Reposting for 2nd time as I noticed my post disappeared.
I’m a traditional home-sharing host. Been doing this for 2 years and have enjoyed opening up my home and welcoming everyone from different countries and ethnicities. Pre-COVID, my overseas guests usual stay as long as 2.5 weeks and have been fantastic. Due to the pandemic, that’s halted and I get more locals or out of staters. My current guests are here for a month from out of state, looking to purchase a home here in FL. They are an older Vietnamese couple who speaks a little English and the room was booked by their daughter. The first week was great as I was busy with work (I’m a night shift nurse) so we hardly saw each other as they were out house hunting. The second and third week as my work schedule changed, it seems my presence in my own home is an issue.
My first concern is they brought their realtor to my home and sat at my dining room table and started working as if this was their house and I was the guest. After they were done, I privately spoke to the realtor who said the coffee shop was having power issues and thought it was ok to work at my home with his clients. I told him his clients rented a room in my home and not my entire house, and he would need permission from me. Am I being too unreasonable? Because after he interpreted that to his clients (my guests), the wife didn’t want to look or talk to me again for several days!
Secondly, before booking the room, their daughter requested a discount and since I’ve never had guests stay a month, I figured why not so I heavily discounted the room. My rookie hosting self, hadn’t anticipated her parents would cook three times per day making it at times difficult for me to even cook and prep my own meals for work. Some of my pots I can’t even use as they use it every single day, multiple times per day. Is that too excessive? Or I should’ve known for a month stay that was expected? And since they don’t drive, they stay in my home all day after house hunting for about 4 hours. I have a doorbell video camera so I see the times they leave and come back.
Lastly, (I have a lot more, but I can’t write an entire book), when I come home from work the next morning and don’t have to go back to work that evening, I like to sit down on my couch and catch-up on some movies or shows I’ve DVR’d. As soon as I’m in my living room, the wife lets out a big sigh, angrily speaks to her husband in Vietnamese, and goes to her room and starts talking on her speaker phone as if I should know better than to come downstairs. The television volume is never loud and besides, their first week I wanted to show her how to operate the living room TV, but she insisted she preferred watching it on her own tablet she brought with her. One day, she stormed out of my home and her poor husband just followed, when she saw I had sat down on my living room couch to watch TV. Everyday her husband sees me (as he’s there in my kitchen cooking), he asks “Am I going into work today?” I always want to make my guests feel welcome but I can’t help but sense from the wife particularly, I should respect them by not coming home period!
Hi @Chastity3 I fear you will have to suck up this behaviour as your listing states 'You will have unrestricted access to the rest of the house that is shared'
Perhaps change this in future to 'reasonable use of all the shared facilities'
Thank for your response. I will definitely look into the wording! My biggest issue is my current guests having an issue with me even walking around my own home. Turing the TV on, sitting in the living room. I don’t have an issue with them being in those areas, but they seem to have an issue with me being there.
Thanks for your response. I’ve updating my listing to reflect the advice given.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised with them inviting the realtor to work in my home due to the original wording on my listing? All experiences are a learning one for me.
@Chastity3 I think you are dealing with a few issues here. One is cultural, with a language barrier. Another is the fact that you allowed a third party booking. So the parents likely didn't even read your listing at all and if they have no home-share experience, they have a skewed sense of what that means.
Even though your listing wording needs changing, these people are acting rude and entitled. I suggest you contact their daughter who made the booking and explain what is happening and how they are making you uncomfortable in your
own home, if their English isn't up to having this conversation.
You need to make it clear that this is your home, that you have every right to be in it 24/7 without being questioned, and that heaving big discontented sighs because you want to watch TV in your own living room is just plain rude. You should also explain that a guest requires host permission to invite anyone else into your home.
It's time to make your boundaries and expectations clear.
And I would suggest that they would be better off in a non-shared situation and should probably look for another place to stay.
Aside from all that, sharing indoor common areas with guests during a pandemic seems extremely dangerous and foolish.
Thank you @Sarah977 for that shoot straight advice that you always give here in the community!
I gathered their daughter isn’t any better as her mom speaks to her loudly on speaker phone every day. Even though I can’t understand what is being said, she does call out her daughter’s name during the convo. And, immediately after the realtor left, she made sure to call her daughter about it. The next thing I heard on the speaker phone was her daughter yelling out “That’s stupid!” in English. I think their daughter falsely gave them an idea that as a single person who works in healthcare, I won’t hardly be home and it’s going to be as if they have my home to themselves. Her daughter is a nurse as well and should know that I work only 3 nights a week and when I’m not working I’m home observing my guests.
I have endured this entitlement behavior for 3 weeks. I have 8 more days of this and already have written a review and private review that’s waiting to be copied and pasted once they leave. Yes, I already plan to mention not recommending home-sharing for them. I don’t expect a stellar review back and don’t care.
