75% of my local guests have completely broken house rules, held parties, left enormous messes, smoked pot in my loft, and damaged my furniture. It seems to me that word has gotten around town that my loft is the perfect place for a party. And when a guest lives in the same town as an Airbnb that is spacious and beautiful they are likely to have plenty of friends and/or family to bring along to the space, using it for any event they like, breaking the house rules and adding to the destruction.
This happened to me this week....even with a security deposit held with the guest's credit card, Airbnb did nothing to collect fees and protect me, the host, from eating the extra cleaning fees and/or furniture damage. If the host doesn't take the "proper steps" and get the proper photo proof and invoices through Airbnb's Resolution Center by the time the host's next guest checks in they are out of luck.
That timeline does not work! In order to fully examine a space for damage and have it cleaned properly after a disastrous mess, the time between the perpetrator's check-out and the new guest's check-in is simply not enough time to clean, evaluate, photograph the damage, collect receipts and invoices AND make a claim to the Resolution Center.
All things considered, I want to have the option to turn away local guests or any guests that I don't feel right about and this should in no way affect my profile rating and preferences. If Airbnb isn't going to protect the host from abusive guests, then the host should be able to make the call as to who they want and don't want in their space.
Anyone else frustrated with locals and the timeline? Are there any other ways to make the guest accountable within the Airbnb set of guidelines?
@Timothy293 If it would work for you then raise your minimum stay to between 3 and 7 days, make clear when people book that you have a no parties rule and that if they party then they will be ejected with no refund. Raise your daily rate and add a weekly discount is another possible ploy.
Thanks for the helpful imput. I have recently changed to a two-day minimum stay and have raised prices. I have also been avoiding locals, willing to risk not being highest up on the search list.
Timothy, I totally feel your pain. I have had an open claim for a MONTH now, with a case manager who is always out of the office for days at a time. She's disputing that my linens and comforters had smoke damage because I too had guests that smoked marijuana and cigarettes at my home and threw a huge party. She said that because the smoke/odor isn't physically seen in photos, they won't reimburse me for the new linens I'll have to purchase. All the while I've had to host my other guests who are booked, on my own dime. I had to remediate the odor damage in the home, which still isn't totally gone. These guests ripped off all my historical doorknobs and stole property. I found pills and whip-its on site, and even with overwhelming evidence of drugs and a party, the onus is still on the host to prove that damage was done to the satisfaction of claims department. I've had it up to here with Airbnb!!!!!
@Timothy293 Your place is amazing. You might also just put a note front and center in your description that 'locals need not apply'. Though most guests don't read much of the description, yours is already tidy and concise enough, so it might just be seen, and may deter enough local requests to cut down on the hassle of fending them off. Good luck!
We had problems with locals as well. Now, I have "We do not host locals" written at the top of our listing. I have instant booking turned off this season but having it written there allows me an out when I decline. When instant book was on and a local guest booked, I was able to cancel penalty-free. CS has never blinked an eye.
I have made a few exceptions for locals over the years: needing to be close to the research hospital down the street because of an early morning surgery or getting caught in an ice storm and they couldn't make it back to their home in the suburbs. Both were awesome guests.
Emily this is great information - thank you! I agree Timothy - when I do have problems with disrespectful & destructive guests - they're usually local. It just stinks because I've also rented to locals who have been very respectful. I too am in KCMO Emily - and apparently just hosted a house party last night in my 2bdrm apartment. The neighbors were also not happy to have honking horns & a party until 4am. My cleaning lady is appalled by what greeted her this morning - broken glasses, a vase, stained carpet & bedding.
I didn't consider posting "We Do Not Host Locals" on my listing - I will do that! I also fear retribution from these locals if I charge them or give them a bad review. My other tenant was fearful to complain because they feared damage to their car - especially with the rioting last weekend. I fear damage to my property if I give her a bad review & don't recommend her. It's not right. She should not be allowed in anyone else's home.
@Jaymi1 That's terrible!
I have the benefit of living just a few blocks from my listing (the host does, too) and I make sure guests know that I can "swing by" if they need anything (or if I need to...). Here are a few things in our Rules that have worked for us that might work for you:
-no more than 8 people can be on the property (ex:5 guests can invite 3 friends) and all guests must leave by 10 pm
-neighbors should not hear sustained noise from guests and will contact us when they do
-We have a rechargable Ring doorbell that lets us monitor things
-Turn off instant booking so you can ask guests questions about who will be in the group and their reason for their stay
-This is the one I think helps the most: I text the upstairs tenant and the neighbor next door about each booking. I tell them how many guests are staying, how long, and how many cars they will have. The neighbors know they can text me or the host at any hour and that we will quash any problem right away.
About 40% of the reservations for both my St. Lucia and Atlanta places comes from locals, and I've not had terrible experiences. Most of them are for romantic getaways, or to attend a local event. I do have a two night minimum, and my listings are connected to our houses. I believe that these two things have been major reasons/incentives for guests to behave properly.
I have recently implemented a 24 hour break after each checkout, and believe this may become standard practice for all listings, and something that guests may inquire about. Hopefully, Airbnb will extend the time period to report damages by at least an additional 24 hours since they are recommending that hosts not enter the space for the period after each checkout.
If you want to discourage/vet locals, tell them that you require a refundable deposit of $XX to be paid via Airbnb's money request before check-in, which will be fully refunded within 48 hours after checkout, if there are no damages.
@Timothy293 I have Instantbook on, but the person must have other reviews and have a verified account. However, I had a local person book tonight because he had one other review (from another local host) and a verified account. The booking was for tomorrow. I was able to cancel the booking without any service charges, but the Airbnb rep was mad because I don't state in my listing that I don't accept local reservations. She suggested I turn off Instantbook, but Airbnb punishes guests by removing penalty-free cancellations and being highlighted in a search. Instead, I added a pre-booking message that asks who is staying and what brings the people to town. I also state that we do not accept bookings from local guests.
@Timothy293 , I see a new marketing theme building here that may hint at a shift in best practices. Defining local might be a good idea- Local to me is within 30 minutes drive of Bearpath Lodging, there are lots of reasons folks would stay here that come from areas like Albany and Rochester that have nothing to do with bad intent. Local bookings from places like Syracuse not folks from Tasmania have certainly increased and I think thats just the wave of the future for the time being at least. I have taken most that seemed legit after they answered pertinent questions, some didn't answer and I let them expire when they didnt respond.
Ive only had a couple get loud in 4 years and I cooled them off quickly with a knock on the door and a firm request. I don't know if its a good idea to STR/ host places your not able to police at the same time local or not. That might just be a perfect recipe for disaster stew and not the primary design model even for Airbnb's platform. Stay well, JR