So I received a booking request this afternoon for a group of six. I was puzzled, because we have instant book and I’ve not cancelled any IB’s recently or had any other “bad” behavior that would make ABB demote us to RTB.
Upon further inspection, it’s a family of six plus one infant. We say we are not suitable for children under five. So I get back to the potential guest and explain why we aren’t suitable for their infant (open-air house means floors get dirty almost immediately after cleaning; chemicals and poison in the base cabinets, 220V outlets up 18" from the floors).
The guest comes back with “That’s OK - the infant will turn 2 shortly after we leave”. I’m just flabbergasted that the guest didn’t think that those issues are still problems for a two-year old - and actually worse, since toddlers are notorious for wandering around and sticking their fingers into things and putting them into their mouths! I’m sure the kid will try to see what dead tree frogs taste like.
I wonder if the person I am talking with is not the child’s parent. Every time I’ve told potential guests the safety issues, they go away (or say they’ll book in a few years when the child is older).
So, in order to stay on the good side of the AirBnB rules, I’m considering telling them I’ll accept their request but they have to sign a liability waiver that they’ve been warned about the hazards for children and accept all responsibility for anything that might happen.
Thoughts? Others with listings not suitable for children - what have you done in similar situations and what’s been the punishment/response from AirBnB?
As I only host one guest at a time, I’ve never had a request to bring a child, but in your case, I would decline this booking, telling the guest that a child almost 2 years of age is exactly who your listing is not suitable for because of the safety hazards you mentioned.
As I was reading your post, I thought you were going to say the guest said the infant was only 4 months old, and couldn’t even sit up on its own, let alone wander about, in which case I’d accept it.
What kind of parents would insist on bringing a toddler to a place where they’ve been told there are multiple hazards for toddlers?
(But as you mentioned, it may not be the parents you are dealing with on the RTB- maybe they aren’t even aware of the hazards. Perhaps the booker just said, “Hey, I found us what looks like a great place- it says no children under 5 but I’ll try to talk them into it.”)
It’s a RTB, I don’t see how you could get in trouble with Airbnb for declining. Sure, I guess the guests could report you for discrimination, but your ad already says not suitable for children under 5, so just tell Airbnb that due to the place not being safe for under 5s, you certainly wouldn’t want Airbnb to get bad publicity if a child got seriously injured because the guests insisted on bringing their child to a place there are hazards for them.
Yeah, her response (that’s OK, the infant will be a toddler) reminded me of the scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the boyfriend told the woman’s aunt that he didn’t eat meat. Her response was “You don’t eat no meat?! That’s OK, we’ll make lamb”.
Since you wish to keep the listing and mom doesn’t seem concern, I personally would remove all chemicals and poison from the house and cover the outlets. The baby’s safety comes first.
It didn’t sound to me like PitonView wants to keep the booking, but rather is just concerned about any repercussions from declining.
Why should a host have to toddler-proof a place that is listed as not suitable for toddlers?
We’ve kept some bookings with young children, which is why I haven’t declined already. On those bookings, I communicated the issues to the parents, they thanked me and told me their children were going to be watched all the time (older siblings, grandparents, etc.) and/or their child wasn’t the type to run around and get into things. I could tell from their communication that they were responsible parents. That’s why I wonder if this person isn’t the parent.
Oh, crud, I just read the reviews and one from 2019 mentions four small children! Plus child born in 2022 makes five young children in a house with a lot of breakables and dangers.
Mind made up - I’m declining no matter the consequences.
I was under the impression that she was keeping the booking but asking them to sign a waiver.
My mother actually said that when my sister’s vegetarian friend was coming to stay.
Except she didn’t say lamb, she said chicken.
Also, my MIL claims to be vegetarian but eats chicken.
I’m baffled by the fact that so many people don’t know where meat comes from.
You’re corresponding with a clueless, entitled parent who will sue you the minute said toddler finds out exactly what happens when you lick dead tree frogs (pretty colors Mama! looks like lollipop)
In the past, I’ve just told (sort of nicely) the people to cancel their RTB or their IB penalty-free. I bullet point the issues and say I will not be responsible for any incidents that result in hospitalization or death of said child. (pool, canal, steps, etc). If they don’t cancel, I contact ABB for a penalty-free cancelation. Or take the hit.
