Airbnb has a fairly large support team, which includes the Trust and Safety team. The team’s main duty is to protect both listing owners and guests, but they also handle cases such as these, where tenants have illegal listings in violation of their lease agreement. While Airbnb doesn’t have a strict set of rules for how to deal with illegal listings, here’s how the process works and a few tricks you can use to speed the process up.
Contacting Airbnb for Listing Takedown
As the property manager, the first step involves finding the listing that is illegally posted. Some property managers do these searches by hand – going to the websites of Airbnb, Craigslist, and maybe more, and trying to look on a map for nearby listings. Other property managers include this in the duties of their employees or hire a dedicated person part-time to do these searches. This is exactly the effort saved by the customers who choose to take advantage of Sublet Alert‘s services. However it is found, the initial step in removing an Airbnb listing is to actually find the listing, and most importantly, the listing ID. The listing ID is the number that is visible in the address bar when you browse to the listing on Airbnb’s website.
Once you have the listing ID, or simply the ID, you can now raise the issue with Airbnb’s support. Unfortunately, this proves to be a bit trickier than necessary. The usual wait time to call their support team is 20 minutes on the phone, and there is no direct phone number for the Trust and Safety team. Alternatively, you can raise an issue with their online support. There’s no e-mail address – instead, you have to navigate to their contact page. It was tricky to find, but this is their contact page. Click through to “Hosting”, then “Safety”, “Safety Concerns”, and lastly you can write your message to support.
Either of these methods will start Airbnb’s action in taking down the listing. However, Airbnb requires proof of your ownership before they will act against the listing or the account. This proof can be provided in the form of utilities bills, the title or deed, or possibly other official document. This documentation can be sent by e-mail once a support ticket has been opened in their system. However, we at Sublet Alert can also take care of this entire process for you, saving you the back and forth process in tracking down their support.
Once they receives this verification, Airbnb will quarantine the account while they investigate. They will contact the account owner and attempt to arbitrate or otherwise resolve the issue. It seems that cases are largely dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but Airbnb “does investigate all claims and take them very seriously”. (Direct quote from their support team!)
As they do take the matter seriously, the issue is usually dealt with within a week. However, this time can vary depending on the responsiveness of the involved parties. The resolution is decided on a case-by-case basis between Airbnb, the landlord, and the tenant – but can involve removing the listing or removing the account entirely. Unfortunately, Airbnb only holds money in escrow for short periods of time, so financial matters like recovering lost income generally have to be resolved in the courts.
The steps are fairly straight-forward, if somewhat lengthy. However, coming to Airbnb prepared (with the listing ID and proper proof of ownership) helps them to deal with the issue quickly and smoothly.