I don't know how to feel about this

Soooo…I’m about 6 months in to this experiment and I’ve already had the football players tear up my house and tear a sink off the wall, a swinger party, a bad date gone wrong and all have been handled with aplomb and I still really love hosting.

So here’s what’s going on now. I have a guest, booked some time ago, for what he said would be his birthday weekend. The booking was for him and his wife and then he asked a couple of days ago if his nephews could come for a concert. No problem. I sleep 8 and don’t charge for extras.

He doesn’t seem to be loud or rowdy and I feel pretty confident that he’s taking great care of the property. My issue is, I think he’s doing some kind of commercial photography something. We have a Vivint (disclosed in the listing information) and when he checked-in, he had a huge, heavy bag and I’m like…dang that’s intense for a 4-day stay, AND you’re a local, but whatevs. But then he brought in at least 2 tripods…then I saw the lady with the wardrobe…and then the couple who came and he informed him that he could blur out the back drop. Now honestly, I’m very flattered that he thinks my house is good enough for that kind of thing. My issue is that he lied and I’m pretty sure that commercial uses of my property should be disclosed because I think there’s another layer of liability that has to be assessed AND most of all, I’m pretty sure that there’s a difference in commercial rates…in other words, I think he’s trying to get over on my pockets and I don’t appreciate it.

So really, I don’t know how to feel about this or how to handle it once he leaves tomorrow.

Can’t wait to hear from you guys.


Here are some other posts about photo shoots.

Yes, he is pulling one over on you and you should have addressed it ASAP

Take charge of your guests. You describe some pretty crazy problems for just six months. Many of us have been hosting for years without any such problems and I can’t claim to know what the secret is, but I strongly suspect that taking charge is a major part of it.

You say he was local - what reason did he give for staying with you when he lives nearby? What did he say when you asked him about the tripods?

Commercial use gets you into a minefield and anyone using property for such purposes should have their own insurance rather than depending on yours, they should sign various disclaimers and other paperwork and you should be charging appropriate commercial rates. Often these people use Airbnbs sneakily to avoid paying proper fees.

I know that it seems flattering but I promise, most of us have had requests from people wanting to film in our rentals. It’s not flattering - it’s just that they want to avoid paying higher fees :slight_smile:


As @jaquo says – take charge! Why have you not confronted this person and his ‘entourage’ over what is going on there. They are not paying for commercial use, and in fact might be filming porno for all you know. Put a stop to this. NOW.

I will NEVER rent to locals – anyone less than 50 miles away. Just too much potential for problems.

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I’d ask the guest what he’s doing with the tripods and all that. Let him know you’re aware of whats going on at the property. Give him a chance to be honest. If he isn’t honest, then leave it for now. If for whatever reason you need to invoke the host guarantee program, you’ve already brought the issue up with the guest and can initiate your claim in the resolution center up to 14 days from checkout. I’d wait until either the guest posts a review or until the 13th day to confront the issue with the guest. I’m not sure how the commercial rate thing works or if you can request money from the guest for that. Maybe someone else can chime in. Either way, if the guest is up front about it, you have your proof. If not, you’re going to have a hard time proving what happened unless you get the photos.

Oh lordy does this bring back memories…only there wasn’t a wardrobe. They said they were in town covering a sporting event and that is why all the tripods and camera’s only to find out when I walk into the home a bit early (5 minutes) to find a nude photo shoot going on in the home. Let’s just say they left quickly and I let them know they could not use any photo’s taken in the home as they did not have permission to use my home in such a manner.


We have hosted over a dozen photo shoots. In every instance the original contact has been upfront about their plans (we live nextdoor so sneaking in would be difficult). We ask about the scope of work and quote based on the size of the crew and number of “actors”.
A contract is prepared and a cash damage deposit is collected. Our biggest photo shoot had 80 people on site for a TV soap opera . Not yet faced with a anything sketchy:-)
Tidy sums all!

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Good to know. Yes, it’s been remarkable or I’m just lucky. When the sink got torn off the wall, our security system was down, so I actually had no idea what was going on until we walked in to clean. When the swinger party occurred, I immediately contacted the guests. It was a one night booking and they said it was a misunderstanding and they were just having a couple of people over from work for drinks. I charged a party fee anyway and they paid. They left the house in good condition, but I did note the “misunderstanding” in the review and when the question popped up about “Would you host this guest again?”, it was a firm no from me. Not necessarily because of the lifestyle choices, but because of the dishonesty.
I actually had no idea about commercial rates. Terrible oversight on my part. What I have decided to do is simply address it in the check-out message. If he responds and is truthful about his activities I won’t blast him, otherwise he’ll be another that will earn the opportunity to never book with me again.

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I never ever host locals. Especially if they dont give a reason. they are supposed to have where to sleep, then why rent my house?
Only one time I made an exception with a lady from an impoverished neighborhood who said they were having a family get together and their house was too small. But she was sort of friend of a friend so I had confidence she was ok.

How do you know they were not filming porn? jesus!

You’re asking for trouble by sleeping 8, nevermind not charging for extras.

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I don’t feel that way at all.

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I don’t have a problem renting to locals. A couple of my best customers have been locals. They may want to have family in town, but their own place may be too small. But to each his own. I think that’s why it’s great to have so many diverse hosts.

I don’t know what they were doing and they could have been filming anything. My issue was the commercial use of it without paying commercial rates.

I am also on IB, so I only see the purpose for their visit after they book.

I ended up adding a blurb like that in my welcome letter and addressed it to the guest in question in that manner.

You might feel uncomfy about enforcement, but it comes with the job description. It is a challenging skill to master, but once learned it is well worth it. Remember more than anything else this is your property and you have a right to manage it as you see fit. They either co operate or they are homeless.

If you are entering a situation where you are new at this or sense either danger or combativeness, or you are just plain worried, bring a large buddy with you. They are great witnesses too.

If however you are on your own have your phone close at hand and don’t hesitate to make it look like you are talking to someone. And it’s amazing how fast they cave if it looks like you are taking pictures.

I don’t have any problems with assertiveness, enforcement or anything like that, in person, on the phone, email, whatever. That is not the issue. But there are different ways to handle things and rushing over just to assert oneself just because one can is not conducive to my overall business model.

As it turned out, the issue was addressed, I am confident that it won’t happen again and the guest was a good one, who left the home in great condition. People are people and will try to get away with what they can, including not paying a commercial rate for commercial endeavors.


I think you replied to me in error :slight_smile:

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Yes I believe so, my friend

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I don’t doubt that you have strong assertiveness skills. But some of the situations you described at the beginning of the thread involved people who had behaved in a potentially dangerous way and who had damaged your property and in effect disrespected you.

As a single female host for me at least it’s understanding how to take control of a nasty situation.

Assertive me would have stood up for myself.

Sensible me would do what I need to in order to protect myself and property, and that often means moving fast and getting help. Just an opinion, learned the hard way and offered with grace.