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Hi all fellow hosts, Airbnb experience never stops to amaze me. One guest booked my place for him and his girlfriend to celebrate their anniversary. The guest looked young but I can’t really judge by his face, no review but it is winter low season so I took the booking. I was just out of hosipital and need to rest in bed when he checked in so I let my DH handle the check in, he told me only one person checked in and he looked like a high school kid. We were worried for the whole weekend.
My DH went to the property this morning, it was half hour beyond check out time. The person who booked had left, and no sign of girlfriend. There were two strangers lying on the bed (the additional bedroom that is not supposed to be used). They were clueless and my DH asked them to leave nicely. From their conversation, there were at least 5 people in my property last night. Also, these two looked like high school teenagers (not even uni students look). They went to pack up their unfinished marijuana placed in a bowl, and their bongs before they left. In the bowl there is leftovers of marijuana, also there is cocaine leftovers at several places.
I then spent almost three hours to convince the person who booked to pay for the extra guests (he only admitted two for one night) and cleaning fee for curtains due to marijuana smell on it. They smoked in my lounge but with open windows so hopefully the smell can go away ( I didn’t request money for this), but his friends did it in a small bedroom with windows shut so the smell is terrible there (I’m not sure how long they did it in that room, they booked for two nights).
My concerns now are:
I got quotes from three companies to clean the curtain in the small bedroom, one is $140, another $160 and the last $380 plus gst. I told the first two it was smoking smell, and only told the last one about the marijuana thing. So the kid is willing to pay $140 now, is that going to be enough for the clean if curtain cleaning company discovered what smell it is?
The kid also told me he can’t use the credit card any more this month (the one used to book my place). He plans to deposit some cash into his bank account on Monday and then pay me. I’m truly confused here, it sounded like it is not the kid’s credit card. I called Airbnb and ask if the name on the credit card has to match the name of the guest. The Airbnb rep told me she has no idea. This really raises my concern, if names don’t need to match, then some kids can steal their parent’s credit card or even worse steal other’s credit card to book and then do bad things and tell you they don’t have the financial capability to pay for any damage.
Airbnb rep assured me the guest is over 18, but what if his friends are not? Do I get into any trouble for underaged person to do illegal things in my property, without me knowing?
What a mess! I would suggest not worrying about the ‘what ifs’ for now (the name on the credit card and the underage thing) and focus on getting money back for (a) what you’re owed for the extra guests and (b) the cost to get the curtains cleaned. If you have a quote for $140 I would think it wouldn’t matter if you told them the smell was from marijuana or nicotine (come to think of it, nicotine is probably much harder to remove anyway). Submit your quote to the Airbnb resolution center asap!
Thank you Gardenhost. I have submitted the request for money and the kid has agreed to pay, but not today. I hope he sticks to his word and give me no more trouble. 16th of September was the first day of school holiday in Victoria and this happens. It seems I have to be extremely careful during school holidays in the future.
@Helsi Thank you. I felt some guests may be uncomfortable with cameras outside the property so I decided not to install one. But I have changed my mind, I think my peace of mind is more important and I should not be stressed by situations similar to what happened this time. I’m going to install one later.
@Outdoorsygal Thank you. I had this idea before but no guests have ever used the second bedroom without permission or booking until the lastest guest. So I’m going to install a lock and if some suspicious guests show up, I can lock it.
This guest acted normal before he booked. But after he booked he started asking me questions like “do you live in the one next to it, just in case I have questions for you?” I started to worry but I don’t want the message “the host cancelled this reservation 1 day before…” appear on my review wall. So with camera installed and locks on bedroom, hopefully this type of guests can be ruled out completely.
I have a private room and a shared room in my home, so I haven’t had to deal with this- but if I had any other set up, I’d have a fully disclosed security camera outside all my doors. Maybe even more than one.
In our city, any exterior cameras need to have signage posted (usually people have signs saying “Smile, you’re on CCTV!”)
I’ve seen people mention you should disclose the camera in your listing, but I haven’t seen mention of rules about posting the info out front/ where your neighbors see.
… I’m curious if anyone who locks unused bedroom doors has found guests have tried to open them (I mean, more than a curious twist of the handle) anyway.
I got the compensation without further trouble, but I still feel the payment system maybe flawed. When I book air tickets, the name on credit card has to match one of the persons on the trip. When I book hotels using credit card, some will request me to present the card used and they took deposit from credit card as well.
From this time’s experience, it seems the young men used a credit card not under his control to book my place. Though he paid for the mess but who knows if the next one would take responsibility or not.
Yes it is definitely a rule that you need to notify your guests if you have CCTV inside or outside of the property.
I can’t see why any guest would have an issue with CCTV outside of a property - if anything it’s a benefit as it will be a safety feature (people are less likely to want to break into a home with CCTV.
You must mean in a home where you aren’t living? I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal to have a camera in your own home. In areas that demand privacy like bedrooms and bathrooms, yes. In common areas I think you can have a camera if it’s disclosed. Whether or not that’s a good idea for an airbnb is another matter.