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Security deposits and how to make a claim
Security deposits and how to make a claim

Security deposits explained for hosts

Corina Best avatar
Written by Corina Best
Updated over a week ago

How do security deposits work?

Security deposits are a set amount hosts specify on their listing to cover damages outside of normal wear and tear. Guests won’t be charged for a security deposit until you make a claim.

How do I lodge a claim?

To lodge a claim, please prepare the following:

  1. A list of item/s that require repair or replacement, due to damage outside of normal wear and tear, that were damaged or lost during the guest’s stay.

  2. Evidence of the purchase of the items (eg invoice, receipt, photos of the item in the home).

  3. Evidence of cost to replace/repair the item, factoring in the existing condition of the item (for example, a 10 year old TV cannot be replaced with a brand new TV). This can include, but is not limited to, a screenshot of comparable items price online, invoice for labour and materials, or a receipt from a replacement item.

To lodge a claim, you must first liaise with the guest directly via the Riparide Inbox, within 14 days of check out.

Please send through a message to the guest outlining the damage that has occurred, evidence of the cost to repair/replace, and a message indicating why you believe the damage occurred during their stay. For example, if a cleaner reported that an item was present during the cleaning prior to the guest checking in, but was missing upon check out.

At this point, in most cases, the guest will agree to the damage and charges and will authorize the payment to be taken. Once you have received confirmation, please email [email protected] and we will arrange for the charge to be made against the guest’s card.

If the guest does not agree to the charge, please send an email to [email protected] with the evidence provided. Riparide will liaise with both the guest and host to ensure a reasonable and fair outcome is reached for both parties.

If the guest has not responded after 48 hours, please email [email protected] and we will reach out to the guest directly. If we are unable to contact the guest, we will proceed with the security deposit claim.

What can I claim?

You can claim the cost of repair or replacement on an item that is damaged or misplaced during a guest’s stay, outside of what could be expected. For example, if a guest accidentally got mud on the carpet, this could be expected at a farm stay. If a guest broke a window, this would be outside of what is expected damage during a stay.

The damage must be directly related to the actions of a guest. For example, you can claim for a smashed vase, but you could not claim for a TV that unexpectedly stopped working.

Security deposits and cleaning

Please note that each host has the ability to set their cleaning fees, and can charge additional amounts for pets staying via the “special offer” feature. These fees are designed to cover all cleaning expenses related to a guest staying at the property. Security deposits are not able to cover additional cleaning costs, as clean is subjective and each property has different expectations for their guests.

If an item requires specialty cleaning due to excessive damage (for example, a large red wine stain on a carpet may require professional carpet cleaning), this will be assessed by the Riparide team.

You are unable to claim for standard cleaning even if it exists within your house rules – for example, even if you have in your house rules that the rubbish must be taken out and dishes washed, you are unable to claim for this as it falls under standard cleaning.

How much will I receive back?

Your first action should be to discuss the claim with the guest directly, and determine a mutually agreed upon price - this will then be charged against the guest’s card.

If the guest disagrees with the charge, your claim will be assessed by the Riparide team. Providing the claim is fair and reasonable, you will receive the full amount of the claim submitted within the amount of the security deposit specified on the listing. If the total amount of repairs or replacement exceeds your security deposit amount listed, this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If the claimed amount is not considered fair and reasonable by the Riparide team, you will be paid out an amount deemed reasonable.

What if I don't have a security deposit on my listing?

If you have not opted in to a security deposit, the only recourse will be to contact the guest and request they cover the costs of damage during their stay. If the guest agrees in writing via the Riparide inbox, please contact [email protected] and we can charge the guest's card. If the guest does not agree, no further action can be taken.

How do I add a security deposit to my listing?

You can add a security deposit to your accommodation listing to cover minor damages.

  1. Go to My Listings and select Edit on your listing

  2. Go to the Pricing section

  3. Select the checkbox beside Security deposit

  4. Enter a value (up to $500)

  5. Save your listing

Remember if you set your security deposit too high, it may deter guests and reduce the number of bookings you receive.

Can I hold an additional security deposit outside of Riparide?

It is against our terms to capture any payment for a Riparide booking outside of the Riparide platform. If it is identified you are capturing a separate security deposit outside of Riparide, your account may be closed. If you wish to increase your security deposit, please contact [email protected].

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