I've had a series of horrible guests, one stayed for 3 months, didn't tell me she canceled the lasting, yet stayed here the whole time and got her money back from Airbnb. The other guest, overstayed his stay, borrowed money from me and still left a bad review on my listing. Threatening to do more, like involving CPS, and such, if I still pursue the matter of charging him the overstayed nights he was here.
I can't still do Airbnb, after all this, especially when there is no 100% guarantee that the damages caused by the guests are not taken care of by Airbnb (although pictures have been submitted) and the money lost from their booking itself. Has anyone gone through anything like this? What can I do, besides quitting?
So Sorry these things have happened to you;
I'm confused though how they are possible?
If the guest cancelled their reservation, surely you got an airbnb notification. Do you not have the app on your phone? Did you set up your parameters to be informed of these things? Do airbnb emails go to spam?
I'm on my listing looking at the calendar every day or several times a week; we're all different so I can see if you only have one LT listing you might not do this. But there must be some way to set your parameters to get more notifications about important events like cancellations.
Also - how can a guest borrow money from you? If they did, it must have been an interpersonal close relationship with this guest... so maybe a question of putting up more barriers and distance between yourself and your guests.
Also, maybe not taking long term guests if they are sharing your living space (at least before getting to know them)...
@Nicole2229 I have the same questions as @Susan1188. Further to that, take a look at your guest vetting process. It needs tweaking. Prevent guests like this from getting in the door. You own your listing, own the process of renting it. Set clear and firm boundaries and don't let guests cross them. Take more control, be proactive, and assert yourself when needed. Use your house rules to your advantage. And don't ever rely on Airbnb to 'rescue' you if things go awry with guest situations.
Nicole, I had a look at your listing and I have the following recommendations, to avoid having these "bad guest" situations.
It looks like you have modified almost none of the standard airbnb parameters (all of which are in host disadvantage)..
- You have cancellation on "flexible" guest can cancel for full refund up to arrival day!
- You have no minimum stay or maximum stay, guest can IB for 1 night or 3 months, same day arrival! Really?!
- Your house rules are not rules they are a list of extra services for sale
- Decide on guest behaviour you want. Then put it clearly in your house rules, in different areas of your listing, your IB message, your welcome correspondence with the guest
- You have on IB and apparently almost no parameters - guests can book a 1 night stay or a 3 month stay just click and book.
- get guest IDs. Not just to have their ID's, which I find useful for checking their age etc, but because this is dissuasive to scammers and cheaters.
- Don't let just everyone use your entire home limit the guest space and state the limits clearly on your listing and house rules. You can say for example the clothes washer is only available for stays over 1 month. You can say people must first book one week before you accept a long term booking. Etc.
- Fill in the house rules! This is shared space with you, your pets and your daughter. Your house rules are empty. Think out how you want your guest to behave and spell it out!
- Your instant booking message is a valuable space for communicating the most important RULES and behaviours spelled out, not for selling extra services like facials...
- Clearly if you had 2 guests overstay without realizing it, (1) you need to update your notification parameters and check your listing more often - you can for example synch with your google or iphone calendar with your Airbnb calendar - and (2) perhaps you get too familiar with your guests and the line between friend and host gets blurred. This is not Airbnb's fault.
- Fill in much more of your listing such as "other things to note", spelling out what guests have access to and when. Maybe put a small fridge or other things in their room or in a limited space so they are not all over your house.
- Do not do self check-in when it is your own space you are sharing! You need to meet these people!
- You can say "host will meet you on check in", and then, if the guest seems like a really good profile and provides ID and answers your questions, let him self check in if you decide. Just don't advertise it up front that way.
- You should answer that review of that first lady who criticizes you for keeping her money after she cancelled - write something neutral and professional about the cancellation policy being respected and that those were airbnb fees that didn't even go in your pocket. It kills me these people think they can reserve your home then cancel for absolutely free and get all their money back because "they didn't stay".
- Overall, more limits and structure in the listing and the way you host - people will respect you more and take advantage less.
Damages, sadly, will most likely not be covered by Airbnb but you will limit damages by screening your guests and updating your house rules and parameters, as well as keeping more distance and being less friendly with your paying guests.
I hope that helps and all the best...