Unhappy neighbors

I wanted to ask the group what their experiences with unhappy neighbors and if there is anything I should worry about. We have been lawfully renting our home as a short term rental and we live in our home when we are in town. The city we live in doesn’t require any kind of business license or tax license of anything of any kind probably since it’s not a problem or something they feel needs regulating Im guessing. I have this in writing from the city as well as I emailed them asking what I need to legally operate our Airbnb.

Anyways, down to the issue at hand. A couple of our neighbors have voiced to us through Facebook groups how they dont like how we are bringing strangers into the neighborhood. No noise complaints or anything else. Just the fact that strangers are coming in to the neighborhood. We have our nightly rate set pretty high which keeps out any kind of riff raff. We also dont allow parties of any kind and maximum of 8 guests at the home and no one else outside allowed other than the registered guests staying in our home. Most of our guests are professionals traveling for business or families traveling for wedding or graduation plans, or a small group of people looking for a relaxing get away.
The neighbors have turned into bullies at this point making us feel really uncomfortable and painting our family in bad light on social media. We have a 6 and 9 year old son and I don’t think it’s fair what they are doing. In any case, I have no intentions of stopping our short term rental and I will just put up with their poor attitudes.
My question is there anything they can do that would force us to stop? For example file complaints to Airbnb or the local city even though there arent noise complaints or anything crazy going on? I’m not doing anything illegal and we have cameras in the front and backyard. Again, their only complaint is they simply dont like “strangers” in the neighborhood.
Any feedback would be appreciated! We have done everything we can to be kind and keep peace with the neighbors by the way. We even brought all the neighbors choclates from a recent trip and everyone is smiley to our faces, but on social media their true feelings come out which is pretty cowardly in my opinion.


Maybe you can compromise and instead of having 8 guests, bring it down to 6 or 4, less strangers. Also instead of 2 or 3 night stays increase it to 5 nights.

Also recommend local businesses and restaurants to your guests. Use a local cleaning company and local handymen.

Start your own Facebook page in which you highlight local eateries, wineries, etc. This will hopefully support the idea that tourists and business travelers spend money in local shops helping the local economy.

Angry neighbors can start calling the police with noise complaints. Make sure to use a noise monitor to avoid those complaints.

Good luck. I hope it works out.


I had guests like this and several of them chose my place because they wanted to stay close to their families who lived in my neighborhood. If this is the case for you, then see if you can get the local families to respond to the negative posts and discuss the benefits.

It sounds like you have a few vocal neighbors that are xenophobes. If you are able to publicly respond on social media, then respond extremely politely and ask A LOT of questions about what their concerns are and why they have them. With luck, you will either shut them up or expose their bigoted nature.


While it’s a drag that this is happening and that they are trying to paint you and your family as bad, you seem to be of the attitude that the neighbors have zero valid objections, simply because you aren’t doing anything illegal and don’t get guests who cause a disturbance.

I think you might get a better attitude from the neighbors if you acknowledged the validity of their concerns. A constant parade of strangers in a residential, family-oriented neighborhood, can indeed make people feel unsafe. How do they know that guy who is staying there isn’t a child-molester or anger management issues and a record for assault? They don’t, and honestly, neither do you.

In a city, it’s no big deal, there are strangers around all the time, urbanites are used to that. Likewise with a remote property, or on a large private piece of land, neighbors may very well not even realize you host.

But a suburban neighborhood is different.

Listening and giving validation to others’ feelings about something, rather than just being defensive or pointing out all the reasons they shouldn’t feel like that, or that they can’t make you stop what you are doing, is a better way to try to deal with these kinds of conflicts.


Take screen shots. Lots of them. You will want a record in case they delete anything.
Then speak with an attorney. Their behavior is likely harassment or similar. You have a right to quiet enjoyment and running your business without interference, especially since there have been no formal complaints about noise, etc.
These people do not pay your mortgage, insurance, utilities or taxes. You are operating a lawful business and were smart to get it in writing from the town.
Disagree w/ @Ritz3. This is not a time to give strangers / neighbors power over you and “compromise” or ask “what would make them happy”. They destroyed the “let’s talk option” when they opted to post on social media. A good neighbor calls you or asks to get together over wine or coffee - not pulling this crap.
You have rights. Exercise them.


If you know who these folks are, find out more about them. It helps to know who you’re dealing with, what their politics are, which church they attend. If they have been telling lies about you or your guests, you can spend a few $$$ to have a lawyer write them a sternly worded letter about why they shouldn’t defame you.

The first question I would ask myself would be “what about my guests would trigger this reaction?”. If you have been having a lot of guests of color, and that’s when it started, call out their bigotry on social media.

One thing about Facebook is that you quickly find out who the bigots and nutcases are.


Thanks for the feedback. We have been doing our best to put our anger and frustration with their abusive language. They are saying we are not homeowners but part timers and referring it to “Their neighborhood”. I was hoping to have an open line of communincation and allowing them to vent so they feel they are heard would help.

1 Like

I agree without comproimise. I thought about comprimising on reducing from 8 guests to 6 or whatever. At the end of the day the only thing they would be happy with is making stop allowing guests to use our property at all period. Anything less would not satisfy them. I’m constantly stressed in worrying on the next guest wondering what might happen or god forbid they are too loud or something. It’s definitley weighing on us physically and psychologically.

