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A 'possible' guest


#1

So, how do I deal with this one? Living in central London my apartment is pretty popular and I’ve had very few issues over a two year period, but am aware of guests booking as a single and sneaking in their other half in contravention of my listing rules. It’s a little annoying and I feel shows a lack of respect for the generosity I offer but I’ve always let it go and never mentioned it.

Now, a young man is heading my way from Santa Monica and suddenly mentions his girlfriend ‘might’ pop by on her way from Spain the last day of a three-day booking from. Ok, by me as long as he pays the extra for an overnight guest. Fine he says, no problem, she might not even come by!

Now I’m thinking, yes she will, who wouldn’t be curious about another apartment, especially mine which has a rich collection of artifacts collected from around the world. The issue is, I’ll have no way of knowing if he turns round and says ‘Oh no, she didn’t make it and anyway she didn’t stay the night!’ I’ve implied my neighbours will inform me of any issues but that’s a bluff as no one ever seems to notice anything.

As he was good enough let me know beforehand it might all be fine and I can comment on his honesty, though I suspect he might be kicking himself now for mentioning it.


#2

Just send him an amendment for an extra person for one night and ask him to accept it.

Going forward install CCTV outside your entrance, so you can monitor who is using your place.


#3

When hosting remotely I think you either have to bite the bullet and get a camera or decide you’re just going to let it go and assume some percentage of guests will break your occupancy rules (or worse) and you won’t know about it unless it was disruptive enough for your neighbors to notice.

People dislike cameras in the listing, so is it possible to put something outside your door? Some of the newer cameras operate wirelessly, with a rechargeable battery that needs to be charged once a month or so. If you do go for a camera, be sure to disclose it in your house listing (there’s a question about surveillance devices in the house rules section).

Is this guest arriving soon? I’d ask about the girlfriend just before arrival and toward the end of his stay and make an amendment to the reservation if need be. If he’s been forthcoming initially, hopefully he’ll continue to do so.


#4

Yes, I’m aware the solution would be a camera but I’m loathed to go down that route. I wouldn’t be comfortable in an apartment with a camera, but I know my terms have been abused a few times now so I’ll have to think about it. Such a shame.

He’s been upfront about it, but that could be because he’s suddenly seen the comments about neighbours I added. We’ll see. I’d like to believe he does the right thing and I will mention it when he arrives.

Failing that, as you say I’ll just have accept some people ruin it for others and act accordingly.


#5

Don’t put it in the apartment, put it on the door…Ring doorbell cameras work well for this. If you can’t put it on the exterior door then in the entry ceiling pointing at the door where nothing is in view of the camera but the entryway. After you install it you can do a screen shot of what the view of the camera is and put it in the listing so that anyone who books your place will have full disclosure.


#6

I have cameras on my property, but even with that, I find keeping track of people a chore. I price my unit so that extra guest charges are gravy for me. They only kick in very near my max occupancy.

I think you should maybe just price the same for 1 or 2 people and not have to deal with head counts.


#7

That’s what I had in mind. A camera pointing back toward the door from the hallway. It’s always going to create the suspicion there are others mind.


#8

I understand your reticence but it is your space. I think if you have a hallway and the camera is positioned to just
show the doorway, there’s not a problem. There are hosts here who have cameras in the common spaces and still get bookings. Mind you I think that is out of line and I would never book such a place.


#9

You wouldn’t consider increasing your nightly tariff and removing the extra guest charge? I live on the same property as my listing and this has reduced my stress levels enormously. I still ask people to include the correct amount of guests on their booking (max 2 anyway) in case there’s a fire or natural disaster though…


#10

No it won’t. Isn’t England the CCTV capital of the world?

image


#11

That’s what I’ve always done. Why create stressful situations?


#12

Tell them it is so if the neighbours complain about noise you can tell if the guests are having a party. Doesn’t apply to them of course. Distraction lies are often the best.


#13

When I worked in The City (of Central London) before and post 911 I was actually very happy there were cctv cameras and face recognition equipment everywhere. Didn’t stop the terrorists all the time but it discouraged tourists from coming into The City. There was also a small Banksy on my way to work which made me smile every morning.


#14

Adjust your prices, booking policy or attitude so it doesn’t bother you anymore.

I have the same base rate for 1 or 2 people and then charge extra for 3 or 4. Saves a lot of worry and hassle.


#15

Oh crikey, even a photo of that original Banksy would make bank!


#16

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who passed it each morning and wondered how to get it off the wall without destroying it or getting caught.


#17

Just to bookend this topic, in the end I didn’t bother with the extra fee. He was upfront about it and his honesty deserved respect, subsequently he left a glowing review. Nice guy though he struggled finding the location ‘I’m used to the grid system!’

I’m three bookings off my 90 day limit here in London so will let things be but next year if I’m here I’ll sadly have to consider the cctv option.


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