Welcome! We are a community of AirBnb hosts

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!

Covid-19 Safety For Hosts?

Covid Safety for Hosts:

As a traditional (in-our-house) host, both of us in our 70’s, we are concerned about how to stay safe and healthy when we are able to resume hosting all those truly delightful people from everywhere else.

There are all sorts of legitimate concerns about keeping guests safe and comfortable that the guest space is clean and healthy. This is excellent marketing, and a legitimate concern for us cleaning between guests.

What about us? We fall into high risk category for Covid-19. Hosting is a great joy for us, and the income is keeping us in our home, paying taxes, and repairs. We are over 6 years as 5 stars for cleanliness (and everything else), and proud of it. It is a big question for me about how to keep ourselves safe and healthy when we open up again. This takes trust to a whole new level.

Does anyone have ideas on how to politely and effectively handle this?

4 Likes

I have a separate suite that I use for STR but they have to use the main screen door and front door. I have disinfectant wipes by both doors with trash bags. I’ve had two guests since COVID and I explain that they have to wipe down all doors and what they touch each time.

I have cameras and have noticed that the first couple of days they are pretty good doing it but then they just stop or do a poor job.

I’ve come to understand that I have to assume all doors and surfaces in the common area are contaminated. I personally wouldn’t do this anymore if people had access to more of my home.

Sorry I don’t have better news for you.

3 Likes

@Lynick4442

Our guests have an entire separate wing of our house, use the common front door and screen, plus several solid oak doors in between the main entrance, and their suite. They have access to a furnished view porch via a furnished solarium. They have use of a large music and books library, stereo, yoga items, and a well equipped mini kitchen. Many of our guests use our common kitchen for cooking. It takes me at least 3 hours to clean just the suite between guests, under normal circumstances, and I always have “hospital standards”.
We closed our calendar mid February, which turned out to be prudent. We are currently in lockdown. The health department has wisely banned STR and VR for the time being. Most of our guests come to us from the SF Bay Area, but many are from other parts of the US and Asia.
It seems that with the long wait for a vaccine we may not be able to host again, for our personal health and safety. So sad - and I know it was fun while it lasted.

4 Likes

My husband and I are in-our-house hosts, too. And we’re also at high risk.

We need the income, but we won’t take the risk. We are closed to guests until there is an effective vaccination and we have both received it. We are completely isolated until then.

There’s no other way that we consider safe and responsible.

8 Likes

@RebeccaF
Thanks for saying that - I needed to hear it. We are in exactly the same situation as you are. Stay safe, and well, and in touch!

2 Likes

I think this is a way that Airbnb could actually help hosts. They can compile some best practices for in-home for the COVID-19 aftermath, and they can fully-support hosts that follow those practices. For example, hosts are justified in enforcing rules when breaking them means their lives are potentially at stake, and they shouldn’t be punished with bad reviews from vengeful guests for following Airbnb’s guidelines.

3 Likes

@Brian_R170, safety best practices could be helpful. But we still know so little.

It now appears that the virus was spread in China, at least in one case, through an air conditioning system. And we don’t actually know whether there is such a thing as immunity. Just to name two of the mysteries.

There are so many mysteries to solve before anyone would even know what the best practices are.

2 Likes

You should always follow the best practices you know at the time. If you wait until you solve all the mysteries, you will wait forever.

1 Like

They have actually done this. Here’s a link to a their covid response articles. Several are on cleaning. There are some that provide guidance on dealing with guests during the outbreak.
That includes articles on recommended wording to add to your welcome-questions and/or house rules regarding guests potential exposure, etc. As well as guidance on dealing with a guest who gets sick, etc. Anyway, there are a bunch of articles and they add more every now and then and update the guidance as more information is available.

https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/t/coronavirus-updates-34

1 Like

The cleaning stuff is reasonable, but the rest is really just fluff, and as expected, it’s targeted at attracting more guests. They need more information targeted at in-home hosts to protect themselves from guests.

2 Likes

@Kitty_Norris @RebeccaF Same here. There is no way I am going to host in my shared home listing until there is no more danger from this virus, which could take a long time.
I also have the attitude that it was great while it lasted, but nothing lasts forever and so it’s time to turn our thoughts to how we can earn some money in other ways. Some Airbnb rooms in shared homes, if they have a separate entrance, could be made available to rent out as office space, or to someone like a psychologist or therapist to see their clients. That sort of situation woudn’t entail the need for kitchen usage or other shared spaces.
In my case, the room will probably just revert to being empty most of the year, as it was until 3 and a half years ago, unless family or friends come to visit.

