The Apartment Busy Body Goes Feral!

Hi all and a very Happy New Year!

We have a bit of a problem. We have two Airbnb properties. Both across the hall from each other in an old Art Deco style building with old style wooden doors, frames and a landlord who is really quick to repair but never replaces anything unless completely buggered. But he loves Airbnb so we replace stuff if needed ourselves.

In between our two places is a woman and her husband in their thirties who knew the places were Airbnb when they moved in. They have their eyes on everything, know everything and are curtain shifters (if anyone walks past they probably know what colour undies they put on that morning, their political persuasion and their mother’s maiden name within thirty minutes). They also always leave their door open to ensure they don’t miss anything.

When we lived in LA they were fine, never an issue, but my Dad got terminal cancer so we had to go back home to Australia and will be here until he passes away. We put our two Airbnb places in the hands of a reputable agent and it was all ok.

But now we are getting text messages all night if our guests close the door. They say they slam the door, they are always slamming doors and that their life is being made into a total misery by the constant loud slamming of doors…she won’t just text once, she does this long string of texts that lasts thirty minutes and wakes us up. As you can imagine when you get a call late at night your heart hammers and you think something bad has happened. Especially with my Dad so sick and now my partners Dad only has months to live as well so this texting is turning us into zombies that jump at our own shadows.

We have put up signs, foam around the doors, put it in our house rules, reminded people when they arrive but to no avail. She still says the slamming is making it impossible to live there. But I have been asking our guests over the last month and they say they are closing the door normally. One told me today that she closed the door and the handle rattled softly, and this woman stuck her head out and yelled at our guests, her husband now does the same. She has reported our guests twice for parking over the driveway and they get fined for it (she parks so our guests can’t get in properly). I’m sure it’s on purpose.

I’ve asked our manager to intervene, I’ve been polite, I’ve tried telling her it’s the doors as they are wooden like hers and poorly fitting but she won’t have it, I’ve texted her back to say we have reminded the guests. I’ve asked our other neighbors if they hear anything and they always say they only ever hear her yelling at our guests and never the doors. In fact one of our neighbors is on the point of complaining about this woman screaming about slamming doors all the time.

We have tried everything. My husband says to just let it go but this sort of stuff escalates in my opinion. We often have single women guests who don’t always speak English and can you imagine how scary it would be if some guy was yelling at you. They don’t even come to the door to ask politely for the guests to close the door quietly, now they scream from wherever they are in their house (as I mentioned, their door is always open).

Does anyone have any ideas? Our landlord won’t allow us to change the original doors and so we either need to reduce the door noise to a whisper, placate these people somehow or get them out! Lol!

It’s 10:30pm here and I’m just waiting for the first text from her! It usually goes on all blooming night until around 4am.

It’s making us just want to forget the whole thing but we need the income badly.

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So sorry to hear about your family health issues (sending hug). The neighbors texts make it even tougher. Can you have the agent install an outdoor security camera with audio to monitor bad neighbor behavior and see if there is any audible slamming?

You have more than a bit of a problem! I sympathize with your situation. It can’t be easy dealing with everything at the moment.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment, and point out that you need to consider that your neighbours might be right. I’m not saying that they are, but it’s a possibility. Guests can be loud, and then tend to come and go more than a building’s permanent residents. If your neighbours have a valid concern, then their own lives are being affected as well. In a worst case scenario, depending on your contracts and local laws,they may be within their rights to petition to have you removed from the building if they can provide proof of their concerns. At the moment, you have no proof of anything, just their word vs. the guests. Installing the camera with audio is a great idea. If you get one with a WIFI connection, you will be able to at least monitor the property yourself, and not rely on your agent. Be prepared for the fact that your camera might back up your neighbours’ claims, and make sure that your landlord allows you to install a camera before you do it.

I honestly can’t think of a solution to your problem that would allow you to continue hosting while you’re away, and placate your neighbours at the same time. What you may also want to consider is to snooze your listing until you return. I know you said you need the income, but is it worth the extra stress during an already difficult time? It would definitely get your neighbour off your back - you could tell them you won’t be hosting any more guests until you return and are able to deal with any situations yourself.

