Feeling a tad fed up

I run 2 Airbnbs in the lane I live in. My son and his wife live between the two of them, and I live at the other end of the terrace - a walk to the furthest cottage takes about 10 seconds.
My neighbour opposite seems to hate me and I honestly don’t know why. I attended (by zoom) a parish council meeting two days ago and he spoke at it and said his life had been made awful by the horrifying carryings on of my guests - urinating in his garden, flicking ash over his fence, walking their dogs in his garden and throwing bottles over their fence - oh, and videoing them.
I know he had a problem with my Airbnbs, and made a complaint to me - when I asked for proof, he said there was a spider’s web over the camera. He then said he would always speak to me about them. Subsequently he told me he liked having the guests there now, he enjoyed talking to them and giving them recommendations for dog walks.

I have small Airbnbs - and it’s usually families or elderly couples who book - no parties, I ask them to be quiet after 10pm, etc etc. I often walk, or drive up the lane and have never seen or heard any problems. Before Covid I would always welcome the guests in person, and I never had alarm bells ring. My son and daugher in law say they love the Airbnb guests and have never heard anything untoward or had any problems. I have asked other neighbours in the lane - they say there is no problem and they don’t hear the guests.

So, what should I do? I feel quite broken by these accusations.

Thank you.

That seems to be an exaggeration

That also seems far fetched. There must be some theory by you, your son, or other neighbors. Have you asked him why he “hates you” or tried to mitigate his concerns?

That might be a reason for why “he hates you” or has a problem with you.

Even if all he is claiming is false, it is really how YOU handle / diffuse the situation that can make it work.

  • Did you apologize for the guests and ask for his help in addressing the matter?
  • Or did you make him feel like AirBNB Customer Support makes many of hosts feel? -> “Without proof, it didn’t happen.

My suggestion is you try to work with the guy. If he isn’t just a bully, he is possibly lonely and/or looking for attention. Be neighborly, ask for his assistance, bake him some cookies, find out what his needs are. All something someone who is attending parish council meetings should already be doing.

Aside from being neighbors and parishioners within the same congregation, you, as and AirBNB host, have a responsibility to ensure he’s not being disrupted and that he is supported. Even if that means going out of your way to be nice to him, that will work to benefit your business. Keep him in the loop and advise him of all that you are doing to address his concerns.

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I’ve said here before that neighbours can be the best allies of all to Airbnb hosts, but it sounds as though this one seems to be a bit Jekyll and Hyde.

If you are confident that your guests are quiet and not behaving badly, as your other neighbours have said, then for the moment it’s best just to ignore this nutty one.

He may simply be the sort of person that objects to Airbnb on principle because of weird things he’s seen in the media - those one-off bizarre things that happen occasionally - usually because of inexperienced hosts with ridiculously high expectations and unrealistic trust levels.

Just assure this neighbour that you and your family keep a close eye on your guests and that he should call you or your son or daughter in law immediately and you’ll attend to any problem.

Don’t be. That means he’s won.

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Thank you so much, I am confident my guests behave well.

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No exaggeration, 10 seconds. These houses were workers cottages build in the 1820’s. They are a terrace - I can do it easily in that time, probably less.

I asked for proof because he said one of my guests had broken into his shed and rearranged all his petrol cans.

I have worked with him, we were getting on well again until about a month ago when he started making all these wild accusations. I phoned him up about a month ago and said I was concerned that someone was hanging around outside his property and I thought he might be casing the joint. That’s neighbourly isn’t it? I gave his son a present. I don’t think he is lonely, he has a wife and child, and works at his own business.

… and parish council doesn’t refer to a parish church or congregation… it’s a committee that meet to discuss local problems, verge cutting, notice boards and stuff of import like that!

Now why on earth would anyone do that? “Let’s go on a weekend break to an Airbnb. While we’re there, I’ll break into a neighbouring shed and rearrange the petrol cans”. It just shows that he’s a little delusional.

