As Airbnb hosts, we take a risk in opening our homes to veritable strangers. While Airbnb does take efforts to try and have users of the site verify their information, it is not the same intensive background check we would normally conduct if we were renting to a long-term tenant. However the risks can be even greater, especially for rentals longer than 30 days. In some cities/states/provinces, the law deems someone who rents a space for more than 30 days as a tenant and confers many rights upon them. What does that mean for you as a host? That it may be even difficult to get rid of any unwanted guests who stay past their visit and stop paying.
So what can you do to protect yourself as Airbnb hosts?
- Make sure that your guests have some form of government issued verified ID such as a passport or driver’s license. This is not a fail safe method but it does provide some security.
- Only accept guests who have at least 10 positive reviews.
- Ask them for the purpose of their visit. If it sounds fishy or you’re uncomfortable, go with your gut and decline by saying that someone else has already booked the space. Declining bookings does not affect your rankings in searches so don’t be afraid to decline if you feel at all uncomfortable or hesitant.
- Charge a higher deposit. This gets pre-charged before the guest(s) arrives so it will act as a natural deterrent for people to damage or steal things.
If you have any more tips on how to protect yourself, or any bad experiences that you can share and lessons learned, please let us know!