Top Ten Tips To Protect Airbnb Hosts When Renting Their Place To Strangers

Renting On Airbnb Is Not Without Its Pitfalls for Hosts

Airbnb Hosts know that renting your property on Airbnb is a great way to make extra income, but there are a few pitfalls that can make the whole experience less than stellar. Once you have some great photos and a good description of your place on Airbnb, what are the pitfalls that every seasoned Airbnb host already knows?

10 – Only Rent To Airbnb Guests That Have More Than 5 Positive Reviews

Far too many Airbnb renters have little to lose when they rent on Airbnb, because if an Airbnb host gives them a negative review, they will just delete the account and create a new one and start all over again. Hosts cannot do that and the Airbnb system unfairly burdens them.

Seasoned Airbnb hosts have gotten wise to this scam perpetuated by renters and some hosts only allow renters in their property when they have some skin in the game .

This Requirement Will Reduce The Risk For Airbnb Hosts

A good way to do that is by insisting that renters have at least more than 5 positive reviews from their previous home rentals By asking for this requirement, hosts will reduce the risk of damage and theft from a rental and increase overall profit.

The last thing you want to do is have to make a claim against Airbnb (or even the renter themselves) as it can be a nightmare claim process, but having a renter that is familiar with the renting protocol is going to be helpful in many different ways.

New Airbnb Renters Can Be Tempting When Times Are Lean, But….

Renters new to Airbnb can be a nightmare and hosts will sometimes allow a low-feedback renter to use the property due to it being a quiet time in the renting season or if the renter sent a nice message of introduction, but don’t be fooled by any of this. The host often rue the day they fell for this.

Renters new to Airbnb come with a host of risks that will dramatically effect your bottom line. The renters can complain about the most ridiculous things that are out of the control of the host, like power outages or trees down in the road.

Sometimes New Renters Are Not What They Appear To Be

New renters can often be very difficult to deal with and should be avoided. Sometimes new renters appear to be brand new to Airbnb, but in fact they are just using a new account so hosts don’t know their past misdeeds when renting.

Unfortunately, the Airbnb system does not allow hosts to create the “minimum 5 “ setting so the host must approve every single booking request and take them at face value. Often Airbnb hosts will write it in the description that the renter must have a minimum of five positive feedbacks, but renters with less will often still try to book the property.

They Aren’t Happy When They Get Rejected

When low-feedback renters are told that they do not have enough positive feedbacks, they often get very angry and spew vitriol towards the host, but this underlines that the decision to reject them was an a solid footing.

For Airbnb it is all a numbers game, but for property owners, the profits are in renting to the low-risk renters and avoiding the trouble renters.

9 – Get a Great Cleaner

A good cleaner can make the world of difference in an Airbnb property rentals and you should invest some time and money in getting a reliable one. They will be your eyes and ears when you cannot be at a property to see the condition that the Airbnb renters have left it in. 

They are also the first line when it comes to assessing damage to the property following a rental that goes wrong. Airbnb hosts have seen some ridiculous things ruined, like sheets stained from coconut oil and blinds by renters trying to climb out of windows. Your cleaner is going to the first person on the scene and they are in the best position to assess the damage.

8 – Never Have Same-Day Turnovers

While it is tempting to have a same day turnover on a property, you should never do this for a variety of reasons. 

The first is that if your cleaner cannot make it for some reason during busy times. if the new renter has a delayed check-in they will be leaving you negative feedback, which is a kiss of death on Airbnb

The next reason not to have a same day turnover is because if there is any damage, it must be fully documented and all evidence must be provided to Airbnb before the next renter checks in, otherwise  Airbnb will reject all claims. It’s in the small print in the contract with Airbnb and hosts must remember that Airbnb is not your friend when it comes to damage caused by guests. When renters burn the carpet or smash a window, Airbnb starts acting with impunity and the host is left with the clean up and financial loss.

Airbnb Insurance Does Not Often Pay Up

One such example of one of Airbnb’s many drawbacks is that if a renter does some property damage and Airbnb decides that their insurance will not pay up, the host is in trouble. Airbnb will not provide the host with the renter’s contact details so they could sue them in small claims court. Hosts are shocked to hear this information, but Airbnb stands behind a privacy policy that does not allow them to provide hosts with that kind of  information during any type of claim against renters. Airbnb values the renters over the hosts every time.

