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Suspicious Guest Reason for Staying

Hello,

So my husband and I recently started doing airbnb. We have a toddler at home so we are “more select” about who stays with us. We ask a lot of questions and if we have an iffy feeling we just say “no thank you” I would like to copy my correspondence with my guest below and would like your opinion about whether or not you would accept this guest.

Hi Katie. Thank you so much for offering me a room! Me and my boyfriend live in Dunwoody and would line to stay in the highlands and close downtown as we are thinking about moving there. I look forward to seeing you this weekend!
Today at 8:58 AM
***Note: Dunwoody is only about 30 minutes away from our house without traffic. 90 minutes in rush hour, but shouldn’t be experiencing that on the weekends.

Hello Candice,
Your message has me a bit confused. Have we spoken before?
Today at 9:01 AM

No we have never spoke before.
Today at 9:04 AM

Oh, okay. I’m sorry it’s just you said “Thanks for offering me a room” so I was afraid maybe we had spoken and I had forgot. Yes so I’d be happy to help you out, but I want to make sure you are aware we are not in the highlands.
Today at 9:06 AM

In fact it’s about 3.5 miles from our house to get there… so a bit of a walk. Our neighborhood is great and we have a lot of great things to offer, but I just want to manage your expectations.
Today at 9:08 AM

Oh Yes. Kirkwood is near old fourth ward correct? That’s one of the areas we are looking at as well
Today at 9:08 AM
***Note: Kirkwood(where we live) is about the same distance from Old 4th Ward as Virginia Highlands.

I took a look on the map. The location is fine
Today at 9:11 AM

Okay. Great! Did you see on our description where we have a small toddler at home? I just want to make sure to point this out in case that is an issue for you. Also what time will you be checking in/out?
Today at 9:13 AM

Yes. I also read it in your reviews. We are thinking about checking in sometime 2pm-3pm and checkin out Sunday 3pm. Does that work?
Today at 9:15 AM
***Note: Our checkin time is 5 pm and our checkout time is 11:00 am.

I wasn’t really suspicious at first but then my husband started asking some questions like why does she need to stay at our house if she only lives 30 minutes away? Why is she not checking out until 3 pm? If she is looking to live in the city don’t you think she would know where Old 4th Ward is? Also, she has no reviews and her location on her profile is listed as IL (we live in Atlanta, GA).

Your thoughts on this matter are welcome.

What kind of setup do you have? They don’t sound as much suspicious as clueless. Nevertheless I don’t think I’d want this couple in my home if they were going to be sharing the common spaces with us. If they can’t track who they’ve written and read directions,etc. they probably aren’t going to follow house rules.

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I don’t think that there is anything particular weird about her correspondence but I will tell you this - decline her. If YOU feel that something is weird, trust your gut - and I do think you find the situation odd because you took the time to post it here. I am an old hand at this, and every single time that there has been a problem, it’s because I ignored my own feelings.

She’s already told you the type of guest that she’ll be. She will come early and stay late, that’s enough.

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Locals do alarm me a bit. That’s why I always ask the reason why they are renting. I prefer tourists only for the reason that they will be out to see sights not hang out at the house all day

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I’m the same here - although I’ve had a few locals stay over xmas for local xmas parties and other festivals in town and they just didn’t want to potentially drink and drive. I’m not going to mention their ages?! ha…

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I had the same reaction as well. The couple who I’m currently renting to are actually locals, but I thought they weren’t, because the location given on the guest’s Airbnb page is somewhere else a few hundred kilometers away. (And if I had known, I might not have rented to them.) And they told me almost nothing about themselves. But they’ve been out most of the time, and have been very undemanding. Except for leaving lights on, they’ve been perfect guests.

So I guess that, like people here say, you really don’t know. Though I surprised that some people apparently can’t be bothered to market themselves at all. If you wanted to do short-term renting, wouldn’t you go to a little bit of effort to try to persuade your potential hosts that you are going to be a good guest?

Yes, I agree. Though I do chuckle when young new airbnber’s say something like “I hope you’ll have me.” Another said in their description of themselves “I feel like I’m writing my profile for a dating site.” LOL. Winner! I accept them all, I’ve never turned away a first time guest unless the asked to pay cash directly. Those I politely decline, remove the pre-approval and flag their messages. They can learn the hard way.

This is the best advice for this type of situation. Sometimes there’s a language barrier that can create initial confusion, but that can often be mitigated by just asking more questions. In this case, it seems the more questions asked, the more uncomfortable the inquiry became.

I wouldn’t ask her the times she’d prefer to check in and out when you actually have set times. This would be confusing to me. I’d also not ask if it was ok that you have a toddler. If this is in your listing, she should have read it and understood it. I would just say, “just to remind you, this is a home with a toddler, as I have mentioned in my description.” And then, “may I please ask the purpose of your trip, since you are a local resident.”

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