This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
My husband and I are considering listing our home as an STR. We plan to lock the master suite, home office, and basement doors and not include those spaces in the entire place listing.
I know it’s against the policy to have indoor cameras in the listing space, but what about inside the rooms that are locked to guests? I’ve seen the stories from hosts about overly nosy guests essentially breaking into rooms.
We will be traveling, but have a co-host who will be handling the listing for us. We won’t leave expensive stuff, I just want to keep people out of our personal stuff, like clothes, sheets, towels, etc. that aren’t part of the listing.
If the areas are locked off to guests I don’t see why you cannot have cameras in there. It’s not a common area, a bathroom or bedroom they will be in.
Why can’t we have cameras in areas of a location that is physically locked off to guests & NOT part of what they are renting? If they break in they are not guests in that space but trespassers/criminals. It’s illegal to break and enter.
How are they protected regarding cameras in this case? My inaccessible areas are clearly marked, locked and documented. You go in there and it’s not AirBNB I’m calling.
We do have cameras powered by USB connections, in our areas that are physically locked to guests, we include that information in our listing, which is a whole house listing, not room(s) or an annex. We state where our private areas are and that they are locked and ask them to respect our privacy and inform them that the areas are monitored by sound and motion activated recording equipment.
We dont have any ‘valuables’ as such in the property and the recording equipment is on 24/7/365 even when we are at home, which goes some way to showing that we are not focused on protecting our property from guests, but are protecting it from anyone without permission to be there.
Our private areas are our garage, outdoor shed, outside utility room (where we have an additional fridge freezer to store our foodstuffs) and loft area.
As all that information is provided to guests prior to booking and is also on our house rules, i don’t see it as an issue.
PS we also use the same equipment in our motorhome. When its at our property it automatically connects to our home internet, when away from home it automatically connects to our mobile wifi system and any recording is sent directly to ‘the cloud’ (as are all the other cameras)
I used to have 3 cameras - 1 pointing to the screen door and the outside, one pointing in on the porch to the front door and one in the shared common hallway pointing toward the door. All were clearly disclosed and obvious. My insurance company (Proper Insurance - the only one available in Massachusetts) made me take down all bu the one camera pointing outside toward the screen door. I can’t afford to lose the insurance since there is no other option. (FYI. - they went from $2000 a year to $3000 a year in one year)
As @Debthecat says, the first thing to do is to discuss this with your insurance company. Because this is your home, you’ll need regular insurance for when you’re living in the property and STR insurance for when you’re away. (Which sounds a bit messy). And @Lynick4442 pointed out that their STR insurance company made them remove some of the cameras.
Please don’t assume that because you’ve read stories that guests are hell-bent on causing trouble. There are plenty of us who have been in this business for many years and never had guests they can’t handle. The chances are that some of those stories have come from people who are new to this business and aren’t yet experienced in dealing with matters that arise. If your co-host is nearby and experienced, she/he will be able to handle things for you.
If you haven’t already got a safe in the master or office, I’d consider getting one for private papers, etc., unless you plan to take anything like that with you.
Sadly this is not true in Massachusetts. I am unable to find a home-owners policy with a STR rider and I live in the same space. My normal home owners insurance is $1200 but Proper is $3000 for a commercial policy which is the only one I can find for STR.
I used to move downstairs when I rented out my home. I locked two closets up there, as well as the door at the top of the stairs. I cannot tell you how many times people tried to open that door at the top of the stairs to “see what was down there”, which woulda been me and the two dogs. GRRRRR
I have cameras in my basement, which is locked. It’s clearly stated in the listing and on the door that there is no guest access. We keep our extra bedding, Xmas decor, back stock, and cleaning supplies down there.