Finally, you need to consider that eventually one of your guests are going to complain to AirBnB about your neighbours, and it’s highly likely Air will side with the guests. By snoozing your listing, you would eliminate the possibility of a string of negative reviews and refunds granted by AirBnB.


Step 1: Block the busybody neighbor’s phone so she cannot text o call you.
Step 2: Relax, release the negative, and breathe…
Step 3: Have the agent install a CCTV cam so the nosy neighbors know it, and know that it will record them also. The cam doesn’t even have to work – just intimidate the neighbors :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


hi Wendy, you could do without this! You mention your landlord, does this mean you rent those 2 properties? If so, could it be time to jack them in, and rent a pair closer to where you are now?

Our other neighbors in close proximity are saying they don’t hear anything at all. Also that she is doing weird stuff with rubbish bins and leaving peoples food rubbish back at their doors if it has even a tiny bit of cardboard in it…I do have a record of all of this stuff she is doing and saying and soon one of our guests is going to leave us a bad review over it.

The thing is that while we were living in LA and not at the property she never once complained, so how come suddenly she is? It can’t be that every guest since we left has made the door slam. She doesn’t say much about any others noise, just the door slamming. It’s got ten tonnes of foam around it. It makes the same noise as hers does when she shuts it.

Good idea and I can say to her it’s to catch the door slammers!

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I’m in Perth Western Australia, it’s not worth doing it here as the prices for rentals are high and Airbnb prices low! Plus we want to come back to LA and to our house when we can.

This is my main concern for you - that your reviews and record as a host will suffer while you are away. It definitely sounds like your neighbour is being a ginormous pain in the ass, but your problem is that you are not on hand to deal with them directly. Eventually, you are going to get a guest (or several guests) who leaves a bad review based on their interaction with your neighbour. A guest may even ask to cancel their reservation and be refunded, and I think AirBnB would side with the guest in that case.

This is the type of situation that is going to get worse because these people will continue to harass your guests now that they have decided they can. They are watching every single move and jumping on it. Some people are irritated by the in-and-out, in-and-out of guests. We all have to admit that WOULD be annoying. Not that I am siding with their harassment of you or the guests. It’s just that Airbnb all over the world is beginning to get on people’s nerves. Especially in residential buildings like yours.

So what can you do? I’m really not sure. I agree with the others that you might want to pause this for a while. You will be terribly stressed just knowing it’s going on every time there is a check in. Guests don’t want to be harassed and will definitely review that honestly, and how can you blame them.

There’s no reason to take those people’s calls at all hours of the night. Block them.


What a nightmare for you! I am so sorry you have to put up with this, especially with your other worries. Your loony neighbors are now so invested in being watchful (or is it hear-ful) and resentful that it will be hard to divert them. Like toddlers, or my dog barking at the food on the counter, they need to be re-directed.

OK, this is risky and may backfire, be careful with wording so you are not making any admissions that any noise exists, but is there any way at all to make them think they are on “your team”? Maybe:

“Thank you SO MUCH for bringing your concerns to my attention. I am going to take action! As soon as I get back, I am going to install CCTV with audio so we can catch rude guests, if any, and in that case warn others about them before they they book elsewhere. I’m sure everyone would appreciate that. Do you have any recommendations as to what type of equipment would be best to install? I could sure use your advice. Look forward to seeing you upon my return, Sincerely, Wendy”


Hi Wendy,

I am very sorry to hear about your father. I am also sorry to hear about your neighbours. My partner is in for chemo for the first 4 months of 18; know that you are not alone in this.

I have long term guests. Since his diagnosis/surgery in Sept/Oct, to minimize my stress I only accepted guests who I knew, and/or were low maintenance. They were aware of the situation; we share the house so there’s no point to bluffing. I’ve probably turned down 70% of the enquiries and requests since then and it has cost me revenue, but my partner’s condition is the priority.

What I am suggesting is that in all probability it will not be business as usual for you either, and you may need to make changes to your business model until things resolve themselves.

You’ve been lucky so far with neighbours, but invariably there’s going to be pesky ones. Yes, they are petty. But they are going to say that they signed on for an apartment with stable neighbours; they had no idea that Airbnb would affect them so much, yada yada. If they’re rooting through garbage, they’re looking for problems. And they will find them.

