Yana, maybe it was all the spicy food the cooking team was making!
Probably:) ahh, if it was one thing, I would let it slide, but everything they did was so invasive. After I complained here about them, and got a support, I wrote to them in private message that with the way they use someone’s house with all the cooking and occupying all shared areas, leaving their things everywhere, shouting at late hours, slamming doors, never take their garbage out, leaving windows open they need to pay more and rent separate house.
They told me not worry about them. I answered: I don’t worry about you, believe me, I worry about other hosts who have to go through this with guests like you. But it was too late to write review on them.
Yana, if anyone needed a smackdown it was them!!!
I know:), now I would definitely write a book on them, but then it was my first experience like that. Honestly after them I had thoughts of just not hosting anymore. A friend of mine is a host too. Originally cooks needed rooms for 3 weeks , but I already had a visitor for 1 week, and asked my friend if she can take them for that one week.
She said it was the same story with her also. She has a pool, so they would go in a pool when she was there with her kid. Then leaving their wet underwear there. Same with kitchen. Once she literally shooshed them from the kitchen when she was on a phone before goings to work, talking to her boss, and they step away were shouting something in Spanish so she couldn’t hear anything.
She couldn’t wait for them to leave.
There were just ill mannered people, inconsiderate and unaware of their surrounding. Hopefully I will never anyone like that, but if do now I know how to deal with it.
I am going to be brutally honest: I love the friendly tone of your writing, which is great, but you do have a very long list, which could turn guests off. Here is what I would do to pare it down: remove the lines about conserving water and turning lights off. Here’s why: conserving water is too subjective (and you will never be able to make a case with Air that someone “used too much water”), turning lights off is common courtesy (and we all know people who lack common courtesy also don’t read your rules anyway), and what recourse will you have? "Air…someone didn’t turn the porch light off, and now my power bill is higher than it should be…please compensate (not going to happen).
I’m iffy on the furniture one. To me that’s common sense, but I can see why you have it there. Maybe consider softening it with a “While there should be no reason to move furniture, if you absolutely must for some reason, please ask for assistance.” Hope this is helpful.
Jack! Thanks so much for your input. I may just remove the furniture rule and talk to the guests about it in person when I greet them… It was my nightmare guest who broke the table to begin with…
The water cons though, is a must, as we are on rain catchment tanks here in South Kona…
The porch light one… hmmm. It’s not power I’m worried about, as these are CFLs, it is the “Shining,” LOL. Shining up into my room and even into neighbor’s houses – due to the odd angles of our subdivision… It’s easy to forget to leave them on… so this one is not really their fault… Also, I addressed it recently by removing on bulb and outffiting the other light with a super low watt orange bulb… So I think I will remove that one also…
Going to my “rules” right now… to edit with your suggestions in mind! Mahalo!
Ha ha! Glad it’s helpful. I agree with Yana. A lot of guests (myself included) will skip over listings that look like they have tons of rules. I don’t like to feel like I am spending my holidays at “Grandma’s house” having to watch myself too much.
I totally get the water conservation thing. You have special circumstances of course. I won’t lie though…when i have stayed at hotels and they have signs up saying ‘please conserve water’ my reaction is ‘heck no…I am dropping $200 a night to stay here…YOU worry about conserving water!’ I know I am a horrible person, but sometimes channeling my horrible side enables me to get into the minds of the most hard-to-please guests. Hehehehe.
Jack… Here’s how they read now… Also I have to mention the rain tank somewhere so they are aware we are off county water (off-grid so to speak)… and can make that decision whether to book here or not…
To be clear, it is a self-catering, fully private apartment on the basement level of my house near the beach here in Kona. My highest rate is $99 per night. My low season is $79.
Took out the furniture and porch lights… Does it still seem like Grandma?
Have to mention the water one though… (Guests don’t need to know, but my tank has a leak!! And that is why we need to conserve, even during the rainy season. Happily I am having my tank replaced soon, so the water catching and the general overall tank situation will be much improved.)
I have also seen those signs in the pricey hotels… but I think and hope my guests are more considerate because it is someone’s house! ??? Most of the time, I can say they are… because the rules are clear.
When I greet them, I show them the tank and remind them to be mindful of water cons… Nearly all get it. I can do the same with the porch light and the table.
This is the list that appears online now (thanks to your suggestions!)
