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Absolutely. I completely agree. My monthly rental agreements are quite lengthy and comprehensive. It is always preferable to have a written contract. And as much security deposit as is legally collectible, lol.
But I don’t think it’s necessarily worth canceling this guest who has booked for a month just because it’s too late to get a signed agreement. It’s not going to make a significant difference on a month’s stay that is booked on Airbnb anyway. If she could collect a security deposit it would be different but she can’t. If she could even know the guest’s real name and social security number then it would be different but she can’t.
The primary function of a written lease is to add details and clarifications that are very specific, like the condition, rules, pets, etc (as you mentioned) to support a judgment claim in court or to merely justify deductions from the security deposit. That’s technically the little stuff that OP is not going to have access to since it was booked through Airbnb. And the big stuff, like evictions, is covered in the laws.
I wouldn’t take a long-term booking on Airbnb. But the issue was the mail which I’m only saying isn’t one.
I realize JJD has legal training but it’s not just about the law here.
It’s also about setting expectations in the mind of the tenant, and making sure the tenant and the landlord have a very similar understanding of the tenancy.
It may be too late for Air’s rules but I would insist on a lease anyway. Speaking as someone who has had to hire lawyers to evict a few people.
But if your conscience is delicate, and I understand, I would at least provide a list of expectations. Call it “Long Term Stay Expectations” and hand it to the tenant without demanding a signature, but ask her to read it before handing over the keys. It’s better than nothing.
The list would say things like no pets, no painting of walls, no more than 1 person occupancy, no hot plates, etc etc.
You can’t “insist” on something that wasn’t mentioned in the listing info when the guest booked.
From the response that the OP said she got from the guest re the mail, which sounded very polite and respectful, if it were me, I wouldn’t be too concerned about this guest causing problems. Also, this is a homeshare where the host lives. It’s not like she’s handing over the keys to an entire house. And the guest isn’t going to decide she wants to paint the walls in her room in a 5 week stay.
Never anything wrong with discussing expectations with a guest, though, just to make sure you’re on the same page, but as a homeshare host myself, I prefer just mentioning something when and if it comes up.
Not the question you asked and maybe you do this already, but I suggest you REQUIRE a weekly cleaning for stays longer than a week. You or a cleaner does the cleaning. If you provide linens, then change the linens then, too. Gives you a chance to be sure the guest isn’t turning your room into a dumpster. Put it into your house rules.
I recall @jaquo had a good way of communicating this with guests - I think she says to them “I’ll be in to clean your room tomorrow. Would morning or afternoon work better?”
I would consider sending [handing] the guest the paperwork, “Here’s our standard rental agreement for longer stays. Please read over, I can answer any questions, then please send me a message with you concurrence [sign here and return to me]. Thanks.”
They can always refuse. “Oh, sorry you didn’t get this in advance. I’ll need to follow up with my manager. Never mind and enjoy your stay.”
There are so many strikingly obvious issues with hosts encouraging another host to blatantly go against Airbnb policies and to be dishonest and manipulative with a guest; but have either of you even once considered what it will be like for OP to have to live with that guest in her home for a whole month after being busted by the guest for breaking Airbnb policy, lying and being manipulative?
There are at least 1-2 posts every single day on the internet from guests complaining about hosts who try to make them sign a contract after they’ve already booked when it wasn’t disclosed ahead of time. Guests are not stupid. Play by the rules or list your property somewhere else. I am running an honest business and I’m tired of this crazy-host-BS reflecting poorly on it.
The gap in agreement and understanding of what a lease would and wouldn’t accomplish in this very specific scenario in a very specific location is so vast that it’s not worth pursuing any further, IMO; however, whether or not it is an option to get a lease signed at this point is exceedingly clear in the TOS to which we have all agreed. The only options are to either keep the reservation without a lease or cancel the reservation.
Hmm, JJD certainly has a point about not adding requirements upon arrival or being disingenuous.
However, I personally wouldn’t have a problem signing a rental agreement that was sent to me post-booking, as long as it didn’t contain anything weird. Seems rational for a long term stay.
Just as I wouldn’t expect to see a listing with a selling point, “Get all the benefits of having tenancy rights with no rental contract!”
On further thought, and in order not to put the guest over a barrel, I still think it’s OK to send an an added-on separate rental agreement as long as it’s well in advance of the check in date , and the guest could cancel without penalty.
