Cats and a grand piano!

Cats and a grand piano!

Hi all, we are considering renting our 5 bed family home on Airbnb for the weeks that we are away on holiday.  It's a lovely property in London and we think (hope!) it will attract interest.  As a newbie, there are two things that are concerning me though.  


1 - We have 2 cats and I'm not sure if it would be acceptable to rent the property with the cats and state that a neighbour will come in once daily to feed them - does this invade privacy?  Other option is to ask the guests to feed the cats but appreciate that may not be what people want and also then I have to trust complete strangers to do this!


2 - we have a grand piano which is my pride and joy - I would be devastated if this is damaged.  We can't really lock the room it is in as it's a main living space, I don't want to be a killjoy and say guests can't play it and I think it could also potentially add to the value of the rental, but for eg if a drink was placed on the French polished lid or spilt over the keys it could cause irreparable damage.   Is it acceptable to put a notice saying please feel free to play the piano but no drinks allowed in this area and also to keep the fabric cover in situ over the main body of the piano?  Do people usually trust guests to take care of such valuable items?  It's not something I can move or lock away so...!


Thanks all for any help 🙂





10 Replies 10
Top Contributor
England, United Kingdom

@Amanda2724 Between the expense you will incur making the property comply with the new fire regulation guidance and the insurance you will need I am not sure this is worth doing for just 2 weeks rental.

Level 8
Hardys Bay, Australia

Hi. Firstly, you most certainly couldn’t leave the cats on the premises. Secondly, Airbnb will not cover damage to your piano.  Where were you planning on putting all your personal belongings? The cleaning fee is around $90. I don’t think this would cover your laundry bill let alone cleaning a 5 bedroom house. Perhaps you should look at Homeforexchange then your cats would be looked after and your sheets and towels clean when you return home. 

Thanks so much for your reply @Bronwyn100 . I've asked airbnb about this and they say that all rentals are covered up to $3m USD insurance as standard?  Am I missing something?  

Top Contributor
England, United Kingdom

@Amanda2724 Yes - you are missing a lot. You really need to talk to your existing insurer (and mortgage holder if appropriate) to check that your cover (or mortgage) is not invalidated by using Airbnb.

Next you have to consider that Aircover for damage is not a regulated insurance hence there is no recourse if it lets you down.

Then you have to recognise that if Aircover does pay out it pays a depreciated amount rather than a replacement cost. So if you don't have receipts etc or if a perfectly serviceable item is old you may not get anything.

Finally let's look at the scenario when the guest leaves and the house burns down that night due to a fault in the wiring embedded in a wall. The guest can't be blamed so Aircover doesnt pay out and your insurance is invalid so it doesn't pay out.

One day Airbnb will be done for false advertising........

Wow ok!  Seems more and more like it's not a good idea - despite the fact that so many people do it.  We'd be away for approx 6-8 weeks a year and it would really help with being able to afford holidays etc.  A shame not to do it but equally it is worrying!

Yes. It’s one thing to say they do. Second thing to actually get the cover. You need to read all the posts where Airbnb have not come to the party. 

@Amanda2724 My view is, after 8 years of hosting, you have to be prepared for anything. If you can't bear to lose it or have it damaged, then don't leave it out is my golden rule. You are now in the hospitality business, very few guests unless you carefully screen are not going to respect things. So grand piano is a no go...

And definitely not cats in premise. Many guests have allergies and you'll want a deep clean before even renting that. Unless of course, you carefully screen.

I don't think airbnb is honestly the best platform for your product ie your house if you aren't doing this regularly and aren't setup to hide away all your private stuff including family photos etc. Better find an alternative holiday rental service that is more unique/particular to your needs like house swaps etc where you interview potential guests for long stays.

Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @Amanda2724, great advice from our Hosts,


Let us know if after these suggestions you are still planning to list your property. In case you find it useful, >>here<< is an article on how to list it.


Keep us posted.



Please follow the Community Guidelines // Por favor consulta las Normas de la comunidad

Level 3
London Borough of Ealing, United Kingdom

Hi @Amanda2724 


I too have a lovely home in London, antique furniture and one beloved pet cat. I'm almost 100% certain that if you left your cats and French-polished piano to Airbnb guests, you'd be in for a great deal of heartbreak in very short order. If you want to test the water, maybe rent out one bedroom initially for a few months whilst you are at home. Set an initial limit of a maximum of five days. That should enable you to at least gain an insight into how guests behave. I've done so for a while, and not had any nightmares, but have had some very peculiar guests who I certainly wouldn't trust with pets or treasured possessions.

@Darren402 thank you so much for this insight - I think my gut reaction is tending towards not doing this now.  Not sure I'd be able to relax on holiday!