FairShake helps Airbnb hosts seek compensation for Covid-19 cancellation fee switch-ups

Updated November 2, 2020FairShake logo, which is a slight waving flag, in blue outline above the word FairShake in a blue box

When Covid-19 came along, Airbnb took care of its balance sheet, landing $1 billion in additional funding. The company also put up a good show of taking care of its guests and hosts. But a lot of hosts feel taken advantage of instead of taken care of.

Since this spring, hundreds of Airbnb hosts, with over $4 million dollars in claims for withheld cancellation fees, have initiated legal action through FairShake.

Why? It’s likely that Airbnb withheld over $2 billion worth of cancellation fees owed to hosts under their rental contracts. This happened when the company unilaterally decided to pay hosts 25% of the fees hosts would otherwise be entitled to for stays cancelled during the Covid-19 emergency.

Thousands of hosts have been looking to contest Airbnb’s cash grab. But many didn’t know that the fine print of their contracts bans class action lawsuits — meaning any host who wants to contest this must take individual action.

Since June, FairShake for Hosts has been providing crucial legal support to hundreds of hosts who’ve been shorted on cancellation fees, and streamlining the process for hosts to bring claims through consumer arbitration — the private court system that is Airbnb’s designated venue for resolving disputes under its contract.

Thus far, Airbnb has refused to settle Covid-related claims with FairShake-backed hosts, preferring to draw out the legal process. FairShake’s CEO, Teel Lidow, is warning hosts to be prepared for a long-haul fight, as companies like Uber and DoorDash have in the past tried to thwart and wear out claims sent to arbitration en masse.

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