold), then guests can request a refund.
  • If you inaccurately list your description (eg. Three bedrooms, but your guests arrive to find that one doesn’t include a bed), then your guest can request a refund.
  • Another reason guests can also claim a refund if their stay was affected by major issues such as the heat pump not working during winter, windows that won’t close, or the stove not working. As a host, you should attempt to address these issues as soon as possible. Sometimes things go wrong, and guests will probably be forgiving if you organise repairs within 24 hours, but this is a reason guests may ask for a refund.

You can also set up a cancellation policy through Airbnb that allows hosts to choose between flexible or superstrict options. You can check out this article for more information on this.

How can I refund a guest?

According to Airbnb Help Centre:

If you wish to refund a guest before their check-in date, simply:

  • Go to Reservations
  • Select a Reservation
  • Click ‘Issue Refund’

Or if you want to refund a guest after their stay, head to:

  • Head to the Resolution Centre and tap ‘Send money’
  • Select the guest you wish to refund and click ‘Next’
  • Choose the reason that best describes your refund under ‘Select a reason'
  • Click ‘Next’
  • Enter the amount for the refund plus send a message
  • Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Send’

Your guest will be notified, and the transaction will be processed within 48 hours once the guest accepts it. When the refund amount has been submitted, then the transaction is finalised, and any additional refunds will have to be submitted in a new request through the Resolution Centre.

You can also offer a partial refund through the Resolution Centre for problems the guest occurred during their stay such as an amenity being missing/not working or issues with the hot water, etc.

What if I cancel a reservation?

According to the Airbnb Help Centre, cancellations from the hosts disrupt guests' plans and people’s confidence within this community so hosts should always avoid cancelling if it can be helped. If a host has to cancel a reservation for any reason they must notify their guest (not the other way around) and cancel in a prompt fashion to allow guests time to change their plans. You can check this article from the Airbnb Help Centre for more information on the penalties that apply to hosts who cancel their reservations.

What if I don’t think I should have to refund my guest?

Insider says that “Any refund issues between a host and guest that can't be resolved within 72 hours can be submitted to Airbnb's Resolution Center for mediation.”


In conclusion, at some point in your Airbnb career, a guest probably will request a refund and it’s best to be prepared once this happens, and prepare your Airbnb so there’s the least chance of this happening. However, if you are managed under an Airbnb company such as Zodiak Management, then we can handle all of the messy stuff like refunds for you! You can sign up for our service here.

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