How do you handle adding extra charges for damage/cleaning/rules being broken

Hey team,

So I posted recently about my interaction with Peerspace regarding adding a $50 extra charge to a guest who did not return our studio to its original condition and damaged one of our self-made sets. It was minimal but the response from Peerspace has left us concerned for future incidents and protection for our studio in the case of worse damage and gross mishandling of our items.

How have other hosts handled penalty fees/fines/extra charges for things? Do you list in your host rules certain prices for things such as re-setting fees, damage fees, no smoking fees etc. And how have you handled such costs if your rules were broken? If you have fees for things like “Cyclorama re-paint fee” have you determined the price based off of only the products used (in this case, paint/roller where a receipt can be provided) or did you factor in labor time too? Because PS said they cannot accept personal/labor time and work without a third party invoice. We fix and clean our own sets, but we cannot invoice ourselves. They said they cannot accept arbitrary prices but could not answer us as to how else we can price the things in our studio. Aren’t all our personal rental prices, over-time and add-on’s already arbitrary?

It seems that Peerspace cannot directly answer my question as to how we can guarantee protection on things if they don’t have a retail price/third party invoice. Regardless if charges are stated in our rules. They denied us charging our “Re-setting fee of $50” regardless of it being in our rules and having video evidence of the guest not meeting our studio standards. They denied us charging a fee for damage and extra cleaning to one our self-made set backdrops, one that we constructed and designed ourselves and so cannot provide a store-bought receipt that proves it’s value, regardless of having evidence of the actual damage and us having to fix/replace it.

We’re left wondering how we can charge for anything now if so much of our studio is self-made art pieces and vintage/antique items not available to re-purchase if needed to be.
The only answer PS suggested was to remove guests who break our rules (even though we explained that extra charges are usually determined at the end of a booking) OR add these as “Add-on’s”

So now I’m wondering how to go about that too, for example do we make an add-on charge for “Damaging our 1958 classic car” or “Spilling food on our art work” or “Purposefully vomiting on our Cyc floor” Our list will be ridiculous. (yes these things have actually happened)

I just don’t understand how we can have specific and clearly written rules for our studio but when they are broken by guests, we’re not able to pursue the listed charges even with evidence.

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So, if you hired a handyman to do the repairs and he/she invoiced you then you would be reimbursed?

I had a similar situation. Had to submit photos and receipt and still didn’t get full compensation. I never had an issue with extra charges before. And this was for a $35 broken frame. Makes me think that the guest denied the charges.

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I agree this is frustrating!

I list a $500/day security deposit on all of my listings (I have many); in addition I don’t book any space without seeing their insurance. So far I haven’t needed the insurance but I’ve needed the $500 (or part of it) a few times only. I wish Peerspace would hold a deposit for X amount on the guest’s cc. Another platform does and it’s so helpful…I return the deposit in full if all is OK.

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Do you collect the deposit in cash?

You can’t rely on PeerSpace for reimbursements. You need to have good insurance yourself, and a deposit for small incidentals. You can also raise your hourly (or cleaning fee, as we just did), so that each rental pays a tad more which acts as a buffer for small damages as “maintenance costs” that just need to be absorbed by the business. I would rather charge 10 clients an extra $5, than worry about an extra $50 unpaid damage.

That said, there can often be damage in the hundreds or thousands dollar range, so make sure you have your own good insurance and a deposit for big events, since PeerSpace’s insurance policy doesn’t cover host’s property.

Yeah we have upped our prices over the last few months due to high demand but our space caters to very small (and short) productions of only 6 people and less and so far we’ve noticed that our prices are appealing and great for the time being for business.
Not that we’re really too worried about small incidents, and this was actually the first time we have tried to pursue extra costs but we were definitely surprised at the lack of support from Peerspace. We simply don’t understand how a studio business with rules can’t then charge when evidently broken! Why would Peerspace have hosts write up rules for each listing if there is no fees for consequences?

We will consider a security deposit but our studio really caters to very small and quick productions that are often booked within 24hrs of the scheduled booking so we don’t require insurance. I agree that Peerspace holding a deposit would be amazing and much easier than hosts having to do that directly!

