He overstayed. Unpaid.
He claimed to have a credit card issue and thought he would stay there another day without telling us, without making an airbnb message or reservation, or without paying in any form.
Airbnb is like a hotel-- if you don’t pay and have a reservation, you don’t stay. Cheap hotels take cash-- if all you can pay is cash, go to a hotel. Our listing is already very cheap-- it’s not like the airbnb fees are huge, and our listing is a fraction of the price of a local hotel. If we politely decline cash, a guest should respect that or find another airbnb host or craigslist ad who would accept cash. I would never overstay my reservation in someone’s home and think I could stay free and pay later, and was shocked that he thought we would be fine with it.
If he really had cash and planned to pay, there are Visa gift cards at every Walmart/gas station in the USA that don’t require USA citizenship and could easily be used to book with airbnb.
The whole thing seems fishy and like he was trying to take advantage of our kindness. Definitely doesn’t seem on the up and up to keep getting asked to take cash and him overstaying his reservation unpaid- seems like he might just be wanting to game the airbnb system. If I had asked a host if they would take cash and they declined, I wouldn’t ask them a few more times if they would take cash.
That’s what makes me suspicious of him with the cash request- the asking more than once, and now the overstaying unpaid. That could easily be a lawsuit-- no signed lease with disclaimer or terms of lease length and stop paying, fake an injury on the property with no airbnb insurance and no standard lease/disclaimer, paid in cash, stay too long to require eviction, etc. I would find another host that would let me, use craigslist where leases are the norm and pay a month in advance and get a signed lease, or get a Visa gift card to rebook through airbnb.
He was there when our next guest from elsewhere was checking in. We had to be firm requiring an immediate rebook or departure, saying we can’t go outside of airbnb and we can’t have people overstay their scheduled dates (other people have reservations coming up).
He tried to let us let him sleep free on the couch, or accept cash as payment outside of airbnb (that would void our airbnb insurance and protections— that would create an oral tenancy agreement with no proof from a written lease or airbnb reservation, and since he hadn’t signed a lease or a contact saying we’re not liable for damages to his property/injury/etc.). I read too many horror stories about people paying cash on the side saying similar “my credit card has an issue,” then staying for months and months.
I also find it hard to believe he would have many weeks worth of cash on hand in another country, but no credit card that works abroad and only have one credit card with him in a foreign country and that one magically have problems. And, also to not have told us that day that his stay was ending and just stay there.
I’ve never gone to another country without at least multiple forms of payment (multiple credit cards, scans of my documents secured online, cash, traveler’s checks). I would never carry weeks worth of “hotel”(airbnb) fees in cash when traveling like that. It’s not that hard to find credit cards or travel prepaid cards that work outside of your country, even if you have bad credit.
For those asking, yes, I have home insurance. But I like airbnb’s ability to help pressure an overstaying tenant out and their $1 million insurance policy, the ability to at least get their airbnb verified ID accont banned if they abuse the site and stay at homes longer than they pay, plus the ability to leave each other online reviews. Normal tenants have leases with liability disclaimers, airbnb doesn’t.
Cash is messy. We prefer either airbnb type sites or using signed leases with deposits, signed leases, rent receipts-- we pay income taxes on this stuff. A paper check is how our standard lease tenants pay us-- this person is from another country, and I wouldn’t chance a check from them. We wouldn’t know it bounced until at least a week later, probably more. Cash we have to self-report to income taxes, and I like a record of it. So do our tax accountants.
I don’t think I would do airbnb long-term, at least not without a written signed lease/liability waiver and deposit. But, he did pay for the night and our other guest we were able to comfortably accommodate too last minute-- and hopefully this doesn’t happen again.
Hopefully I don’t kick myself for not making him leave right then. It was late and he had been almost ideal to this point, so I accepted his airbnb inquiry for tonight. He said he had a credit card with enough that could book tonight, it was another week he couldn’t put on that credit card. I don’t see why he didn’t do that before all this-- staying past checkout unpaid. He claimed something about credit card limits-- really not my problem and not something an airbnb guest should try to make a host’s problem. I would never go to another country with one credit card, overspend, and expect a random stranger host to let me stay free. But, I also didn’t want him to trash the place on the way out or try to get an airbnb refund/claim, so I accepted another request for him for the night and his payment went through. I probably will kick myself for accepting his airbnb request for the night.