How does Airbnb handle security deposits?
Some reservations include a security deposit, which can be required by either Airbnb or the host. This helps build trust for both guests and hosts.
Airbnb-required security deposits
As part of our continuing effort to build trust and enhance safety, we may independently require a security deposit for certain reservations. This can happen if something stands out when we review the reservation details. Factors may include the timing of a reservation or the listing's features.
The security deposit amount is set by Airbnb, and you’ll always have a chance to review the amount before you decide to make a reservation.
Two days before your stay begins, an authorization 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.
If everything goes as planned, we’ll release the hold 14 days after you check out.
Your reservation will be subject to cancellation—up to 36 hours before check-in—if we’re unable to place the authorization hold. It’s a good idea 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.)
If it turns out we can’t authorize 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.
Host-required security deposits
Some hosts require a security deposit for their listing. 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. The amount is set by the host, not Airbnb. In this case, no authorization hold will be placed, and you’ll only be charged if a host makes a claim on the security deposit.
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 claim for some or all of the security deposit within 14 days of check-out or before a new guest checks in—whichever happens first.
Find out more about what happens if a host makes a claim on your 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.