I agree that “strangers in the neighborhood” or any kind of “outsiders are bad, they aren’t like us” rhetoric is strongly associated with bigotry. However it’s also an opportunity to open a dialogue and see if you can find out more about what is motivating this. Maybe they are just ignorant about Airbnb.


We decided not to engage them on social media. I did not want the entire neighborhood involved on their comments and I know that is what they are looking for. A big internet rant and attack on us. I know their end game is to make us stop and there is nothing I can say or do to make them like it or feel better about it.

1 Like

Yep - do not engage them on social media. If you do it legitimizes that forum as a space for the communication.


I don’t know if our experience here will help you in any way, because it’s kind of late in the process now.

Before we started out in Airbnb, we let all the neighbors know that we were going to do this. We had a party and invited all the neighbors, even those we don’t know. We let them look around our house and all the rooms and see the Airbnb accommodations.

We made it clear to them that we were essentially the guestroom for the neighborhood. If they had people coming to visit them whom they couldn’t accommodate or didn’t want to, the people could book here with us. That has happened a lot.

Our neighbors are always interested in where our guests come from. So we’ve kind of made them part of the process from the beginning. No one has ever complained. They see that we’re always here when we have guests, so there’s nothing for them to worry about.


Facebook is evil.



My question would be how long this has been going on. With many social media forums you are only a target until the unhappy group finds a new one. I would not engage with the neighbors on social media. I like the suggestions about highlighting local businesses and the impact that your guests have when you have that opportunity. I have some long term tenants in my two house lot and they are not crazy about me doing Airbnb. Fortunately they say very little because they know that without the STR money, I would be raising the LTR rents.


RebeccaF mentioned some of the things I was planning on saying. I would add a “friends of the neighbors” discount.


When I was managing a home in a neighborhood full of full time owners, it was amazing how many times the home was rented as overflow for those very same people! Thanksgiving overflow. Wedding overflow. And those neighbors got discounts too! I took the time to point out on the reviews as being our neighbors!

Yes. Nothing good ever comes from FB. Gave it up 6 years ago and I’m a better person for it. Lol!!


I’ve had a couple of troublesome neighbors.

I explained how Airbnb works, that I will kick out bad guests, and to call me immediately if they had any concerns.

It calmed things a bit. One neighbor just kept going. I told her I had noticed a trend that she only complained about people of color, was there something we needed to discuss?

Regardless of the outcome if you’ve made the effort, you’ve tried to be a good neighbor

Oh-I explained that Airbnb withheld & paid the hospitality taxes. Part of her complaint was I didn’t pay the rental taxes


I’m a bit confused. Do you live near the house that you rent or are you a distance away? Are you available if there are any problems with guests or do you rely on a co-host? If the latter, then he/she should probably be involved as it is up to them to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

But several years ago, I was that neighbour. Our small complex of a dozen apartments had two that were used as short term rentals. Our rental apartment at that time had long term tenants. The apartment next to mine and the one opposite were STR.

I worked from home and was constantly being disturbed. Guests would see me and think I was some sort of caretaker and ask me for recommendations, for bus timetables, for quarters for the laundry, for a corkscrew, for dish soap, for extra towels … and on and on.

On the average day I’d be sitting at the computer working and there’d be that rumble of suitcase wheels often accompanied by shrieks when they saw the lovely view. Then they’d get into their bikinis and take over the dock talking and laughing loudly when I was trying to work. And before long, I’d be the ‘caretaker’ to tell them the best place to park or to tell them how long it takes to walk to the beach or whatever.

Neither apartment had a co-host. Guests got the keys from a locked box. There was no personal interaction and no one on site to help the guests or tamp down any unruly behaviour.

And I was always nice, always helpful until one day when three teenage girls who were staying next door were shrieking and laughing and having fairly drunk hook ups around - at which point I thought ‘if this place is going to be a xxxxing hotel them I’m going to do it and I’ll xxxxing do it right.’

The long term tenancy was due to expire . I didn’t renew it and started with STR instead.

The two owners of those apartments soon realised that they weren’t getting the trouble-free passive income they were expecting. But I’m still here and now with two apartments booked back to back.

Neighbour relations has been an important part of that because the other residents were even more fed up of those STR guests than I was. When they realised I was advertising on Airbnb they hated it - Airbnb had a bad name in those days. But I worked hard to prove to them that it can work brilliantly.

Long post, sorry, but I can see the neighbours’ point of view too.

By the way (oh jaquo, please stop now :roll_eyes: ) @Ritz3 's point is an important one - STR guests are bringing money to local businesses and helping to support the local community.


Others have offered the same advice. I’m only repeating their comments. Do not. Do not, engage with bullies and xnenophic bigots (call them what they are), on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc). You’ll only become enmeshed and more stressed out as nuts and extremists, who have no personal stake, take sides against you. In this day and age much of the xenophobia about “strangers in the neighborhood” is an expression of political / cultural resentment.

I agree with RebeccaF about the positive steps you’re lready taking to promote support from local business. Large family gathering i.e. reunions, weddings. graduations, boost the local economy, i.e. restaurants, coffee shops. groceries, entertainment venues ,etc. I’d also spread the word to local real estate brokers - I’ve had guests for weeks to several months while their “new” home was being remodeled, or a new home closing was a month away. Also, if you live nearby make yourself visible when guests arrive. I’m guessing your guests are decent, courteous. thoughtful and respectful people.