Just an FYI for other hosts reading this, Airbnb has a specific policy that covers this exact scenario. It is that if a host asks a guest to sign a contract that wasn’t disclosed, with all of its terms fully disclosed, in the listing before the guest booked that the host must cancel for the guest. (So it is the host that will get screwed by attempting this).
I wouldn’t expect to see a listing with a selling point, “Get all the benefits of having tenancy rights with no rental contract!”
It’s a 30-day stay. The tenant’s right that matters for a 30 day stay is the right to a legal eviction and there’s no lease in the world that can change that anyway. If the guest has a lease and doesn’t leave she will have to be evicted by legal channels. If the guest doesn’t have a lease and doesn’t leave she will have to be evicted by legal channels.
And, I believe that in NC, in the absence of a lease that her personal situation, whether she has a permanent residence elsewhere will be the main factor in determining tenancy from an Airbnb booking or vacation rental booking under 90 days, so a lease could actually seal tenant’s rights that she may not actually have without a lease. Something else to consider before giving leases to guests is that it’s important to get local legal advice.
Guests can’t cancel “without penalty” unless they cancel within 48 hours of booking, as they would always lose the Airbnb service fee. And guests have no obligation to cancel if the host springs something on them not mentioned in the listing after the booking is made. If the host fails to mention a requirement before booking that the guest is not amenable to, it is up to the host to cancel, not the guest.
Not to mention, I wouldn’t risk having a guest report me for pulling this kind of thing.
I’m not sure if guests forfeit the service fee if they cancel more than 48 hours after booking under the flexible and moderate policies. I have googled it, and I can’t find any info which makes that clear. They only talk about service fee refund in regards to the strict policy. The other policies only speak to what the host receives if a booking is cancelled, but never mentions the Airbnb service fee. Perhaps a host here who has booked and cancelled as a guest knows?
That is what I recommend, is to do monthly rentals direct as a landlord with your own security deposit and lease. And although it’s very important to have a lease, it’s not wholly meaningful without also having a security deposit, so that’s why I don’t do long-term rentals on Airbnb. They would have to allow me to collect and personally have control of the security deposit before I’d do long-term through them. I’d be willing to go without a lease but not without a security deposit.
If I have to evict someone in my state, it’s the same for me with or without a lease. But eviction is rare. It’s damage or non-payment that I’m concerned with and the only thing that protects me from those is having the security deposit. Sure, I can go to court and get a judgment and muck up their credit score, which I do and have done, but that’s not money in my pocket. That’s money that I’ll never see.
However, as is everything with rental laws, there are important specifics, including location. In my location and in most, if it’s a monthly lease I can just not renew it. So if someone isn’t following the rules or stops paying or is even just being annoying, I can give 30 days notice. And if they don’t leave it’s an easy eviction.
However, and this very very important for the hosts who live in these areas, a lease (or better yet, maybe not doing long-term rentals) is absolutely crucial if you have to give “just cause” for not renewing a lease as is required in these locations: the entire states of NJ, CA, NH, OR and WA, specific cities in NY state (NYC, Albany, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Kingston and Beacon) as well as Baltimore MD and St Paul MN. (Because the lease will help you establish just-cause).
BTW, the rest of NY state, the rest of MD state and the entirety of CT should watch your backs because they are coming for you, lol (though I don’t think it’s funny because my apartments will remain empty if the day comes that I can’t give a non-renewal without cause). There is, unfortunately, a national movement toward just-cause requirements
And I really to point out that “mail” does not factor into it. In fact, if I disallowed my tenants from getting mail, I would be paying a judgment to them and not the other way around (and that’s federal law y’all
There’s no flex policy for stays of 28+ days. There are only the two long-term booking policies. The Strict long-term is only fully refundable for 48 hours after booking plus 28 days before check in. The Firm long-term policy is fully refundable until 30 days before check in.
Yes. When it is noted as “a full refund” or “fully refundable” is when they get their service fees back. It’s an understandable point of confusion because they used to apply the 48-hours requirement to all the cancelation policies until 2-3 years ago.
That’s what I thought, and didn’t realize that had changed. Also, even when they didn’t refund the service fee, they still said “full refund”, even though that only applied to the nightly fee. I think it said “minus service fee”, but only in the infinitesimally small fine print.
Yeah, it used to say something like that and it also used to say which cancelation policy was being used on the listing page. Now, if you put in your dates on a listing page, it gives you the exact date at which you’ll get a specific percentage of the booking fee refunded and whether or not you’ll get the service fees back. They’ve dumbed it down the best they could and yet guests still be “so confused” about why they aren’t getting a full refund