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Length of Time befor Short Term becomes Long Term?


Hi Everyone

I’m trying to find out what the laws are in my state regarding short-term renters becoming tenants with full rights, needing eviction proceedings to get them out.

I can’t find anything - can you help with the right verbiage to get to the right page?


(and I know there are several of you that like to flame people who get into this business without a clue - I’ve already been threatened with whipping - so no more of that, please, I’m totally upfront that I am ‘one of those people’ and I’m trying to do it right now so just answer the question or move along)


LOL! What? Get scolded on this forum? :slight_smile: I’ve never been scolded! LOL. (Yeah I was told by a certain sheet-ironing, cape-wearing individual here that I I should not be in business because I have to collect tax in person–something suggested by Air themselves! since they do not have anything better to offer us!)

What state are you in? Some here were saying that Florida guests acquire tenants’ rights after three days. I find that hard to believe. I think those scolders had said that’s why they made them sign an additional rental doc? Not sure. Here in Hawaii and I believe in California it is 30 days. Google that story about the Palm Springs AirBnB squatters.

P.S. I’m a five- year host and I still got told by these guys that I shouldn’t be in business if I didn’t understand the tax thing… just add it in your nightly rate, they say… Uh no… There is no way for the math to come out correctly… no matter how you slice it, if you do that you will eat some… which they say is the cost of doing business and which I say is something I won’t eat. Let the guests pay the tax, that’s what EVERYONE in Hawaii does! All of us who have an excise and TAT license! COLLECT the tax in cash, up front, in person.)


Thanks, Kona -

And yesterday I thought I’d try to list my place on booking.com. Do you know, those smart guys over there have figured out how to write code that requires hosts to say what there vat, occupancy & sales tax is? Then the tax can be detailed in the quote for the guest, and we don’t have to bring it up after the fact. Brilliant, right? I didn’t list with them since they don’t vet the guests. But I did notice one ‘airbnb’ type listing that had a nightly rate, in bold red, then in tiny print a $125 cleaning fee ‘to be collected at check-in’. (Sorry, just realized I’d posted that on another thread) Woo doggies, I’d hate to be on either side of THAT equation!!

I’ve found tenants rights for Maryland, but nothing that specifies a time period after which they are tenants not short-term guests. In Maryland a verbal agreement can constitute a lease, which I thought was interesting.


…but I do have to pay occupancy and sales tax on any lodger staying less than 90 days, so that should be a clue…


Whether our guests are staying one night or three months, we get them to sign a short term agreement. It is wise to create something of this sort to protect you and your guest. It outlines liability (trips, falls, etc…), the fact that if there is an emergency of some sort, we can come in the house with no notice), etc… We sign a copy, they sign a copy.


can you put that boilerplate here to see? I’d love to present guests with a similar agreement…


dcmooney- check Booking.com to see if they add tax to your cleaning fee (if you have one). I can’t get my booking.com property to pull up right now. But I believe I had to add the tax to the cleaning fee and Booking.com only tells the guest that tax is added to the nightly rate.


Yes, DC, BUT, be careful here. Flipkey also does this calculation and line item for you but I discovered it is worthless. All it does is just add it to your total… which is then subject to the cut that the platform takes (in the case of Air and Flip, it’s 3%)… so now what do you do? For all intents and purposes your new total is reported as your gross and you owe tax on that new total! Then everything pyramids! See the problem? So much easier for me to get the tax in cash, (on MY payout amount, which is less actually for the guest to pay) keep it in a little file box and pay it semi-annually to the state. But some of the posters here told me I was “shady” for doing that and by doing so I would bring down the reputation of hosts everywhere. Eye roll.


Well, in my case, Kona, I’m collecting only 13% tax - so it’s not like I’m asking for an additional $100 or so - it’s usually around $20, and I stress “It is the same tax you pay at any hotel in the area”. So far no one has had a problem with it at all.

So - paying tax on your tax - hmph - as if

I decided to not list on Booking.com since they don’t verify ID. I want to keep that for now.


DC, also I believe Booking is Instant Book… which is something I would never do.

DC what happens when there is a long stay? I get those sometimes… and the tax totals can get hefty. It’s not mine to pay. I’m not the one visiting the island.


You’re right, Kona - there’s no choice for the host - and I want to hold onto the control right now - as far as I can tell only airbnb allows that conversation to take place before booking.


IB isn’t not worth the possible headaches you may get.


Hi! I’m a new host. I’ve been reading all the posts here and they’re all very helpful for a newbie like me. I am just curious why a lot of you don’t like the instant book feature. i started accepting guests just this July. I activated instant book and haven’t had any problems. I see in a lot of replies here and other posts that say instant book takes away control. In my case even when someone uses the IB feature I still need to pre-approve their booking for them to be able to finalize it. I don’t pre-approve upon their 1st inquiry. I send them a message asking for more info and sending them terms they need to agree to before we proceed with their booking. So I don’t understand the aversion to instant book. It could be that I am fairly new so I have not encountered any problems yet.


Guest, not host here, but I think it’s a couple of reasons:

Instantbook does not allow you to vet your guests, so you have no option to say no.
Additionally, if you cancel on a booking, it hurts your property visibility.

If it helps, I have found instantbook is usually used by people who rent out an entire home, and run it very much like a business, with a cleaning crew, and often don’t meet their guests.

Conversely, in my experience instantbook rates tend to be slightly higher than non instant equivalents in the same area, and usually have higher cleaning fees.



Hi there! Thank you for your reply. I noticed that there is an approve/decline button in IB so I can decline bookings. However, I think declining, depending on the frequency, may affect your listing’s visibility. My listing is an entire home. I may run it like a business but I personally meet my guests and check in on them during their stay. I make sure they are comfortable and happy. My husband and I together with our helper clean the place ourselves.


I think the approve/decline is there so that you have an option to approve if a guest does not meet your criteria (no verifications, for instance).


Hi Bob, I don’t accept a guest that has no verification like email, phone and Facebook or ID. I also require them to send me a copy of their IDs because it is a requirement in the building where my unit is located to submit IDs of guests. Otherwise, they cannot enter the unit. They need to be registered as my guests. I specify this condition in the email I send to guests when they try to book even using IB. So if they don’t agree to this then we don’t proceed with the booking.


Hi guys, it would be really great if you could fill out my survey on Airbnb for my Master thesis! I need active users to participate :)! I would highly appreciate your help! Thanks a lot in advance!




When guests book IB they usually don’t even contact you before they book. If they receive your email after they booked and don’t want to provide their ID, it’s too late.
May be the ID condition needs to be described in your listing


Hi Yana! The IB feature is activated in my listing. However, every time someone tries to book my listing I am always asked to either approve or decline the request. I don’t know if that is IB or regular booking. If one has activated the IB feature on her listing does someone who wants to book have an option to either use it or do the regular booking process? I am new with AirBnB and ever since I listed my unit I have activated the IB feature but never experienced what you described - guest not contacting me before they book. So I always have the opportunity to email them my conditions before we proceed to finalize the booking. I also set my listing to not accept same day booking. So maybe that makes the difference? Sorry, but I am just relaying my experience. It seems it’s different from what others experience with the IB feature.

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