I need help...anyone. I followed everyone's suggestions, I have a cleaning fee. I have a security deposit of $250. I created a rule book and posted notices around the unit reminding them. Yet my first 2 renters are absolutely disgusting! This last one...my cleaner is there as I type this and I have maggots on the floor. They did NO dishes for the week, they fridge is full of food and open containers. The trash was left behind. She even left dishes on my bed. I just don't understand. Is this normal?
The one before this was just as bad, some things were stolen, my end table was ruined with water stains from their glasses, they left feces on toilet paper on the bathroom floor. My cleaner use to work for a company and has never experienced this.
What am I missing? What more should I do?
@Jeffrey397 No this is not normal. But it seems to happen sometimes to first-time hosts, not sure why.
Maybe unrelated, but posted reminders all over a space can be quite off-putting. Also, your published house rules say "Please Review House Rules" which means your only rule is to read the rules, which can't be done until the guest has already arrived. Put your actual rules there so they can be reviewed (and agreed to) before booking.
@Jeffrey397 Do you send the guests a 'hey hope you had a great stay, as far as check-out at XX, all you need to do is XXXXtrash/dishes/whatever. Please let us know if you have any questions, otherwise safe travels, blah blah....'
I find that this message is helpful in getting guests to do the check out procedure we have created.
@Jeffrey397 A "rule book"? This doesn't sound very effective to me. People on vacation often don't even crack open the novel they traveled with, let alone something their host tried to force them to read. Your rules and expectations should be very clearly and concisely disclosed on the listing. Otherwise, you might attract some guests who believe a "cleaning fee" means that any amount of cleaning-up after their stay is covered.
The one review you've left for a guest in May said "Awesome guests, would host again anytime." Was this the same guest who you described as the first one, or have you actually had 3 parties now?
I don't find that it's the norm for guests to leave a disgusting mess behind, but when you have a new listing it's harder to attract the more responsible and conscientious guests. This makes it all the more important to make sure you're not using Instant Book, and take the opportunity to correspond before accepting a booking to be sure your listing and rules have been read thoroughly. You can learn a lot about the guests' character by the way they communicate, and those who show appreciation and respect in their initial contact will tend to reflect this in their treatment of the home.
@Jeffrey397 I'm sorry this has happened to you. No, it's not normal and it sounds like you've been unlucky. But I agree with others here - you must put your house rules on the listing itself. I also recommend turning off instant book until you have more experience, and you may wish to accept guests who only have previous good reviews. Communicating with your guests beforehand gives you a good idea about them. On a final note, I sincerely hope you have left honest reviews for both of these guests because hosts not leaving reviews is precisely how guests like this continue getting away with it.
Many hosts learn the hard way that just because we have rules posted somewhere doesn't mean people will follow/respect them, and common sense and basic decency isn't as common as we'd like to think.
You've gotten a lot of great suggestions - I would like to add that it's best to know what your top 3 or 5 most important house rules are and then be prepared to reiterate and emphasize them to guests (nicely) many many times. Reminders during initial communication, before check in, after check in, and a friendly message reminding them about the check-out to do list always helps (somewhat).
@Jeffrey397 I only see one review so far from guests on your profile and when I looked at the review you left for those guests it says they were awesome guests. So I'm somewhat confused, since you say your first 2 guest groups were pigs. You didn't leave a great review for horrible guests did you? If so, please never do that again.
Reviews you leave for guests are how other hosts know whether to accept guest or not. Never, ever leave a glowing review for a bad guest- that's just pointless and dishonest.