We’re very mellow … so if you are too, we’ll get along well. This is a family home and a very quiet area. Quiet time 10PM. This is our neighborhood association curfew hour and it must be respected. No loud parties at any hour.
• Only your approved and registered guests allowed on property.
• We do ask that you conserve water; we’re on a self-sustaining water tank system. No long showers. Please finish showering by 11:00pm, as late showers wake us upstairs.
• No smoking. (If you simply must, you can always walk up to the street, just so it is not on the property.) This includes e-cigs/vapes. In special cases, I may take courteous outdoor smokers but we MUST have discussed it first.
•No burning candles, Incense or mosquito coils inside or outside.
• Please remove your own trash as we have no trash service out here: Trash and mixed recycles can be taken to nearby trash station at mm 99-100. I do have containers for you to deposit your drinking recycles: plastic bottles, glass soda and beer bottles and cans, (should you wish, this is a suggestion only, as it helps the planet.)
• Liquids ONLY down the kitchen sink drain please. No solids of any kind.
• Please take care with the new U.S. Divers snorkeling equipment sets (in the black bags). They are $47.99 plus tax to replace. If you lose even one piece I will have to charge you for the full set. Both sets are inventoried after every guest check out. [Use of snorkel and beach gear strictly at your own risk.]
• There may be cats around who would love to be let inside, but they are not allowed, so please enjoy them from outside.
• Leave the Studio as you found it.
Last but not least, please enjoy your visit and don’t hesitate to ask questions!
I will email a PDF file of complete information to you once you are booked.
e komo mai ! (Welcome!)
I love it. Still has that friendly welcoming tone and doesn’t sound to nit-picky. Your place is definitely unique and your rules need to reflect that. I am starting to appreciate how easy I have it being in a very urban area! (And, i confess…after reading this thread i went back to review my own rules so I am practicing what I preach!)
Just sent you a PM.
There are shipping / receiving services Shyp and Doorman. If they insist then have them open an account and you stay out of it!
And I learn just as much from the attitude of some hosts as I do from some guests. We are certainly all very different.
I think the conserving water section still sounds too nice. I get what you are saying Jack when a hotel asks to conserve water and the guest thinks “not my problem” - now I don’t know if these hotels are asking to save on their water bill or if there really is a shortage of water. Kona’s area is short on water.
Right now when my partner greets the guests he still has to go through the whole gnat issue if they don’t dispose of drink containers before going to bed, and place in outdoor recycling, etc. And now the stink bugs are out getting worse so it is so very important for guests to shut the door right behind them. They can’t just leave the door open for 15 minutes while loading/unloading. I mean they can, but then that causes problems for my next guests. And then the stink bugs hibernate inside till Spring. And those Spring guests will get it for sure!
So I really only try to accept bookings from people who will treat the place well. I cannot have the hotel mindset mentality staying (although sometimes I can’t tell till they leave) - and of course some are good at lying in your face. Now I allow them to run the A/C and heat all they want so I am not trying to make guests uncomfortable to save me a few bucks. I provide them many things an entire home rental would not provide. Many in my area give them a starter roll of TP and that is it. I provide so much more because I really only want my guests to have to shop for groceries. I don’t want them having to go out and purchase shampoo, paper towels, aluminum foil, - I could go on and on.
What you said about not wanting to think you are staying at grandma’s is funny. Because I think I currently have listed that they treat the home like their own. And then I have been thinking about scratching that and asking them to treat it like grandma’s because I have seen how some treat their own home. You probably would never rent from me. I honestly don’t even know what I would think of seeing a bunch of rules if I wasn’t in the business myself.
On my departure checklist I have noted: 1) “Please return any items or indoor/outdoor furniture to its original location. Dragging chairs/tables on hardwood floors or deck will leave scratches on wood; please lift when moving.”
You would think it is common sense but others do not think about dragging furniture all over hardwood floors. My professional photographer even did this during his stay - I was quite surprised. I also have this noted because I can’t lift the entire outdoor dining room table myself. I am by myself often during turnovers. So if guests don’t put things back then how am I going to do it alone without ruining floors? I know the guests prob. assume an entire cleaning crew comes and breezes through. But it’s not true. And that is why each individual home must have different sets of rules. I don’t mind guests moving on from my place if it is too much to ask them to respect another’s property.
I really started out with no lists/rules and then the questions started coming - where do we put our used towels? Do we take out the trash? Are we supposed to start a load of laundry? Do we lock the door when we leave? So then I came up with this:
Checkout time is 11 a.m. Please ensure everyone is out on time. Housekeeping must begin on schedule in order to prepare for the next guests. Late departures will result in a $50 charge to the credit card on file.
