Hey friends! New-ish host, freshly minted Superhost, and first-time poster here. Thanks for reading :)
Our listing is a mother-in-law basement unit in our single family home. Guests have a private entrance, and they first enter a small "foyer" room (which has a welcome sign), before continuing through another door into the unit itself. I'm considering putting a camera in the "foyer", facing the exterior door. Two main reasons:
1) Guests often don't tell me when they have departed. I want to know immediately so I can begin turning the unit over, and I don't want to harass them about it.
2) No issues with this yet, but I'd like to know who is coming and going, to get ahead of potential issues with extra guests or parties.
The "foyer" room is isolated from the unit itself by a solid door, which has a deadbolt, so guests will always close and lock that door after they go inside. Absolutely no cameras inside the unit itself.
Any feel on whether people might get upset about this? Of course, I would update my listing to make it very clear that there is a camera and where it is.
@Ben-and-Sam0 Theoretically, it should be okay, but we've recently seen issues here in the Community Center with hosts being removed from the platform for having security cameras even though they have been disclosed in the listing, in accordance with Airbnb rules. It just takes one person to report you and you could lose your listing.
Your hosting situation is very similar to mine: my primary listing is also an apartment in my family home. Personally, I've chosen to just keep an eye on things without setting up a camera, because I'm afraid that someone will report it and have me de-listed. Hosting at home makes that fairly easy. If you want to know when people have left, maybe just ask them to let you know when they've checked out in your check in or check up message. It unfortunately doesn't help with people who try and sneak in extra guests, but I haven't had a huge amount of issues with that. I think that because I'm a home host, guests are less likely to attempt it.
I recommend you make a video of the doorbell. For example xiaomi. It doesn't piss people off. They don't see it as a camera and surveillance. This call has great functionality
@Ben-and-Sam0 Hey Ben & Sam!
I have a similar set up. I live in the upstairs unit and our basement has a separate entrance through our backyard.
I have two outdoor cameras. One on the front of my house and one at the back on my garage (which also shows the driveway and backyard).
I installed the cameras after one of my cars was broken into. BUT I found they are GREAT for knowing when my guests have left, etc.
I would recommend putting one outside (seems less invasive), or like @Виталий5 suggested, try a Ring or Nest doorbell by the entrance!! :)
This seems okay. I was thinking of doing something like this too. In an insane turn of events, my guests left their keys in their car and some teenagers drove off with it. I also had an incident where only one person said he'd be there but he had a crazy party with more than one person. In both instances, a camera would have been helpful. It's about your protection and the protection of the guests as well. As long as it is in the unit, and its location is disclosed in the listing, it seems legit.
@Ben-and-Sam0 I think a camera inside, even though isolated and not in the actual unit, just gives off a vibe of being invasive, as if the camera is just there to keep tabs on the guests.
Putting the camera outside as others have suggested is great because then you can let the guests know it's for their safety and security. You can still use it for the same purpose of watching who comes and goes, it just won't seem to a guest like it's specifically for that purpose!
Camera anywhere inside BAD idea, don't do it. You are opening yourself up to potentially bad reviews and someone reporting you. Cameras outside, GOOD idea and you should always have but ensure to tick off the box that says cameras located on premises.
I never had a person complain I had exterior cameras. The ones that would complain you don't want anyways since they are likely up to no good. After all, cameras are everywhere these days and hotels have them too at the check-in counter.
Try getting schlage smart lock. With the app, it will tell you what time your guests have left. I use that to track who is coming and going. I also have a unique code just for my cleaner so I can see when she entered.
We have outdoor security cameras and lights and fully disclose this in our listing. They work in conjunction with each other, and no one has ever complained or felt an invasion of privacy even when pointed out as part of the welcoming aspect. We want our guests to feel safe and secure.
The lights on our unit in the backyard come on automatically at dusk and go off at 12.30am. After that the lights will come on when motion-activated, as well as regular flood lights positioned on the driveway. Again, no guests have ever felt uncomfortable or questioned the use of these.
We have a big problem here with the graffiti drawers. Insane vandals from hell! Pretending, that they are making some sort of "art", they are drawing on all facades across the city. And it's getting worse! The police is not interested in them. These guys are afraid of light like vampires. If a facade is well lit, they don't approach it. Also, if there is a camera. So, my neighbors got tired of living in a mess and offer installation of cameras and additional lights.
At one side- it will definitely stop the "painters". On other side...I'm not so sure about the guests reaction. Also...I hate cameras. They are not a solution. They just replace one problem with another, bigger one. Two cameras at the front door and two in the courtyard. That's the idea. There will be no cameras inside the building. Anyway...I'm still concerned about it.
You're getting a lot of responses suggesting you not have it inside. In my experience it's not that bad, so long as it's isolated from the living spaces.
I had a camera in my downstairs hallway (guest suite is upstairs) the first two years I hosted. Nobody ever mentioned it and I had great reviews.
I chose that camera because at the time I couldn't find an outdoor one that could withstand our brutal winters. Since then I've installed a Ring video doorbell and removed the one from the hallway. The biggest advantage with the Ring is that I can use it for communication (2-way speaker), not just surveillance. ("If you have any issue at arrival, please message me or use the Ring doorbell").