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First Airbnb guest. Wanted to renew by cash, we said airbnb only please. What if he doesn't leave?

My cousin and I share an apartment. Cousin is away this month, and rents out his room.

This is our first Airbnb guest. He’s been here 10 days. Very polite, very clean… ideal guest so far. So nice that makes me nervous… what if he’s trying to con the system and wait for eviction? He joined Airbnb this year, and only has one review (also saying he was polite). He has verified ID, and tons of facebook friends. He’s helpful, courteous. Airbnb guest says he’s staying in our city all summer, said he liked it here and wants to stay.

He’s from Canada-- we’re USA-- so he wanted to avoid Airbnb fees and international transaction fees by paying in cash outside of airbnb.

He asked to pay in cash outside of airbnb-- we politely DECLINED, told him to please book to extend his stay through airbnb if he’s interested and we could be happy to host him through airbnb as long as he likes.

He’s supposed to leave tomorrow per his airbnb booking. He hasn’t yet put in another reservation request through airbnb.

**What if he doesn’t leave? **

You have his deposit right? If not, you can call the police.

@Chen_Susanne We didn’t specify a deposit with our listing. Do most people? I’ve only stayed at a few airbnb rentals myself, and hadn’t had to pay an upfront deposit fee yet-- but I stayed 2 weeks or less at each place. Should we add in a deposit, and what’s the norm? Thanks!

in your airbnb booking there is an option called deposite and you set the amount and then is done. You should set a deposite if not they will waste your water, burn your house, make the floor dirty and leave. I charge 200 for 2 people. I think 200-400 Euro will be ok.

Contact Air NOW!

Ask him politely to leave. You’ve already said you won’t take payment outside Air. If he refuses, you could call the police.


This is like asking “What if the sky falls?” He’s not given you any indication he would squat so why worry? I don’t think it’s a huge red flag that he’s asking to stay and book/pay outside the system. I regularly tell my guests, keep my info and book direct next time. Pay cash and save on everything! Why not? It’s your customer now, and he’s proven himself well.

Do make him sign a standard rental agreement though. You need paper documentation for any rental business transaction! Protects both of you. Canadian dollar is down, so makes sense to ask to book outside the system. If you like him, and he’s been ideal, you should do it! Just get it in writing.

Last thing I would do is turn him into Air just for asking. That’s a bit draconian. Sheesh.


It’s scientifically impossible for the sky to fall, so there’s 0% chance of it-- so I wouldn’t ask that. A guest staying is a 50/50% chance, and I want to be prepared.

It’s early evening of the day he’s supposed to live. His stuff is still here. He hasn’t booked another reservation or started packing.

I can see why he would want to avoid fees, but I don’t want to end up as one of the airbnb horror stories with the guest staying for months. I’ve heard of airbnb hosts accepting cash on the side, then the guest refuses to leave for months, and hosts losing thousands of dollars in rent, plus thousands of dollars in damages. Airbnb reservations at least give added home insurance.

If he refuses to pay on airbnb, I don’t want a guest who skirts airbnb policy and “forces” me to take cash on the side-- or nothing at all. Airbnb didn’t make him sign a lease and neither did I since I used their site, but he hasn’t been here 30 days (state requirement to get tenant’s rights), so hopefully I am worried about nothing.

He’s been ideal, and that worries me-- scam artists often say and do the perfect thing before completely screwing you over.

Maybe he’s actually an ideal guest and I lucked out-- I have the rest of the day to see if he books another airbnb listing or not before deciding my next step.

He’s not left?? He’s overstaying??? Then definitely out of line… might needed to be reminded to check out or rebook?[quote=“room, post:7, topic:4316”]
then the guest refuses to leave for months, and hosts losing thousands of dollars in rent, plus thousands of dollars in damages.

This is true… If you want their protection all of that is true. If you take him offsite, he needs to sign a standard rental agreement. Something that will hold up in court… put down a deposit and all the rest.

Let us know what happens. He will probably continue to be ideal, and hoping he just spaced on when he was supposed to leave. If he doesn’t, talk to him!

That’s good to know police are an option, thanks.

He hasn’t been here 30 days (state’s rule to get tenant rights), so I don’t believe I’m stuck with him or a squatter nightmare.

I’ve read of airbnb hosts who even used airbnb to book who were still stuck with airbnb guests non-paying there since they went over the 30 days and the tenant got tenant’s right in their city/state. I’ve also read more about airbnb hosts who accepted cash on the side and ended up with nightmare squatter guests.

I plan to give him the rest of the evening until he gets home to say he needs to do another airbnb listing or to please depart, at which point I’ll definitely contact airbnb.

