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Rookie Host with another dilema - long term reservation being cancelled early into their stay

Hi all,
You were so much help with the guest who left a filthy mess and tons of stuff that my first thought today when my current guest contacted me to say that they were cutting their stay short was to bring the problem here.

So this guest originally reserved the place for 61 nights in September. Then on December 12th I received a message from her asking if they could change their reservation to start Jan 15th instead of January 4th due to cataract surgery she needed the first week of January - I accommodated the change and it became a long term reservation for 52 nights from Jan 15th thru March 8th.

Today I’m contacted and she’s telling me they are leaving on Jan 30th due to business they have to take care of (38 days before their reservation termination date). Interestingly enough I went back an relooked at her reviews (which I’d looked at before), and I found a new one from January 2021- so it would have had to be for the 2 week time frame she asked me to cancel out of due to cataract surgery…
She said today they realize they wouldn’t get back the month’s charge (or any part of it) for what amounts to a 2 week stay.

I’ve contacted AirBnb to see what they say about the cancellation, but as far as I can tell - without 28 days notice they are on the hook for the next 30 days.

After seeing she stayed with another Host in the time frame she cancelled out on me for the first 2 weeks of January, I’m inclined to think they may have found somewhere else they want to go and this is the way it’s being presented. When she made the reservation it was for 4 people - but there have only been 2 there since the 15th (no extra charge of course for an additional couple). So either the other couple can’t make it, they found something else and want to change plans…hard to tell. BUT, I am not feeling real sympathetic when I could have had the place rented over and over because it’s winter, and my place is in Florida and I’ve had plenty of inquiries about the months of Jan - March since she reserved in September.
I believe according to the cancellation policies I’m entitled to keep the 30 days she’s backing out of without advance notice - and I feel inclined to do that - although I would expect I wouldn’t get much of a review from them…and will have to figure out how to review them…
Any advice about how flexible I should consider being when it appears I was manipulated from the beginning after they found something else they wanted to do the 1st 2 weeks of January, would be greatly appreciated.

Will you refill the Unbooked days?
My review would mention this habit they have developed so other hosts would have a heads up and a No for having them back

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One thing- it’s possible that the place you see she stayed for the time she said she was having the surgery was due to her having to go somewhere she doesn’t live for the procedure and therefore needed accommodation.

Although odds are, she was just BSing.

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Unlikely at this late date…no recent inquiries for these months…

I thought of that - and thought about asking her about it…partially just because I wanted her to know that I knew she was someplace else after she’d cancelled from me to see what she said - but it could all be BS whatever answer I get…

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None at all. She had surgery and business and she’s fine. Keep her money, try to get another booking and move on. IF you rebook and are feeling some twinge of guilt you can always refund or partially refund later, after you are paid out for the replacement booking. I wouldn’t tell her this in advance. I’d just say “okay, sorry you couldn’t stay longer” and leave it at that.

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Yep, tell her to go through Airbnb for any refund she’s due. But, it’s not clear she’s asking you for a refund. If not, then why even give it a second thought?

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My thoughts too based on this statement:

@Mustang another question I had was where was the Jan 2021 review? Near you? There are many reasons why someone could have had another Airbnb stay before they got to you.

Based on your research, do NOT provide them any refund. I would be proactive with AirBNB CS, advise them of the situation, and tell them under NO circumstances will any amount be refunded beyond what is contracturally obligated by your cancellation policy.

If the guests contact you inquiring, advise them that they will need to contact CS. I wouldn’t even provide them any explanation

I also suggest that you reconsider long term stays with AirBNB. It puts too much risk on the part of the host.

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THIS. Whomever calls Air first has some advantage. If you don’t call and the Guest does (or they call first, Air agents generally “help out the guest” REGARDLESS of your cancellation policy.

Looks like the guest is yet another typical liar … (feigned surprise)

YOU NEVER GIVE A REFUND TO ANYONE! That’s AirBnb’s job. The guest is cutting the stay short – it’s their loss and your gain. Keep the money.

One Floridian to another – I do not do long term rentals during season for exactly the reason you are experiencing. I’d rather have half a dozen STRs than one Long Term that bails at the last minute. Where are you? Here in Fort Myers I have no problem booking 3-day to 2-week guests solid from November to May.

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Understood - but I’ve not dealt with this before and since they pay one month at a time on long term reservations I’m not sure how AirBnb would get the next months rent from them since it wasn’t due until beginning of February. BTW - our place is in Central FL - Citrus County (chain of lakes area around Inverness).

Here is what AirBnb said:
Upon checking here, this reservation HMXTWMTDXA is a long term one and the long term cancellation policy will be applied.

https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellation_policies?with_grace_period=true#long-term

If your guest wanted to check-out early, I would suggest to both of you to use the alteration tool.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/50/as-a-host-how-do-i-make-a-change-to-a-confirmed-reservation

I’ve asked AirBnb what the next step is - who does what regarding the reservation. I assume it’s the guest but looking for direction.

Any suggestion on wording for the review for this guest?

Many thanks.

Satellite Beach FL is where the review was from early January - so they cancelled my 1st 2 weeks to stay in another place in FL.
Cataract Surgery in FL when they live in KY seems unlikely.

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Why don’t you draft your review based on your experience and then we can comment? @Mustang

You’ll get better advice from those experienced with long term stays. However, I don’t think there is any way to prove that she was lying about the two weeks other than getting information from the other host. My only caution is to avoid arguing on the review page with this person. I don’t book at or host guests when I see long arguments in the reviews - just a gut feel when I’m considering a stay.

You’re right! I’ll draft something for comment. Txs

I’ve already learned succinct is the best so I’ll focus on the issue of multiple changes to reservation and can honestly say communication has been good and…we’ll see how things are left once they go - whenever they go… Txs

Maybe. But it’s not a good basis for making your review. Medical tourism does exist. If they regularly travel to FL in winter it’s not odd at all.

Nevertheless, if they don’t ask for a refund then it’s actually the best booking you’ll ever have. It’s great to be prepared, especially for a new host but there’s nothing to get worked up about yet.

True enough. I’m not worked up thankfully - just trying to handle all these new issues as best as possible - and this forum is great for that. So my draft review will be matter of fact about the cancellations, along with whatever good I can say (communications, etc.) Thanks again.

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@Mustang

You’ve gotten some good advice.
Recurring input:
-Let Airbnb handle cancellation and process refund according to your cancellation policy
-if you rebook & feel compelled to refund for those days, do it but don’t promise a refund in advance
-leave an honest review of what you know: they rescheduled stay and cancelled early and usual communication, how they left rental etc

For the future: I may have missed it in the thread but I am a believer in getting a separate lease agreement in addition to Airbnb’s for guest & host protection because rental rules change in my area after 28 days including eviction process.

(Squirrel moment: dear friend has a not-paying-LTR-for for > 9 months. can’t evict d/t Covid19 restrictions. At least with a true LTR
Rental agreement she stands a small chance of being able to collect some funds later. Rental is not through Airbnb but could happen)

Also My area has some quirky LTR rental rules, the LTR agreement can address those.

My off season this year has been LTRs. Especially this year my market won’t support STR only.

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