So I have been a host to more than a handful of guests... Most of them wonderful... one was a bad apple.
I must say that the extra money has made it possible for my family to have nice vacations for "free". I say free because I did not have to touch our annual budget to go on vacation. It's easy to overlook that there's always a possibility that there might one or two bad apples out there that might end up in my home. The income I was making made that easy.
But one day, I was sitting in my kitchen watching the morning news. I was horrified to hear that an Airbnb host was murdered and another whose child was molested by a guest. I must say that these made me re-evaluate my willingness to open my dooors again.
My site is still up. I have had only one inquiry since then and I politley declined. [the person did not have a profile picture which was a strict requirement for me]
I will really miss the income but I cannot reconcile the possiblity that it could happen to me and my family since I am sharing my home and not just a property.
@Florence-And-Michael0 We think as we are host dont forgot as well guests been raped and murdered by host
So as much as not guests are angels the same can be said by some host
But thankfully those are rare cases in both side
but true if u are sharing ur home with kids we have to be vigilent as unfortunately lot of predator in this world
Thank you all for your insightful replies...
True.. there are so many dangerous things out there...
My post was a knee jerk reaction to something I saw in the news... It made me think. It made me pause.
@Kelly-And-Dan0 this is so true: "Nothing has to be"
Twelve years ago there was no such thing as Airbnb!
On 10th August 2017 Airbnb notched up it's 4 millionth listing!
Also in August 2017 on the night of 5th, 2.5 million users stayed in an Airbnb listing.
By 2020 it is estimnated there will be 20 million Airbnb users in Europe alone!
Florence we don't live in a perfect world, I try not to watch news services because I rarely ever see something nice come out of a news service! It's all about who's place got robbed, who was subject to street violence, the local pizza shop being firebombed, that head-on on interstate B5 that claimed 4 lives!
I am a glass half full person, not a glass half empty one!
I have hosted 130+ people/groups of people here Florence and there is not one of them that I would not gladly want to see walk up my driveway and into my life again. Airbnb has introduced me to a world of beautiful people I never knew existed.
There are risks, but name me something in life that does not present some form of risk. Florence, you have more chance of standing in the street outside your home and being struck by lightning, than being murdered by an Airbnb guest.
But in the final inalysis you must feel comfortable doing what you are doing, and if you feel that risk is too high then accept that this is a part of life you are not comfortable with, and walk away from it.
I have a wife in the latter stages of MS....the legs don't work any more and she has to have regular injections to boost her immune system.
The money we have earned from Airbnb has given us the opportunity to have some wonderful times together, times that will not be there to look back on for much longer.
Things come and go, but memories are forever....
and so, for me Florence....I think I will take the risk!
I have looked at all my guests last year and I have not accepted 88% of inquiries and for the entire time I was hosting I have not accepted 92% of the inquiries I get. so the 20+ guests I have, they have been vetted and handpicked to fit my needs. So it is really disheartening to get such comments like the latest one below(@pete)... It is what I get when I open up a topic such as this one... I get it... but it does not help me or anyone who are in a similar situation.
I am sure I am not unique in my situation i.e. sharing a room they live in with a stranger while having a child as part of the package. Like what other host have said (and I acknowledge it), there is indeed an inherent risks in renting a shared room. I ask everyone who have weighed in on this: Place yourself in my situation, would you still accept the folks you have rented your non-shared rooms/apartments to them or not? I would think that you would probably think twice or three times before you hit "accept booking"
Risks are everywhere like Robin said and I agree... There are 1.3 million deaths in car crashes every year and yet people with children still put their kids in cars... go figure.
Sir, I mean no disrespect, but you may have hosted 130 people with no serious problematic outcomes, however, this cannot serve as a reference point for other hosts. Your experience is only yours. In my current country of residence there is a proverb saying that "what may be good for a Russian, will cause death to a German". That's how life is.
