19th March 2020
How Coronavirus is going to affect your Airbnb property
Coronavirus seems to be the only word on anyone’s lips at the moment, and as you’ve guessed, this may not be the best thing for your Airbnb business. So what are the new rules and regulations that are coming through? And what does this mean for your Airbnb business?
Restrictions on entering New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand has just closed the border to all overseas visitors, minus a few exceptions. People exempt include:
- Citizens and their children and partners
- Permanent residents and their children and partners
Those that are not bound by the travel restrictions, will need to be assessed and screened before entering the country. Following this, they will need to register with Healthline and self-isolate for 14 days.
The government has also announced a ban on indoor events that have 100 people or more attending.
Airbnb cancellation policy
Due to the widespread nature of the Coronavirus, Airbnb has also created a policy called the ‘Extenuating Circumstances Policy and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cancellation Policy. This policy means that reservations for stays or experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, which have a check-in date between March 14, 2020, and April 14, 2020, can be cancelled before check-in. Those guests that cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts are also allowed to cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. This policy is not looked on favourably by hosts as the money from cancellations is expected to come from host’s pockets and not Airbnb’s. However, Airbnb will refund all service fees for covered cancellations.
The host’s cancellation policy will also apply to reservations made after March 14, 2020, and to reservations made on or before March 14, 2020, that have check-in dates after April 14, 2020.
You can see if these circumstances apply to your reservation by checking the reservation details page (found in your hosting dashboard). Here you will see a mark if they apply.
If hosts cancel a covered reservation, you will not be charged, there will be no impact on your Superhost status, and Airbnb will refund all service fees without you having to contact Airbnb.
For more information on these cancellation policies, and to see the other cancellation policies, check out Airbnb’s website.
The affect the travel ban will have on Airbnb owners
There are expected to be many cancellations within this timeframe because travel plans have been put on hold due to the border closing. Most countries (including New Zealand) have also closed their borders or are currently in the process of doing so, and many people are not prepared to take the risk of travelling during this time. Many airlines and boats/cruise ships are also cancelling trips now. You may also decide that as an Airbnb owner, you would prefer not to take on any guest during this period. So make sure this is clear before people try to book your property. However, you can still market your property to people travelling within New Zealand, and those that need somewhere to spend time in quarantine (I mean a solid 2-week stream of income isn’t bad right?)
In conclusion, it is a difficult time to be an Airbnb owner (and a difficult time for many other businesses for that matter). So make sure you market your property to potential New Zealanders who are interested in travelling within New Zealand, or who need somewhere to spend time in quarantine. If Airbnb is your main source of income, and it is being adversely affected, make sure you check out the COVID-19: Economic Response Package. To be eligible for this, you need to prove that your business is 30% down from this time last year. For more information on how to apply for this, please check out this article.
If you have any questions or queries and have your Airbnb under Zodiak Management, feel free to email us for more information about what to do in this situation.
Written by Lauren Middleton