Currently, the maximum penalty for hosts who cancel reservations less than 7 days before check-in is $100. As of August 22, however, the maximum penalty will be $1,000 according to a blog post on Airbnb. The penalty will be deducted from future payments of cooperating hosts.
Regarding the tightening of the policy, Airbnb has made it known that the aim of the change is to crack down on unjustified and unfair cancellations by hosts. "When hosts cancel guests' reservations for avoidable reasons - such as double bookings or because they prefer to host friends and family in place of guests - guests lose trust and are hesitant to book on Airbnb, which affects all hosts and hurts our entire community," the company said. "We found that the fee structure does not adequately reflect the cost of moving guests to a similar or better place, too often at the last minute after a host cancels for an avoidable reason," the company added.
Asked by Insider why Airbnb waited until the end of the summer season to introduce the new policy, Airbnb did not respond. Hosts will still be able to apply for an exemption from the fees if they proceeded to cancel for valid reasons, such as urgent repairs to the property or personal illness. Hosts are also allowed to cancel if they can prove that a guest intended to hold a party at their property.