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Entitled guests

I am currently hosting a retired couple moving from the Midwest to Arizona, who is watching TV practically 24 x 7.
I have a home office and work in it daily, and the TV is in the great room next to my home office. They have booked the stay for 40 days pending the closing of their home here in Arizona.
The husband is partially deaf and has the TV volume turned fairly high, which interrupts my work calls and business I need to do in my home office which is adjacent to the living area. I have messaged and verbally requested that the TV not be used in the great room or at least during work hours.
I have found the husband asleep on the couch in the great room during the day, blaring the TV at loud decibels, and last night he fell asleep on my great room couch thankfully with the TV off.
The wife seems fairly reasonable and clean, however, the husband is a different story. He has asked for a new remote for the TV, wanted me to subscribe to Netflix which I declined, and asked for Bluetooth headphones for the TV, which is not supported by the 12-year-old TV. He is a technophobe and expects me to program everything.
I have disconnected the TV streaming service, noting that this is NOT a advertised service. I feel like I’m hosting a 73 year old teen. Suggestions?

Obviously you understand now the hazards of this kind of booking. In a pandemic there was no way these old folks were going to be out and about all day. I wouldn’t have anyone in a shared home at this time and I don’t know what you were thinking taking this booking but it’s done now.

I suggest telling them you will have to cancel the booking and they will have to find another place for the remainder of their time.

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Assuming they have a TV to use in their bedroom or another spot in the house and that the great room TV is not a specific amenity, I imagine that a 12 year old TV could just stop working :wink:

Speaking of which, have you turned on the closed captioning for him? That could keep the volume down.

edit to add: There are bluetooth adapters that should connect to your older TV so that you could get bluetooth headphones; however, you can just get some regular headphones and a cord extension that will connect directly to your TV. I still use old headphones for my turntable and the cord is 150 feet long. Either way, some headphones seem like a good investment considering that your office is so close to this TV. It should give you some relief, if that is the goal.

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Likelihood is that, like many other in home hosts, times are tight and a booking is a booking.

This is a perfect example of why I could never be an in home host. Ever.

It’s also why I have never been an in home guest either!

I find it hard enough when guests are in the apartments for longer than a few days, and they are on a different floor within the building.

That said, we just got a ten day booking from this coming Friday :grinning:

Considering the restrictions we’re currently under it’s a pretty cool booking as he’s here for work, so no heaters running 24/7 etc.

JF

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This is a good point. I know many people are having to expose themselves to covid in order to live and Airbnb hosts could certainly be in that category. But that’s why I asked what her thinking was.

Best repeat guest I ever had was the dentist who was here on and off for 4 months for work. He was gone all day and his bookings were mostly during the week so I got other bookings and reviews on weekends. He didn’t leave me any reviews out of his 15 or so stays.

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thank you, I’m strongly considering limiting my Airbnb bookings to a maximum of 1 week until we have returned to some normalcy here in Arizona. This is considered ‘in season’ for winter visitors and in years past I’m normally swamped with reservations. I have noted that this is a shared space in the listing description, and until the pandemic, this has not been an issue since guests typically were not home all day. I appreciate the suggestion.

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If you can afford it, I’d say forget it for the immediate future. Health above wealth and all that.

As a side note, it is starting to piss me off when folks here say “at least you’re still healthy”, which is becoming a more and more repeated phrase. So I get it.

JF

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How do you keep safe with guests in your house? Do you require they be tested for covid? Is everyone wearing masks indoors? This is truly frightening, I do not see any way to be safe with strangers in the house.

RR

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It is.

We meet and greet guests with masks and gloves (well OH wears the gloves, I use the sanitiser), but once checked in, we are totally sin contacto. No contact from then on, and if there is contact, e.g. my office is on the ground floor and I do bump into guests coming and going, I wear a mask.

We’ve worked out a check out routine whereby the guests leave, and open all windows and doors in the apartments, and once they’ve left the parking garage they put the keys in a letterbox on the street door.

I honestly could not contemplate being in close proximity to strangers, in a home setting, for anything over 15mins.

Paranoid? Maybe, but we’re in a serious hotspot and so far so good.

@evejakob hope you stay safe and healthy.

JF

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Since you’re stuck with him, I suggest you make it work for both of you. If it were I, I would buy an inexpensive Roku TV and headsets for his use and the use of other guests in the future. Save the receipts and hopefully you can write it off as a business expense. Then turn a negative into a positive; update your listing “brand new Roku TV for your enjoyment.”

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which poses the question…how are we as hosts responding to the changed ‘shelter at home’ situation? Here in Arizona, the situation has been changing almost monthly until the bulk of the population has been vaccinated. Before the pandemic, having a shared space was not an issue, because I worked in an office outside the home, and my guests were gone either at work or a conference/training they were attending. We did talk and share meals in the evening. Having guests around my home all day is out of my comfort level, and having to constantly respond to odd requests (including " can you fix the ceiling fan in my room, can you program the remote, can you reset the garage door opener?’ in addition to my work responsibilities can be taxing. Has anyone had similiar situations and suggestions?