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I have one of those. She doesn’t really hate me. She is a bully & unhappy person in general. Constantly complains about STRs & part-time residents.

11 unit stacked condo. Resort area. Complex has allowed STR since built in 1995.

I gave her my phone number and asked her to voice any concerns to me about my guests anytime day or night so I could handle it.

We had a second interaction. Being nice didn’t work.

Wine was involved so i explained she needed to notify me or shut the f&$k up and stay away from me and my guests.

I don’t know if it helped but I feel better. :sunglasses:

Complicated situation. I hope you find the peaceful solution

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Thank you - I think wine or gin might be involved with my next interaction with him.

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Sounds like he’s nuts if he truly thinks someone would break into his shed simply to arrange his petrol cans.

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Reminds me of an April Fools joke I played on my dad when I was a kid. I poured the white sugar in the salt shaker and the salt in the sugar bowl. My dad kept pouring salt in his coffee for a week cause my mom drank her coffee black and kept forgetting to switch them back.

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Sounds like the early stages of dementia?

Just experience speaking…

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A parish council in the UK doesn’t mean you are part of the same congregation but that you live in normally a small rural area and the parish council meets to agree decisions around looking after a small local area @HH_AZ

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The neighbor may be a lost cause and have some mental issue. In terms of looking considerate to the other parish council members, you might just mention that you have tweaked your Airbnb descriptions to insure that your guests are appropriate and understand your rules. I’m not a big fan of cameras but you might think about them to provide a reality check for council members. A lot depends on how much clout the council has.

Agree with Christine that you should communicate with the council members regarding your vigilance and lack of complaints. I would do it in writing, email or whatever.

“I’m very distressed by Mr. H’s comments at the council meeting. He has previously expressed to me how much he enjoys meeting my guests. I assure you that I and my son are careful about whom we let to and would appreciate that any concerns are immediately brought to our attention. We require quiet hours and have not to my knowledge had any guests disrespect others’ property.”

I’d think about the cameras but be aware your neighbor may decide you are spying on him! In my experience, local government likes to make decisions and “take action.” It’s a fine line; you don’t want them to be too intrusive in your business, but you could give them the opportunity to be your allies by adding:

“If any members would like a tour of the rental units and a chat about our rules and security, I am happy to schedule.”

If any of them take you up on it, of course you mention your “good neighbor” rate for their visiting family and friends.

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Brilliant, thank you so much for this idea. I did think about going to the next meeting to respond but I am also aware that this might increase his obsession with me/us. I have spoken to a mental health practitioner who says he sounds paranoid, and as such will be difficult to deal with. She says I can’t not respond, but must be aware that any response will increase his actions/complaints against me. This isn’t the only thing he is doing, but the only one that is appropriate to bring to this group.

I am so grateful for your replies, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the toxicity of the situation.

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If this came on suddenly, you might talk to his family members. I had a neighbor years ago who became paranoid, accusing neighbors of stealing his tools, garden cart, fishing rods…

It turned out he had developed a frontal lobe dementia, which not only causes forgetfulness but can lead to some rather inappropriate and bizarre behavior.

In some cases he had hidden things away because of the paranoia but didn’t remember hiding them. He never engaged in any inappropriate exhibitionism, but a quiet person who had never argued was screaming at everyone walking by.

They eventually found some meds and a day care for him because he wasn’t safe being home alone.

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Thanks for this, unfortunately his wife seems to be colluding with this behaviour.

Today he was driving very slowly and taking a video of my daughter in law having a walk.

That’s really creepy and invasion of her privacy. You should contact him and ask for the video to be deleted in front of you so you know it’s been deleted. I think it’s illegal to video tape someone without consent.

Generally no. If someone is out in public they don’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy. This is no different than my outdoor security cameras videoing people who walk by or stand in front of my door.

What is does sound like is harassment or intimidation and I would definitely be checking my local laws.

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