I won’t put a child’s safety over the selfish entitlement of an idiot parent. And when (not if) something goes wrong, you’ll get the blame. Or be expected to babysit. Or something.
Just. Say. No.
While a toddler should always be watched, I can’t understand why parents would choose to stay somewhere they had to be super vigilant lest a major accident befall their child, over one set up to be fairly childproof. Doesn’t seem like it would make for a very relaxing holiday.
Two of my daughters and their families came this year for Christmas. 3 of the grandkids are teenagers and young adults and one is 3 years old. Everyone took turns playing with and watching the 3 year old- she was never left to wander around, as there are hazards here for a young child. That there were 7 other people to look after the 3 year old aside from her mom, meant my daughter also enjoyed her holiday. If she’d had to do it on her own, I doubt she would have considered it much of a vacation.
That’s the kind of message I usually get when people with toddlers want to stay. For instance: “Our little girl has two older brothers that are 12 and 14 that adore her and watch her like a hawk” or “My 50-year-old parents are with us and they are looking forward to spending a lot of time with their grandson”.
I suspect we got this group interested because most of our neighbors won’t accept children at all, and we have a private pool and four queen beds at a reasonable price compared to the hotels nearby. I suppose I should have done what @casailinglady said and tell them to cancel their request, but I haven’t turned anyone down since 2020 when I requested admin cancellations due to the local government not allowing us to open because of COVID even after they told us we could.
To give a view from the other side of the agrument - Me.
We travelled extensively with our son starting at 3.5 months old, several times a year to international and Caribbean locations. With one expection, all owners allowed us to rent because we were travelling with 6 adults (parents, grandparents and aunt/uncle) to one infant. The one that declined said they didn’t want children in their rental, which I was fine with. Their house, their rules.
While I have no doubt there are parents out there that would let their child get into all sorts of trouble, I would no more allow my child to get into a rental house cupboards than at home. It simply would not happen.
Of course. I backpacked around Mexico with my one year old back in the day for 4 months. Talk about constant vigilance.
As far as guests go, if there are multiple people to help look after a toddler, I wouldn’t be too concerned, on the other hand, I know a few people who would consider themselves vigilant parents, whose toddlers got seriously injured or died in the 5 minutes no one was watching, or one person thought the child was with the other person (The way everyone has their eyes glued to their cell phone these days scares me as far as the adult getting distracted).
If there’s really nowhere else to rent in an area that is open to children, I can understand a guest asking for an exception. The thing is, we may know we are watchful parents, but the host has no assurance of that.
It’s really not a big deal to decline a RTB. Just say you are uncomfortable because there are hazards for children. Done.
Tell Airbnb during decline that you want to avoid a lawsuit for you and the platform.
We dont allow children of any age. We back onto rugged national park with no fence. A young adult male went missing in there last year and despite 16 days searching by authorities he was never found.
We had a booking request for a couple with a toddler just last week. I simply stated that we can’t accept the request as it is not safe, there is no fence and wild bush behind us. I no longer say “sorry” we cant accept, it’s all stated in the listing. I have done this probably 4 times before with no backlash from airbnb.
I don’t have instant book and I probably turn down more requests than I accept. Giving Airbnb the reason that I’m not comfortable with the booking because the request has come from someone with no reviews from previous hosts.
As far as I know I’ve never been penalised for turning down a request.
If the guest withdraws the request so you don’t have to actually click on decline, you won’t be penalized- otherwise you are penalized with a drop in your Acceptance rate. What is your Acceptance rate? Have you ever checked?
Thank you for doing this! The pool of hosts is large, and taking yourself out of the potential bookings by not accepting new guests gives us all a better chance at getting those ‘heads in beds’. After ll, we all know that unreviewed guests are all bad, while reviewed guests are all good, right?
No… my response rate is 100% and I can see cancellation rate and I can see number of stays and overall rating, but no sign of Acceptance rate! Maybe because it’s a room in my house and Airbnb understands that I need to feel safe? See next reply
I have a room in my house which I advertise only on Airbnb and without instant booking, because I enjoy meeting people and sharing my love of Málaga with them… not really to get heads in beds! I think that was the original philosophy of Airbnb, back in the day, but it’s changed a lot hasn’t it?
I live on my own so I am truly not comfortable with first time bookers, people who tell me nothing about themselves - or have no reviews to reassure me.
We’re all different!