The (Sometimes) Not So Perfect World of Airbnb Hosting
We’ve all read those Airbnb horror stories. You know, the ones about “the worst Airbnb guests”, “Airbnb gone wrong” and “Airbnb nightmares”. At worst, they’re terrifying (shudder) and at best, well… somewhat off-putting.
Yet for the most part, let us reassure you, renting your home or investment property will problem-free. With a little experience and pragmatism, you’ll find a few niggles here and there will be easily handled.
However, regardless of your best efforts and a carefully-worded agreement firmly in place, there are times when things go wrong… and occasionally, badly. When this happens, it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth.
The two most common problems are:
Theft or damage
It happens. If your property is only to be used for short-term rentals, then it’s easy to furnish it accordingly. This means practical furnishings and accessories that look great and are kind on your budget. These days the Home Interior departments of big chain stores are as good a place as any to find great products at generous prices. Check out their brochures and website as they’ve already created interiors that are easy to copy and guaranteed to look good. And knowing you can quickly (and cost-effectively) replace stolen or damaged goods without breaking the bank makes things far less stressful.
If you’re renting your own home, then it’s a different story. Many people rent their homes while they holiday themselves. (Empty-nesters for instance, have more time on their hands and are often free to travel frequently.) This makes theft far more personal and distressing. Those cherished possessions with so many memories may suddenly disappear. At Easy Home Rentals, we always recommend that any valuables (including those of emotional value) be packed up and stored away. Yes, it takes a little effort but there’s a big payoff when you return home!
Let’s be clear, badly-behaved Airbnb guests don’t need to be destructive nor aggressive to create problems. They might just be noisy, inconsiderate and downright annoying. Either way, YOU will feel the pain. When your Airbnb guests impact the lives of your neighbours, they can cause big headaches and could even bring an end to your short-term rental and Airbnb hosting ambitions.
As an Airbnb Host, it’s vital to check your guest’s profile and reviews left by other Airbnb Hosts. If that’s impossible (maybe they’ve never have booked Airbnb before), tread cautiously. Certainly, you can conduct a background check online, or even chat on the phone, but even that’s not particularly reliable. Some Hosts think that an up-front payment is the best safety net and while it’s reassuring, we still recommend you think carefully.
So, what to do? Here’s our advice. If you get an uneasy feeling and are unsure of your potential guest’s reliability and credibility, trust your gut and give them a miss. No guest is worth the pain, headache and stress levels that worrying about ‘what might eventuate’, brings.
It’s important to highlight that Airbnb Hosts do enjoy a level of protection with Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance. However, Easy Home Rentals still recommend a tailor-made insurance policy when renting either your own home or investment property for any type of short-stay rental.
We should also point out, that many Airbnb Hosts and Short Stay Rental landlords forget that they’re running an income-generating business which means, you’ll want it to keep generating that income! Remember, anything that slows down your income-earning capacity (like the points listed above) is going to hurt your back pocket, so keep this in mind when talking to insurers.
This article by Canstar offers great advice and compares the features and benefits of various policies for Airbnb and short stay rental landlords.
Don’t let Airbnb horror stories destroy your rental ambitions
As we said, these problems are few and far between—but as we also said, they can and do happen. If you’re still looking for great rental returns from either your home or your investment property, don’t be put off. It’s perfectly possible to maintain bookings, earn well and sleep soundly.