I made sure to send the daughter my house manual prior to her parents arrival and I could tell the parents did read it as they have followed my recycling rules, which not everyone follows.
As a healthcare provider, I got fully (2 doses) vaccinated before their arrival. However, I don’t allow any family over until the guests leave and cleaning had been complete.
@Chastity3 Wow, you've put up with this for 3 weeks! Well, I guess you can stick it out for another 8 days and leave them the review they deserve.
Just because the daughter and parents speak Vietnamese between them doesn't mean the daughter's English isn't fluent, but too bad the daughter seems to share their mentality. And the review will end up on the daughter's profile! I can't imagine thinking it okay to invite a realtor or anyone else to come into someone else's home without asking, but then I seem to have a different idea of good manners than a lot of folks 🙂
@Chastity3today seems to be the day for disconnects about time spent in a home share. Your guests don't want you to be at home. Another hosts is complaining that her guest doesn't leave enough. I think it points to a need for clear policies.
As others have mentioned, if you say "full access" some people will take that very literally. So what can you take away from this experience? There is definitely a need to write an accurate review that warns other hosts ("Guests took over my space and asked when I would be going to work. Best suited to a full home listing rather than a home share.") But take a minute and think, how can you prevent this from happening again?
One thought is direct yet friendly info about your habits. Something like "I work from home and use my kitchen often, so the best fit for my space are independent guests who need occasional use of common spaces and are flexible with my schedule." Update your rules to spell out which areas of the house are off limits and which times of the day you might need more privacy or use of your own space. It doesn't have to be draconian or over scheduled, but if its clear that you need time to use your home it may help future guests to have better boundaries.
@Laura2592 I appreciate your advice and wonderful tips. I will certainly make those changes to better set boundaries.
In my pre-written review, I made sure to mention the husband constantly asking if I was going into work and warned other hosts that I don’t recommend them for home-sharing.
I can also relate to the other hosts that posted about her guest not leaving as I had a guest not too long ago that apparently used my home as her quarantine home before visiting her grandparents. She wouldn’t leave the house and spent her week talking to me to death. I would watch a movie and she would come and talk through the entire movie. I would come home and hide in my room to get away from her.
@Chastity3 You also don't have to make the whole house aside from your bedroom available to guests just because you home share.
My guests have full use of my kitchen, which has never been an issue for me as I only host one guest at a time, and I'm not someone who loves cooking and spends a lot of time preparing elaborate meals.
Some guests use the kitchen minimally, a few cook a lot, but always clean up well.
But my living room isn't offered as common space. If I have a guest I really like who I get on with well, I'll let them know that I have lots of DVDs and they are welcome to sit on the couch and watch a movie if they like, but they aren't led to think that is part of the rental deal in my ad.
You are right @Sarah977. Pre-COVID, majority of my guests were Spanish, here to have a Disney vacation. Many used my kitchen to prepare lunches for a long day at the parks. Some would come home in the evening to cook dinner. It was great as they didn’t live in my kitchen. This is the first time experiencing guests who cooked so much: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then come back to the kitchen later to prepare a snack. Many of their dishes could’ve been cooked in a big pot to have for several days, such as rice and meat but they preferred to cook the same meals each day.
My home is open concept, so it would bother the wife to see me sitting right there in my living room watching TV (with volume low) while they were at my dining room table, even if they weren’t eating. One of my rules is my guests has to eat either at the dining table or kitchen bar. They chose to make my dining room table the area to dine at and hang out, so seeing me across the way on the couch isn’t suitable for the wife in particular.
@Chastity3 I also don't want guests to eat in their bedroom, but my dining table is outside on the terrace right in front of the kitchen because it's pretty much always warm where I live.
Maybe you could get some kind of attractive free-standing screen to put up to divide the dining room table from a view of where you sit to watch TV. Although I realize these guests are an exception to your normal guests and if you put up a screen now, it would just incense Miss Disapproval more 🙂
@Chastity3 Sorry the guest aren't being very considerate. Maybe this isn't the best idea, but you could create a schedule for the kitchen, where you or guest sign up for time slots to use, even if its a way for you to reserve a time slot for yourself for your meal prep for work. You have such a great way of expressing yourself, perhaps even mention it to their daughter that you weren't expecting them to be cooking so much and you haven't been able to prepare your own meals for work. That might not fit your schedule, but would be a way to get guest to commit to a more reasonable schedule. Also if you weren't planning on it, most host wait until either the guest has left a review or wait until the end of 14th day to leave yours. Otherwise you have done the best you can. Good luck and these situations usually work out or guest have a change of attitude.
@John5097 , thanks for the advice. I was contemplating either waiting until the 14 days to leave my review but it would be just my luck that I accidentally miss the window before warning other guests.