Preview for longterm guest

Hi All,
I’m just back to hosting after Covid knocked me out for a bit. My first booking is for 1 month— perfect because I want to do longer term. After some price adjusting and questions, the guest booked. She’s local and had asked to preview before booking, but I told her it was against policy. After she booked, I gave her the address and she drove by and likes my funky old place. She then asked about mold or other asthma triggers because there’s an asthmatic in the family and wants to go see inside. I’d be concerned if anyone went in before I’d cleaned it, but totally get it. I’m also concerned because old houses are never totally cleanable. I’m also a caregiver and would prefer to wait to go inside, which knocks me out of cleaning. The latter is not too big of a deal, but I’m at odds with what to do. Heaven knows I want to get back in the swing of things— any thoughts, anybody?

I would cancel them now. This is not going to turn out well.

Run Forest Run



Not the way I’d want to start. A month locally will probably give her tenant rights — check your landlord-tenant law. In my state it’s 28 days.

Like @RiverRock said, it will not turn out well.

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My prediction is that they won’t take it anyway. I was going to say to boot them, but it sounds like they’ve booked already. So I guess I’d show them the place, expect that they will find fault in it, and let them cancel. If I’m wrong, and they are perfectly happy, then great.


You are so right about an old house never being totally cleanable. Mine is 210 years old on a dusty street so I concentrate on the guest bed and bath. Everyone has a different risk tolerance. Much depends on how far out the reservation is (do you have time to rebook it all). I would consider letting them in but mention in an official thread that you cannot guarantee that there will not be asthma triggers in your home since you have no control over the air that comes in and out. You have not mentioned how the space will be cleaned during the month that they are there. When we have longer term people we go in once a week, but thanks to COVID, we now ask guests if they prefer doing their own cleaning and changing the clean linens which we provide. If they come in and then cancel I would consider it a dodged bullet.

She’s pushy. You already told her NO so she drives by and later requests a showing. She’s sending bad vibes (red flags). Have you done a background check on her?

I’m concerned she’ll be a swatter. She has no regards for your rules. I agree with RR, get that booking cancelled. Either have her cancel the reservation or get Airbnb to cancel it for you.


If I was living somewhere for a month, I’d want to see inside too. I have no problem letting potential guests see the apartments as long as they are unoccupied - which is rare.

I’d be very cautious about guests wanting longer than a couple of weeks though.


You don’t need to have extra worries with your first booking after re-opening. So sorry you had to deal with that frightening disease and glad you are well on the mend.

I would message the guest “I am thinking about your allergy concerns. The house is old and the basement is damp. We have had to have mold remediation in the past and I can’t guarantee that it won’t recur. I suggest you cancel with Airbnb now to avoid fees and consider other locations – you can always rebook.”

[If you want to be supernice, do a little Airbnb research for her]
“Here are the Airbnb listing name of two modern local places that appear to be available and are in the general price range:”

Then block some dates in the middle.

If you proceed with this person, sure have a showing, and then she signs your long-term lease contract, in which she agrees to a background check.

“I’m available to show you the house on [date], at which time we can go over the long-term lease contract, which is required for monthly rentals.”

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Not sure where your AirBnB is, but here in NY you have tenant rights after 28 days. We therefore don’t allow anything above that, especially since there are eviction protections during Covid and courts are backed up. I’d probably go with my gut to prevent issues with a stay that long and use the above language to push her along to cancel. Best of luck, let us know how it turns out :crossed_fingers:


A surprising number of my off season rentals are for 30-60 days. They will “preview” a neighborhood while they are in town with entire family including seeing the condo. I don’t mind. If I were booking for a longer stay I would want to see it too.

If they can pop in during my gap between guest check-out and next in, sure go see.

If the condo is occupied I explain I cannot disturb my current guest but I’ll open the gate if they want to see the neighborhood.

Always get the Long Term lease

HOWEVER I’ve also started listening to my little inner warning voice. If you aren’t comfortable then cancel. An in person meeting may help you decide

Thanks for encouraging an update— you all have given me much food for thought:
She wants to extend the stay, which would allow me the opportunity to have her sign a lease agreement, if need be. I asked (and haven’t heard back) AirBnB about doing separate bookings, as well, in hopes that might keep her below the month-mark. I decided to allow her to see it while it’s getting it cleaned. I used to be a landlord and it’s not the first time I’ve had people stay while their house was getting worked on, so I’d MUCH prefer being a host vs. a landlord, which was often nightmarish. Tenants were always more trouble than guests. Being a designer, I’m familiar with construction delays, too, so get her reason for needing a place locally. I did check out her thru several channels and she’s well-respected, sooo, I’m moving forward and have made a mantra of the old house issues. As for red flags, I’m not used to doing this much legwork, but I get a good vibe from her— hoping I’m on point!

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In my area it’s the total # consecutive nights that determines tenancy.

For example guest in hotel books for 21 nights then starts extending/booking one more day, then another etc. after 28 consecutive nights tenancy established. The number of bookings doesn’t matter.


In the US, where I live (Ohio), multiple bookings that add up to more than 28 days still give the tenant tenant’s rights.

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But if she stays longer than 28 days, she is no longer a guest and you are no longer a host. She will be considered a tenant by law and you will be the landlord.


Sorry but that won’t work.

I’ve been a landlord too and agree that STR is a much better bet.


I’ve now sent my previous lease to my lawyer to see if he can weigh in on it— doesn’t hurt, and maybe he knows more about the local ordinances. The City didn’t have much to say, surprisingly— they’re happy to receive the new accommodations tax, though!

Yes, I was excited about the longer terms for Covid safety for me and my guests. Might move to a 7 day minimum 27 day maximum—

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I would never use Air for monthly rentals, because their monthly payment system is totally wrong for monthly rentals, where local or state Landlord-Tenant laws apply. If she wants to go monthly, start with a lease that starts when her Air stay ends. And you do want a lease, with a limited term, a damage deposit, and first and last months’ rent so that you can file an eviction action if it doesn’t work out… If she can’t afford that, she’s not a good long term rental candidate.

I had it with tenants on year leases, the only way it makes sense to do LTR in this market. If I find living under someone annoying, I always have the knowledge that they won’t be staying longer than my 7 day max. Guests are indeed like fish, and after a week I’m ready for a change.


As a long-time landlords, we have never heard such a case. I expect that someone told you this in error and can not find anything in Ohio to support that - assuming the stays are Not Consecutive. Clearly, consecutive days with multiple stays are no different in law than 1 stay at 30 days (or whatever given any state).
Do you have a link to a site that details the law in that manner?

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I have similar hesitancy to many of the replies. I’ve found that guests who talk about their allergies are very often problematic and I consider that a red flag for future complaints/problems…

The potentially long stay sounds attractive, especially after a big downturn in business, but you don’t want to get in a squatter situation, just because you are desperate for the business. That can end up a disaster… I’d be sure to make sure her story checks out. If she’s doing work on a local property and needs a place during construction, that’s easy to confirm through public records… It’s a logical reason for a long STR and can be a very good tenant if true, but it’s also very easy to lie about ANY situation. I’d trust but VERIFY…

That being said, if you’ve met her, got a good vibe and all checks out good, go for it and good luck!