OK, this morning my guest woke me up (female, lawyer, mid 30s) with a phone call. “There’s someone in the house, she said. Is anyone else supposed to be in the house?” “No” i said. She continued that when she arrived last night the front door was unlocked and this morning she definitely heard the steps on the stairs, then them checking the door in the adjacent bedroom and she heard them breathing.
I immediately called 911. she opened the door, they checked the house, there was nobody.
I promised her I’ll change the locks. what else can I do? She is nice she wants to be able to book me in the future because shes traveling for work, but she’s freaked out.
I am pretty upset myself. I dont live in that house and this is a very safe neighborhood. Its true that its an old house (100 years old) that has creaks and noises, but… I remember one guest who slept in that room telling me that he thought I had some animals in the attic and I said it’s just birds. I myself slept there and I heard the noise of baby birds chirping when mom came in with worms. I went outside and even saw the mama bird. I thought they were cute and won’t destroy anything… but this?
Can anyone advise please? Thanks.
Old houses creak and move.
If it is an attached house she probably heard a neighbour.
Why would someone go into the house and only check the spare guest room?
When you or your co-host went over did you check the loft for mice/squirrels?
Who cleans your place in-between guests? Could they have left the door open (or does it automatically close when you leave). Do you have an electronic lock?
If she feels unsafe at your place I would offer her the option to cancel.
Why did you call the police?
Sounds like she was hearing things that weren’t there.
This is why I love having dogs in the house with me - if I am there alone and hear weird noises or creaky floors, I can just shrug it off as the dogs making noise. If they weren’t there I would probably be on high alert too.
I personally clean the house and I think I locked the front door when I left. Other than the inspection I had when I bought the house 3 years ago I didn’t check the attic for anything. The house is not attached to anything, but it’s true, the next door house is like 2m away.
I gave her all assurances, I told her I will refund her and stuff, but she was really, really scared. She’s going to check in a hotel tonight, but she booked me next week Mon-Fri and neither of us want to cancel it. she loves the house and it’s close to her work.
Maybe you should check the attic! Wasn’t there a news story a few years back where a man had hidden out in a family’s attic, sneaking out at night to eat their food?
No, seriously, I am sure it’s just her imagination. But have someone check the entire house if it makes her feel better. Check all the closets and make sure the windows are locked.
Mice? Raccoons? Water pipes? Rats? Stray cat?
Cameras 360 on the exterior would help reassure you and everyone else that there is no one in the house. If you believe in ghosts then neither cameras nor anything else is going to help.
Key code lock changed with every guest (I use last four of their phone number), and at the very least a camera at the entry door to monitor who comes and goes. Check the attic space, as well, for added peace of mind.
Personally I would not refund her anything to be honest for the time she has stayed.
Going into the attic is the first thing I would have done when you/your co-host went around to check the property. We had squirrels in one of my London places and it really does sound like people are walking around.
If she is that scared she would be better finding somewhere else.
I agree with @Helsi. Check the place from top to bottom.
And I agree with other comments: Outside security cameras at all doors (and pictured and disclosed on your listing), electronic locks on all doors, securely locked windows.
THIS!! Right @KKC or are you exhausted banging that common sense drum?
I hate going into my attic so I make my next door neighbor do it for me about 3 times a year. Plus my HVAC guy goes up there to service it. And my pest control guy.
When my cat starts staring at the ceiling and I hear noises, I call the guy next door…
I was a public school teacher for 3 decades. I have a high tolerance for repeating myself.
#MajorRespect. So was my late grandmother. Brooklyn, NY public schools. She taught the special needs kids - wheelchairs, crutches, developmental issues. She walked with a cane even as a young woman (hip issues) She had her class all through their years in elementary school. When my parents traveled, I stayed with my grandparents and went to school with her. She was amazing. Taught ESL after she retired. Amazing woman, raised 4 children, held a full time job, deadbeat husband, pillar of the Church. Born around 1900 and took no prisoners. Scared the crap out of me.
Second the squirrel explanation, if you’re in squirrel country. They run around on various roof levels of my house and can sound just like people footsteps. Stir in one forgotten door lock, spike that with a little imagination and – intruders!
just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there👻
@georgiahost, I did, there was nobody there. There’s no way for someone to have come in, unless through the front door which she said she locked last night. She insists someone has the key, but I don’t rent to local people so the chance for someone to come in from out of town and check out my house at 8am is remote. I rather thing it’s pests in the attic.
If its cat I’ll take it home. Now that you mention, I had the renter from hell leave cats behind who gave birth under my bathtub and I trapped the mama but then I heard mews through the walls that I had to pinch myself that it was real! That was an ordeal to trap cats and kittens stuck under the bathtub. That’s why I not doing LTR anymore.
My life is so much easier now that I have keyless entry. It’s one of my best friends. No more worrying about keys, copied keys, lost keys, etc. Enter a code, delete a code. And if you rent multiple rooms in a place, I’d put keypads on every bedroom door. I’m considering it.
I have read that some places have regulations that prevent setting up individual room locks like this, which is a shame.