Airbnb has been a game-changer in the hospitality industry, allowing homeowners to rent out their spaces to travelers looking for a more personal and unique experience. However, as a host, you may encounter situations where Airbnb delists your listing or removes it from the search results. In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons behind a banned listing or account in the order of most probable cause to least probable, and provide guidance on how to address these issues. Let’s start!
1. Guest-reported cameras (most cases)
Guests might report cameras on your property, which can lead to your listing being frozen. If you have indoor cameras, it’s considered a violation of privacy, and Airbnb is absolutely right to freeze your listing. However, if the cameras are located outdoors and installed for security purposes, you can send pictures of the camera placements and a detailed explanation to Airbnb. This will help speed up the process of getting your listing reinstated. Always make sure you have your cameras reported in the relative section, and remove any unplugged or unused cameras from the premises completely.
2. Entering the property before check-out
If a guest claims that you entered the property before they checked out, this could result in a frozen listing. However, if you did enter early, it’s a breach of trust, and you deserve to have your listing frozen. If not, think back to any recent bookings where guests might have checked out late, or your cleaner needed to enter the property after check-out but before the guest had left. In such cases, explain the situation to Airbnb.
3. Tax or permit issues
Incorrect tax or permit information might cause your listing to be frozen. This is common among hosts who operate using the arbitrage model. To resolve this issue, review your paperwork, ensure you’re operating legally, and update your information with Airbnb.
4. Hosting parties or too many guests
If you’ve been caught hosting parties or accommodating too many guests, it’s likely that your listing will be frozen. In this case, your only recourse might be to create a new profile under a different ID and avoid repeating the same mistake.
5. Dealing with neighbor complaints
It’s worth noting that a neighbor’s false report cannot lead to your listing being frozen. Airbnb is aware of neighborhood complaints and usually does not act on them unless there is enough proof of illegal activities or extreme behavior that might tarnish their reputation. If you’re not engaging in any such activities, don’t blame your neighbors – it’s more likely that a guest is the cause of your frozen listing.
6. Affiliation with banned or blocked account
In some instances, a co-host or a past or future guest might be flagged by law enforcement or other government agencies in various ways (e.g. terrorism). In these cases, it is possible that all affiliated Airbnb accounts are affected, and in some instances, it might mean taking down a listing. If this is the case, it will be very difficult to do anything to reinstate the listing do to increased bureaucracy and you might have to create a new listing from scratch.
What Can I Do?
If your listing gets frozen and you’re unable to determine the reason, or Airbnb support is unwilling to provide information when you contact them, it can be frustrating. However, there are still some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting your listing reinstated:
- Be proactive: Never put all your eggs in one basket! Shit happens, and you can’t always avoid it, so you better be prepared. The best way to do this is by listing your property on multiple platforms. By doing so, if your listing gets banned or frozen on one platform, you can quickly recover lost bookings through the other channels. You should not wait until the problem happens to add your property on more channels because then it’s too late – it might take months for a new property on Vrbo or Booking.com to start picking up booking pace, so you should already have some booking on alternative channels to hit the ground running. Consider listing your property on reputable vacation rental websites, such as VRBO or Booking.com.
- Persistence is key: While Airbnb support may not provide a clear answer initially, don’t give up. Keep reaching out to them through multiple channels, such as email, chats, and Twitter (make sure to mention @Airbnb and @BChesky), to emphasize the urgency of your request. By consistently reporting your issue, you increase the chances of your case getting escalated to a higher priority level.
- Create a new account: Most times it is faster and easier to just create a new account and recreate your listing from scratch. Make sure to use a new set of photos otherwise Airbnb’s algorithms will match it with your old listing and you might get banned again. Don’t forget to reach out to guests that had booked on your old listing but had not stayed yet. to ask them to book with your new listing.
- Gather supporting evidence: Collect any documentation or evidence that might help you demonstrate your compliance with Airbnb’s policies. This could include photographs of your property, receipts for repairs or upgrades, or any communication with guests to shed light on the situation.
- Submit a comprehensive appeal: Once you’ve gathered all relevant information, send a detailed appeal to Airbnb, outlining the steps you’ve taken to address potential concerns and providing the supporting evidence you’ve collected. Be clear, professional, and concise in your communication, making it easy for Airbnb to understand your situation.
By taking these steps and being persistent in your efforts, you increase the likelihood of getting your listing reinstated and resolving any underlying issues. Keep in mind that the process might take weeks or even months, so it’s essential to stay patient and continue advocating for yourself and your listing – while diverting your bookings to your other channels in the meantime.
Having your Airbnb listing frozen can be frustrating, but it’s essential to understand the reasons behind it and take the necessary steps to rectify the situation. By addressing the concerns mentioned above, you can ensure a smooth hosting experience and maintain a positive relationship with both Airbnb and your guests. Good luck!