Some hosts set the security deposit on their accommodations, and if you break something while staying there, the host has the right to ask for the reparation, and if both sides fail to reach an agreement, Airbnb steps in to decide the amount of reparation.

However, what about the case the host doesn't set the security deposit? Is the guest still obligated to make reparation?

The Airbnb page only states the case where the host sets the security deposit.

What do I do if my guest breaks something in my place?

If you need to make a claim on your security deposit, you can do so in the Resolution Center within 14 days of your guest’s checkout date or before the next guest checks in, whichever is earlier.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a business question, not really related to travel (even though Airbnb is travel related, your question about it is not). – Moo Jan 7 '18 at 0:40
  • Seems like a travel question to me, @Moo. What happens if I break something in an Airbnb where that hasn't asked me to pay a security deposit? – David Richerby Jan 15 '18 at 20:04
  • @DavidRicherby that's still not a travel question, it's a question about business policies and practices. Just because it's about Airbnb or a hotel doesn't automatically make it travel related. This is more a legal question than anything, and even then it would be split into a bajillion jurisdictions. – Moo Jan 15 '18 at 20:07
  • @Moo *boggle* It's a question about the policies and practices of a business that is intimately related to travel. – David Richerby Jan 15 '18 at 20:18
  • @DavidRicherby not really, it's a legal question about responsibility for damages and whether lack of a security deposit exhonerates the guest. Breaking a table in McDonalds doesn't make the question about cooking. – Moo Jan 15 '18 at 20:21

Common sense and decency suggest that if you break something in your host's home beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear, you should compensate them the cost of repairing the damage. As for whether this is legally enforceable, depending on the jurisdiction the host may be able to sue you in small claims court or similar. And they can certainly leave you a negative review on the AirBnB website.

When I accidentally caused minor damage in a host's apartment, I left some cash based on my estimate of the cost to repair it, which the host appreciated and did not escalate to AirBnB - a win for both sides.

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