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How do you handle friend/family wanting to use your rental?


Well parents are different. My brother would always be welcome free.
But yah, she didn’t even make the effort, then lost my snorkel gear and my beach cooler!!! What the heck!!!


Yup, every year I basically give my sister a vacation. If it wasn’t for me providing 5 days free lodging, they probably would not be able to make that trip every year. as they are very particular, and need a kitchen. ABB rentals or Motel type rentals that would suit their needs would be about $200-$300/night.


My parents will use for free one week around christmas as they are coming to Sweden to visit us.
I have friends coming for a busy week end in augusti, they have a small discount but nothing more (my rental place is my income)


There’s friends and then there’s friends. I have crashed at people’s houses all over the nation and all those people are welcome here free. Those who are never available when I need a favor would get different treatment if they asked for free lodging. Then again, I don’t live in HI.


Ah yes, the new “friend” with sick husband that I invited for a few days and who wanted to stay for two weeks … completely my fault for not being clear and when I took the advice of this forum and asked her (nicely) to pay, they were happy to do so and it all worked out fine in the end.

It’s taught me though to be careful about saying to sundry people “oh, do come and stay in our lovely place” without making it very clear what basis it’s on. It’s easier for us as our season is only May-September so family and friends can come outside that time. The children and grandchildren have absolute priority but I do ask them to try to decide early in the year when they want to come so I can block that time on the calendar.

This year as it was a big birthday for me I invited a small group of my contemporaries from school and University for a 3-day reunion. All of them offered to pay but I didn’t want them to, so when they arrived they literally confiscated my wallet and we were not allowed to pay for a single item of food, drink or entertainment while they were here - now that’s what I call friends!


EXACTLY!!! (post must be 20)


Good grief, they are family, of course they don’t pay to stay here!
My wife’s brother and disabled sister came to stay just after I made SuperHost, which is a bit of a disappointment as far as being able to book out the whole place and making the most of the level-up, but family, right? If it makes her happy, they can stay for the whole year.


Shortstack410 makes a great point. If you owned a store, would you let your relatives come in and just take your merchandise for free when they wanted? Maybe this is a good way to present it to them if you are reliant upon the income and cannot afford to give it to them for free.


I wonder how many friendships have ended because of it… Oh is this another podcast in the making?


Really it is all a matter of resources . What do you have available to give for free ? If it is a simple thing for you to give what they want then sure .But if not then they must respect your choice . If they do not respect your choice then they are not true friends or at least not mature enough to look at the situation from your point of view and understand that it’s ok for friends and family to say no. Status does not confer entitlement.

Not a fan of friends and family staying for free or at a reduced price or anything . My best friend’s mother was moving here and needed a place to stay . As the date came closer and closer I realized that I could not afford to let her use the room for free . she could not afford to pay anything. I had to tell my friend that I realized that it was not within my budget and that I cannot help . Fortunately my best friend is a very mature lady and a pragmatic one . She understood and though her apartment with tiny she made it work and did not resent it.

I did however let my friend stay for free when she initially moved here . She needed my help so I freely gave it . However I knew that she was very mature and responsible . She took great care of the space and was very respectful of my time and my home . If you are going to help friends and family you must be very careful and know them very well in order to trust them with your home and your gift . Those who receive your gifts should be few and far between unless you have the resources to give them freely


The same friends and family members who were welcome before I put the space on AirBNB are just as welcome now without paying. The difference is, they have to tell me months in advance now. When they can’t, they are welcome to stay in our guest room which shares a bath with us and is not as well set up for random visitors.

I would be completely horrified if the cousin who stays here for five days every year then charged me to stay with her in London, or her son charged me to stay in his NYC apartment. Imagine if my husband’s two closest friends were to be charged? I just can’t. The people who stay with us are either family by blood or by choice. I love to have them come stay with us!


We have a vacation home in the Caribbean. Close relatives = use for free as long as they tell me ahead of time or we are available. There are only a handful of relatives that fall into this category.

Friends and other relatives - they are welcome to spend time there for free if we are there. Otherwise, a bit of a discount if they want to book it ahead of time (10-20%). If they are willing to travel last-minute and we are available, it’s a steep discount (30-50%).


It also helps if these friends and relatives are not visiting during peak season, and mid-week stays are best!


When it comes to your family and friends ground rules aren’t the only thing to pay attention to. Offer some discount and let them know the deal they are getting is special. If you are offering a deep discount, share them that it’s a private offer because they are important to you.Communicating this helps temper that this is a special arrangement, not the typical business type. If the requested time is of the peak sesaon, point your friend the current market rate and offer a price for which you are willing and able to accept. While setting the rates, you should have calculated the bare minimum just to break even. You can also ask for paying referrals for the special deal you are giving them. Suggest a compromise, if the weekends are booked out for their requested period but weekdays are less popular. If you consistently get requests for discounted or free time at cottage, be proactive about it. Set a time for this period and make them available on a first-come-first-served basis. You can try for a bit of bartering :smiley: if they offer services which are helpful to you.


It makes me so uncomfortable to be asked by ‘friends’ to discount their stay. They can just stay at my house!
I host guests (like my cousin and his 9 friends, or the entire band from Miami my promoter friend brought in)…all in my own home. I charge everyone the cleaning fee if they stay at my listing, even family. I would cop a resentment otherwise. And I still have to clean no matter what. No guest could possibly clean it after themselves. And then there are the linens. It all counts for time and money.
I have hosted over 350 stays over 3+ years and it is my business. It is also not at my home and is an existing rental property I converted to Airbnb. Clear line.
My oldest friends come one weekend a year and they pay me whatever I ask. It is always discounted. The only folks I actually deep discount are other hosts who book their friends. We offer this to each other and refer to and help one another on the regular. That’s good business.


Family & friends (f&f) rentals are tricky. During my slow season, I am happy to accomodate and offer a discount.

During my peak income season, I’ve learned the hard way that last minute f&f cancellations and “let me pay you later” are common so cash pre-payment is required two weeks prior to the reservation start (15% discount off usual nightly rate).


Oh boy, this always makes me cringe. My family of course stays for free, and in the past, so did my friends. Our situation is different now. We have decided to rent out our lake house when we are not using it. I had a friend call me about renting out the property for 5 days over a peak season. I told him I would have to check my reservation calendar later in the day. He owns a popular restaurant in the city where I live. I arrived home later in the afternoon, grabbed the mail and found a $300 gift card to his restaurant! I was shocked. He already had it in his mind, obviously, that the answer would be “no problem” Now don’t get me wrong, at least it was something, but in all honesty, I found it rather pushy and presumptuous on his part. Not too mention, let me decide what the price of the rental is going to be! I immediately sent the gift card back to him. One last note, two people can not have dinner and drinks at this place without adding to the $300! So in my mind, it was not of equal value.


Did he end up staying?


No because I did have a reservation already for those dates and he never asked for another time frame.


Family and close friends stay free of charge. Other friends are paying 50% of the normal fee.

That’s exactly why I like Airbnb, as compared to “ordinary renters”. I can block my rental at times, in order to allow access to family and friends.

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