7 – Create A Good Two-Sheet “Welcome” and “Checkout” Sheet

When guests rent your property it’s important for them to be able to learn about your property and have a process to check out. It’s fine doing this on the Airbnb listing, but renters never look at it there. A printed version that is laminated and is located in the home is best. It should, cover things like trash, cleaning, power outages, Wi-Fi passwords, stores locations and contact details of the host in case of problems or questions. Some major items can also include how to deal with fireplace ashes.

6 – Airbnb Hosts Must Avoid New Years Eve Rentals

New Year’s Eve rentals are often trouble with a capital T as pretty much everyone is going to have a party  and your gorgeous place runs the risk of getting trashed. If that happens, Airbnb is going to leave you high and dry, and any rentals that you need to cancel so you can repair the damage is going to cost you in terms of income and standing on Airbnb. If you have to cancel on a future Airbnb guest because of damage created by a current guest, Airbnb will heavily penalize you in terms of position, rating and thus bookings.

5 – Do Not Count on Airbnb Insurance

If the guests do some damage in the property, then hosts cannot expect Airbnb to help them in any way. Airbnb pretends that there is some insurance coverage, but they will do anything and everything to get out providing financial assistance when the renters do some damage. Airbnb creates many hurdles that will allow them to wriggle out of the coverage and hosts should know this going in.

4  – Encourage Your Airbnb Guests To Eat Out

It makes sense to have a well stocked kitchen in the rent; but the profits are a lot higher for Airbnb hosts when they encourage their guests to eat out. There is less risk of kitchen fires, far less wear and tear on the kitchen and much less power used. A great way to encourage guests to eat out is to leave discount coupons, menus or even gift cards to local restaurants. 

This gets the renters to try a place and it is less wear and tear on the property. Leaving a menu book or restaurant recommendations is a good way to get them to eat out. Be mindful that a large family with a lot of kids is not going to eat out and the cleaner is going to have to spend an extra couple of hours cleaning up the burnt mess on kitchen pans and the food jammed in the waste disposal. This means higher costs and risk for you and you may think twice about that renter.

3 – Make The Property Simple To Operate and Bullet Proof

Making the property simple and easy to operate is going to make its management so much easier. Forget having complicated TV setups with five remotes and just keep  it simple. Provide renters with a great Wi-Fi and they will love you. Leave instructions for situations that could arise, like do not use the water system during a power outage, where the flashlights are in a power outage.

2 – Add A Digital Door Lock

Forget providing keys, you must have some kind of contrail on access to the property and a digital door lock does just that. There are many kinds of locks and some of the newer ones run off Bluetooth that can connect to a home hub. This allows the Airbnb host to create and delete access codes on the fly. A non Bluetooth digital door lock is also good, but Airbnb hosts should be sure to rotate codes otherwise past renters may be tempted to try that door code just to see.

1 – Put Up Security Cameras In External Positions

You cannot have cameras inside the house, but you can have them all round the house covering doorways, decks and any points of egress and ingress. This helps the host know when someone has checked as well as keeping the renters honest. Too many times renters will say they are group of 5 and then 15 people sleep on blow up mattresses that will litter everting square inch of the floor.

Some Extra Advice:

This list didn’t make it in onto the top ten, but here are some more ideas for Airbnb Hosts:

  • Always leave feedback for renters and encourage them to do the same for you.
  • Ban Smoking From The Property. Smoking not only damages the hosts property but it also greatly increases the risk of fire and the host could be on the hook for a total loss. Banning smoking from the property is always a good idea and using cameras is a great way to back it up
  • Once your feedback reaches 50 and above, stop the feedback process, because you don’t want the property looking like it’s a bus station that has been used by hundreds of people. When you see listings with 100+ feedbacks that is exactly what the message conveys to prospective renters.
  • Some Hosts actually create a new listing when positive feedback reaches 50, just to protect the existing account just in case they get some back some negative feedback that ruins the whole listing.
  • If a renter breaks some rules it is better to kick them out immediately, because if you reprimand them, they will destroy your feedback numbers when the rental is complete. Airbnb will fight you whenever this happens, but when you see on your security camera some idiots throwing your chairs off your deck, you just have to get rid of them…and fast.
  • Create an inventory of everything left in the property, because renters will often steal all the small stuff and that eats into your profits. Cutlery, batteries, plates and linens all go walkabout. Leave the inventory at the house, so the guests know that you know what’s there.