2 Likes

Well, sure. I’m not sure what you’d expect them to do beyond this as they are not experts and are only a booking platform. They only addressed things that are applicable to their expertise - like the booking process recommendations to determine exposure, etc.

The CDC has given plenty of guidance and that is where people wanting to protect themselves from guests (or anyone else) should look for guidance, not Airbnb anyway.

What they could do for in-home hosts (or hosts in general) is to suspend all the silly stats that they require (number of stays, acceptance rate, etc). If hosts could freely decline requests without penalty then they could make safer choices. But that doesn’t benefit Airbnb’s business so they don’t have any motivation to do it.

1 Like

Great thinking! My home is in the wilderness, a mountainous guest ranch far from the nearest town. It is not an appropriate space for an office rental, I would not want clients coming and going, and I’m definitely not looking for a housemate. I also don’t see a way to reasonably protect our health as active elders, while providing a destination for our usual guests. I’m getting to the realization that I’ve a wonderful huge well appointed place for personal visitors to come to. I appreciate hearing from all you who are working on this puzzle too.

1 Like

If you want to carry on hosting could you look at creating a separate entrance with an electronic lock and having a cleaner come in in between bookings leaving a few days between each booking @Kitty_Norris

Except for the article on cleaning. :wink: They have a ton of information on their site that is outside of their expertise as an advertising and payment processing company, but they promote themselves as something more, and they grew the Airbnb machine as something more. There are a lot of less-seasoned hosts that are looking to Airbnb for answers, and it will benefit Airbnb to provide those answers.

I agree, but I would go one step further and say that hosts need to be able to evict guests without penalty for rule-breaking. It’s a slippery slope due to the potential for abuse, but for some hosts, it’s their life on the line, and their only options are to strictly enforce rules or quit hosting.

Yes, maybe. I guess we’ll have to see who is more desperate: Airbnb or hosts.

Me either. I know you must miss guests because I do too but I don’t think it’s worth it in your situation. You should prioritize your health - both physical and mental. Don’t underestimate the stress that having guests right now may cause in addition to the obvious covid risks. Everything is weird enough already, IMO.

For reference, we have a 3-family home and live on the top floor with our airbnb apartments on the 1st and 2nd floors. They are completely separate full apartments but ultimately we are still sharing airspace and doors to get in and out of the building. We have monthly rentals in there now and we never see them but it is stressful to have them in the building, more than I thought it would be. I wish they weren’t there really. I’d be so pleased to have an empty house right now.

And for anyone thinking about making an exception for healthcare workers, I can no longer recommend that either. Btw, the 2 college students in one apt are exemplary guests and citizens, following all city and state regulations and super respectful in the building so bravo to them. However, our medical professional who we gave a cut-rate deal to…well, I’ve considered turning him into the authorities. He is the only person in the neighborhood who doesn’t wear a mask when he goes out (governor’s orders), he has guests come over, leaves his apt door open to the hallway and leaves his shoes in a common area. He is high risk due to daily exposure and he should know better. I should never have rented to him based purely on his high risk of infection alone because there’s always a chance that someone will be irresponsible as I am learning the hard way.

1 Like

I am so disappointed to hear about your medical professional being so blase about health and safety. It is hard to understand, and yes, he is likely bringing contamination home with him, no matter how careful he actually is when he leaves work. And, yes, I get how stressful this is for you, with people in the house who are coming and going. I am thankful for our isolation up here on the ridge. This is far from over, and there is so much we don’t know - and may never know - other than that we are both stronger and more fragile than we imagined.

1 Like

Thanks Helsi - that makes perfect sense, and we could get a contractor to design and build a separate entrance. The good thing about not having a separate entrance has been that no one can get away with the sort of misbehavior so often lamented about on our forums.
We host only on weekends except for vacation and holiday times, unless someone wants to come for a week, so spacing out bookings works. For at least the time being, cleaners are not working at all, not even for people they know. We’re all on lockdown, and the dust does accumulate quickly - doesn’t it!

We have neighbors who are doctors—both husband and wife. As we drove past their house last night, we saw that they had about a dozen cars in their driveway. Granted, they have a big house, but I doubt that that had each guest in a separate room. I think they were all socializing together.

Such a strange example for two doctors to set!

Are you positive he’s a medical professional? Did you fully check out his credentials and talk to his supposed employer? I would most definitely get him to leave, in any case.

1 Like
Altcoin Fantasy - Crypto Fantasy Trading and Simulation Game - Win Bitcoin and Altcoins!