I just had someone send an inquiry about booking for 2 months in July and August. They are requesting pre-approval to bring a small dog, even though we advertise that we don’t accept pets. We are fairly new to Airbnb and haven’t had any bookings since February due to the virus. We are hesitant to allow someone to stay for 2 months for fear that we will have difficulty getting them to leave. Also, although all of this person’s reviews are all good, their stays were all out of the country except two. What kinds of questions should I ask them before pre-approving this stay? How successful have people been with longer-term stays? Any advice would be appreciated.
First ask yourself why you would accept a dog for 2 months when you don’t accept pets at all.
Someone who asks to break your house rules right off the bat is a big red flag. And no, I wouldn’t accept a guest through Airbnb for 2 months. If you are wanting to take long term rentals, you should do it privately, with a proper lease agreement, references, employment history, damage deposit, etc.
I have had 2-3 month guests and haven’t had any major issues other than just some awkward personalities. The questions you ask partly depend on whether you have a whole home rental or if it is just a room in your house. The fear about them leaving is legitimate, especially depending on the rules in your city for what length of stay establishes tenancy (which would then need an eviction, and most cities seem to be 28-30 days is considered a tenant). If you’re worried about them not leaving, I would ask if they are just coming for a temporary work contract and then leaving to go back home? If they’re local (or moving to the area), you risk them becoming a squatter since they have nowhere else to go.
Unless you are desperate for the income, I’d be hesitant to make an exception to your rules about pets. I get inquiries every now and then asking to bring a pet, and people always assure me that their animals are perfectly well behaved, but I’ve heard horror stories about hosts accepting pets against their better judgment and having a lot of damage. If you choose to accept a pet, I would find out what the guest plans to do with the pet when they’re out of the house–will they crate the animal, leave it outside, or let it roam your house? And make them pay a pet deposit!! By the way, the Airbnb Host Guarantee DOES NOT cover pet damage.
I always ask guests to confirm that they’ve read the listing and agree to the rules (regardless of how long they’re staying), and specifically make sure that they noticed I have a cat and don’t allow smoking. If there’s anything that’s really important to you in your listing or house rules, you might do the same, since a lot of people tend to not read the full listing before booking.
If you live in the house, I would have a conversation with them and see if it’s someone you could be around for 2 months–if they are antisocial, it might be a very long 2 months. Also, longer-term guests are more likely to spend days just sitting around the house, rather than a tourist who’s going to be out all day. If you live in this home and are home during the day, you’ll have to decide if this will bother you (and if so, ask what their typical schedule will be).
In addition to everything I posted above, this would be my biggest concern about hosting this guest. Are they going to try to bring over unregistered guests next or break some of the other rules? Surely there’s Airbnbs in the area that do allow pets.
We would never accept a long term tenant via airbnb. Dogs can cause a lot of damage to floors, etc just by walking around “being a dog”. Certainly not interested in some Air CS Agent having ANY say whatsoever in that situation, or a tenant having the leverage to slam us with a negative rating.
If you are interested, then we would only do it with an iron-clad lease and substantial security and pet deposits. Depending on your state, this would be a no-go, if the law favors the tenant.
Just. Say. NO! They want to break rules right up front; it will not turn out well…
I agree with the advice given above. If, however, you are in need of the money and willing to make an exception to your house rules, in allowing a pet I suggest:
- You get a pet damage deposit upfront
- You offer an initial 28 day booking on Airbnb, with a the option to extend, if both host and guest are in agreement to do so.
At that point you will have been able to assess whether you’d want to continue, and, if so, have done background & credit checks. You then can choose to continue on Airbnb or via a separate legal lease.
If you decide to end you will have had a 4 week booking and not risked a potential squatter.
This is a recent response I gave someone who was requesting a 1 month + stay.
Thanks for the background information
I’ve not yet rented the guest house for 1 month as it gets into landlord / tenant complications that I don’t think AirBNB adequately covers. If I were to approach an extended stay, it would then require security deposits, other contract terms, background checks, and other miscellaneous terms. All things I’m not interested in getting into right now
If you are interested in booking the listing on AirBNB at 10% discount for between 10 and 28 days, please confirm and advise on dates, and I’ll send you an offer for such; but I will need your AirBNB profile updated to reflect the items I listed.
