Even after 3 years as a host, I continue to learn…
I am on day 14 of a 15-day stay. I can’t wait for them to leave!! The pair, brother/sister in their 60s, sharing a bed/bedroom, have spent 99% of their time in my house watching television in my small living room. They go out for short periods of time (mainly when I am at work), then come back home with take-out food. And watch TV. And they go out every hour, smoke, and then come back in front of the TV.
I will say that they are both “nice” and if I ask them to turn the volume down, they will. However, I have had no free time in my own house for 2 weeks. My trash can smells like an ashtray, and I can’t imagine the disinfecting job I will have to do to the room/linens after they leave tomorrow because they reak of tobacco. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the brother won’t shut up! Even when he’s watching TV, he has to talk. Please kill me now.
So, because we never stop learning, here’s what I’m changing in my listing/rules:
-No stay for over 10 days
-No smoking on the premises or disposing of tobacco products.
-Can I put no fast food? LOL! Kidding!
How about shared space?
99.9% of my guests are on vacation, go out exploring, trying restaurants, etc. So I think it is quite unlikely this will happen again soon. But I am open to ideas.
When I shared my part of the home I had this a couple of times. It also drove me nuts. One thing I did was put a TV in the guest room. If I were in your situation I’d probably have the TV service go out with no service call available for a couple of days. Or I’d try to go in and take control of the TV. Or retire to my room and leave them to it.
Some smokers really do reek and the used butts smell as well. You can say no smokers on the property and then people like this can have their reservation cancelled. Limiting the number of days might help or might not.
What @KKC said.
Put NO SMOKING ON THE PROPERTY in the first few lines of your listing description. Limit stays. Draw lines in the sand – small TV in the guest room and no shared space TV; or House Rule #2 (after No Smoking On The Property) “TV Hours from 5-9 PM only.” (and lock away the remotes until then).
I put on the back of the front door: 250€ smoke smell cleaning fee will be charged to your CC upon detection of smoke in the room. So far, this seems to work.
Comment in the house rules isn’t enough. Many people don’t read.
The funny thing is I don’t even have cable. Already changed it to no smoking.
I’m intrigues. Did you ask the purpose of their visit? Were they local? Sometimes people have building works going on, theirs or next door, and just want somewhere else to hang out for a while.
Golly it sounds like a dysfunctional family Christmas!
Do not give access to your living room! You dont need to include it. Blimey don’t you need somewhere to sit yourself? You could put a TV in the room, or they could just watch Netflix on their laptop.
Say no smoking in the house or garden. If they have to go off to smoke they dispose of butts elsewhere and lose some of the smell as well as giving you a break. Say you’re allergic!
An unrelated story, but I know of a host who realised his guests were having a sneaky late night cigarette in their room. Next day he stuck a battery operated smoke detector in the hallway outside the room, then when they started their indoors cigarette, he set a bit of cloth on fire and waved it under the detector, then tiptoed away when the alarm sounded.
Seconds later they ran out of their room, he came running back up stairs, and managed to suggest that the detector must’ve detected someones cigarette.
They stood in the garden for their pre-bed smoke from then on
The has guests like these 2 in first 2 months of hosting. It was a nightmare. Then after several of my guests were watching TV in my living room I decided to put TVs in each guest room. It worked like magic. Occasionally a guest starts watching TV in living room for some reason despite having their own TV.
If it’s interfere s with my schedule iq would politely tell them that living room is primarily for me and my husband’s use. When we are not at the house then no problem, they can use living room but when we are there ,no.
Their parents lived in the area, and their father passed away this summer. I knew this when they booked, and expected that they would be visiting family. And would be taking care of family business. I can’t believe they visited this area and spent most of their time watching television.
They also left all their food in the fridge this morning. Another thing to write in the check-out instructions now. You would think after 3 years I would have seen it all!
Some people don’t allow use of their living rooms for this reason.
My house is not very big and it seems a little weird to do that. But I might consider it this starts happening more. Like I said earlier, 99% of my guests would never do that. So this was a rare occurrence.
But every time that rare guest chips away at your being, by intruding on your space, you’ll feel trepidation towards guests rather than enthusiasm and confidence. Prevent yourself from burning out by keeping your living room as your space.
Maybe they were avoiding difficult feelings by getting immersed in the TV.
Looking forward to your “bang head here” review!
I leave a small, lidded mason jar with sand in it near my front entry for used butts. My house rules indicate no smoking in the house (I’d love to list NO SMOKING as I can’t stand it), and to take care if on the deck. When I go to the dump, I empty the entire contents in the trash on the way out, and refill with fresh sand. I think in nearly 200 stays, I’ve only had three smokers, thankfully!
I had a guest who made my smoke detector go off with her cigarette. She stayed for a week and every once in a while I’d get a whiff of cigarette smoke but assumed she was smoking outside and the windows were open but after my smoke detector when off then I knew she was smoking inside. I would like to know what kind of device she used to be able to get by with smoking inside. She also used some kind of strong smelling cleaning liquid when she tidied up. I think that was to cover any smoke smell when she left. I have to say she left the area in great shape. I didn’t have to clean anything other than the bed linens and I asked the next guests if they smell smoke and they said they didn’t. Just kind of of interesting to me.
If she’s been staying in places where the smoke alarms are battery-run, then she might have just removed the batteries. Which is why hosts should have alarms that are hard-wired.
Hard wired ones (at least mine) can easily be unplugged. There is a tiny little plug in them. It’s the base of the unit that is wired, not the alarm part.
yes ours are. Makes them difficult when they go off though. I’m meaning about the smell. You couldn’t smell it.