Can a security deposit be collected outside of the Airbnb website?
No, except for specific hosts. To make sure guest payments are protected and that hosts are properly compensated for property damages, we require that most security deposits be handled through Airbnb. Payments outside of the Airbnb website, aside from a few specified types, are a violation of our terms of service.
Host-required security deposits are not currently supported in mainland China—except for a small number of professional hosts and hotels. Hosts should not collect the deposit in cash or other off-site ways according to our terms of service.