If that doesn’t work, I understand and thank you for your interest.
What I can say is, that should after whatever initial AirBNB period concludes, and should there be mutual interest in extending, we could then discuss other approaches and terms.
I agree with muddy. I’ve had delightful longer term guests and super irritating ones. The longer ones tend to start to stretch some rules such as having their guests come to our house, using the common areas noisily, etc. Even if you could find out more about the guest, you have no idea how the do will react to living in your place.
A dog for two months can cause a lot of destruction. I don’t allow pets because I myself have pets and know first hand the damages they have caused. I put up with it because I love my pets, they’re my babies, but I would hit the roof if a guest’s pet peed on the wood floor and permanently damaged it or chewed the molding off the wall. In addition, the rental place would not be suitable for guests with dog allergies. Best not to be penny wise and pound foolish. The income from that rental might not even cover the cost to repair damages caused by their dog. I’ve attached what a pee pee accident can do to wood floors if it goes unnoticed overnight.
Then do not do it.
There are definitely dogs who don’t damage anything or relieve themselves in the house. My dog has never chewed anything but the bones and toys I gave her, even when she was a puppy. Nor does she scratch at doors, and I’ve never allowed dogs on the furniture. And she’s so private about her bathroom business, she won’t even pee in my yard, let alone inside.
But- she does shed like crazy and sometimes digs a little spot in the yard to lie in. That’s fine in my yard- I let her have one or two spots for that.
So even though she is well-behaved and wouldn’t actually damage anything inside a house, she still sheds and has dog behaviors that are natural and that I would disclose to a host if I were a guest, which most dog owners won’t. If dog owners were always honest and responsible about their pet, I think more hosts would be willing to accept them, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
Just. Say. No. Or do it outside of Air with a real lease for LTR so you don’t end up with squatters and require 1st month and 1 month damage deposit.
It’s not possible to do this with an Airbnb booking.
Thanks for the clarification. I don’t allow pets so I’ve not actually had a need to implement such. I should have stated: 1. Require a Security Deposit to cover any potential damages.
Good advice above. In your shoes, I’d probably decline the guests for, as mentioned above, they already have no respect for your rules. With people like this I always wonder why they are going through Airbnb. Is it because they know they won’t pass the checks that longer term non-Airbnb tenants need to pass? (Credit checks, background checks, etc). Or is it because they don’t have the money to pay a deposit?
I “LOVE” this! Going to save it in case I come across this situation in the future
I am positive that you “can” request a pet deposit up front through the “Request Money from Guest” feature and specifically state what it is for. If your Guest pays it, then they’ve agreed to that deposit. In your thread for the booking, you can state that upon acceptance of the pet deposit, you agree that no money will be refunded if you determine that the pet has caused damage to your home. There are many ways to request money for different things from Guests before they stay in your home.
Yes, you can have a pet fee. But I know that most hosts who accept pets and charge a pet fee don’t offer to refund it if the animal doesn’t cause damages. The pet fee is there because there is invariably extra cleaning involved. Damages caused by the pet are not normally what hosts consider to be part of the pet fee. If the dog chews up the rug, you should charge extra for that.
It’s a poor idea to tell a guest that something will be refunded if they leave the place clean or there are no damages. That just opens you up to an argument with the guest when as far as they’re concerned they left the place clean, or that the damages were already there when they arrived. You always have the option to send the guest money back if you feel they deserve it, but it’s not something you should mention beforehand. Let it be a surprise.
I see your point. I agree with the “pet fee” if you are a Host that accepts pets. But I was talking about @GardenFairy stating that Airbnb doesn’t cover pet damages. I wasn’t sure if this was a fact, but thought that a way to go around that would be to request a pet deposit with a money request up front that made it clear to the Guest that it would be for any unforeseen damages. It would think that it would be no different than a security deposit when renting an apartment?