I guess so! But we are our own handymen (unprofessional but can tend to the problem areas easily such as repairing our Cyc wall and sets that we built) so it seems super redundant and time consuming to hire someone to do the work we do ourselves! Especially since our schedule is quite booked we often do repairs overnight to finish in time for the next guests!

But our specific “re-setting” fee for our 100+ props and set pieces is written into our rules and we definitely don’t hire someone to re-set our studio space, we do that ourselves! We have a lot of stuff in our studios and pre-set accordingly prior to each booking but there are some guests who completely dismantle all structure and leave it in such disarray that it can hinder our buffer time between bookings just putting back all the shit they played with! (it’s very rare that people leave it in such condition that don’t meet our standards)

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I hate hearing that hosts are having trouble collecting small amounts for damages and rules not being followed. And then comments that the fee amounts are “arbitrary” unless invoiced by a third party? Our hourly rental rates are completely arbitrary as well. Many hosts, myself included, make repairs ourselves, and request compensation that is typically less than a 3rd party would charge. And we get it done faster to ensure the best experience for our next guest.

@Eric it sounds like there is a fair amount of time wasted by hosts and Peerspace staff on these small charges. Perhaps we could work toward a system where charges under $100 are pushed through and expected to be paid? Especially for hosts who with a proven record of providing great experiences for their guests.

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@Brad_B - thanks for bringing this thread to my attention.

It is clear to us that damages are a real friction point for all parties involved — guests, hosts and even Peerspace itself. We would like to find ways to make this whole process easier for everyone.

Before COVID hit, we had a couple of projects in the works aimed directly at alleviating this problem. We had to put those on hold over the last 6 months. We are now getting back to them.

You all mention a few possible solutions in this thread: 1) security deposits, 2) stating the cost of specific repairs in house rules and 3) requiring no proof for charges below a certain amount for good hosts. These are all good. We have a couple of additional ideas.

Just know that we are looking at this problem now. We’ll keep you posted as we make progress.

Thanks

Eric

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Absolutely agree!
Thanks Brad!

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I’ve been renting my house for a long time, and some of these issues happen. I handle it by taking a deposit check of my own, on every set. I won’t get into the pitfalls of Peerspace on the forum, that’s for everyone to decide on their own, and how they can make it work. My system is to request a check before every shoot, it’s in my rules. I usually don’t cash the check, and at the end of the day, if there have been issues I discuss them with the guests, and come to a mutually agreed amount, and I refund the difference. It’s very rare that I have to do this, but when it does, it has to be addressed. It’s not popular with guests, but good guests don’t mind, and it doesn’t keep them from coming back. Regular location companies do the same practice, and when there is an issue, they are quick to respond to their hosts, and act as an intermediary to help rectify the issue. I think rather then overloading Peerspace with issues like this, just handle it in this way, its a bit more complicated, but it offers peace of mind. Any real producer will already be used to the idea of a security deposit at a location. I do recommend that people take a set of photos of your location on arrival. That way there is no dispute.

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Dang, I had slept on this thread and see that @Brad_B and @Eric have some amazing ideas in place.

I don’t have much to add, except to say that things are really improving and that this is great news.

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Jumping in to very much support some kind of infrastructure for damage and/or “resetting” fees. Like @Smac_M, most of my booking are short and small, and charging a flat cleaning fee would impact the amount of bookings highly. 80% of renters leave the space as they found it, and I don’t feel the need to charge a cleaning fee in those cases. Occasionally I’ve had people leave gear all over the floor, windows open, etc- nothing broken or really trashed, but definitely more work than a $0 cleaning fee would warrant. I don’t meet my guests at the space (it’s all remote), and even if I could it would not make sense for me to collect a deposit for every rental given that many are two hours or so. I would be THRILLED to see a solution for Peerspace where they arbitrate a deposit, or make damages/room resetting outside of regular cleaning more enforceable. Thanks!

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Just wanted to add that I agree with all the comments above, we need a system for collecting security deposit, etc.

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I agree with all the comments above, we need a system for collecting security deposit.

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