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Help - my first time hosting and I need advice (quite urgent)


#1

Hi, I’m hoping someone is online to help me out here. I’ve used Airbnb before a few times and recently decided to host, renting my spare room out.
My first guest has been here about a week. She isn’t your average guest, she lives in the same city as me and said she was in between moving houses. Anyway she wasn’t sure how long she wanted to stay but wanted to keep paying in chunks of 3-4 days at a time.
She always wanted to pay outside of airbnb, and sometimes would leave it VERY late (like 8-9pm) to pay. Initially she seemed fine, decent guest, no problems whatsoever.
Here’s the problem, and I’d like to know whether you think I was right or wrong in my actions, and how I should proceed - Today, she needed to rebook for tonight, and by 8pm she still had not done so. Before I went out to the gym, around 8ish, I said “hey by the way can you please pay for tonight and any other nights you want” she said yes absolutely and I left. I get home at around 10:30 pm and she hasn’t paid. I knock on her door and say her name, actually expecting her to be awake as she usually is past 11. Anyway I do this a few times, she shouts that she is sleeping, and I say ok but would you please mind paying for tonight. She basically tries to just say go away I’ll do it tomorrow, and I ask her again to just pay for the night. After about 30 seconds, she opens the door and immediately acts incredibly erratic, starts shouting, saying I’m selfish, she randomly says she has leukemia and makes up a bunch of other stuff and just goes crazy. She starts slamming the door, LOUD, in my face, repeatedly, bearing in mind I have neighbours with young children. She gets very aggressive and then says “you know what I’ll pay you tomorrow until Monday” umm no? I say I’m sorry but due to your behaviour I want you to leave tomorrow, I don’t care about the payment for tonight. Honestly, I really wanted her to leave tonight, but I don’t feel good throwing a woman out at nearly midnight with no accommodation sorted.
The problem is now, I’m genuinely worried I have a bit of a psycho in my house. It sounds super paranoid but I literally took all the kitchen knives out of my kitchen and placed them in my room, it’s my first time hosting and I really dont feel comfortable with someone this unstable in my apartment while I’m sleeping.
So, what should I do now? It’s midnight here. Also, was I wrong to wake her up at 10:30pm and would you have just left it until the next day?
Any advice would be really appreciated as this is genuinely my FIRST hosting experience.
Thanks for taking the time to read this all


#2

Really sorry… but it appears you will have no recourse to get this nightmare out of your house because you went around AirBnB. Please, in the future don’t go around them. You could still have a case like this, however, even with an AirBnB guest…Hopefully she will just leave on her own. Maybe you can wait until she leaves the house and then change the locks? Very sorry. Can you call the cops?

I wish I had an answer for you.


#3

Sorry, my mistake I didn’t make myself clear - I did not go around airbnb, she wanted to every time but I always refused and made her book through airbnb just in case a scenario like this occurred!


#4

oh!! Have you opened a case with them? Call their emergency line as soon as possible!


#5

Wow. What a suckky first time experience. You were right to take all the kitchen knives out. The girl is a drug addict. You said she needed to rebook by tonight and hadn’t done so and still hasn’t paid?? Am I understanding this? So you went to collect the money and she threw a fit on you??/ She is going through withdrawals…she is not sleeping while you are banging on the door.


#6

Keep one eye open while sleeping. Do you think you should let the cops know (meaning non-emergency) - I don’t think the girl staying will do something but she may have some dangerous connections. Should you make yourself known like saying a bunch of people are coming over?? See how she reacts. I do not feel comfortable with your initial question. I would begin acting as erractic as she did and report back.


#7

Did you go to bed yet? Are you a male or femal host?


#8

eeeekkk call the urgent airbnb number now! this is scary!


#9

what happened? did she leave?
you did well that you hid the knives.


#10

Hi everyone, she left in the morning, furious, but thankfully nothing escalated. I called Airbnb and told them what happened, not much more I could do! Thanks for all the responses everyone I really appreciate it.


#11

Can I ask, would you guys have just left it until the next day to ask for payment or would you have done what I did and actually get the guest to pay when they are meant to?


#13

I just replied…? She left very late and I spent ages on the phone to airbnb.


#14

Well, I was thinking this last night, but my inclination would have been to let sleeping psychos lie, and then deal firmly with the situation in the morning. And who knows why she was so whack last night? She may have had all kinds of other stresses in her life that were distracting her from keeping you happy. Or maybe she was just drunk or something.

Incidentally, before ever letting in any guests, I installed door chains on our bedroom door and on the guests’ main bedroom door. We also have a room with a keyed deadbolt lock for personal files and valuables and so on. Any determined bad guy could just smash all these doors, but it’s a bit of a reassurance, and actually our guests have all been so good we forget to use the door chain.

Luck of the draw I guess.

cheers


#15

I had a couple once who stayed 2 days over of what they booked and wanted to pay cash. Then they forgot that they did not pay and at 7 in a morning sneaked out of the house without paying. She left her flip flops. I don’t think they are coming back. Funny how when i reminded about pay, the girl told to be patient with them.
I will never let this situation happen again. I had few returning customers who want to pay directly to me and I collect it right away literally after saying hi.
we always lock our bedroom door from inside if we have guests


#16

What did airbnb say out of interest ?


#17

I would have done the same as you and asked for payment right then. I also would have most likely thrown her out in the middle of the night. But then again, you don’t know until you are in the situation yourself. so maybe I would have felt it was okay to let psycho fall asleep. Please tell me that Air is not going to penalize for a cancellation. Can you still review her??


#18

Sadly, you just unmasked her for what she really is. That is why I never book anyone for over 3 nights, unless they are a repeat guest of excellent quality. You have been taken over by this woman, she is in your house.


#19

I hope you collected a deposit! Maybe you can grab the additional unpaid night from the deposit.
And hopefully her account is closed down so she will never be able to terrorize the hosts of Airbnb again.

You should always have a deposit by the way. It does help to keep the riff raff down.


#20

Did you have a lock on your bedroom? I think this is good insurance in case you do get unlucky and get someone unstable in your home, right? How many people here have locks on their bedrooms?


#21

I wouldn’t deal with a guest going payment by payment. That’s a red flag, telegraphing that they don’t have plans and/or money and sound a bit unstable. I wouldn’t take guests who are “between houses,” either or moving house… they are often at a last resort because they cannot find long term suitable housing anywhere else, so they are desperate… And, they are motivated to squat. Not sure the law in the UK but here in the U.S., if you are renting long term to a guest, and it’s over 30 days, it moves them from vacation renter to long-term tenant, granting them those rights and you would have to go to court to evict them. Google Palm Springs AirBnB squatter case and you will see what I mean.

I think in the future, book and screen guests carefully… don’t take long term ones, and don’t allow them to decide at the last minute whether they want to stay or go… a recipe for total trouble!

Collect a deposit which will help weed out the riff raff.

What a huge LEARNING curve for you, poor BlindPacemaker!
May your next bookings go smoothly!


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