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We have an inquiry that is getting very close to the point of booking our place for 3 months and I have some questions to pose to those of you who have experience in this area.
First, I understand the risks of long term stays turning into squatters. I’m not worried about that in this instance, as the guest is a traveling nurse and I suspect the last thing she wants to do is squat in our home at the end of her contract.
My questions have to do with what types of services are typically expected from hosts in these situations. For instance, we live in the northeastern US where it’s cold and snowy right now. This guest would be working day shifts starting at 7 in the morning. Would it be my responsibility to get up at 5:30 to shovel snow if it had snowed the night before?
What do hosts do as far as cleaning and laundry? Do I change her sheets and clean her room once a week or is that on her?
Can I decide on these issues now, before she’s booked, and just put them in the listing, or are there certain expectations?
I wouldn’t shovel snow unless I needed to do so for myself. I wouldn’t be getting up at 5-dark:30 anyway. Shovelling snow, to me, was just part of the daily winter ritual and curse of having to work in a cold/wet/white environment.
Laundry – I would message back and forth with her now, so she knows what to expect. Changing the bed linens once a week would be a nice touch, and you could charge extra for that. I would not continue to refill coffee, teabags, sugar, water, etc. She should do that on her own, and will probably want to.
If you are charging full price, then all amenities should continue to be offered. If the guest will receive a discount and agrees to accept less than the listing promises, then don’t. It is all about the promises made in the listing, and the agreements between the two parties.
Shoveling is a twist of course. I assume that I will be shoveling when I have guests. I will be shoveling without them too. However, I don’t imagine that I would be up at 5:30am to do this. I would suggest that your guest be responsible for shoveling out their own car in the morning, and then you are responsible for sidewalks, etc. at your normal time.
We have had month long guests twice. I did the laundry (linens and towels) once a week, but they made the beds. They were responsible for cleaning, but I allowed them to do laundry in my washer and dryer as long as they used the soap/additional products that I allowed in my machine.
I did little nice things like letting them borrow movies and books and mid-stay gave a little “date night basket” of wine and redbox coupons, etc, but that was as I got to know them and a bonus because they were awesome.
I’ve heard great things about traveling nurses. Is this a room in your home? Because it will probably be more like a room-mate than guest situation. But if you’re charging more than a typical room-mate you want to find a few perks/amenities as an in-between. But just communicate it all now so that you’re both on the same page.
But yeah, you don’t need to shovel her car out that early. Just make sure she knows where the materials and supplies are.
I have had a few long term guests. It’s a treat to not have to deep clean the guest room all the time and not to have to wait for guests to arrive. I have always offered to give them fresh sheets and towels, vacuum and dust as often as they’d like. In each case they washed their own linens and cleaned the guest room themselves. In fact, my long term guests have all left the guest room immaculate.
Even though you say you aren’t worried… You don’t really know this person. I would make up a contract that she signs outlining everything you will do and not do. Just so there are no miscommunications. Remember, this is a business arrangement… So protect yourself. Don’t leave anything to chance.
Are you going to keep her on the Airbnb platform the whole time?
I’m not charging my normal nightly rate in this instance. I have two separate listings for the same room, one for short term summer stays and the other for long terms stays in the winter months with a price about a third of my summer prices. Therefore, it seems perfectly acceptable to treat this more as a roommate siutation, as long as things are spelled out beforehand.
Thanks to those of you who talked about shoveling snow. I figured it was reasonable to expect someone staying for a longer term to deal with early morning snow themselves, just like they would if they were renting an apartment, but thought I’d check in case most people had some other expectation. Of course, we will take extra care with snow removal, but not at 5:30 in the morning.
I’m working out a plan, and I’ll ask her to agree to it before booking.
@Konacoconutz, though indeed I’m not worried about squatting, you make a very good point about legal contracts. I’ve found an online lease agreement for my state and I’m amending it as needed. I do plan on keeping this on the Air platform though. Are there reasons for or against doing so that you know of?
It’s worth paying a local attorney a couple of hundred to draft a proper contract for you. In a lot of states if your tenant stays longer than 30 days they are converted to long term tenant status entitled to all due process. Even if you have them on the Air platform, that doesn’t matter. Air doesn’t protect you or defend you should the tenant want to claim they are long term. . Keep it on the platform if you wish but draft the contract and have them sign it anyway.
If you were to try to get them to leave, they could tell the court they are a long term tenant and therefore granted all those protections. But if you had a contract to show the court, it would prove otherwise.
Also a contract serves to show what you will do and won’t do (snow shoveling).
And actually the guest might feel more comfortable knowing there is a contract as it will define boundaries.
We don’t accept guests for more than 26 days (unless they have stayed with us before) and offer them a weekly bedlinen and towel change, plus basic cleaning, once a week. We have a laundry room on the premises so they can do it themselves if they want to.
The linens and cleaning is done at no charge. This is because I love to go in to the rental to check it out and I can address any issues with the guest if necessary.