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In a different Airbnb host group there’s a lively discussion about calendar blocking and warning not to rent to locals.
Apparently it is now a thing for either the competition or STR hating neighbors to book prime rental dates then cancel or request a date change at the last minute. This reduces the opportunity for the host having a paying rental.
Have you heard of this? Is this a THING?
BTW this same group had a discussion about anyone not the owner or licensed real estate broker (in other words those doing Arbitrage or subletting their rented apartment) shouldn’t do rentals of over 28 nights because violating state law.
My first thought was “this is crazy”. Then I pondered it. If I rented an apartment & my neighbor was running a disruptive, illegal STR and the landlord ignored it, I might do it. (Key phrases: disruptive & illegal).
I don’t think something is a THING unless I see some data. A couple of folks posting in the local facebook group is a terrible source of information in my estimation. Do I believe it could have happened somewhere, somehow? Yes. Do I think it’s a thing? No.
Because it gives us all a bad name, I’d check with the local authorities to see if they had all the necessary licenses, that they were paying the relevant taxes and that they had valid STR insurance (which here they must have, I think, in order to get their license). I wouldn’t mess around booking and all that malarkey. Straight for the jugular.
Even better would be to book and stay and then do something I once heard about. Don’t know if it was a true story or one of those urban myths.
A woman had had a very acrimonious divorce, her husband was a jerk, and in the settlement, her husband got the house, which he was planning on putting up for sale. She had to go retreive some furniture and other items which had been part of her share of the settlement.
When she went to the house, she took down one of the hollow curtain rods, stuffed it with some shrimp, shoving it in well, so it couldn’t be seen, then replaced the finial and hung it back up.
The real estate agents and the ex-husband couldn’t figure out where the awful smell was coming from, even though they searched seemingly everywhere. The husband had to sell at at a fire sale price.
And the woman who had the bank foreclose and sell her home.
As revenge she rented a safety deposit box and stored a large raw fish.
Took the bank 3 months to get the authority to drill the lock.
No never heard of it but if this is true people could only do this if hosts are silly enough to offer a flexible cancellation policy in areas where this is happening and who don’t invest in vetting their guests. @Annet3176
Moderate policy always worked fine for me. Really depends on your location and clientele. Only ever had one cancellation in almost 4 years of hosting, and that was because the guest had a close family member die. I got paid the 50%.
Most of my guests fly here. They have flights booked, time booked off work, maybe have signed up for surf or diving lessons, or a whale watching tour. Cancelling isn’t common in those scenarios, they have too much in play.
The only situation I could see flexible being a reasonable policy for a host is if they lived right near an airport and the majority of their bookings were from guests who had unanticipated layovers or overbooked flights or flight cancellations, so needed a place last-minute. Or some other situation where last minute bookings were a host’s bread and butter.
I’d never use it, myself. I’d be pissed if I worked to get the room cleaned on time, turning down a lunch invitation with friends, or having to stop working on one of my upholstery projects, only to have the guest cancel last minute.
As Muddy said, it really depends on the STR. We aren’t hotels and can’t follow their model which is very consistent across brands. There are many kinds of Airbnbs.
Mine is a separate small ensuite attached to my home but separate from me. I get a lot of last minute bookings. Right now my calendar is closed on Airbnb but I can open it for the coming week and more likely than not I’ll get a booking. I’ve used flexible or moderate for all 7 years and I’ve refunded almost everyone who canceled even if it was same day. It’s not unusual for me to get a cancel in the morning and a rebook later that day. I can usually accept alterations because people aren’t trying to get around my policy and it wouldn’t matter if they were.
Another thing that boggles some minds is that quite a few Airbnb hosts, at least as represented on this platform, have values that attach to the way they run their business. I, for example, don’t like to take money for work I didn’t do. This is true in my in home dog boarding business as well. This really bothers some other hosts because it’s not something they think is consistent with running a business. If some of us offer refunds they feel that it undermines their business. They don’t want to deal with the guest who says “why can’t you refund, all the other hosts I’ve screwed over did!” LOL.