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.