Staying at an Airbnb is a cost-effective and more personable option for travel accommodation. However, one of the risks involved with Airbnb is the fact that the properties are hosted by individual owners rather than a group of professionals, as you would see in hotels. You might be wondering can Airbnb hosts raise their prices?
Airbnb hosts can raise their prices for guests without confirmed reservations. Hosts may propose price increases, but guests aren’t obliged to accept them. If you change your reservation, book in peak season, or you damage the host’s property, you might pay more.
The rest of this article will explain this topic in greater detail, so you can gain a better understanding of Airbnb pricing as a whole in addition to some tips for making sure that your host is legit. Read on for more information.
6 Reasons Why Airbnb Hosts Can Raise Their Prices
You have a confirmed reservation at an Airbnb property, and the host suddenly raises their prices. Can they do this? I’ve written previously about the reasons why prices fluctuate so much with Airbnb on a general basis.
Here are 6 reasons why Airbnb hosts can raise their prices:
- Guest reservations are not confirmed
- Guests agree to price increase proposals
- Reservations change
- Property damage claims are filed
- Seasonal rates apply
- Hosts compete with similar properties
Let’s expand upon each of these points.
1. Guest Reservations Are Not Confirmed
Airbnb hosts can change their advertised rates at any time. These include:
- Nightly rates
- Cleaning fees
- Pet fees
For example, if you’ve been communicating with an Airbnb host about booking accommodation, it’s their prerogative to increase their rates without advising you.
However, if the host has a confirmed reservation with a guest, they cannot increase the rate without confirming with the guest first (which I’ll cover in the next point).
2. Guests Agree To Price Increase Proposals
Although Airbnb hosts cannot increase their rates for guests with confirmed reservations, they may propose a price increase to guests.
The price increase proposal can be for various reasons:
- The host doesn’t have a pet fee, but you’d like to bring your pet.
- You’d like the property to be cleaned more often than usual during your stay.
- You want the host to provide extra amenities (like towels, bed linens, meals, etc.).
- You’re bringing a car and need to use a parking place that’s not usually included.
The Airbnb host cannot enforce the price proposal, and it’s up to the guest to confirm on the Airbnb platform if they’re happy to pay the increased price. If the guest approves the price increase proposal, they are liable for the difference.
3. Reservations Change
Once you’ve confirmed your Airbnb reservation and the host has accepted it, you can still edit it, but you might need to pay additional fees.
This usually happens if more guests stay than initially planned, and the host charges per person. You might also decide that you want to stay an extra night or two, in which case you’d need to amend your booking and pay the increased price for the extra nights.
4. Property Damage Claims Are Filed
If you’ve damaged something at an Airbnb property, your host might request additional money to pay for a replacement.
Some Airbnb hosts have AirCover, an insurance policy provided by Airbnb that covers them for property damage. However, before they can claim with Airbnb, hosts must contact the guest to try and convince them to pay for the damage.
Guests who refuse to pay for damage might receive a negative review from the host. In extreme cases (and if the host has irrefutable proof), the guest might get banned from using Airbnb.
5. Seasonal Rates Apply
Airbnb permits hosts to have seasonal rates. If you often make Airbnb reservations, you might notice that some hosts have higher rates for weekends, holidays, and during the peak season when demand for accommodation is higher.
Airbnb allows hosts to set seasonal rates, and if you enter the incorrect dates while searching for accommodation, you might notice that they’ve increased when you confirm your peak season or weekend booking.
6. Hosts Compete With Similar Properties
Airbnb rates can fluctuate seasonally, but most hosts also like to keep their rates in line with similar properties in their area to remain competitive.
New Airbnb hosts may offer lower than normal rates to try and attract guests and accumulate good reviews. A few good reviews can help the host prove that they’re a reputable accommodation provider.
Once they’ve broken into the market and are receiving regular bookings, they will probably increase their rates to compete with similar properties in the area. This might explain why your host has raised their rates since you last stayed there.
How Can You Tell if an Airbnb Host Is Legit?
There’s nothing worse than saving up for your dream vacation only to discover that the accommodation you booked is a scam. How can you tell if your host is legit when making an Airbnb reservation?
You can tell if an Airbnb host is legit if:
- They’re an Airbnb super host
- They have plenty of excellent reviews
- They don’t ask for payment outside of the Airbnb platform
- Their identity is verified with Airbnb
The following sections will expand upon these points in greater detail.
They’re an Airbnb Superhost
If the Airbnb host is a Superhost, the chances are that they are legitimate. Not every host becomes eligible for Superhost status, so the status should give you peace of mind.
To become a Superhost, the host must have:
- Been a host for at least three months. Airbnb evaluates hosts every quarter, and being a host for several months is a strong indicator that they are not a “fly by night” scammer
- A fully-completed Airbnb host profile. A fully-completed profile shows that the host is not hiding anything.
- Hosted guests for at least a hundred nights, three reservations, or ten trips. This indicates that the host has solid experience taking care of guests.
- A cancellation rate of less than one percent. If the host regularly cancels bookings, it can leave guests in the lurch and imply unreliability. Many guest cancellations could show that they had problems with the host after booking or during the stay.
- At least a 4.8 review ratings over the past year. A 4.8-rating or higher is an excellent sign that the host is legitimate and cares about guests.
They Have Plenty of Excellent Reviews
Before confirming your Airbnb reservation, it’s advisable to check the host’s reviews. Check the previous guests’ ratings and read their comments and feedback.
Be wary of poorly-written or excessively gushing reviews, as these might be fake.
If the reviews appear genuine and written by active Airbnb users, the chances are that the host is legitimate.
They Don’t Ask for Payment Outside of the Airbnb Platform
Airbnb charges their hosts a commission on confirmed reservations to advertise their property and communicate and accept payments on a safe platform.
Some shady hosts bypass this system by requesting payment or asking guests to book outside of the Airbnb platform. By agreeing to this, you’re not protected by Airbnb, and you’re at the host’s mercy.
Reputable Airbnb hosts will never ask you to communicate or make a payment outside the Airbnb platform.
They’ve Verified Their Identity With Airbnb
Airbnb has several ways of safeguarding its hosts and guests.
One of these ways is giving guests and hosts the option of verifying their government-issued identity documents on their platform. If your host has verified their identity with Airbnb, this can be a sign that they’re open and honest.
Airbnb hosts are entitled to the right to change their pricing whenever they like, whether the changes include seasonal rates or a drive to compete with similar properties.
However, they cannot increase the pricing if reservations are currently confirmed, unless they propose a price increase to the guests and that proposal gets approved.
It’s important to ensure that Airbnb hosts are valid to protect yourself and your wallet. By following these tips and educating yourself on what is and isn’t allowed, you can feel confident in your next Airbnb stay.
- Quora: Can an Airbnb host increase their price after (s)he agreed to the booking at a given price?
- Ask Metafilter: Is it normal for airbnb pricing to go up after I book?