It has been a while since I listed a room on here since having a refurb in the house and opting to list them for longer term lodgers on another site.
I read that Insta-book is the preferred method but having just had to serve notice on one lodger who turned nasty, I am very particular about who takes that room which is why I always preferred to have the request method so that they had to do to some effort to contact me.
Back then it was the earlyish days of Insta-book and people were having various issues - I see now you can cancel multiple times with no impact to your rating, and just wanted to see how others (especially UK) have found it?
@Ros0 You served notice on a lodger?- If the lodger is in your own house, the one you live in yourself, you don't need to serve notice, they have no rights here in the UK, you can ask them to leave any time, & get the police to remove them if they don't go! The folk from "Spare Room" told me that!
- If you use Instant Book you may only cancel THREE times a year without financial penalty, $50 or $100 per cancellation, depending on the timescale. You CAN choose to use 'request to book' if you want more control, but your listing will appear lower in search rankings. Personally I DO use IB & have been blessed with 350+ OK to excellent guests. I have always been of the opinion that we in the UK get higher class guests than in the US, where most of the horror stories spring from. Then again, I'm on the edge of the Lake District, which tends to attract 'nice'tourists! London fringe may be more disparate?
Just in case you haven't seen this Guardian article already, I'll just post the link in case it's of interest to you
"In one area of the Lake District: Windermere North, Ambleside and Langdales, there were 19 listings per 100 properties. Local MP Tim Farron described the growth of Airbnb in an area already dominated by second home owners as “a really disturbing issue”.
Revealed: The Areas In The UK With One Airbnb For Every 4 Homes
Thanks @Susan17 I agree that's rather disturbing! Tho' if there were no Airbnb, perhaps these places would still be holiday homes, pushing out the local population?? - My situation is different, I'm 5 miles outside the national park, just outside an ex-coal mining town, pop 24,000 - part of the ex-industrial coastal strip not pretty enough & too ravished to be part of the national park... Plus I host in my own house, so not taking from the local housing stock. So staying with me positively HELPS the National Park problem!
There was a half hour program re the pros & cons of Airbnb on ITV only 2 days ago, prime time, 7.30pm.
The info Airbnb puts out makes it sound as tho' it's simple to cancel reservations: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2022/how-do-penaltyfree-cancellations-work-for-instant-book-ho...
I've never cancelled an IB, but if I needed to, I'd phone CS & ask them to cancel on the basis of not being happy with the guest's past reviews, lack of communication, whatever... I'd do this to try to ensure I wasn't penalized financially. (Too many stories on these boards of hosts who WERE penalized .)
-Last week a first time guest booked with no photo, only a phone no. as verification, no biography, not even his town of residence, nothing! His pre-trip message was "just 1 night between shifts" - better than nothing! I asked him his ETA. - No reply. I messaged again the day before arrival, explaining ETAs were an Airbnb 'thing' .... He did not reply & arrived c. 8pm making excuses that he could not reply cos it asked him to log-in! I COULD have been suspicious of such a guest & cancelled, but these days this scenario is common, & guests increasingly don't understand the need for introductions, mutual exchange & negotiation to ensure a good 'fit', like they probably did when you first hosted, @Ros0 . They think it's like booking a hotel! - And the guest? He wasn't up for talking, kept himself to himself, but no trouble!
Hi @Helen350 Interesting numbers but not so relevant as one room will always be a longer-term let via other sites for a lodger and the smaller room will be an AirBnB max one-month spare room simply because I have a long-standing AirBnB booking with a fellow journo who comes down for Wimbledon.
I continue to see a few horror stories on here about hosts with Insta-book, but of course most people take to a forum when something is wrong.
Keen to know what UK people who have Insta-book set on do to try and ensure someone on the level - in the past I have rejected requesters without government ID or a photo of themselves...
Any advice would be gratefully received while the other lodger and I get over the whirlwind of abuse that was the outgoing lodger!
I do have agreements for lodgers (just a boiler plate agreement) but thankfully this lodger saw the sense of leaving before the next month's rent was due.
I think that room is cursed for long term lodgers - this one and the one before were both pains (it is a smaller room but has a desk, chair, wardrobe, bedside tables and a set of drawers so it isn't THAT small!)
The larger room lodgers have been lovely.
But as a smaller spare room on AirBnB as it was my spare room before I halted everything while I had a loft conversion done) it was fine for staying guests.
My dilemma now is that AirBnB is telling me I need to get my occupancy up (well duh! It was out of action when the house was being refurbished, and then long-let out)... so wants me to cut my costs but I want nice people - have had to reject a few chancers in the past!
I fear a long (re)-learning curve in the land of AirBnB coming up!