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Opinions on long- versus short-term guests


I’m interested in your opinions on this question, in general. What has been your experience/considerations?

I also have a particular concern. I live in Massachusetts, which has great housing protections. I’ve been warned that a long stay may entitle a guest to stay for the duration! Thoughts on that also welcome.

many thanks


Here a guest need only stay for a few weeks and then they have full rights. We need to then go to court to get them legally evicted. In some cases, if they are a couple I’ve heard of hosts who have to take both to court separately which is expensive and can take months.

A factor to bear in mind too is that if you get not-quite-ideal guests as short term renters, then you only have to put up with them for a short period of time!


As do I. I do not allow bookings for more than 24 days. This gives me 6 days to get them out before they have full tenant rights and in MA this entitles them to far more rights than me. If I wanted a long term tenant, I would not use AirBNB but instead, would go the old fashioned route with credit checks and a standard lease.


Your comments are very helpful!! I appreciate the advice.


We had a host on here, and I believe she was in Massachusetts. Her guest overstayed without paying and after 30 days acquired tenants rights. She began to file TROs on the host, who was forced to provide her with all the amenities promised in the listing until she moved out. Had the TROs been granted, the host would have had to relinquish her own home to the squatter. There was a child involved, so special procedures had to be followed. The guest knew exactly what she was doing at the court and what to file. Finally Air got her out by offering to pay a hotel for her. The room she stayed in was destroyed and she had paid out theousands in legal fees.

I always suggest, if you want a guest to stay longer, try them out first. Have them stay two weeks and then do a proper credit, employment and eviction background check on her. Have her sign a regular lease agreement and put down first, last and security like any other renter. A deposit YOU control.

Keep in mind, if you are getting local people requesting long term, it may be because they have bad credit, bad history and can’t qualify to rent the regular way. Air pays you by the month too, so there really is NO benefit in doing it.


I thought she was in California, but the issues are the same, except we have winter. No one is evicted by the courts during winter.


If it was the Connie caper, the host Liissi or close to that was in Pennsylvania. It was, as I recall a real nightmare


Correct!! Pennsylvania


I’m in NYC, with similar tenants’ rights laws. We don’t allow any paid guests for more than 2 weeks.

It’s just not worth the risk for us.

If we do ever move to long term rental, it will not be through Airbnb.


I think I have up to 24 days in the self-contained unit on the first floor of my house, either way, it is under 30 days. The bedroom suite that shares the house with us has a max of 2 weeks. I’ve rented my whole house long-term before and I would never do that again, nor would I rent the apartment out long-term either. I’ve had some very very bad tenants (all very well vetted and gainfully employed within the community.)


Sadly in Hawaii as Brittany knows, you will need to bring sheriffs in from Maui at your own expense if you need to complete an eviction. Not exactly reassuring landlord support.


Would it be such a bad thing if they stayed long term , paying the daily rental fees ? I mean way less work for the same $ .


I have found longer term guests to use more and respect less! I prefer shorter term stays as I find them less demanding and their use is gentler on the house.


Do bear in mind that there is the fallacy that long term guests are less work because of the cleaning issue. This isn’t always the case.

After guests have stayed for more than a few weeks, the chances are that they haven’t done a really deep clean - after all, it’s not their property. So when they move out, the host might have a full day - or two days - of heavy cleaning to do / pay for.

When long term guests see places as their home, they might do what one did to my neighbour - paint the bedroom walls a terrible colour. Because they see it as their home, they do all sorts of weirdness.

It’s a good idea to offer longer term guests a free clean/linen refresh after eight days and at intervals thereafter. That way you can keep an eye on the place.

If I have guests who stay for more than two weeks, I tend to block the day after their departure to defrost the freezer, clean the tops of the pelmets, dust the wings of the ceiling fans, clean all windows, scrub everywhere… more!

For me, they’re not worth it.


I have had quite a few people ask what my long-term discount is and I don’t give one. I have no problem keeping my place booked short-term and make lots more money that way. Plus longer-term tenants create more wear and tear on your property – use the washer/dryer more as well as kitchen appliances, and probably your furnishings, too.
Truly, think twice on what you are “getting” for giving up your short-term rental accessibility – and, what types of people in your area book a short-term rental – in my community there are sometimes traveling nurses who might be o.k. – but if you have a family that is only renting month to month because they can’t afford a deposit just now… could be a liability.
I would say fine to a longer term – but only if at my short-term price and most will refuse that.


I, too, am in Massachusetts. We put our maximum stay at 7 days and no discounts only because if you get a difficult guest, you don’t have to put up with them for too long. We have made exceptions for guests who have stayed with us previously and we were all comfortable with each other. Yes, MA laws protect tenants and after 30 days they are considered tenants.


I concur with this. Longer stays do mean more cleaning and more time spent in the room by the guests. However if I’m comparing a 6 night stay with 5 or 6 one nighters it is considerably less work for me to have the longer stay. We not only have to consider cleaning time but 6 times as much time spent writing check in messages, reviews, loads of laundry, answering questions and chit chatting. And if I were still working full time outside the home a one week stay would be preferable by leaps and bounds.

Most people consider short term longer than one night, I realize.

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