My husband and I responded by closing our Airbnb rooms on March 15, and we’re still closed. There’s simply no way we can think of to house-share with guests during a pandemic and ensure that everyone stays safe.

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Never had the situation, but if it was me I’d “come into contact with a person awaiting a test result”, and then contact Airbnb and get them rehomed as you need to self isolate for however many days.

Of course I’m not suggesting for one second you are untruthful, but…

JF

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I responded last spring by closing my Airbnb from mid March until early July. Once it seemed that transmission was mostly airborne, not from touching things it made renting with time between guests less risky. As of mid December I’m closed to new guests but if a prior guest contacts me directly I’ll rent to them. I’m not depending on government guidelines at all, I’m watching case numbers and the science news.

My rental is attached to my home but completely separated from me. I’ve been saying this since well before the pandemic and I repeat it here: if there is any way for you to put a separate entrance for guests and close off access to your part of the house, do it. I did it in 2016 and it’s been worth every penny.

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If the TV noise is the main problem, this might be a good compromise. It’s very likely you can add an external Bluetooth transmitter to your TV through a headphone jack, auxiliary output, digital optical/coax, HDMI ARC, etc. Bluetooth transmitters are $20-$80 depending on features and you probably can get by with one on the lower end of that price range. Let the guest buy their own headphones that suit their comfort and needs and take them with them when they leave (headphones can be a bit unsanitary anyway).

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It doesn’t matter if the guests are home for 2 hours a day or 10. If you are sharing indoor spaces, you are putting yourself and your guests at pandemic risk.

I have a home share listing and although the guest room/bath has a separate outdoor entrance, guests normally share my kitchen. So I have been closed to bookings since early March.

It’s really foolish to be home-sharing with common spaces now.

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It’s a difficult one. You knew you had older guests coming who were in-between homes, so if someone hanging around all the time is outside of your comfort zone, the obvious thing to have done is not accept a long term booking with people you knew would be in your home most of the time…

They are probably rather uncomfortable being in someone’s home and not being familiar with your technology so give them a break.

So as you have accepted them what can you do to make it work. I would

  1. Get a new TV with headphones - they are pretty cheap on Amazon and you can get next day delivery. Show the wife how to use it and reset the garage door opener and then she can help her husband. If they don’t have a TV in their room get a small one for their room that they can watch during the day.

  2. Explain that you are working during the day and ask that you not be disturbed during XX and XXX unless it’s an emergency.

  3. If your dining space is large enough to socially distance, sit down with them and have supper. Explain about your working pattern and how important it is during the day that you focus on your work. Say you understand that it must be strange for them having to live in someone’s home after being in their own space for so long but that you would really appreciate it if they could commit to not using the TV in the room next door to you during the day and have bought a new TV with headphones to help make that happen.

A bit of warmth and understanding can work wonders in these type of situations.

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Agreed … I can’t imagine how awkward and uncomfortable it is for everyone to be in masks 24/7 and if not … how reckless.

I have/had a similar shared hosting setup: Great room with TV adjacent to my home office and office on the guest room suite side of the house. When my shared home listing was up and running, I started without a TV in the guest room and had “quiet times” clearly stated in my listing, house rules, and intro to the house. I finally bought an inexpensive ROKU TV for streaming only (guests login with their accounts, available only during their stay) and still had “I work from home, quiet times areXYZ.”

Ditto. I won’t open yet and I was going gangbusters this time last year.

Ditto.

This. Or boot the guests as long as you say “work from home, need quiet 9-5, breaking house rules” and it’s true.

I won’t take any booking over 28 days because then they become a tenant. I’d only do that with a lease and outside of Air.

Closed since my last guests checked out on March 16th.

And this is so true. Older folks who just want to be in their space and it’s crazy time in the world.

I agree with @KKC about tracking the science, and we’ve been following both area-specific responses and protocols. We are also lucky in that we have a separate entrance from our listing, and are able to do contact-less check-ins and check-outs really easily. Our only shared spaces are outdoors, and they’re voluntary (backyard and front yard).

I do want to mention that are also many, many people who have been grateful for hosts who are still hosting right now. Examples of people we’ve hosted include: many traveling nurses, local medical professionals who don’t feel comfortable living in their homes right now due to exposure, non-medical folks traveling for work (we are right near a significant film studio and get many people in the industry), people between leases, and those working remotely while trying to find a new home that will be a better fit for their pandemic lifestyle.

While it sounds like your current guests definitely need a place to stay during their strange liminal period, yours doesn’t seem like the right home for them. I know I’d be out of my mind annoyed by all that you described! You can always give them a reasonable timeline to find alternative accommodations, and cancel the rest of their stay. Sugarcoating the truth or giving an excuse for their “eviction” is an option to make things less awkward, too.

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