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Newbie question: A guest asked if they could come checkout the property before booking

Hey All!

Newbie host question here. I have a guest who just reached out and asked if they could see the property before making a reservation to make sure it works for her mother. Due to the fact that I am remote and the only way for her to see the property would be to give her a code to get in I told her I couldn’t accommodate the request.

Part of my reasoning for saying no was because I figured I wouldn’t be covered under AirBNB’s host protection insurance if I allowed her to enter the property without a reservation.

Do you think I did the right thing? Am I correct in thinking that AirBNB wouldn’t cover me if something happened?

Thanks!

Hi FSM, You can search the forum for questions like this…this has been asked a few times before with lots of good advice. Basically, you did the right thing, however, as far as the AirBnb insurance you should also read up on people’s exeriences with that and make sure you have proper insurance of your own. It is not wise to rely on the Airbnb “coverage”.

Yes.

Yes, Airbnb won’t cover anything that doesn’t happen during a reservation. This is a little off-topic, but I’m getting the feeling from your post that you don’t actually have dedicated short term rental insurance for your listing, and if you don’t, then you are putting yourself at a big risk.

So, insurance aside, do you even provide the exact location of your listing to potential guests before they book? (this was a listing feature added earlier this year) If you don’t, then it really doesn’t make sense to both give them address and allow them inside.

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Thanks Terrayhome and Brian for responding :slight_smile:

Glad to see I most likely did the right thing, and yea I probably should have completed more than a Google search before asking.

In terms of the dedicated short term rental insurance, I didn’t even know that is a thing. I’ll have to look into it. I was just relying on my homeowners + AirBNB’s insurance. Let me do some research on this as I didn’t know this was a thing :slight_smile:

I don’t provide the exact location, however we do provide the general location.

Yes! You did the right thing. Don’t allow anyone in the space unless they are booked for those days.

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Your homeowner’s insurance may be invalid because you are doing short term rentals. This could be devastating. I.e. If your insurance company finds out you are doing short-term rentals and your policy doesn’t allow it, then you may not be covered for fire/flood/weather etc, that happens when you are not renting.

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Unless someone wanted to rent my place long term via a lease I wouldn’t let them see it. Also it sounds like she is renting this place for her mother and that’s also not covered or technically permitted by Airbnb. Their policy is for people to make their own bookings. So if you let the woman book for her mother and her mother caused a problem you wouldn’t be covered.

As others have reported, some people claim to have a lot of problems with Airbnb “insurance” and “host protection” programs. I wouldn’t rely on them.

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Sometimes they won’t cover things that occur during a reservation. :open_mouth:

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This topic has been covered many times. There are many downsides, especially for you. And at this time of the year. I would politely decline.

Your homeowners insurance will most likely not only not cover any claims but drop you as a customer for violating their rules. As for the Aribnb insurance, it’s really not. STR insurance is quite expensive. Some states don’t even offer policies. I use proper insurance. 2 times the cost of my previous home owners insurance.

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AirBnB’s “insurance” is not really insurance. Good luck trying to collect anything from them, since you have to provide all kinds of “proof” that you may not realize is required until it’s too late to collect it.

And why would you want to show your place to a stranger that you don’t know. It might be for his mother, or he might be casing the place for a theft. That’s why Air’s policy is to NOT allow guests to see a place until their booking starts.

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Just to clarify, the company name is “Proper,” and they do write proper STR insurance. :slight_smile:

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As others have said, you need to have proper STR insurance. I know that people sometimes avoid getting insurance because ‘it won’t happen to me’ but it can and it does.

You particularly need it because you’re not on site, plus you need other precautions such as cameras.

Regarding allowing people to see the rental before they book, there are - as mentioned above - plenty of topics here about it. Potential guests don’t seem to understand that rentals are rarely available to view. Even if it’s turnover time and you’re in between guests, you or your cleaning person is busy getting the place guest ready.

So I tell guests that they are welcome to look outside but they won’t be able to see inside the rental as it would be unfair to disturb the current guests.

What I feel like saying though is ‘aren’t my photographs and description enough for you? Do you think I’m lying or something???’ … but I never have been brave enough :slight_smile:

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Also should point out that it sounds as if she was local and trying to find a place for her mom to say. That’s a 3rd party booking and that can have it’s own problems. Good on you for saying No!

In general, this is my thought too. HOWEVER last year the middle aged daughter asked to preview my listing to see if it would work for her 89 year old mother. The Mom was not handicapped but like so many of us as we get older, couldn’t do steps as well as she used to, and had some other mobility challenges.

Also the daughter didn’t phrase her request well. It was for a mom/daughter beach trip so not a 3rd party booking. The daughter was at the beach with her husband and was taking some time to look at options.

Sadly there are hosts who don’t adequately disclose things like 3rd floor walk up, So I can understand some preview requests.

Also, many of the things I advise others to do or not do…I don’t follow my own advice. Because another variable is the host. There are people posting here who are new or don’t seem well informed about Airbnb policies or don’t live onsite, etc. I probably would let many people get a preview depending on the situation. I also do 3rd party bookings sometimes. But other times it’s just easier to say no because I know another less problematic booking will be forthcoming.

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Have done an open for inspection, which has turned into multiple direct bookings.

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When ever anyone asks me to view the room before arrival, I just say that the room is occupied and we don’t want to disturb the current guest. That’s my answer, whether the room is booked or not…

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Occupied by your non-pre-booking policy! :wink:

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My house is near Silicon Valley and I get a lot of think tank groups and office retreats. They can’t get a feel for how large the space is. If I am able to, I don’t mind showing them the space before they book.

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