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Advice re guest and rules

I would be grateful of some advice…I have been hosting for many years and also had lodgers, mostly without issues and have been very lucky to have some wonderful guests so I am not sure why something has never been an issue with someone before is an issue with this guest.

I let out a room in a spacious two bed. The guest shares with me only.

Whilst I don’t feel the need to always know if someone is in or out it is helpful for me to know because I will be quieter if I know someone is in. I knew this guest would be on a course the first week and working from home the second week (which I was ok with for one week, but not any longer).

Also I work as a musician and so will aim to play when people are out, though I let people know prior to booking that I work form home and may be playing instruments or singing when they stay, if I am working on a project at home. I guess from a fire safety point of view it works to know as well.

When I came home yesterday I wasn’t sure if my guest was in when I had left in the morning so locked the door. When I returned the door was locked so I wasn’t sure if she was in or out. I said “hello” fairly quietly outside her door and was met with silence. So I said "hello: again to which my guest shouted “I’m on the phone” sounding very annoyed and irritated.

When she came into the kitchen later I raised the subject and said it’s helpful for me to know if she is out or in and or she needed to do was respond with a quick “hi” so then I would know. She said she had been on the phone to a friend, that she spends her life on the phone and isn’t used to people saying hello when they come in because she normally lives with someone who doesn’t speak. She has a problem with my saying “hollo” when I come in and my knowing if she is in or out because 1) she doesn’t like being interrupted when she working, or on the phone to a friend, and 2) it makes her feel she is being checked up on and doesn’t like this. Just to put this into a context further, my guest sat in the living room with me for a an hour or two chatting, the first night she stayed so I thought she was fairly sociable. She did say it’s rare for her to do that because she is an introvert, but she is studying a subject I have studied and so had something in common and she was very interested to hear my take on things.

I explained my reasons and it seemed that she had really taken offence to all of this. After what felt like twenty minutes of discussion, we agreed she would leave her keys on the side when she is in, but explained that she is likely to be in 24/7. We also agreed that the booking is perhaps not suitable for her and she is leaving early and I will give her a full refund.

I did get an uneasy feeling from her when she first made an enquiry as at one point she took offence to something I said and accused me of being discriminative towards her because she is not from the UK (most of my guests are not from the UK and I like this, so it was untrue). So I had said I wouldn’t take her booking, but she assured me she was “a beautiful person” (who says that about themselves???) and that she would be a great guest to host.

I have never encountered this before and am wondering if I am being totally unreasonable to request this of a guest? Am I losing the plot or is my guest being unreasonable?

Any advice or feedback welcome.

No manners and a rude entitled brat!

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OMG! That made that LOL thank you! Perhaps I am too tolerant…I spent an hour driving around to find her a free parking space as the parking permits hadn’t arrived, and drove her back to the flat in my car, the day she arrived…

If someone has to tell you that they are a beautiful person - red flag!!!

Or your guest has some social anxiety and was backpedaling after having made friends when you chatted at first arrival. They realized they were there for another length of time and got in a bit of panic about choosing shared instead of completely private space and continuing to interact with you.

Or they’ve had some negative experiences being treated as a “foreigner,” (based on their previous reaction as being not from U.K.) and misinterpreted your wanting to know their whereabouts as distrust/monitoring them.

Trying to figure out what is going on in someone’s head is often fruitless, and we sometimes assume another’s behavior has something to do with us when it doesn’t at all. You were open and didn’t do anything off. “Not suited” was a good mutual conclusion. Just move on and don’t worry about it.

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Why not get a sign similar to a “Do not disturb” sign for guests to hang outside their door?

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Her behavior is something beyond introvert.

I am tired of people blaming anti-social and self-centered behavior on being an introvert instead accepting personal responsibility for acting like a jack ass.

She’s in a shared home environment and expects everything to be all about her. @Debthecat called IT!

Btw: I like @Brian_R170 ‘s signage idea: working, in, out, resting or a whiteboard

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Refund of unused days only? You deserve to be paid for the days she stayed…she would’ve paid to stay elsewhere.

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this is a great idea…though people might forget to remove it when they go out so then I won’t know they are out still.

Thank you! Yes I have just refunded her for the days left on her booking and kept payment for the days she stayed. She agreed to that.

Yes but the first time they forget to indicate they are in and you begin singing in your best voice toward an amazing crescendo and wake them, the responsibility is their’s.

When they complain, you can gently point out they failed to let you know they were snoozing and you are sorry it happened. They will then remember to update.

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Ha ha! Yes I am sure they would remember after that!

I guess I’d say that under the circumstances you should just go ahead and live your life the way you would if she were out, and not worry about it.

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Yep. A young woman I rented the little casita next door to me to, which I property manage for the owner, kept telling me what a good person she was. She lived there for 7 months, never cleaned anything, lost the keys about 5 times so I had to keep getting a copies made, never had the rent on time, moved out leaving a truck load of garbage she promised a friend would pick up the next day and of course never did, and it took me 10 hours to clean the 5 meter by 5 meter cabin.

She also lied several times about things.

Yet every time she lost the keys yet again, or didn’t have the rent on the 1st, she reassured me of what a really good person she was.

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It reminds me of people who start sentences with “to be honest” as if they usually are not, lol.

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A better solution would be in and out sides.

However this may not be something they want to use…

My best solution to offer would be to have a smart lock so you can track locking/unlocking opening/closing of the door. In my case it’s a door that mostly is only used by the guest since I live alone. It won’t give me exact truth but can give me an idea of whether they unlocked, opened, closed and locked the door. You can pair it with a video doorbell to verify.

A camera on the spot where you have them park is also invaluable as long as they use it. I do have one regular guest who does not have a car and they often walk so it’s not perfect.

Easier said than done though. So you let a room in your house like we do?

Sorry, I didn’t realize that only the people with the exact same situation as yours would have a relevant observation.

We share a wall with our guests but we don’t share living space. We can hear them and they can hear us, and we see each other outside when we come and go.

It is my observation that your guest has told you what they prefer, and you have told her what you prefer, and when it comes down to it, the house is yours, so you can make the rules. But I think it could also work another way.

ETA sorry, @Militaryhorsegal, I originally wrote this thinking that you were the OP. My opinions still hold.

I rent a room in my house and my office is on the same side of the house as the guest areas. I tell guests up front to let me know if they need more quiet or privacy if I’m going to be on calls and also ask that they respect that quiet for me on my calls as well.

So far only 1 guest out of 35 has complained about “lack of privacy,” even after being told up front in the listing (guests don’t read), in the intro messages (guests don’t read), and during the stay asking if they wanted me to move to the other side of the house.

Live your life in your house as respectfully as possible. OP thought they’d made a friend and had shared interests. Guest thinks differently. Move on. Give guest space. Sing out loud and if the guest complains because they’re on the phone, discuss a system that works for both of you.

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