How does Pillow handle Security Deposits?

Pillow recommends that all owner’s preset a security deposit in line with the repair and/or replacement of valuable items in their property. Pillow’s recommended minimum is $250 however, as an owner you can choose to increase or decrease this amount to your preferences.  

In the case that damage is reported by a Pillow Pro or guest during or after a reservation, Pillow has processes in place to assist the owner in taking appropriate action and filing a claim when necessary.

Security Deposits are processed dependent on the booking platform that your guest uses to reserve your property - some charge a pending fee up front while other do not. Due to this, a higher security deposit can sometimes deter guests from booking the property and lead to decreased booking rates. However, it is worth noting that a higher security deposit will also deter otherwise poor guests from booking your unit. Below are the differences in which security deposits are handled based on booking platforms:


Airbnb Guests:

Airbnb guests do not pay an owner’s security deposit at the time of booking. Instead, should a claim need to be made, this is done so in Airbnb’s resolution center. When a claim is opened with the guest, Airbnb requires owners to have all of the necessary documents prior to opening a resolution. For more information on the resolution center please read the following articles:  
What is the resolution center?
Does Pillow handle requests in the Airbnb Resolution Center?


HomeAway/VRBO Guests:

When guests book with HomeAway or VRBO there is an assocaited charge for the security deposit at the time of booking. This deposit is automatically released 72 hours after the guest’s check-out. This release of funds is dependent on the review of the property for any damages. Once the security deposit has been released, the funds are available within 3 - 5 business days, dependent on the guests financial institution.

Should any damages be reported to Pillow prior to the release of the guest’s security deposit, Pillow will place a temporary hold on the guest’s deposit while the necessary investigation takes place. If it is decided that the guest is responsible for the damages, the owner will need to submit the necessary documentation to open a claim. Upon the submission of this documentation, the equivalent funds will be released to the owner’s account.


Documents needed to submit a claim:

  1. Photos of the reported damage
  2. An invoice for the cost or estimated cost to repair and/or replace the damaged item 

What if the damages are greater than the amount of the security deposit?

Booking platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway/VRBO differ greatly in the ways they vet guests, and have different levels of assistance available to resolve issues. It’s imperative you have appropriate insurance coverage to mitigate such risks. In addition, our Terms of Service requires all property owners on Pillow’s platform have the appropriate levels of short-term rental insurance.

Should the damages at a property exceed the security deposit collected from guests, the owner will be instructed to submit a claim with their short-term rental insurance. If the damages are caused by an Airbnb guest, owners also have the option to submit a host guarantee form.


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