The majority of short let guests are good guests and they are very respectful of the property. However, there is a risk some guests may intend to hold a party during their stay.
Its previously been a rare occurrence but with COVID restrictions limiting places to go out, this has increased the risk of using short let accommodation and Airbnb’s as party venues. In fact, Airbnb has also become aware of this risk and as a temporary measure banned any parties until the end of the summer.
Following this, we thought it was useful to provide some practical steps you can take to protect your property from this happening.
1. Set a longer minimum stay – avoid 1 night bookings particularly on weekend nights. The longer the stay reduces the chances the guests are using the property as a party venue as it increases the cost of the stay and someone who wants to party is there usually for 1 night only.
2. Set some day’s notice for advanced booking – the pattern of people booking for parties is last minute and often correlates with credit card fraud as they need to use the card quickly before it gets blocked or identified by the real owner as lost, stolen or being misused.
3. Set a deposit – this will help put off some guests as they will be aware they will lose their deposit if they have a party and cause damages. It’s good practice anyway to set a deposit to cover minor damages. You will need to find the right deposit level so that its not too high to put off guests booking but high enough to act as a deterrent and screen only for serious and genuine guests.
4. Set house rules – it is important to state that parties are strictly forbidden and any other desirable behaviors you encourage during the stay such as being respectful to neighbours and keeping the noise down. Guests are legally required to adhere to government regulations in regards to noise disturbance and anti-social behavior.
5. Screening of guests – booking channels vary but all give some information about the guests and settings you can apply, such as limiting the age of guests, whether they have a verified ID, some reviews, etc. In addition to this, we recommend you ask guests the reason for their stay and try to find out if it makes sense (we have seen guests from a particular city booking in the same city, there are valid reasons for this but a question to ask is why would they need to do that if they already live in the same city?). We have found that suspicious guests don’t communicate much, book last-minute, and often don’t give credible responses.
6. Meet the guests at check-in – if you are carrying out an in-person check-in or key exchange this is a good opportunity to screen the guests in person. Although at this stage the booking is already confirmed, it doesn’t mean that if your suspicions are raised that you can’t do anything, you can still stress to the guests the house rules and act more quickly to anticipate if there is any inappropriate behavior. Also if the guests don’t match the booking details, for example, the number of guests you can contact the booking channel to intervene and remind the guests about the booking terms.
You can do any one of these things but we recommend doing all of these things in combination to help minimise the chance of bad guests coming to stay.
We hope that you found this article helpful and it gave you some tips on how to protect your property when you host or rent on a short let basis.
If you need help with managing your property on a short-term basis then please contact us at HelloGuest.