$12,000 airbnb request, could it be a scam?

Hi Everyone,
I have been renting the lower part of my house out on airbnb for a few months now. Generally I have someone stay every week for one or two nights, nothing too much but a little bit of interest. Last night I got a request from a girl from Taiwan who wants to stay for 7 months, which comes out to $12,000. I haven’t approved her yet, all her message said was she was from Taiwan and was wondering if we are convenient to the university. I have never had anyone want a long term stay before, and am wondering if this could be too good to be true? Is there any scams or something about that I don’t know about and may be walking straight into?

I can’t see much on her profile, there’s a picture and her first name and school. It also says she has email, phone and facebook verified. I guess if I accept her I will be able to see more? I’m finding the Airbnb profile system tricky at the moment, either none of my guests fill out more than a profile picture or Air is hiding them somehow…

Anyway, should I just accept her and see how it pans out?


If she’s attending a university close to you it’s quite possible that this is a legitimate request.

1 Like

I would write her back and ask her what she is studying at the University. Is she working with a specific professor or in a specific department? Engage her. For seven months she will not consider this to be odd.


Before accepting, I would also look at the implications of a long term rental…there have been several references/discussions about that on the forum,

Yes, this is the bit that is throwing me! It could be legitimate, but at the same time we arn’t really that close to the uni, its a 30min drive. It’s not really a spot students would choose. I work there, so for $12K I will certainly drop her off though!

1 Like

Potential guests seem to find it difficult to figure out how near or far places are from listings. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked how far we are from the beach and the airport even though we have this information in our listing in both miles and kilometers.

Remember, you are only paid at the beginning of each month …you don’t get the whole twelve grand at once.

Ok, I haven’t accepted her yet but sent her a message asking what she will be studying and what her plans are here. I’ve told her how long it takes to drive to the university, and how to get there by public transport.

I’d prefer a long term rental if someone was interested but I didn’t think that would happen through Airbnb as it is so much more expensive for long term people than just looking for share houses or even private short term rental properties.

1 Like

You might also want her to sign a standard rental agreement with you in addition to the Air one… just err on the side of protecting yourself.


What is the rate for a six-month rental in your area? My son is headed to college in the fall, and dorm rooms start at $2500 for the school year and top out at $8000 (Indiana, so it’s not New York or LA). 7 months also seems odd for school, isn’t it more like 8 or 9 months from the first day of school until the last?

I’m just suggesting a good dose of caution and don’t let the dollar signs blind you - that’s when you get taken! And I agree that you should require that she sign a true lease instead of just “agreeing” to the AirBnB house rules.

1 Like

Agree… unless it’s grad school or something…the timing seems off.

We have heard of hosts who accepted a long term renter and got the first month’s payment but by the time the second or third month rolled around, the payment was declined but the guest wouldn’t leave and it required a court eviction to get her out. I would be super careful with long term guests, they convert to long term tenants after 30 days, entitled to due process.

I’m in Australia but in my area you could rent a 5 bedroom place of your own for the same amount as this girl is looking at paying for our studio airbnb, which is what made me think this could be some kind of scam I don’t know about. Though 6 month rentals are hard to get, especially for students. Student dorm rooms usually range between $160-$260/week, so much cheaper, but also not as nice. It’s possible that she just doesn’t know any better and I will tell her. The money would be a bonus for me, but i’m not concerned if she cancels and I have no worry about telling her no if I feel it’s too difficult or I think she’s got the wrong idea about rentals in Aus.

There are so many different courses and schedules at the uni that the timing doesn’t concern me too much. There are lots of 6 month programs for international students, plus a holiday while you’re over here and 7 months would fit. I will look up her course though when she tells me.

The rental agreement is a good idea, i’ll look into that if she is still keen to go ahead.

I find this booking a little odd and wonder if it’s for visa requirements or something similar. The reason it’s odd is because it’s A LOT of money for a student to drop totally uneccesarily. You would normally book an air for a month with the intention to find a room/flat once you were on the ground. You can be sure she’d be able to find a palace for the rate she’s supposedly intending on paying.

My guess: you will get a cancellation request during the booking once she realises what she’s signed up for. For you it’s probably still going to be sweet as even if she cancels a long term booking she’ll still owe the month. Assuming that she doesn’t play the system by putting a card without funds on her account.

I’d accept the booking but expect something to change somewhere along the way.

If you’re fine with your calendar being blocked for months ahead and then unexpectedly emptied when she decides it’s not really suitable … cool. You still stand to make a bit of cash if she stays for at least a month or two.

If I were you I’d preapproved accept this booking as soon as possible!
Miss out on this booking and you’ll regret it later!
If it doesn’t work out when she’s here you can always agree to bring this to a close.
If nothing else, it will have a great effect on your search ranking - booking a $12,000 booking!

1 Like

Hi AquaticQuests. How does it help the search ranking?

My own theory is the larger the amounts you book, the higher you show in
Air want listings that’ll make them lots of money ranked higher!

Well, that’s speculation. There is some evidence that they prefer volume… way more bookings at a lower price. Consider who they are always at us to lower our prices…Someone here once explained the economics of that, I think it was @cabinhost!!! What was it you said???

1 Like

Well, i’ve not heard anything back from them to false alarm I guess…bit of an uneventful ending!

I’ve noticed in our area there may be a listing that is perhaps on page 10
or 11 of search or worse, and highly priced.
They get a single month long booking at peak season and they immediately
jump to close to the top of page 1.
I believe it’s purely down to the length of the stay and the amount of
money that single stay involves, that this can happen.
It’s speculation, yes, but how else do you explain that sort of jump from a
single long booking?
Airbnb ultimately will promote listings that are earning them big bucks, in
whichever formulation those bucks are coming in!!!

@smartbnb.io could probably tell us for sure whether that is a factor or not!