Intern or not to intern? That is the question

My husband and I have a home in Silicon Valley. It is in East Palo Alto that is like areas like Ben Stuy Brooklyn or West Philadelphia in that it is gentrifying very quickly.
After taking a break for a couple of years from airbnb we found ourselves without a long term tenant in Oct/Nov. Bad time for annual tenants. So, we decided to revisit airbnb and accepting short term guests
The business has changed. Lots more competition. Lots of properties (especially in EPA because it is cheaper for investors) that are short term only -straight business operations.
We have been getting a ton of requests from millennial interns. They are mostly sweet and ask questions. Most do not understand the process and ask if I can take payments, wave deposit, etc.
Most expect “extras” that they straight up say they do not want to pay for. Like extra guests, free cleaning, etc.
Most of the time they site aspects that would just make them average guests but in their minds entitle them to extras at no extra cost.
Like “we are 4 girls (the home is 4 bed 2 bath) and working all day, so we want extra guests at no extra cost due to us being at work all day.”
Uhhhh, this makes you like everyone else.
It makes me more than apprehensive to accept reservation when it appears that they do not appreciate what a beautiful home we have at a very competitive rate.
I feel that if I accept, they will constantly challenge and ask for more. When I do not just give, then they will give bad review. I have had a millennial guest before and she was a nightmare and super entitled.
Anyone know how to handle expectations with somewhat spoiled entitled people?
Anyone an intern whisperer out there?
I do not want to be ageist and or pass up someone good because of their age and initial behavior. I also do not want to twist myself into a pretzel to constantly please people that have bottomless pit requests and or demands

You can’t discriminate because of “occupation” either. Write your Description, and your HOUSE RULES in such a way as to discourage the kinds of guests you don’t want. Make triple sure that potential guests have thoroughly read and understood your House Rules. Make Strong house rules, not wishy washy ones – NO Unregistered Guests. No Smoking, Vaping or other Drug Use. NO Alcohol. NO Parties or other gatherings of any kind. State your Zero Tolerance policy – first infraction and they are gone within the hour.

You will need to install CCTV cameras (especially at the doors and other entries) and check the feeds daily for unauthorized access. You will need to be HARDNOSED and willing to immediately have guests removed when (not if) they violate House Rules for any reason. Noise monitors which detect sound over a specified level can also be installed to detect parties or other noisy events.


I assume these requests are for several months? I would not find it atypical for someone staying for several months to ask questions or have requests. You can always decline them. I think they understand that a several month stay is not your average Airbnb stay so they are requesting other things.

How long are these stays? What kind of “free cleaning” are they asking for? Are you booking the entire house for one group at a time?

IMO the expectations for an Airbnb get weird for stays greater than a few weeks. It really blurs the line between “guest” and “tenant” when the listing isn’t so much a “vacation rental” as “my main residence”. As a guest I’d have no problem abiding by a “no visitors” rule, but if I were LIVING there? I’d think it pretty crazy that I could never have a friend over to my “HOME” without notifying you and paying a guest fee.

I suspect these inquiries are difficult since they’re really in the market for a 2-3month lease. When I was last an intern it was a real challenge finding housing and we were comparing long-term hotels, executive housing, and short term vacation rentals. Your interns are probably just trying to understand where they stand if they use you over another housing option. Like the long-term hotel offered me weekly room service and neither they nor executive housing would have monitored whether I had a friend over.

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well, if they do not understand how Airbnb operates they must be very, very young. I personally don’t accept undergrads. I have limit of 25yr old. And of course my rules have no parties, no drug etc… Allow instant booking and if someone with no review asks for permission to book use your better judgement. Instant booking means they have 5 star review and understand the process. But basically if you let your guard down you might get in trouble with these kids.

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Thank you everyone for your responses.
It is common to have 2-3 month stays. I have been doing airbnb for years and have over 50 mainly 5 star reviews. I just have been out of the scene for a couple of years.
I like the idea of putting in the house rules a ZERO tolerance policy on unregistered and therefore unpaid OVERNIGHT guests.
I can appreciate that this is their “main residence” during the months of their internship and that they want to have guests.
In my experience, it can be a Trojan horse situation where a boy-girl friend and or family member is over for a week or two. It is extra utilities and wear and tear. We should be paid for every extra person because we do have costs above when more than the 4 people max, stay.
I used to own a catering company and had a clause in the contract for extra guests. Contractually, I was obligated to feed however many people the host paid for. Let’s say 100 people in a buffet. But, I would always make extra food because it looks horrible when a buffet is totally empty. Many times over more than a decade doing this, some people would take advantage and under count their guests. I would let up to 10 people slide but once had another 50 people to feed. I scrambled to feed them and did. Making me and the host look good. When I came back to host for extra people he felt he shouldnt have to pay because the “leftovers” fed his additional guests. I reminded him of the clause and we worked out an additional payment.
This is similar
This potential guest was already stating that they would have guests and that because they “were at work all day” that they are entitled to have additional stay over guests with out paying for them. Simply because she “didnt want to pay for extra people.” Also, she figures that she and her sub guests and their guests are not using utilities during the day and that they would use the “saved up” resources in the evening and with their guests.
I guess I should be grateful that she is so blantant?!?
She did inquire about my surveillance system. The only person that ever has. It leads me to think she is on the make to bring extra people in.
I wrote her an email saying I understand how hard it is to coordinate having not only an internship but to “go in” on a house with other people. That Silicon Valley in my experience is expensive and tough to live in. Trying to validate her and find a common ground.
I guess what really rubs me the wrong way is how her emails have a “let me tell YOU how this is going to be” vibe to them.
She asked for me to open up the month of August. I had blocked it in the hopes I’d find a longer term (at least 1 year lease) tenant during the summer. I did it.
No sooner I did, she found that I used to clean my properties every week to 10 days and demanded it. My husband and I have decided to leave cleaning up to the guests and have not had a problem. We also have priced it accordingly. We have found that with people at work, the home doesnt get that dirty. People enjoy the reduction in price and getting their own cleaning person if they dont want to do it themselves. The cleaning fee being an exit cleaning charge.
Then, she TOLD me instead of asking that she and her sub guests will have guests and that she “doesnt want to pay a extra rate for every extra person” and doesnt feel she should because her and the others are gone during the day.
It is like she wants “credit” for just being an average guest and giving what I consider common courtesy
The whole thing is just exhausting. Everything is pretty spelled out but she wants to adjust things to her advantage. I have only been corresponding with her for less than 48 hours and it has taken up hours of my time. She doesnt really understand that I am not bending over backwards to get her business.
I have encountered this before with adults but have found with 20 somethings, they are used to getting their way and will demand things they feel entitled to. It could be a coincidence but my worst guests have been people in their 20s.
I will revise my HOUSE RULES and confirm that ALL guests read and sign that they accept.
I still do not know what I will do about how to handle the time, energy, power suckers that try and wear down people into giving them more than what they are paying for.

