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Do you allow babysitters?

Can anyone advise? A guest who’s coming with 2 kids (age 1.5 and 4) next week has just asked if I can recommend a babysitter while they go out for the evening.

Do you allow babysitters? I’m not sure I want a stranger in my property who I know nothing about, who hasn’t paid anything (rent, deposit etc.) even if they come from an agency.

Methinks this is another guest wanting hotel services for peanuts self-catering.

What do you think?

Are you sure they want the babysitter at your house? They should be dropping their kids off at the babysitter’s house. What is this babysitter going to do if there is an emergency? Will she have a vehicle with a car seat?

This is ridiculous if this is a shared space. Now if you are renting out a self-contained space then I don’t really think there is much you can do.

It is a self-contained space but it is still part of our house (the basement) and I’ve just checked with our insurance policy (it was difficult enough to get insured for guests at all) and we’re not covered for anyone but guests.

So I wrote to tell them, sorry, we can’t have babysitters. I guess they shouldn’t have asked us for advice!

I also sent them a link to a really nice local restaurant that happily takes babies and kids and recommended it to them. I’m a little worried about what they’re going to come back with though.

I would be interested to hear what others do though.

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I’m not following the whole insurance thing. For example, what would happen if you happened to have a neighbor over who was looking at the basement. If something happened to happen, are you saying your insurance would not cover you if neighbor sued?

Well, I can’t envisage a neighbour ever going into our basement but even if they did, it wouldn’t be for several days where an accident could conceivably happen.

All I know is that we’re not covered for anyone else but guests under public liability part of the insurance.

I have a blanket policy of “Only registered guests allowed on property.” My place is self contained like yours. You are not a concierge. I would advise them to either take the kids with to a family friendly place or find their own service. Just as Cabin recommends.

Don’t let the guest push you around. They are just trying to economize by bringing a nanny in… when they ought to not to bothering you with such things!

It reminds me of someone else who posted a ridiculous inquiry here, asking if the host had highchairs, cribs and car seats… when their listing clearly stated no babies and toddler allowed!

That’s what I thought konacoconutz. I think I’ll put that on my listing ‘only registered guests…etc.’ to safeguard future requests.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to leave their 1 and half year old with an unknown babysitter in an unknown flat when they’re only here for 3 nights.

We do say no kids under 5 but needed the cash, so decided to accept this booking. I’m already taking a delivery of a cot (staying in for the delivery and then after they leave, the pick up) plus no doubt as they’ll forget, providing linen. Oh no, I forgot about the highchair - how are they going to feed the toddler?

Should have stuck to our policy…

Is cot what I think of as a cot or is this another name for a crib depending where you are from? If they are spending money to bring in a baby crib and pay for a babysitter, it sounds like they will be good guests…but of course we never know.

People leave their kids with strangers all the time…they were hoping you could recommend someone you personally know. Don’t worry about needing a high chair. I have guests rent my self-contained space all the time and they have babies and toddlers. I am not sure if they pack all this in their car, or just feed the kid on their lap…or what. But they will make do with feedings.

A cot is a UK name for a US crib, I think. A place with high sides in which a baby sleeps!

I don’t know what the response will be now we’ve said we can’t allow a babysitter in. I felt it was okay, husband was adamantly against because if anything happened (the babysitter smoked and burned the house down, she fell down the stairs, she dropped the baby etc…) our insurance wouldn’t cover it.

Your intuition is right! You got people saving money on an Air BnB self cater and now are looking for premium services from you! I have dealt with lots of guests with children from 1-4 years old. Each one has presented out of the ordinary work for me and some real problems.
I have accepted that I will lose some business, but I have moved to accept children only 8 years old or older.
Infants and toddlers put the host, in a ‘home stay’ guest room arrangement, into a very trouble filled time. Toddlers go after everything not nailed down. Fear of injury is what really put me off kids, if their kid gets hurt in my house, I am pretty much dead! Not worth the risk.

I would not recommend any specific babysitters, due to personal liability should something bad happen.

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That’s weird that insurance only covers guests but no one else’s?
We have a liability insurance for 1 mill. It covers anyone who is on our property in case of accidents. Postman, any contractor and so on. I would definitely review the policy with your agent.
When I traveled with my daughter when she was little, I also left her with a stranger who was a young girl that worked for a hotel during the day as a front desk clerk and made some extra money by babysitting at night.
She wa excellent and we hired her almost every night through our stay. My daughter loved her.

I personally don’t see anything strange that they asked you about babysitter. They hopped it would be someone you know, may be a daughter of a friend who can use some income. If an apartment is in your basement but it separate, it’s still a separate apartment. I just don’t see how it can be a nuisance to you that there is a babysitter watching their kids.

O f course you are not a concierge, but I remembered I stayed in Italy with a host, and rented a room from her in her apartment. That was one of my first Airbnbs and her location was awful , far from subway, there was no Uber then yet.
I had a few days before my friend was arriving and was looking for things to do. It was impossible to get a word out of her. My main question was about transportation and I was trying to get her to tell me how to get around. She was sending me back to Internet to find directions and was so unwilling to help that it left me very frustrated.
I ended up canceling her and moving somewhere closer to center and near metro but I still remember that host and how she was annoyed with me when she had to tell me about local buses
. She was the only one in my experience that acted like that. The rest of the hosts were willing to help with readiness. And left me reviews on how self efficient I am :).
i just don’t see how they are trying to take advantage of you here. They simply asking if you know someone to do the work. For example, if I knew that my friend’s daughter is always looking for a babysitting job, and here I have people who need a babysitter why not to bring them together and make that happen.
In no way I would feel responsible for any other events that follow.

2 Likes

Yes, different courses for different horses.

Even if I knew a babysitter which I don’t, I still would feel responsible if anything went wrong. But then that’s just me, perhaps.

Insurance depends very much where you are and what you’re wanting to pay. I have a very high value house which costs a bomb to insure, so yes, the insurance was all we could get. They don’t want to take the liability.

I feel the same and didn’t have anyone I could recommend anyway.

Yes, it’s a scary world out there isn’t it?!

I could do with a better insurance policy but I can’t get one. I have a high value house and getting any insurer to insure the basement for letting has been extremely difficult here in the UK in the particular area we live in, without the premium going absolutely through the roof.

You can suggest care dot com, but I would NOT do this at all. The potential for Liability real or manufactured is huge and I would be scared out of my wits. I think this guest that is traveling to a unknown destination, with unknown hosts, with unknown babysitter is a MAJOR red flag! I would not trust my babies with just anyone.

I agree with you Carmen. I can’t put them off now as they’re booked in, but as you say the potential for liability - real or manufactured - is not something I want to experiment with.

insurance works a bit differently here in the UK to the States

I guess I can see why you might not want a babysitter in your house but I’m not sure why you think they’re wrong to ask. I agree with Yana that’s it’s quite a natural request - they’re not expecting you to babysit, they’re asking if you can recommend someone. If you can’t, then fine, don’t, but for heaven’s sake don’t be suspicious about someone asking a perfectly innocent question …

When we have families staying and I have got on well with them I often offer to babysit if they want to go to the restaurant that is literally a five minute walk away from us. I have their mobile numbers and a working baby alarm and I sit and read on their patio and they’re usually so grateful to have a couple of hours alone that it quite makes their vacation!

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lol :smile: I never know when to take you seriously

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