One of the scariest concerns I had when I hosted on Airbnb was having to cancel on my full calendar of booked visits. My Airbnbs were occupied with a 97% booking rate so it was going to be a lot of cancellations had somethig happened to my rental properties. When winter came, I grew concerned of our aging water heater and when summer came around I was worried about seasonal pest infestion. At the time, I did not look closely at Airbnb’s confusing cancellation policy terms as a host. I knew Airbnb was strongly against cancelling on guests. With instabook, we hosts were only allowed 3 cancellations PER year. I host hundreds and thousands of people, and I use to have to politely request or beg guests to cancel on their end so I can void the penalty. Airbnb hates host cancellations. The obvious reasons is it’s bad for their business, bad for guests, bad for their image, and a possible disaster waiting to happen leaving guests stranded without a place for the night!
BUT mishaps DO happen as Airbnb hosts and you know what? There are some rare instances where it’s OK to cancel on guests – granted you must provide the evidence to Airbnb and guests – if the reason is accepted don’t worry you will be fine! Vast majority of people understand and want you to be honest + transparent.
I’ve seen hosts cancel on guests with a white lie and then book another higher paying guest to that Airbnb. This behavior only going to hurt you in the long run, trying to squeeze out a couple more dollars is not going to be good for your account standing, or your karma.
So you’re wondering what are those “acceptable” reasons that Airbnb allows for hosts to cancel? Don’t worry I’ve read the full policy for you and honestly – it makes a lot of sense. It usually is related to extreme personal issues or property issues where the guest may be strongly inconvenienced or put in harms way. Let’s dig into when Airbnb cancellations are OK and when it’s not:
⭐ Got Some Space? – Rent out a spare room on Airbnb! This was my claim to fame. I made $71,000 on Airbnb last year while putting in just 12 hours a week. I’m not even joking when I say there are tons of hosts even more successful than I am.
Check out FREE 20 page Airbnb printables made by our sister website on frugal living! Don’t worry it’s free, made by a real host, and it will help keep your Airbnb business running smoothly!
⭐ “That’s Interesting!“
- Panhandling: How Much Money Do Panhandlers REALLY Make?
- How To Make Money As An Instagram Influencer (Internet Fame That Pays?)
- 39 People Who Got Richer AFTER Quitting Their Day Jobs
- Can Being a “Friend-For-Rent” Really Make Extra Money?
Table of Contents
Can a host cancel on guests?
Reservations can be canceled by hosts without penalty, but only in certain circumstances. Suppose a host cannot fulfill a reservation due to an unforeseen circumstance or other circumstances beyond their control. In that case, it is their responsibility (not the guest’s) to cancel the reservation as soon as possible to allow their guest to adjust their plans. Advising them earlier would be much favorable for both the guest and the Airbnb community as well.
But what are exactly the acceptable reasons to cancel on guests?
What are extenuating events covered?
Hosts can cancel reservations without penalty if they can show that extenuating circumstances or similar circumstances beyond their control prevent the reservation from being completed. Airbnb may consider relevant variables in deciding whether the repercussions should be waived, such as how quickly the host canceled the reservation after realizing they couldn’t host.
- Changes to the government’s travel policies
Unexpected changes to visa or passport regulations are federally mandated, preventing travel to the destination. This excludes lost or expired travel documents, as well as other personal circumstances affecting a guest’s ability to travel.
- Travel restrictions are imposed by the government
A government body has imposed travel restrictions that make it difficult or impossible to travel to, stay at, or return from the Listing location. Non-binding travel advisories and other government guidance are not included.
- Military operations and other forms of conflict
Acts of war, hostilities, invasions, civil war, terrorism, explosions, bombings, rebellions, riots, insurgency, civil disorder, and civil unrest are all examples of civil unrest. Examples are the happenings in Vietnam and Afghanistan now.
- Natural calamities
Natural disasters, acts of God, widespread outages of critical utilities, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other severe and unusual weather events are all examples of natural disasters. This does not include weather or natural conditions that are common enough to be expected in that location, such as hurricanes in American states during hurricane season.
- Emergencies and epidemics have been declared
Local or national crises, epidemics, pandemics like COVID-19, and public health emergencies have all been declared by the government. This excludes diseases that are endemic to a region or are commonly associated with it, such as malaria in Thailand or dengue fever in Hawaii.
- Unauthorized parties
When hosts were certain, and Airbnb confirmed based on a review of the evidence presented such as message threads or subsequent reviews that the mentioned parties, that a guest plans to hold an unauthorized party or event, or otherwise violate Airbnb’s party and event policy, hosts can cancel reservations without repercussions.
⭐ Airbnb Must-Knows:
- What Every Host Should Know About Guest Banning on Airbnb
- Airbnb Template Messages for Hosts: Greetings, Check-In Info & Everything Else
- Become an Airbnb Cohost: Extra Income Stream
Party and Events Policy of Airbnb
As of August 20, 2020, Airbnb announced a global ban on all parties and events at Airbnb listings, including a cap on occupancy at 16, consistent with our community policies. This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb, and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice.