I once was thinking like this, but I read the reviews well, I look them up on facebook, I look to see if I can find them on search after I see them on fb. One do have to be careful, because I heard that Airbnb would not really help you, if you get hurt by a visitor, they would quickly help the visitor. If you read the roles well, it says you are responsible to choose your guest. I would be careful, but if you are too scared, maybe sharing your place would not work out for you. You do not want your guest to feel uncomfortable, they are coming to your place with an open mind too. This is so sod to hear about what happen to the host, there are bad people in the world, and there are also very good people.
I did find someone who presented like a cat-fisher, wanted me to send him my phone number and just the questions he was asking. I just block him, so you will find people with motive beyond your contro.
So I have "snoozed" my listing for a couple of months while I fixed a few isssues...
Safety is still in my mind... I have put locks in each of the bedrooms so we can lock all doors from the inside. Our dog now sleeps in our bedroom... (although I am not sure he will protect us beause he is the most docile dog I have ever met.)
The biggest thing I follow is my gut insticnt... If I don't feel right about the guest.. I politely say NO.
I have been a super host many times but lost it because do not have 10 reviews for the past 12 months.
I have lost business to other airbnb hosts in my area. I have declined guests just because they do not meet my criteria of having a review or a profile picture. (I have noticed that there are more hosts in my immediate area). I do feel the lost income but I am okay with it.
I have two kids, and no way would I have some of the weird people I have hosted in my actual home. It amazes me that people would do shared rooms if they have kids or live alone.
We have a separate unit with a couple of locked doors between us and them. Our alarm will go off if they try to force entry or somehow get one of the doors open.
95% are fine, but Airbnb won't let you reject people via instant book without severe penalty, and you can't get rid of them at all easily once they arrive.
The other 5% can be summed up by the following word poem : Smoking, vaping, drunks, loud music playing, filthy cars, extra guests who they met downtown staying, 3am partying. We are not paying. Goodnight to you all !
I have looked at all my guests last year and I have not accepted 88% of inquiries and for the entire time I was hosting I have not accepted 92% of the inquiries I get. so the 20+ guests I have, they have been vetted and handpicked to fit my needs. So it is really disheartening to get such comments like the one above ( @Pete28) ... It is what I get when I open up a topic such as this one... I get it... but that comment also does not help me nor anyone in a similar situation.
I am sure I am not unique in my situation i.e. sharing a room they live in with a stranger while having a child as part of the package. Like what other host have said ( @Robin4 and I acknowledge it), there is indeed an inherent risks in renting a shared room. I ask anyone who have weighed in on this topic: Place yourself in my situation, would you still accept the folks you have rented your non-shared rooms to them or not? I would think that you would probably think twice or three times before you hit "accept booking"
Risks are everywhere... There were 1.3 million deaths every year from car accidents and yet parents are still putting their kids in cars. go figure.
I and my ex used to be Airbnb hosts since their very beginning - since 2013 or so. At first things were just great...for a couple of years. Some time around mid 2016 Airbnb began getting rid of all the hosts that have helped them to become what they are today...well, it wasn't personal - simply followed the rules of business. Airbnb have started manipulating the terms of service into the guests favor. It was so obvious that at first we thought it's just temporary effect of liberastia craze. We were wrong. We started having some insane situations with guests time after time: we could not refuse the guests as Airbnb would take our listings down claiming that we have been repeatedly discriminating against certain races...well, all the races to be precise... Gosh, it became a nightmare as our cottage was trashed every other weekend, some young rich Koreans (how else am I supposed to identify them?) have destroyed our basement...and so on. We have collected some compensations from Airbnb, but decided to be super-careful after I was threatened with hunting rifle from one of the guests - I have contacted RCMP but that person has escaped prior to their arrival. Anyhow, shortly after that we have repeatedly refused the guests and we're finally kicked off the Airbnb with a "racists" diagnosis - that was early 2017. Funny. **bleep** them.