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How to cancel an IB without being penalised


#21

@Fahed I do not think you should host via such a low end platform. Perhaps you should set up your own high end site that is more suited to your needs.

RR


#22

You’re right. And I don’t actually care why they’re in town. What I care about is that they’re not intending to take advantage of my trust in having opened the doors to them when I, not they nor Airbnb, am responsible for my house and the impact which STR has on my neighbourhood.

Trust, which is the key ingredient of the sharing economy, does not have to be blind trust. And that question (which is one of Airbnb’s default questions) helps to build that trust. The type of guests I’d like to host have no issue answering that question honestly. Those who feel the need to lie don’t deserve my trust and those who find it too intrusive can book somewhere else.


#23

Although I hearted your post at the beginning, I just wanted to write out an actual THANK YOU for answering my question. If my conversation with the guest goes south or she ignores me, at least I now know how to cancel the IB without being penalised.

Much appreciated.


#24

To each his/her own. I wouldn’t use IB unless it could be proven that I would at a minimum double my Air income – not gonna happen here.


#25

I would actually call in to cancel so you’re sure it’s done without penalty. I don’t trust “the system” that much.

I’m in complete agreement with your sentiment that the details of their trip aren’t important, but their honesty in what they do share is. I had a group of guys “coming up for a golfing weekend”. The first guest to arrive wasn’t the booking guest and let slip that they were having a bachelor weekend. I’ve hosted plenty of bachelor/ette weekends, so that didn’t bother me but the fact that he lied about it really put my guard up.

In addition to lengthening your advance notice, perhaps you might consider a separate rental agreement, possibly with background check? I know some hosts of high-end (and even not so high end) properties do this.


#26

Not comfortable is a reason to cancel penalty free. But then you have to say what the reason is like she has shown intention to break rules or she has bad reviews in the past. If you appear to be discriminating based on race, nationality, etc. they will penalize you.

So she told you what conference she is attending so you could check the website but there’s nothing there? This doesn’t seem like enough reason to cancel but it will be interesting to hear Airbnb’s response.


#27

So… I chatted with her and, although my gut has his doubts, there’s no overt reason for me to feel uncomfortable anymore.

If you don’t hear from me on this guest, it means all went well.

Thanks to everyone who made helpful comments.


#28

I can see someone arriving Friday to do some tourist things and checking out Sunday morning, going to the conference for one day and then going straight home. And conferences have pre-sessions that are not always advertised or maybe she is helping set it up. Perhaps ask her along the lines of: “I noticed you saying you were attending the Meerkat conference on Sunday so I checked it’s location so I could advise you of travel restrictions as often bus and Tube lines are restricted on Sundays for maintenance. But I noticed there are no advertised sessions Sunday so thought I’d let you know”.


#29

If it comes up in the future, I’ve had good success calling ABB and having them cancel an IB reservation. Depending on the representative, they may ask more or less info about the reason for wanting to cancel but it’s never been a problem. You can cancel through the app too but I think there’s a limit (2 or 3?) to how many times you can do it without being penalized. If I understand correctly, when I call in to ABB they can cancel it “neutrally” rather than from your end and it won’t count towards the number of times you’ve cancelled an IB reservation? Either way, I’ve always found it to be quick and easy to do.


#30

Maybe she’s cheating on her husband so she lied to you as well about being in town for a conference.


#31

URGENT ADVICE NEEDED

So, it turns out that the lady who booked the house is a renowned fraudster who got lots of news coverage here in England for her fraud.

It turned out the Sunday conference is for a Ministry that (apparantley) specialises in taking armed criminals off the street and rehabilitating them. The ministry appears to offer world success as a main part of its allure.

She told me that there would be 8 guests. Her, 4 adults and 3 children. She asked if her PA would come with her ID and I declined. She then turned up for the checkin without her ID and I again declined. She then came back with her ID, checked in and left the house soon after.

It’s now midnight and 12 GROWN MEN (probably cons or ex-cons in light of their ministry’s focus) have just entered the house.

Bearing in mind that I’m 4 hours away and my mum is the house manager, what should I do? Step by step if possible. Thanks.


#32

I’d message her and tell her unregistered guests are not allowed and they must depart immediately. Then (sigh) enlist the help of Airbnb with the cancellation if you want to go that route.


#33

How should I enlist their help? By calling?


#34

Yes call because you need immediate action.


#35

edited to control my sarcasm.

RR


#36

Wow…that’s some.ministry.
She is renowned fraudster for hiding the real cause of her visit. This all is too weird.
What makes the whole situation hard is that you are not there and the only hope is your mom who can call police.


#37

I know were in this business to make money, but there is nothing wrong with going by your gut feeling about a potential guest. While we’ve only had these two apartments on Airbnb for a few months, we’ve been involved with STR & LTR on and off for many years - if something doesn’t feel right, or either of us is uncomfortable about a guest, they don’t get past the front door.

Has this “instinct” policy cost us money? Undoubtedly. Do we continue to do it, definitely. Will it ultimately cause an issue with IB? Probably!

I’m sorry, I can’t offer much in the way of practical advice other than to contact Airbnb but I do hope your situation gets resolved the best way possible for you, the host.

JF


#38

Well it’s been 14 hours since you posted, plenty of time to drive there and protect your mom from these criminals. Please do let us know what happened.

RR


#39

For those who want to know what happened…

Short Answer
Considering that many of these men are “gangsters in transition” (as they call it), have a deep love for their Lamborghini-driving “pastor” (who I now have the honour of hosting as the 9th of 8 guests), know where my home is and know me by full name and photo, I let them walk over me for the sake of our long term safety.

Long Answer
I contacted the lady who made the booking and told her that whilst she told me there would be 1 man, 4 women and 3 children, I had counted 12 men, 2 women and no children. I told her that she had seriously broken the house rules and had forfeited her right to stay there. I told her that I should cancel the booking but that I wanted her to first explain to me the truth of the matter before I did so.

She then gave me all sorts of excuses. In the face of my rules, her excuses were are unacceptable. But, in light of my situation, I accepted them all. I told her that I should cancel the booking but, as they had their big conference happening tomorrow and I could see all the good work they were doing in taking gangsters off the street, that they could complete their stay (1 more night to go) if she assured me they would be more mindful of the neighbourhood by not parking their cars in front of my neighbours houses, minimising their comings and goings etc.

My mother and I are now counting down to their check out (18 hours to go), hoping that the house will be fine (which I believe it will) and that our neighbours won’t lynch us (which I believe they will). Each time the Ring camera alerts us of someone being at the door, we cringe away, hoping for the best, fearing for the worst and wondering “what’s next”. I’m even thinking about deactivating it until they leave to bring sanity to my evening.

Even though I have supposed duty to co-hosts to leave this group an honest thumbs-down review, I’ve decided to not review them out of fear that it might invite physical retribution upon us.

I curse myself for second-guessing myself in light of some of the strongly-opinionated comments I received through this thread, but that’s my problem at the end of the day and I won’t be second-guessing myself in the future regardless of what people say.

This would be a good opportunity for me to remind all newbies that, whenever you take advice from other hosts, please remember that everyone’s hosting circumstances are different to each other and whilst their opinions and advice may hold true for them and others in their situation, it may not hold true for yours. So if your hosting situation is particularly unique, ensure you filter any advice in the context of your unique situation.

Moving Forward

What steps can I take to ensure that they can never book my house again as she indicated she’d like to book it again for their monthly conference?


#40

You mean you did not go yourself? Wow, your mom must be one tough gal.

RR


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