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Advice on how to deal with AirBnb damaged item claim

Feb 6, 2020

I'm seeking advice with regards to what my next steps forward would be in the situation described below. I will be very grateful for any tips or suggestions you may have.

So basically, my friends and I booked an airbnb for 3 nights in Malta between the 2nd to 5th Feb. Within 10 minutes of staying there my friend stubbed his toe on the edge of a coffee table and it caused the table to break. The table was made of glass and had a really unorthodox design; and my friend simply stubbing his toe caused the whole end of the table to shatter. I told the host it had happened and they said would be back in contact after sending a claim on airbnb. The claim came through to me today (2 days after the trip) and they are trying to claim $600 for this glass coffee table (!!!!). The table is 2 years old and they have attached a receipt and pictures of the broken table. My friend cannot afford that amount at all as we are just students. How do I go about lowering the claim amount? $600 for a small glass coffee table seems very extreme. Also to note, no security deposit was made.

In terms of paper trails, I haven't responded to the owner about the claim yet as I have no idea where to even begin.

Thanks for your help,
Mar 25, 2015
Any link to the item?

Places like DWR sell tables for $2,000 but Amazon sells tables for much less.

What amount would you be willing to pay, since you did damage their property?
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Mar 17, 2015
You should pay an amount equal to a used item of two years. It does not matter if you can cheaper similar products. If you can find a cheaper exact product, offer that amount. Do you happen to have pictures of the table before it broke? While most 2 year old furniture would not have much wear and tear, since this is a rental, wear and tear may be greater. Also what does your contract say about broken furniture? Unless it says you are responsible for replacement value, most would assume some depreciation on the item.


Jul 30, 2018
Follow the instructions contained in the link Neil posted. Personally, I don't think you should have to pay retail, replacement value for the damaged item but some amount that accounts for depreciation.
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Any link to the item?

Places like DWR sell tables for $2,000 but Amazon sells tables for much less.

What amount would you be willing to pay, since you did damage their property?
It doesn’t matter what a table sells for in Amazon. That particular table cost $600 two years ago. He should be paying the depreciated value for a two year old $600 table.

Airbnb says that the renter and owner need to agree upon a price and it should be paid for through Airbnb. Perhaps the cost could be split by the number of people who rented.
Aug 29, 2018
I own some rental properties. In this case, you should pay the sales price of the table, less appropriate depreciation. Here in the US, this would usually be a straight line over seven years -- so you should pay ~71% of the cost, $426.
Feb 6, 2020
Thanks for all your responses, I really appreciate them.
Here is a link of the table: It seems as though the way forward is to pay for the depreciated value of the table as you guys suggested.
That would be a sum of $426 according to 'California'.
Sep 19, 2015
If there a receipt that the glass coffee table cost $600 I do not see what the argument is over the cost.

Depreciation calculations vary — is it done for tax or insurance reasons. Often insurance gives 5% per year.
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