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New user ~ Greetings from Colombia

Hello, fellow hosts. My name is Christopher, and you can call me Chris. I am a house painter and musician by trade, and an aspiring voiceover actor as well. My partner and I have been Airbnb hosts in Chicago for over three years. During this time, we have welcomed hundreds of guests from around the world into our home, and have made friends with quite a number of them. The experience has been joyful, and has also entailed a lot of hard work! Daily cleaning, washing tons of laundry, corresponding with guests, and all the while keeping up-to-speed on regulations as they have applied to our city.

Towards the end of this past summer, my partner and I decided to move from Chicago, and we are currently taking a much-needed extended break in Santa Marta, Colombia. While here, we are both planning our next business plans and destinations. She will be going to Europe to open a business retreat for women, whereas I will be headed back to the U.S. via Portland, OR, to continue my voiceover work and explore this area which I have not yet visited.

Part of my plan was to find a place to stay in Portland, where I could rent an extra room or two through Airbnb. However, the problems ahead appear to be two-fold. The first is that an increasing number of U.S cities, including my beloved sweet home Chicago, are passing laws which make it extremely more difficult to rent through Airbnb. The other problem I am seeing comes from the company itself, that there seems to be a growing lack or concern for hosts in general, on the part of Airbnb corporate and its customer service.

I love hosting, and would do it again in a heartbeat, and in an idea situation, but am going to put this plan on the back burner for a while. In the meantime, I am glad to have found this forum for hosts, and am also glad to offer my experience and support to other hosts who need it.

Thank you for having read this far, and I’ll see you around!

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Good to meet you, Chris :slight_smile:

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And that means your problems ahead are three fold: As several threads on this forum discuss, most leases will not permit you to airbnb (sub-let) rooms in a rental property. Maybe that’s what you did in Chicago but competition is increasing rapidly. Neighbors and landlords are now finding out about airbnb and you could face complaints you didn’t have in Chicago. There even seems to be a scam that involves people staying at your place and then near the end of their stay they threaten to “report you” (to the landlord, to the city, to the neighbors, even to the IRS!) if you don’t give them their money back.

Finding this forum is one of the best moves you could make. Tons of good people and good advice here. There are also a few haters and trolls but you’ll catch on fast.

Welcome.

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Welcome Chris.
You sound enthusiastic and know what is going on. Needless to say, where you elect to reside in Portland you will consider its feasibility for renting via ‘Airbnbs’, just in case you decide to do that in the future.
I am familiar with Medellin, and immediately had to see Santa Marta, very interesting. What did you think of it?

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@KKC Thank you! What you just offered by way of information around regulations and scams is exactly what I am looking for, and it is a big reason that I joined this forum. We were fortunate to have not had major issues with any of our short or longer-term guests, and my partner browsed the internet daily, including the now-departed "official “Airbnb Host Groups,” in order to remain aware of scam alerts.

We worked hard to create our own luck, yet we were still very fortunate to have not encountered squatters, or scams of the kind that you describe that involve demand of full refunds. My partner and I plan to use Airbnb again in the future, and are currently doing so as guests at a place in Santa Marta. But as far as hosting goes, we will take it upon ourselves to create our own security measures as they entail guests. This should be the case for all hosts, I think… that is, to not rely on Airbnb verification for inquiries, for anything beyond basic CC information.

@Mearns Thank you for the welcome! We had planned on visiting Medellin, Bogota, and Cartagena, but instead settled into Santa Marta, and decided to use our time here to decompress from work, versus tour the region. The neighborhood is small and the people are mostly friendly. Especially the street and beach vendors :wink:

The views around our place are absolutely magnificent, and the sunsets and different cloud formations are the most beautiful that I have ever seen.

Very cool. Say, you know that body of water south of Santa Marta along the coast, where the coastal road looks like its over what looks like a man-made dike, is that a freshwater lake or saltwater?

@Mearns That’s a good question. We’re actually in El Rodadero, not Santa Marta proper, and are not too familiar with the outlying regions.

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