Thousands of hosts use Airbnb every year and almost all bookings mean more earnings for hosts. So, after checking your local laws and obtaining the necessary permits, you are ready to plunge into a short-term rental business. However, there are some situations that you must prepare for.
Unfortunately, not all stays work out due to problems with the Airbnb guests, or the property itself. These issues can cause hosts to lose money, but, luckily, the majority of issues can be avoided if you know how to prevent them.
Here are 10 common Airbnb problems and how to solve them.
You’ve got a new reservation and you’re ready to earn some money. But it looks like things are not going to go as smoothly as you had hoped. Here’s what to do about the Airbnb problems before your guests even arrive.
Sometimes your guests want to arrive earlier or leave later. No matter what the situation is, the chances are high that it doesn’t work for you. The best way to nip this Airbnb problem in the bud is to let your guests know what sort of time changes you’ll accept right on your listing.
Let your guests know that you can’t accept check-in/check-out time changes or give them a maximum number of hours before or after their stays that they can change their check-in and check-out times too.
If you already mentioned it in your listing but the guest ignores it, decline the changes in a polite manner. In most cases, the guest will drop the issue and agree to your rules. However, if you can allow early check-in or check-out lossless, do that and make your guests happy!
Sometimes you just get a feeling that things are going to be bad before your guest even arrives. Maybe they have too many requests or you’re worried that they might throw a party at your Airbnb property and break things. Whatever the reason, you know that you want them to cancel their reservation.
To cancel a reservation, just go to Your Reservations and select Cancel to start the cancellation process. However, you should be aware of the fact that Airbnb does impose penalties for cancellations given it can have serious implications on your guest’s trip. Think carefully about whether or not the cancellation is really necessary first.
If the reason why you want to cancel the reservation isn’t about the guest, this situation can work out in your favor. You can avoid penalties if you reach out to Airbnb to let them know that you’d like to cancel the reservation due to extenuating circumstances.
One of the most critical Airbnb problems for a host is getting an unexpected cancellation. To avoid such issues, select a strict cancellation policy for your listing. According to this policy, your guests will be eligible for a full refund if they cancel the booking at least 14 days prior to the check-in time.
The good news is that hosts who’ve selected a strict cancellation policy report that it doesn’t affect their occupancy rate.
Your guests have arrived but now things are starting to go south. Here’s how to solve the most common Airbnb problems during their stay.
The shower is broken, there’s no heat or the garage door won’t close. Whatever the issue, you need to let your guest know that you are going to deal with the problem right away. Make sure to say sorry first and then move on to fixing it.
You should also tell your guests to call you that same moment if anything happens during their stay so that you will not be left with a bad surprise after they leave. After all, you don’t want to find out that the toilet has overflowed two days after your guests have already left!
Another Airbnb problem that hosts run into is guests who complain about noise from the neighbors. Although it is not your fault, you are still responsible for your guests’ experience.
Call the neighbors and tell them to keep it down. If noise is a recurring problem, you might want to rethink renting your property on Airbnb. If the issue persists, you may continue to receive negative reviews for your listing which can put your business at risk.
If your property rental is in a tourist hotspot, you can expect that at least some of your guests will be looking to party. While you probably already taking as many precautions as possible to keep the boozers out of your place, partying guests is one of the most common Airbnb problems.
If you find that your guests are turning your place into a frat house, you should get them out as soon as possible. Cancel the booking and make sure that you document everything that is occurring in case you have to get the police or Airbnb involved.
If the problem is less serious, you can try letting them know that your neighborhood is a family-friendly neighborhood and they have to keep the noise down. However, if this approach doesn’t work after one attempt, it’s time for them to go.
If your guests are already staying at your place and they are no longer getting along, what can you do?
First, don’t take someone’s side, talk to each guest and try to come to some compromise. If you don’t like your guests or they don’t like you, stay nice and polite as that’s just good Airbnb business.
You also don’t have to continue to overextend yourself as if the guest were a friend. Just limit your communication. If the guest does something inappropriate, that’s when you may ask them to leave your property.
However, you should avoid canceling the booking if you can resolve the problem without doing that.
Your guest is gone and now you’re finding out a bad secret. Here’s how to fix Airbnb problems after your guests leave.
Your towels, toilet paper, and playing cards have all gone missing. First, ask politely whether they’ve seen the lost items. Look everywhere before you make any accusations.
If you’re pretty sure that it’s not going to be found, you can easily charge them for the missing expensive items. If the item is not of high value you might want to mention it to guests without charging them. This is probably the best option if you want to save your time and nerves.
To prevent this Airbnb problem, don’t store your valuables at your rental. For example, you can get a safety deposit box at a local bank to keep your expensive items safe.
Receiving a negative review is also one of the most common Airbnb problems that you might have to face. A good-hearted apology can always do the trick, but if it doesn’t work stay calm and share your side of the story. Focus on the positive aspects of your guests’ stay and describe how you’ve tried to resolve the issue.
Respond to all the reviews politely. This will show your future guests that you are a caring and respectful host.
For smaller, simpler accidents – like finding your wine glasses have broken – a security deposit can be a good idea. However, you may want to consider independent insurance to cover valuable items like jewelry, artwork, or collectibles which cost more than the amount you’ve retained as a security fee.
Forewarned is forearmed, so the old saying goes. Knowledge of potential problems gives you an advantage. By being aware of the most common Airbnb problems, you can do your best to prevent them. Though, even if something goes wrong, the best advice is to keep calm and be a responsible host.