Airbnb Damage Detection: The Rule of Six

Finding damage inside your vacation rental after a guest has left can be frustrating and somewhat annoying. If you outsource your inspections to an Airbnb cleaner or third-party the damage is not always picked up immediately. This, in theory, could result in you attempting to claim damages from the wrong guests.

If you are uncertain as to who created the damage then you will be unable to invoice anyone accordingly as you won’t be able to say, with 100% certainty, that it was them.

Here are our top Airbnb tips for locating issues each and every time so you can make an Airbnb damage claim where necessary.

1. Everything has a home

Find an appropriate location for all items in your property. Ensure the cleaners place items back in the same place each and every time. This includes the smallest to the largest items. This goes as far as how the curtains should be placed.

  1. Layout your home in the perfect condition that you would like it returned to.
  2. Take pictures of everything, from the cushions to the plates
  3. Print these picture out and laminate them where possible
  4. Leave these laminate images in a convenient place so that your cleaners can locate them with ease

If these basic rules are adhered to by you / your cleaners then each time you visit the apartment you will be able to notice anything out-of-place and so will the cleaners.

2. Rule of Six

Most of our apartments can host four people so we operate with the rule of six.

You will need to adjust this based on the number of people who you can host in the property.  But a good rule of thumb is to have 2 more of items than the number of guests.

How does the rule of six help us detect damage?

We try to place everything in the apartment in groups of six. This may seem like a large overhead but it helps detect damage / missing items in seconds. For example, we place six coat hangers in each wardrobe, six plates, six cups, six, glasses, six coasters etc…

With this method, each time we have a cleaner in the apartment we just ask them to check for six items.

You can see at a glance, one champagne flute is missing

3. Same Cleaners

If you are using a cleaning agency to help you clean the property we recommend asking the agency to always send the same cleaner each time where possible. Having one good cleaner who continually sees your property twice a week, will result in them having a good understanding of where you like items placed inside the property.


Spend a little time getting your Airbnb perfect, and then keep it that way. Over time you’ll obtain new furniture and items so make sure you keep your photos up-to-date. Having photos of the items in their original state can help you with claiming damages from the guests Airbnb damage deposit.
You can post the original images to Airbnb resolutions centre and this will serve as potential evidence if your damage claim goes into arbitration. Be sure to post any requests for compensation for damages to the guests within 14-days of their departure.
As an Airbnb management company, we often don’t charge for broken cups or glass. We just have these replaced as accidents will happen to the best of us, and it’s not worth the hassle to claim for anything under £10.
Good luck and happy Airbnbing


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