Wanting to make arrangements with a long term renter for as long as she needs

Is there a way to have an arrangement with a renter to rent for longer than they make the reservation? My renter would like to make on/off reservations for two months with the option of renting longer. The only way I can see to do it would be to block those dates beyond her paid rental dates in anticipation that she will need the dates even though she hasn’t paid for them.
I’m happy to accept the fact that I cannot guarantee those dates unless the guest reserves and pays for them in advance. But then how do I communicate that to the guest without offending her or she being dissatisfied with the arrangements? Do I have any option that doesn’t put me at disadvantage?

It’s business. She wants you to leave the space empty in case she might need it with no compensation for potential lost business, It works with hotels because they have many rooms: with Airnb most hosts only have a few one or two rooms. I would suggest to you that you explain to the guest that and unless she reserved the room you cannot promise it to her. Be be matter-of-fact and businesslike, explain that you’re happy to rent to her a ) if she reserves or b)if she contacts you and the room is available for the date she needs.

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No, you can’t just hold open dates. She’s got to book them.

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Thank you for the supportive responses to my inquiry. You have helped me greatly.
The following is my response to our potential long term guest. She had made this unusual inquiry attached to an initial three day reservation request.
“I have pre-approved the reservation in anticipation of a suitable mutual agreement. We look forward to an extended business relationship that is beneficial to both of us.
I ask about the subsequent dates because you understand that when another potential renter looks at the calendar at our property and dates show as available they have a right to assume the property is available to them and not reserved for someone else.
We have only the one property. So I am saying that I want to help you out for as long as you need the property, however I cannot hold or block dates beyond those which you reserve. We cannot guarantee that the property will be available for dates beyond the two months you reserve and pay for.
On the other hand if no-one has booked the dates you want after your initial reservations you are certainly welcome to reserve all the dates you need. I hope you understand our position.
I look forward meeting you and to our continued business relationship.”

If you are comfortable with long term guests they can cancel 30 days in advance without penalty. So the guest could book 90 days. Would just need to cancel after 30 days to not pay the last 30 days.

Thank you, Brandt. Do you know offhand where this info is found in policy? Does the long term renter have to have continuous stay for the refund policy you mention to be in effect? (Did you notice my potential guest will be staying 3-4 Days a week only, not 7 days a week?)

I had a situation this summer where a woman was coming for 10 weeks during the summer for 3 nights a week for an internship. She wrote to ask me about the dates and payment and I said “you have to reserve them on airbnb.” After we exchanged a couple of messages she started reserving. After the first three reservations rolled in I wrote her and told her I would hold her dates and she could reserve them later. I was able to offer this because I get a lot of last minute bookings anyway so I’d have been able to fill most those dates had she backed out. I also wanted to offer a little something extra to entice her to stay with me. This arrangement would be perfect for my summer due to some planned travel and some remodeling. Once she arrived and I met her and she had her first stay I began to consider offering her the option to pay me directly. The second visit went smoothly. On the third visit I offered the option to pay directly via Paypal or cash to me. The first direct payment had a couple of small hiccups but nothing serious. She ended up not staying a full 10 weeks due to getting in all her hours sooner but all in all it was a good arrangement for both of us.

Holding dates without payment might not be something you’d be willing to do for a stranger but you might change your mind after you meet her. For than matter you might change your mind and decide you don’t want to host her at all. I think your reply to her was perfect and now you can play it by ear.


The first time I had a repeat guest who offered to pay direct, the check bounced! It was a total accident though and she was very embarrassed and paid all the bank fees. We are friends to this day. :rofl::rofl::wine_glass:


This was an excellent response Carolina!

@CarolinaFran It sounds like you’ve got the help you needed and composed an excellent message for the guest. I just wanted to add a general observation on repeat guests that I’ve experienced.

I had someone who stayed two nights a week for a few months earlier this year. He was attending a course at a local college. It was great, in theory, because it was guaranteed income in slow months and it’s nice to forgo the whole meet & greet thing. He’s back this semester for another course and I’ve blocked off two nights each week for him in Nov & Dec. Thing is, he’s taking tuesdays and wednesdays each week so that means, essentially, he’s taken up the whole week.

To explain… weekends are always booked because I’m in a popular destination for a get-away, usually just Fri & Sat but sometimes they book a Thurs or Sun too. I don’t do one-nighters so that leaves three nights a week potentially empty. Plus I’m losing out on having two guests (I charge extra for two). Plus I’m losing out on people who want to book for a full week. Plus I’ve analysed takings for the months he was here last time and the projected takings for Nov/Dec and they are down on last year because of this.

I don’t know if any of that makes any sense or indeed if it’s of any interest to anyone (!) but I thought I’d share. Sometimes repeat guests are not as lucrative as they seem.


Magwitch, why not just selectively set the rest of the days to 1 or 2 night minimums so they are not lost? You can have 3 night min as the overall policy with exceptions.

Thanks for the advice! I could have done that but one-night stays are really a pain for me, particularly as I’m a budget place. Anyway, it’s over a year ago now and I decided that, sweet as he was, my regular student guest was way too clumsy and forgetful. He lost two sets of keys, ruined an entire bedset, broke numerous items in the kitchen…enough already. I’ve had many lodgers in the past (pre-Airbnb) and you learn to live with it but Air gives that nice option of saying Bye Bye!! every few days. I don’t know, though, I’m getting a bit fed up with it now. It ain’t what it used to be, guests are pickier, less friendly, prices are being run down by competition. And I’m getting grumpier… !!

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