If you were home, things may be different, and you may be able to work things out with them. But as it stands you’re a very long ways away, and the agent can only do so much.

And I am very sorry to say this, particularly under the circumstances, but this could turn very ugly very quickly, and that if could affect your long term business in the building.

My suggestion is that you consider choices in terms of how you are managing your business until the crisis has passed. I would also add that personal stress reduction will put you in a better position to help your father, and yourself.

I wish you well…



The door is an excuse. I suspect the neighbor has realized there are many other instances of aggrieved neighbors across the city and the U.S., and it has added fuel to her fire. Every noise will send her into a tizzy, but the central issue is she resents the STR activity, in general; it’s not just about the noise of the door.

I would consider taking a long-term renter and getting out of the situation altogether, if possible.

Oh, and TOTALLY block her number or mute your phone. Or both.

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Our problem is that we have bookings six months in advance and are pretty popular. So any change will have to be after bookings have finished. Also our cleaner is a disabled guy and I know his family will go hungry if we stop our Airbnb’s. I thought maybe we could close one off from Airbnb and see if that helps and sublet it to a steady person after our bookings have finished.

But since reading your replies I thought what I might do is to call her when I know the cleaner is there, to get her to go open and close the doors while I am on the phone to her and to see if she can shut them without noise, if she can’t then it’s a door issue, if she can, then it’s a guest issue and she will be able to see which one it is with her own eyes. If it’s a door issue some of her anger might fade a bit and we can see if we can get a door guy to come out and make it quieter. If it’s a guest issue then we will look at closing one down. Either way she should be placated a little!


Seriously - you are going to do this? You are giving your neighbour all the power and control!
She will hear the door if it is lined with velvet and closed by fluttering fairies with the gentlest touch. You are not there and she knows it - no matter what you do it won’t be enough…


The other approach - and this might not be possible if she is unhinged - you could bring her over to your side by making her a co-host. Get a piece of the action?


Hello @Wendy_Darling

Set your phone so you only receive emergency calls from close friends/family/hospitals during night hours, then you won’t be disturbed by your nasty neighbour.

And no, the family or your cleaner won’t go hungry if they can’t work for you. As you know people in the US can claim unemployment and disabilities benefits if they can’t work. However, If they are able to work for you as a cleaner, it is likely they can get other cleaning work or other types of work.

In terms of CCTV, yes of course you can get your local manager to install it straight away. You just need to let your forthcoming guests know you have made this change to your listing and offer those that want to the change to cancel if this makes them uncomfortable.

To be honest I think it would be much less stressful for you while you are both looking after your fathers to have longer term tenants in your property than managing short term lets.


It’s clear to me that @Wendy_Darling is not going to quit hosting on Airbnb unless it all goes in the toilet in some terrible way. It’s also clear that anyone rooting through the rubbish bins and sending texts all night is {insert politically correct term for “feckingnutz here”} and trying to win her over seem’s like a fool’s game. The only reasonable strategy that might assist, install cameras, doesn’t seem to be welcomed by the OP.


It should be obvious to all that it is NOT about the doors. All this fuss about sound modulation improvements, CCTV, getting neighbor onboard in some way…
The neighbor has decided in no uncertain terms that she does not want an absent owner Airbnb operating in her building. She is also unstable, as indicated by the late night constant texts. This is not normal behavior. This situation is only going to escalate the longer this Airbnb operates. OP states she has 6 more months of bookings. I don’t see that as sustainable. The writing is on the wall.


Ohhhh pleeeeeeeze do not do this. You must stop indulging this neighbor’s non drama. That is what she wants. If it is not the door it will be something else. They do NOT want you to do Air and they have declared war and will find any old reason to try to get you to stop, to wear you down. Don’t hand them the keys to the kingdom.

If you have a disabled cleaner, that’s not going to help matters. The neighbor will take advantage of their weakness. I would pay a property manager, (co host) to manage that place. You have every right to do Air since your landlord gave you permission. But the neighbor is going to continue to harass your guests and eventually you’ll start getting bad reviews over it. All it takes is two or three and you are done anyway.

This situation is untenable. I would just ask Air to cancel the remaining ones and snooze your listing until you can get back.