Hello - I've been a superhost with two rentals for the past 2 1/2 years. I got a booking and accepted it, even though the guest didn't answer my question re: what was the purpose of her visit (I ask all local guests this question, since it turned out to be a red flag re: some drug dealers in the past, and I read here to proceed with caution). I wrote her 4 messages and she never responded, finally responded to a text, saying she was visiting family. She lists her local address but says she doesn't live there anymore, did not indicate where she lives, and only has one review under someone else's name.
Given what's going on here in the past few days with Covid-19 in California, I feel uneasy about this reservation. First because of her unresponsiveness and now because the bathroom for the unit is in the back of my house and there is a common tiny little hallway I must pass through right outside the guest bathroom, in order to get to the back yard.
Do you ABB will allow a penalty-free cancellation in this case? Am I being a bit paranoid?
@Carole212 Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to reach anyone at Airbnb in a timely manner about cancelling, and I highly doubt they would agree to cancel it even if you did. It's quite possible the guest just didn't get or see your messages on the platform, for whatever reason. It happens. She did respond to your text. It also sounds quite plausible that she's moved away, and is coming back to visit family. What plan do you have in place for the issue of close shared common space? That would be a concern for you and ANY guest, this one or otherwise.
@Carole212 Non-responsiveness is always a legitimate reason to decline a request, but I'd expect that once you've accepted a non-Instant booking, the threshold for penalty-free cancellation gets a lot higher.
If you're concerned that the guest may be using a false identity, you can tell her that you've updated your rules and now require ID to be presented at check-in. But if you don't have any evidence coming in that the guest intends to violate your rules, you'll probably have to wait and see what this guest is like when she shows up.
It's possible that any guest could turn out to be a drug dealer, but you do yourself no favors by allowing guests to bring unregistered visitors onto the property. Your House Rules imply that a dealer would be free to have a procession of customers coming throughout the day, as long as they close up shop by 10 PM.
You say you got a booking and accepted it so I assume this was not an instant booking? In that case, you cannot cancel penalty free because you feel uncomfortable about the guest. That option is only there for instant bookings.
It is a real shame that Airbnb forces hosts to accept/decline within 24 hours without taking into account that the guest may not respond to our answers within this timeline. Guests are usually not aware of this deadline. I've had some guests send a request and then not respond to anything until I decline it. Then they will immediately respond to my questions and beg to book the place. It's so frustrating because obviously my acceptance rate has gone down as a result, but it makes no difference to them.
It may turn out that your guest is fine. Unfortunately, many guests are just not that communicative once they've booked. I've had several occasions where I've had to contact Airbnb to get any kind of response from the guest. Some of these guests were annoying because they were so disorganised but most were absolutely fine. Bear in mind also that the App is glitchy and people don't always get notifications.
COVID-19 and shared spaces is a completely separate issue. I doubt that Airbnb would let you cancel penalty free because you're uncomfortable about that given that your calendar was open and you accepted the booking.