It’s recently come to my attention that our neighbors are not happy that we are renting the house.
I found out today that our neighbor was taking pictures of our property while a service technician was there. We also had a guest recently who informed us that our neighbor came over at 6:30pm and asked them to be quieter. He also said “I know this is a rental and do not like that”.
The house was mostly empty for 5 years before we bought it, so they are used to basically having no one beside them.
Has anyone else had issues like this? I’m wondering how to handle this. I would like to be on good terms with our neighbors but also don’t like that they are keeping watch.
@Jordyn6 I think it's quite reasonable for neighbors to be concerned and upset when a house close to them is turned into a whole-house Airbnb rental. If a neighbor has to go over to ask your guests to quiet down, then that's a problem. I don't know how well you vet your guests or how you communicate to them that it is a quiet residential neighborhood and that they need to be respectful of the neighbors, but you will need to stay on top of this if you're not going to have the neighbors try to shut you down.
I think that it's always wise to dialogue with the neighbors first, before you set up a listing, not just suddenly have the neighbors realize there's an Airbnb house next to them.
At this point, I would make contact with the neighbors, whether that is leaving a note in their mailbox indicating that you would like to have a conversation with them to address any concerns about your business, and asking if they would care to meet in person, use email, or communicate by phone.
You could reassure them that it's very important to you that your guests do not cause any disturbance in the neighborhood, that those sorts of guests are not welcome by you, as they also tend to treat the home disrespectfully, and enlist the neighbors' assistance as far as alerting you immediately if there is a problem there. If you are using the income to finance your education, feed your family, etc, let them know this so they don't just get the impression that you are making money hand over fist without regard to the neighborhood peace. Try to turn them into allies who will assist you in party squashing or disrespectful behavior, tell them if there's a problem to please call you immediately, even it's at 2AM. Hopefully they are reasonable people who this will sit right with, but of course there are always those types who will just try to shut you down.
And if there is a problem at your rental, make sure to apologize right away, and leave some token of remorse, like a dinner voucher for a local restaurant, or some gift certificate.
@Jordyn6 Although I agree with @Sarah977 that you'll probably have to have a friendly chat with the neighbors, reassuring them that your guests won't be partying and making noise all night, I don't think it's reasonable for anyone anywhere except a hospital to ask for quiet at 6:30 pm. I let my neighbors know ahead of time what I would be doing and asked them to let me know if they had any issues, and they've all been fine with the guests. However, they're not close enough to hear much if anything.
I think you've hit the nail on the head by pointing out the house was mostly empty for five years. Just tell your neighbors you're sorry there is now activity at the house, but otherwise, what can you do? You have to cherish the cabin by using it!
Also, I love your place so much! Is it winterized or do you have to shut it down in the winter? BTW, I have almost the same light fixture in my cabin bathroom! Do you find the light to be glary? I did, and I got these silver-tipped lightbulbs for it. They look cool and cut down on the glare: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N2B5WKU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks for your input! And thank you, we love it too! Sadly we do have to shut the house down in the winter- we will only have it open for a few more weeks.
the light fixture in the bathroom was there when we bought the house, we just painted it and added the geometric shades to it. It was gold and silver before :-/
@Ann72 I agree that no one can expect "quiet" at 6:30 PM, but it depends on the level of noise. If it's just people having an outside barbeque, talking and laughing loudly, kids running around having fun, that can happen in any neighborhood, regardless if the house in question is an Airbnb or a private, owner-occupied home, and isn't a valid cause for complaint.
Local noise bylaws, which usually restrict excessive noise between 11PM and 7 or 8AM, reflect the general population's expectations in this regard.
But if the guests are blasting loud music, drunkenly screaming, and carrying on like a bunch of yahoos, I don't think that's acceptable at any time of day.
Thank you for your input. I will definitely have a conversation with them.
I have made it very clear to our guests that our place is in a residential neighborhood and to always respect our neighbors and quiet hours. We only allow 4 people to stay in our cabin and there are definitely no parties allowed.
Our guests said they were just hanging out outside talking and laughing with each other, so I can’t imagine how loud 4 people could get.
Either way I will definitely speak to our neighbors to address any concerns they have.
People can have unreasonable expectations, especially when they were "there first." When I moved into my house in Brooklyn, I had a group of two-year-olds over for a playdate at 11:00 on a Tuesday morning. The lady next door came out of her house and said "Do you mind?!? I was sleeping!" If you live near others, it's unreasonable to expect that no one will use their own outdoor space in the middle of the morning in the middle of the week, or at cocktail hour, or any other time of the day.
@Jordyn6 You might try some reverse psychology. Profusely thank your neighbors for taking the time to pay attention to your property, since you of course are not on site and can't monitor things 24/7 [here you can also mention how important it is to you that the property is well taken care of by guests because you've done XXXX improvements since you bought it]. You could then tell them the rules and safeguards you have put in place to ensure that no one is disturbed and the property is taken care of, no parties, etc. Then you can ask them what the guests were doing to cause complaint and see what they say. Your goal is to get the neighbors as your allies moving forward.
@Jordyn6 @As it’s seasonal I might also add that this would only be done during specific dates and inform them how it is handled the remainder of the year etc. This may help in also getting them on your side! Good luck to you in your wooing them :)