A large group of people
Gatherings of more than 16 people, including overnight guests and visitors, are not permitted until further notice, regardless of Host authorization.
Events and parties
All disruptive parties and events are prohibited until further notice, regardless of size. Guests who hold these types of events risk having their accounts deactivated, and hosts who break this rule by allowing guests to throw parties risk having their listings deactivated.
What should the host do to avoid this situation?
In accordance with this policy, hosts should not advertise their space as a party- or event-friendly to attract disruptive parties and events to their homes. Hosts should not advertise their space for groups of more than 16 people, either. So, if you want to stay at Airbnb, you need to be a responsible host.
What is not covered?
This Policy only allows for cancellations for the Events described above. Everything else is excluded.
Examples of situations that this Policy does not allow cancellations for includes the following:
- Unexpected disease, illness, or injury;
- Government obligations like jury duty, court appearances, or military duties;
- Travel advisories or other government guidance (that fall short of a travel ban or prohibition);
- Cancellation or rescheduling of an event for which the reservation was made; and
- Transportation disruptions were unrelated to a covered Event like road closures and flight, train, bus, and ferry cancellations.
If the host cancels a reservation in these cases, the amount refunded will be determined by the cancellation policy that applies to the reservation.
- 35 Scrumptious Meals You Can Cook Under 20 Minutes (20 Minute Recipes)
- 13 Crazy Prison Recipes You Can Try For Fun
What to do next?
Airbnb already has cancellation instructions that the host and guest can use for guidance. After Airbnb notified the guest or published confirmation information, the guest can cancel under this Policy by going to their Trips page and canceling the impacted reservation.
Can Instant Book be canceled?
Instant Book listings allow you to book right away without submitting a reservation request to a host. But in certain circumstances, hosts can cancel Instant Book reservations without penalty.
Here are a few examples:
- The guest shows they are likely to break one of the host’s house rules, such as bringing a pet or smoking, which you already mentioned in your listing description.
- The listing does not meet the guest’s requirements. This happens especially when the guests don’t read.
- The host is concerned because the guest has several negative reviews or a lack of profile information. So you should do your research too to avoid headaches.
How do I cancel a reservation as a host?
To cancel a reservation, you need to follow these steps:
- Go to Today and click Show all
- Find the reservation you need to cancel
- Click the three dots menu and select Change or cancel to start the cancellation process.
If the check-in time is within 24 hours, the option to cancel online may not be available—you’ll need to contact Airbnb.
What happens if I have to cancel a reservation?
Suppose your plans change and you have to cancel a guest’s reservation. In that case, your guest will be notified via email as soon as possible and offered rebooking options similar to your listing.
You will not be compensated for the canceled reservation, and your guest will be given the option of requesting a full refund or assistance in finding a new location.
Airbnb applies additional penalties to host cancellations regardless of which option your guest chooses because cancellations disrupt guests’ plans and undermine confidence in the Airbnb community.
⭐ Recommended Reads:
- 9 Secrets of Becoming a Self-Made Millionaire on a Low Income
- How To Avoid Hiring Scams & Stay Safe Working Online
- 39 People Who Got Richer After Quitting Their Day Jobs
What are the Cancellation penalties?
Canceling a guest’s reservation can have severe implications on their trip, so penalties will be applied unless the cancellation reason meets certain limited exceptions.
If you cancel a confirmed reservation, you will be charged a fee. After the cancellation, Airbnb usually deducts that fee from your first payout. The amount deducted is determined by when you accepted the reservation and how soon you canceled it before check-in:
Airbnb will deduct $50 from your next payout if you cancel more than 7 days ahead of time.
Airbnb will deduct $100 from your next pay if you cancel less than 7 days before check-in.
But also keep in mind that, The cancellation fee will be waived if you have completed at least 10 consecutive bookings without canceling or in certain other circumstances.
What are the possible effects of cancelation in my host account?
If you cancel before the check-in date, an automated review indicating that you canceled one of your reservations will be posted to your listing’s profile. You won’t be able to delete these reviews, but you might be able to write a public response explaining why you had to cancel. A bad review won’t be justified unless you let it pass at the end of the day. If you have a good reason to cancel a particular guest, write about it. That way, you will be able to defend yourself.
Guests can choose to leave a public review on your listing’s pro page if you cancel on the day of check-in or later.
Suspension and deactivation of accounts
Airbnb may suspend or deactivate your listing if you cancel three or more reservations within a year without valid reasons. The best way to settle succeeding cancelations is through contacting Airbnb and presenting proofs and pieces of evidence of your cancelations.
Status as a Superhost
If you have Superhost status, you must maintain it during each assessment period by meeting the Superhost requirements, including maintaining a cancellation rate of 1% or less. Being careful and accurate with your listing, especially if you’re in this status, will save you from a lot of stress. So, before posting, make sure that you set it all clear.
The calendar is unavailable or blocked
If you cancel a confirmed reservation, your calendar may be blocked, preventing you from accepting another reservation that overlaps with the canceled one.
⭐ Recommended Reads: