Okay I apologize for the “stereo typed cat lady”. In reality this guest played up to the entire role though.
Ahe has chosen to leave my home. Air bnb did try at all costs to mediate the situation and did I not freek out and just kick her out. (Will elaborate more near the end of my response)
So the situation was technically “resolved”
The bedroom I rent out is inside a two room studio; the room that is for rent doubles as a bedroom/kitchenette/living room. Yes, welcome to the Bay Area!!!
My room is the exact same size and is not for rent.
So her stuff everywhere is actually acceptable, she is just the first guest in the three years I’ve been renting this space out who brought this much stuff for a 5 night stay. A previous guest who stayed 4 weeks didn’t bring anymore than a suitcase and one personal bag.
She stated she was from San Francisco and that she was “cool”
Since it’s stated that it is a shared living/kitchenette/bedroom and not stated that their is storage space I just kind of figure that a kitchen sink & Queens wardrobe will not fit. Almost every person who visits this area knows there is not adequate spaces at hotels or in apartments. Think small. The pictures clearly show no closets no wardbrobe furniture and is “very comfy” with the bed and the rest of the furniture in the room that is for rent.
On to some of the responses, where do you penalize people? I only view the option of a deposit? How do I get money out of people after they have left/broken stuff/ stolen chargers? It is not an attractive listing if I have a deposit and I don’t think Air bnb likes to get money out of people if there isn’t a deposit in the first place? I am confused here.
How do you force guests to communicate??? That would be an innovative head crown to 3D print at work!! And probably net as a unicorn company!! Let’s build it! Please tell me how to FORCE communication!?
My ad is worded “you must have plans while visiting, work outside the home, or have an agenda while staying at my apartment”
Onto the real reason I came to vent and the outcome:
Yes, I offer flexibility of all night all day check in with the lock box. This guest went to a restaurant parking lot located next door and called my phone instead of actually trying to find the space. If she would have just came to the address listed she would have at least been at the front door. My apartment is through that door and out another door in the back of a business building. She didn’t even try to come to the door. I could tell from her non communication in the very beginning she was going to do something like this! Which is the reason I stayed up and on call.
Her profile lists “ mature woman traveling with cat who likes to drink wine and watch movies” which somewhere along the lines equates I don’t plan on leaving much of the day, I don’t work, and I am probably in my 60’s vs. the definition of mature.
Her picture is of a woman in her late 40’s. I thought mature meant I am mature, abides by rules and have my sh*t together. But I did not simply resort to this thinking as I know that is along the line of assumption.
Who showed up was a 60 something woman with so much stuff and trash piled to the top of the roof of her car that it seemed impossible to have/find a cat in all that mess.
I still did not make any notion to the obvious visual percieved problem I could have, instead I showed her inside and to the bathroom (located in a different building) and quickly went to my room and shut the door. For over an hour, in the middle of the night, I could hear her moving in what seemed like a very large amount of stuff from her vehicle.
Also, since she had not returned any communication before the phone call of not being able to find the place I verbally stated “ma’am you may not leave your cat here at all unattended” she seemed very puzzled by this and only replied “Ohhh”
Like as if it had been new news to her. But it was 2 am and I had been “expecting” her stated 5-6 pm check in and was to drained to elaborate or go into any details at that hour. I said good night and shut the door.
I woke up kind of early (9 am) for being up that late. It is stated in the listing ad “I do not occupy the space rented but will need to enter/exit the apartment using your rented room”. I worked on some homework until almost noon before having to go into her “room” so that I could make something to eat in the toaster oven. She was snoring away and started to stir as I was definitely bothering her sleep. I do not have stated hours to when I occupy the rented out space for my cooking ability, which I should change in the listing. I do want to remain flexible though because other guests who are night owls have not had any problems with this. She “said” she was fine though and proceeded to get “on with her day”. Once the cat issue arrived and air bnb were in the mediation phase, did she say it had bothered her about my presence in the “morning” noon, actually.
I AM on site during this stay.
I had only made a small snack and about an hour later, I came out of my room to make another small snack. This is something I wouldn’t normally do but something wasn’t feeling right so I wanted to “see” if and or what the problem was. She was flipping incessantly through some papers she had brought with her and I asked if there was something wrong. She said she felt like she had to rush out or something. And I said that my place is okay for people to “chill out with their cup of coffee before heading out for the day” but not a work from home space. I told her I knew she got in late and that I didn’t appreciate that she had not even tried to find the place and decided to call at 2 am. She apologized and I didn’t proceed to ask any questions about her stay because I honestly don’t care to get into conversation that will turn into a life story. I could tell she wanted that and I simply accepted the apology about the check in and went back to my room. She still had not left and it was 230 in the afternoon before I came out to go to the store.
I work part time bartending and I go to college during the beginning of the week. Her stay fell on a Wednesday evening through Tuesday morning check out. I only work one night in that time and it wouldn’t be until Sunday.
Upon heading back from the store and placing groceries in the fridge she said “I thought you worked days or something?”
I was kind of shocked and said well I work nights, as stated in my listing and my shift isn’t until Sunday.
Her response was “Oh”.
I went to my room and proceeded to take a nap. I woke up around 5 pm. Probably fell asleep at 4. Within that one hour she left the apartment and texted me “I have to run to (insert city 20 miles away) and the cat is behind the sink and will not run away”
I texted her and said you may not leave your pet here. I stated it in the listing, the house rules, and I verbally and hand written it in a text to you and on the air bnb platform message board. Since you diliberalty broke my house rules I have no other choice but to call air bnb and you need to come back and get your cat”
Still, no response.
I went on the Air Bnb platform and stated the exact message so that the communication was transparent to her and Airbnb.
After about an hour on hold, mediation moved up the ranks at air bnb and the outcome was: to work it out and allow her to continue her stay. I said it was fine as long as she comes back after her cat. The technician said he would reach out to her and get back in touch with me.
She still had not responded to any of my communications and I left it up to air bnb to get in touch with her and to mediate, if any, problems that came out of this.
I knew she was going to be upset. I didn’t want her trashing my apartment or worse, making a scene for my neighbors to see.
I finally got a text at 730 that stated “I am heading back to your place, expect me by 8. I am choosing to leave the apartment, you are a very nice girl but the space is not going to work out for me”
I said okay see you when you get here.
On the message platform on air bnb she wrote: (completely off the subject and nothing to do with the issue at hand) “I am to old to sleep on the floor!!” I will be getting my belongings and leaving the apartment”
I responded immediately with: this is about a separate issue and about you breaking the rules about leaving a pet unattended. But as far as this issue the bed is placed directly on the floor, you are not sleeping on the floor but on a mattress on the floor. The mattress is a hand stuffed Santa Cruz bay bed that cost $1000 dollars. It is very very comfortable and is pictured on the floor in the listing. I also have a world market day bed/couch that was made available to the guest as I showed her how it has flip down sides and turns immediately into “a bed.” I also told her that the bed in the corner, yes placed on the floor (all made up) was way more comfortable but she had the options for two sleeping arrangements.
Switching the communication around from one problem to a different problem is a way for people to avoid the real issue at hand.
The air bnb tech called me back and said the guest has chosen to cancel and asked if I was willing to give her her unstayed nights back or uphold the cancelation policy? I said cancelation policy. He seemed very perturbed with me. I said look she has cat litter everywhere, her cat is here unattended and she has kept me worried all day about this cat getting out!” He said he couldn’t do anything until the guest had contacted air bnb and stated she had left the building.
Upon her arriving back to my place (9:30 pm not at 8) I told her I didn’t want to get into any communication battle and that she needed to call air bnb once she had left.
She seemed very annoyed that I didn’t want to hear her out.
I do not make nearly enough money on this space to be a psychologist. Which is what seemed like she wanted from the very moment she arrived. I cut all communication to simply yes or no on all her questions and she definitely didn’t like that. She not once apologized about her cat, her being out all day/night with leaving me responsible for the pet and said it doesn’t work out for me so I am leaving. She tried to go into her conversation mode about where she was going, about a friend who hadn’t showed up in her life and blah blah blah. I simply asked for the keys and tried to let her be to gather her items.
She did not make any scene for the neighbors. It did take her about an hour to leave the apartment.
At 5 am I get a very nasty text about how my space was to small. That she was “to old to rent my space, that she felt far more superior than me for me to not listen to her problems” and so forth. Not once did she say anything about the cat!! It’s like the cat was never the problem to her and could care less that I had the problem.
I simply reached out to air bnb and asked that they please ask her to leave me alone. They have yet to respond and it’s been a full 24 hours. She has sent two more messages (on the platform) about how I should rearrange my home to accommodate people who have a lot of belongings and to get rid of my lamp! She also sent links to other listings (from outside of the US, which I have no idea what the significance is because they aren’t remotely similar in price and space)
This is the point where I do not want to host people anymore.
I have tried to word my listing to every single thing that could happen but it seems that the fall through the cracks kind of people find their way in.