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Staying past checkout

Hello all, I have a couple whom I like very much. The problem is that they stay well past check out. Others have gone over as well. I’ve taken to reminding people in one form or another when check out is. But if somebody is sitting on my porch or in my kitchen and just taking their time, is there any polite but firm way to remind them that it’s time to leave?

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When do you remind them of check-out time? It’s best to do it the evening before.

It sounds like these specific guests are repeat customers and are feeling like they have a friend, rather than host/ guest relationship with you. Nothing wrong with that, most of my home-share guests end up feeling like new friends, but if it causes them to feel like they can just check out whenever they feel like it, you need to be polite but assertive. “Sorry I can’t sit and chat, but I’ve got things I need to attend to. Are you all packed, or do you need some help with anything?”

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Speak to them the day before. Thank them for staying with you, say that you hope they’ll be back to stay with you again and ‘if I don’t see you before you leave in the morning’ have a great journey home. Remind them that checkout is at 11am (or whatever your time is). Tell them that housekeeping starts promptly at 11 am. and go to their room and begin cleaning on the dot. (Even if you have a cleaner).

If they are still in their room, go in, apologise profusely and ask them if they need any help carrying stuff to their car.

Tell them, even if it’s a white lie, that the next guests will be checking in at 4 pm.

If they are hanging out in the house, ask them what time their flight/train/bus leaves and if it’s later in the day recommend some great coffee shops or restaurants they can go to for lunch. Or tell them about the new exhibition at the local museum or anything else that might interest them until it’s time to get the flight.

If you have the space to do so you can also offer to look after their luggage while they go for lunch.

The guests have paid for their accommodation from check in time on day of arrival until checkout time on departure day. Therefore they have no right to hang about as the contract you have with them ends at checkout time.

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I say it when they book. And I try to work it into the conversation when we discuss what time they want to have coffee ready in the morning.

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Working it into the coffee time conversation sounds good, but not if it doesn’t give them the hint.

And just stating it when they book isn’t good enough. Guests forget all kinds of things they read when they booked.

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I have found that some guests haven’t read the site very carefully.

The evening before, I send a message reminding them of checkout time and where to leave the key and wish them a safe journey home. So far it’s worked almost every time.

But I am on the premises. So they don’t need that information. I think I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and mention it if it appears they’re not moving along tomorrow morning. It’s clearly stated on the site. I’ve also thought of doing what hotels do and put the check out time on the back of the door or on the dresser with the Wi-Fi information.

Yes, on the back of the door is fine and might help. But just because you home share doesn’t mean you can’t mention check out time to guests the night before, it doesn’t have to be in a message. Just say "Oh, I just wanted to remind you of the check out time of 11am tomorrow. I have a busy day ahead of me and new guests arriving in the afternoon, so I can’t be at all flexible on that ".

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I like this. It’s polite, but can’t be misinterpreted. Thanks.

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Can you be flexible? I can be if required. If I know that the incoming guests are going to arrive in the evening, let’s say the 7pm, then I tell the outgoing guests that I can let them hang around for an additional hour or two. It’s no skin off my nose and makes for happy guests.

Bear in mind that if there are any hosts or guests who still believe that Airbnb are insuring them, that so called coverage ends at checkout time.

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I’m flexible on a case by case basis, but more with check in than check out. If guests linger then I’m later getting the room ready for the next guest and that can delay my going out and following my plans for the day.

Agree. I leave a night in between stays but if I didn’t… I wouldn’t rely on guests’ estimated check-in time because I’ve had plenty arrive early (and later!) than originally stated. You don’t want to be stuck if a guest checks out late and the next one texts you that they’re arriving earlier than you thought.

I will let a guest check in earlier if they absolutely need to. For example, if they have to get to a wedding. But if they text me and say they’re arriving earlier,I have no problem reminding them that check-in is at three. That part I have no problem being assertive about. Maybe it’s because they’re not sitting there looking at me. However, when I book people, I told him I would like to have their ETA as soon as possible. Most people are very good about that. I have never had anyone just show up too soon.

To clarify: my check-in is after 3pm. I had a recent guest say they’d arrive around 6 or 7pm, then text they got out earlier from work and would arrive around 4. No worries as the place was ready and I leave a night in between- but could have been a mess if not.

Yes, I see what you mean. But that’s exactly why I like to have guests out when they’re supposed to be in the morning. That way the room is ready no matter what happens later on.

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On my framed sign in each room with the wifi password info, in smaller letters, is ‘checkout time is xxx’.

I think that’s my next step. Btw, I reminded my guest just now of the check out time. No biggie. Whew.

Thanks for the heads up about coverage.

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When I’ve had lagging guests who appeared to be in no hurry, I’ve showed up at the door and said I need to start the process or we won’t make our next check-in (which was true) and then I went in & pulled the sheets and duvet covers. (this was pre-Covid) After I left with a load of linens, they clearly scrambled because they were leaving by the time the cleaner arrived 30 min later and they were very apologetic. Sometimes, I think guests are in denial that someone else will be “replacing” them in a matter of hours.

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