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I’m having some guests snoop pretty hardcore. More than usual. Recently I cleaned the room and noticed they went into the main electrical panel, the utility room and several other really out of the way places. Thats on just a one night stay too. I’ve had this happen a lot lately so I explain to guests what these doors are. Doesn’t matter though. They still go in and I don’t want them doing anything with utilities.
I had another guest who rented one room and went into a different level of the home that although it wasn’t locked, it was explained to him that this is rented out to other guests. He was a first time Airbnb user and we had our ‘pep talk’ and thought we had an understanding. I checked my Ecobee thermostat and noticed that part of the house was occupied when it shouldn’t be. I wanted to know who it was so I checked the outdoor cameras to see who was home and I saw this guest walking around the property with his camera phone out in front of him like he was documenting. This was right in front of my neighbor too who was out doing yard work. That would concerning to me if some stranger was walking around my neighbors property recording. Then he went inside and snooped all over inside apparently. This was all right after I left. So its like he started snooping as soon as I left him alone for a moment. I was at work but I called this guest about it and asked him what he was doing. He said he was just being nosy and apologized. He sounded really embarrassed and I said it was no big deal but reiterated that other guests have an expectation of privacy in these area and none of the amenities in his listing are located on that level. I told him that all of the places mentioned in the listing or shown in photos are for him. I don’t have a ‘don’t go here or there’ in my rules because they’re already long enough and this is a big house.
My feeling is that these are because of all the stories on social media about hidden cameras in Airbnb’s and these guests are out hunting for hidden camera treasure or something. I don’t really know if that’s what they’re doing because I haven’t asked. Should I ask? The guest who I called seemed really offput and I haven’t uncovered his review yet but I’m assuming its going to include something about that.
The guests who were snooping in the electric panel, utility closet etc already left a raving positive review but I’m wondering if I should ask them what all the snooping was about? I don’t want them to get offput and not return. Its kind of becoming a problem with the snooping though. I already have my cabinets locked up, host closets locked up but its almost to the point that I’m going to have to lock up the electric panel and utility room. Thats going to require some effort and it poses some difficulties in case I’m out and a circuit breaker trips or utility work needs done.
When I’ve done whole-home rentals, I tend to go through the house and look in every cabinet just so I know where everything is. This was even more important when my kids were little. I don’t think it would be appropriate for a shared-home rental or even a whole-home rental where the owners are on vacation.
How did the guests get into the areas that were out of bounds? I’m afraid that when I’m a guest, I assume that if something is locked then it’s none of my business. But if it isn’t, then I don’t have a problem taking a peep if I can be bothered to be interested.
Snooping on the snoopers snooping. I got a real kick out of this post. Like advice I gave to Militaryhorsegal about listening to private conversations on a Ring doorbell, I wouldn’t be telling guests I was snooping on them.
Be advised: Recently had a guest go into the Utility Panel in the rental unit and turn off a breaker to outlets in there. THEN they called on phone to complain stuff wasn’t working. I had though, unknown to them, just CHECKED everything in the panel before their stay so I knew what happened.
I am on site so I think they were hoping they could say something was not working. I suspect this is a stunt that is going around to try to get discounts. Now there is tape that has to be broken on the Utility Panel and I sign it, so to do this again, someone would have to break the tape, as it is on in such a way not to be simply untaped.
Good feedback hosts, except for KKC. Sounds like I have to lock up these areas. It’ll just take a bit of work because I need to redrill the doors for larger modern sized hardware.
The basement is a private suite. The only entrance/exit is a staircase inside of the home. The back door opens and the staircase is right in front of the landing to this door. The landing is also attached to the main kitchen and there’s only a curtain dividing the landing and kitchen. So the guest went through the kitchen, through the curtain and down the stairs. I’d say 95% of guests see the curtain and realize thats sort of a private boundary and isn’t their space. I won’t be installing doors to divide these levels into a duplex/triplex. These spaces aren’t advertised as a whole house listing either. They are advertised as private rooms in a shared home.
Interesting. I bought a 100 pack of tamper evident seals off of ebay for something else so I could use those.
We actually give our guests permission to “snoop”. From our welcome note, “Feel free to look around by opening doors and drawers to become familiar with what is here. Except for the utility closet in the kitchen and the right-hand side of the outdoor shed, what’s here is available for your use.”
Ours is a whole house rental. Most of our guests request self-check-in, so that is why it is mentioned in the welcome note. For host-check-in, we encourage the same.
We make it clear what is off limits and both places are locked.
As far as our electric breaker box is concerned, it is accessible and no problems to date.
Lock those places where you don’t want guests to have access.
This electric panel has a wooden box built around it. Its not recessed into the wall. It actually sticks out quite a bit and is very conspicuous so that doesn’t help. Whoever built that box shouldn’t have made it that big. If it was smaller, it probably wouldn’t draw so much attention. Well at least there’s still room for improvement in my rental!
Very inappropriate to pass through the curtained area.
As far as videoing…that feels “normal” to me.
These = main electrical panel, the utility room and several other really out of the way places = need to be locked and bolted if possible, and signs placed on them saying Owner Only.
I had a guest rent the entire upper part of our home while I was downstairs in a basement apartment. They tried every single key from a pile in a kitchen drawer to get thru the top-of-the- stairs door to see what was below. I was standing at the bottom of the stairs hoping that I had inadvertently left a key so I would surprise them when they opened that door. “shakes head in sad shock that folks feel the need…”