January 17, 2018

Bad Guests and How to Avoid Them – 4 Rules

When a potential guest books a stay using the booking system through a short-term rental service such as Airbnb or HomeAway/VRBO, they agree to abide by some basic rules of conduct. Accordingly, the host agrees to provide the safe environment that is as described in its listing, along with all amenities and services that have been promised.

Short-term rental services in the travel industry are doing so well largely in part because both guests and hosts abide by these agreements most of the time. The people who utilize these services are courteous and appreciate the convenience it provides.

That said, as a host, you are going to run into the occasional problematic guest. This can range from guests that are too loud or overly demanding with unreasonable requests or complaints, to guests doing actual damage to your property. Bad guests are out there. Here are a few rules to avoid them.

Rule 1: Come up with a clear set of house rules

It’s important to have a set of house rules and to go over these rules with the guest before handing over the keys. Have these house rules displayed in the services and contract book provided to the guest. This can quash some problems right out of the gate. Remember - if you have a list of house rules, Airbnb and other like services require you to display your house rules to potential guests before renting.

Rule 2: Have the guest sign a rental contract

A rental contract is one of the most proactive ways of dealing with bad guests. Simply put, it outlines the responsibilities of the host and the guest. If there are any problems with the rental in the future – including property damage or loss – you have a legal contract to refer to.

If you choose to have a guest sign a rental contract, you’ll need to present it before a guest makes their reservation. You must also explain in your listing that a guest must sign a rental contract. A guest has a right to cancel without penalty if they are not allowed to review the terms of agreement before booking.  https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/465/can-hosts-ask-guests-to-sign-a-contract.

As with all contracts, a rental contract requires a signature. You can do one of two things: have the guest sign the contract when they arrive, or use a service like DocuSign and send it with an electronic signature before the booking has been confirmed.

Rule 3: Require insurance While Airbnb does offer a host protection program, it’s not actually offering insurance – claims are not guaranteed. This coverage is considered a program and is completely subjective.  The host is not named insured on any insurance policy, and Airbnb has the final say on what claims get paid out. You can always get additional insurance from some new sources like Slice.ic which provides significant protection for an average cost around $4-$7 per night.

Rule 4: Require a security deposit

This is a predetermined amount of money required from a guest when they book and pay for the reservation. You can decide the amount you wish to charge for the deposit when setting the pricing in Airbnb or VRBO/HomeAway settings. If damages occur, costs are subtracted prior to refunding of the deposit.

Trust and Safety guest verification

While Airbnb does provide a basic background check, there are services available that provide Trust and Safety partner checks. These services run a guest verification check using information such as name and home address to verify the guest identity. Additionally, they check against global fraud and crime databases, sex offender lists, and felony records within the United States.

Using these basic rules, most problems renting out your home on services such as Airbnb can be avoided. Of course, there’s no way to weed out all challenging guests and you’re eventually going to have an issue no matter how many steps you take to avoid it. If you want to learn more about having a professional handing the marketing of your property and help with some of the above issues, feel free to contact Voyajoy.com.

Chang Kim

My name is Chang and I manage operations at Voyajoy. I've been in the short-term rental space for the last four years and have an operations career dating back 20+ years. I've learned about vacation rental management the hard way and have seen how quickly this industry has changed in a very short time. My objective is to use this experience and knowledge to give our valued clients big competitive advantages.

Rental Management
Vacation Rentals

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on vacation rentals!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form