Again, thanks to all that have replied

Thanks Adrienne
Unfortunately I think you are 100% right
I have seen it before.
Half of my issues are the way this young woman “talks” to me in her emails. She really comes from a place of entitlement and is just pushing boundries
I will adjust my house rules and minimum requirements.
I just wish it could always be mutual respect and not a give an inch, take a mile, situation

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met the 20 character minimum by some here

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I wonder how you put this age discrimination into practice? At what point do you know your guests ages? And what are the following steps when they prove to be under 25yo?

@Cheftanya, maybe this will help. I have a 3 bedroom entire house listing and many of my guests ask about having visitors over. This is my policy stated in my House Rules.

Visitor Policy - You are welcome to have a few friends and family visit during the day. Please keep in mind this does not authorize anyone to have a party of any kind. Your visitors are not allowed to bathe/shower, sleep in an unused bed or otherwise make use of the home other than to use the toilet and wash hands. If you allow this, you will be charged $25 per person per day. As the booking guest, it is your responsibility to make your visitors aware of the House Rules and see that they follow them. All visitors, unless otherwise authorized, must vacate the premises by no later than 10 PM. Any unauthorized visitors that stay overnight will cause the booking guest to be charged $50 each.

Remind the booking guest that she and She ALONE is financially responsible for the actions of her companions on the booking and all visitors as well, as stated in AirBnB TOS.

The primary guest is stil liable for any damages that may happen within the reservation.

Here is a link to the Host Guarantee Terms:

Please refer to the Defined Terms for 1. Covered Losses and 2. Invitee

“Covered Losses” means and is limited to direct physical loss or physical damage to a Host’s Covered Property caused by the Responsible Guest or an Invitee of the Responsible Guest during an Airbnb stay. Covered Losses do not include any losses or damage described under Excluded Losses below.

“Invitee” means a person invited to be present at a Covered Accommodation by a Responsible Guest.

THAT ought to take the wind out of her entitled sails! Good Luck! F

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I’ve had people try to say that they weren’t responsible because the person just came over but wasn’t invited…just can’t win them all. Also one said that her unauthorized person was actually a visitor which meant he wasn’t a guest or invitee…again can’t win them all. Luckily in that case I had video doorbell evidence of all of the infractions with the additional unauthorized “visitor” and Airbnb paid me since the guest said she couldn’t afford to pay for her visitor.


You do NOT want to rent to this entitled person. Anybody who starts telling you how it will be is a giant blinking red NO sign.

Your rates may be too low, and you might want to consider raising them. Anywhere from San Jose up to the city is going to be very expensive, so you should charge what the market will bear. And for short term rentals, you don’t want to go over 30 days or landlord-tenant laws apply.

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@Militaryhorsegal -

What nonsense. They let the person know the address where they are staying, which is a subtle invitation to drop by. And the moment they allow them to remain on your property (“hi, dude, come on in!”), they become an “invitee” or a “guest”.


I think the type of millennials you are talking about have grown up with the Yelp culture. They are used to rating and reviewing everything from their dates to their donuts.

You could try flipping the script.

“I see you have four positive reviews. We always like to host guests with excellent feedback, but let’s have a conversation to make sure you’re a good fit.”

They need a reminder that they will be evaluated too.


GutHend, VRBO has this question for hosts, when you fill out the listing info and requirements “Minimum guests’ age”. To which I replied 25.
I think ABB added it too. They always make silent changes to their web site. Either my house doesn’t show up in results for the younger crowd or I don’t know.
Also, like I explained before, the instant check in takes care of that. I had some exception to this rule but it was actually the parents who contacted me and asked if I accept their son/daughter because they intern at this hospital or that company. One time however I was contacted by a girl whom I accepted for the entire summer for an internship. she was very mature for her age and spoke very nicely. She and I are still friends to this day and I am invited to her wedding. so it really depends. You can tell a lot from the way these young people talk to you. Also the school they are at and things like these. For me those kids the OP talked about would have been red flags and I would denied their requests.