Hopefully I’m worried about nothing, but I do want to be prepared and know my rights. Airbnb help didn’t mention anything about what to do if your short-term guest refuses to leave.

My airbnb listing didn’t mention check in or checkout times. :frowning: Well, now it does, but it didn’t upon booking.

He hasn’t left, no. He comes home every day in the evening- I’ll remind him or either please rebook or checkout when he arrives today and see where things stand before contacting airbnb. It’s odd that he would wait until the night of his departure to rebook somewhere-- definitely doesn’t sit right with my instinct. He was a last minute booking to begin with-- it was either a same day or next day booking request from the start.

It does seem out of line for sure… it was a few days ago that he asked if he could do cash on the side again, and I said airbnb… and it’s early evening day of departure here.

Oh… that is your problem right there. You gave him no time to leave. So it could be technically 11:59PM. :smile:

@konacoconutz is right. But I don’t see why you can’t print off a standard lease agreement from the internet and change him outside Airbnb. That’s not against Airbnb TOS. Or are you considering the so-called Airbnb insurance policy because you don’t have insurance of your own? Is that why you are so insistent? Just a thought :wink:

Keeping in mind too… that policy is not easy to claim on… and Air often sides with the guest.


I would take his cash. He has been an ideal guest and his motivations of saving exchange fees and AirBnB fees are understandable. You also save 3% from their fees. You also don’t have to report cash earnings. You basically have a tenancy at will, you don’t need a lease. You can ask for a security deposit.


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.

A deposit and signed lease with terms and disclaimer, perhaps weekly lease with 7 day termination, would make me feel much better with all this. After he overstayed past the day of checkout from airbnb without paying and we had to have a long discussion that we don’t allow “whenever payment” or free couchsurfing, I doubt I would ever take a 3rd-party lease from him.

I’ve never had a standard lease tenant overstay their paid lease term. I suppose there’s a first time for everything. :smiley: At least he hasn’t (yet) trashed the house (but we have airbnb insurance coverage if he does) or become a squatter.

Our standard leases require a deposit and monthly. And a lease with disclaimer of liability, terms of tenancy, length lease and notice rules. And background check/application before moving in.

Our city allows monthly and yearly leases. Nightly and weekly rentals mean hotel/bed and breakfast permits and zoning. We don’t yet have the bed and breakfast permit from the city to run a bed and breakfast. Some cities require sales tax like hotels do-- we would have to pay sales tax plus personal income tax, unless we ran it through an LLC ---- or whatever long drawn out explanation our tax accountant gave us. I also don’t like to self-report tax as income-- I want a signed lease, checks/check receipts, etc. to verify all income I get. I don’t accept rent from standard tenants in cash either, unless they deposit it in the LLC’s bank account and have a receipt. Cash too easily could be a he said/other he said thing-- he could claim he paid if he didn’t or if he didn’t pay the right amount since their are no formal third-party receipts, right?

Wow, you’re such a stickler. Since when did cash become not usable to pay for things? You can always write him a receipt for cash. It is for the cash giver’s protection, not yours. You receive the cash in on your hand, you have the money. If I have a perfect guest, I always take the direct payment to extend the stay. In fact, I have repeat guest that book directly. We reach a point where we are comfortable with each other. I live on the premises. We bought get to save a little money. For extended stays I require a security deposit. I am comfortable with at will tenancies. Before AirBnB, I would have signed 1 year leases. Most tenants were good people. Occassionally you get a rotten apple. I had a woman who was a religious nut who went to church every day. She had an MBA from a great school. She was filthy and chase away others in a shared situation. You can’t evict her so you’re stuck with bad tenants. At least with short timers if you don’t like them, they go away.

What is the status?

Perhaps he is so nice and clean with an ulterior motive. Be so nice you say “Sure, stay awhile!”.

And yes, you are supposed to pay taxes on cash income. “You don’t have to” in that there is not a paper trail, but not in that it’s legal.

Let us know what happens!

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Well… all of us are just outsiders looking in… YOU were the one with the gut instinct you will have problems with this dude leaving–and sure enough you DID!

Call Air if you have not already…they have recently put ginormous penalties in place for those who overstay. Even though he did pay for one more night, it was after a bunch of trouble and worry for you… and to put you through all this was burdensome to say the least. I would certainly not leave a good review for a guy who overstayed!!!

You don’t say where you are, but is it a city like NYC, where housing is difficult to find? Obviously he was out of cash? Just the couch begging would have been super troublesome to me, and I would not want a guy that disrespectful sleeping in my house. Check out means OUT. Hello, you leave. You GO.

If you mandate all bookings go through Air, you should be respected for that. You seemed to have a sixth sense about this guest that all of us in the peanut gallery can’t be privy to.

do keep us posted on what happens.

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