Hi all. I am a very new host. I am renting out what is, in effect, my personal holiday home. It used to be my mother’s home, where I plan to retire (I currently live in France, house is in Scotland). All the drawers, wardrobe, etc are completely empty, but I have left paintings on the walls and books on the shelves. The pictures of the house show exactly what it is like and I have ticked the ‘have personal effects in the house’ box on Airbnb, rather than the box that indicates the house is set up primarily for guests.
Everything went well all summer, and then in December I had two guests with a sort of ‘complaint’ over this. First (in a public review) said the house needed to be completely updated with new furniture and pictures. The second (just left a day ago) said (in a private messsage) that the personal effects made them a bit uncomfortable. Although he added they would definitely stay again!
Although I am not there, the house is cared for by my wonderful next door neighbour who keeps a close eye on it - and her cleaning/welcoming skills are amazing.
These two negative reviews are a bit painful, since the house is a bit of a precious space for me. I didn’t want to rent it out on a long-term lease, because I wanted it to be as it was and to return twice a year (and the cost of moving everything out when I live in another country will be high). I am trying to cover all the bills on the house, simple as that.
So, I can see a number of options:
- I decide that my original plan won’t work, and I have to go for full-time rental, including removing all furniture from Scotland to France. I’m afraid the cheaper option of just taking some stuff out would be almost as expensive as complete removal. And, given how little I earn on the property, I could’t afford local storage.
- In the description of the house on Airbnb I put early on that this is my personal holiday home that I share with others, and a warning that it may not be to everyone’s taste.
- I turn off instant booking and, when someone tried to book, I make it very clear what the situation is (although the pictures actually tell them everything anyway - the personal effects are not ‘hidden’). This would stop my feelings of guilt that the house made someone feel ‘uncomfortable’!
Should also note that the property is reasonably priced in an attractive village. Here is the site, if you want to see what I’m on about: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23316615?location=Comrie%2C%20Scotland%2C%20United%20Kingdom&guests=1&adults=1&s=5VMEjmjr
I should say that there is even less in the house than there was when I took the pictures during a week’s stay there - probably need to redo them, next time I’m over there.
I would be most grateful for your experienced advice and feedback!