Please return any items or indoor/outdoor furniture to its original location. Dragging chairs/tables on hardwood floors or deck will leave scratches on wood; please lift when moving.
Used kitchen/bath towels can be placed in the backpack hampers located in each bedroom closet. Set hampers on floor. Please use a plastic grocery bag (located under kitchen sink) for any muddy/clean up rags.
Please do not strip bed linens; leave this for housekeeping.
Double check drawers, under beds, etc. for any personal items.
Please start dishwasher; detergent is located under sink.
Double check stovetop, oven, and gas grill are off.
Close all windows.
Turn thermostat to 60 in winter and 78 in summer.
Turn off indoor/outdoor lights.
Leave key and grocery card on dining table. Lock front door and exit out dining room doors.
Call or text XXXX (phone number)as you are leaving.
Thank you and have a safe trip home!
When I wasn’t telling them to place the laundry bags on the floor…the guests ruined them by filling them to the brim and keeping them on the hook. The weight of course is going to rip the bag.
If you don’t tell guests they will be charged for late checkout, they will linger around and take their time. They don’t care if the next guests check in late.
I still keep playing will all my rules/communication but I have found that if I don’t clearly tell guests what my expectations are then I will never get them to treat the home how I want. If I can get 80% to do as I wish, I consider that to be successful.
You just gave me an idea. I should prob. preface my “rules” with something that addresses guests are living out in the country so they may have to do things differently than what they are accustomed to at home. You are correct - living in urbanville can be way different. But they come with their own sets of issues: parking, minding the neighbors, trash pick up day, etc.
Cabinhost, I couldn’t agree more and my reaction to Jackulas post was similar. Indeed these are the kind of guests we get quite often (although not always), and it took me a while to work out what was going on, because my behavior even in hotels is completely different. I’m never thinking ‘sod it, I’m going to be wasteful’, but perhaps I’m from a different generation or background. It’s not really about who is paying for overuse of water or items requiring laundering as we all pay for wasteful behavior at some point. Unfortunately the attitude goes hand in hand with other entitled behaviors, such as not taking care to avoid staining towels and bedding, or damage furniture because it’s a hotel and ‘they can just replace stuff’.
Jackulas is right in that this attitude does expose the thinking of less conscientious guests, and those that think our homes are just a consumer purchase to be treated as a disposable experience. Hopefully those are the guests scared off by the ‘grandma rules’. At least that’s my hopes.
It didn’t work for me this weekend with my guests a finance executive: and his girlfriend studying medicine at NYU. A full face of makeup including red lipstick all over an expensive antique bolster pillow cover (80 inches long) and the hand finished edges torn in certain places. I have no idea what this couple were doing, but the sheets had been removed at some point and they tried to tuck them back in - but tucking the bed skirt too and making a mess of it (many people don’t know how to put a plain bottom sheet on that isn’t fitted). No idea why they might have removed the sheets and then put them back on and possibly the bolster which is the only way I can think of how it got torn. The only other guests that did that were trying to find tags on my hundred year old pure handspun linens (lol). NYC designers wanted to know what shop to buy. Now I am in a quandary about whether or not to ask for money out of the deposit to cover the ruined bolster cover - I know these guests are not going to review because they are totally self absorbed (they loved their stay and wished to stay longer, but just won’t bother, know the sort), but will it prompt a negative review? They didn’t seem the vindictive sort, and I’m pretty sure they will recognize the makeup (red lipstick is my nemesis and I even mention I charge for it if it gets on my linens). But you never know and I could do without the fuss.
Cabin, I wonder if telling them that a $50 charge to stay longer as an option is tempting fate? I mean, some of my guests might do that and I could lose a whole night’s booking! Out is out. They ask if they can stay longer often, and ALWAYS, I have a guest coming in! (Even if I don’t.). Luckily I am right here and can go knock on the door if they are still around at 11:30… Also, it might only work on your non-Air bookings, because your guests would deny wanting to pay the late fee and it isn’t “damage” per se.
I am so clear about the water, it almost never happens that they take long showers. I have found that if I greet them in person and have the chance to show them the things I am most concerned with, I get better behavior!
As for the lights, I took out one of the bulbs and installed a super low-watt bulb in the other, so now if they leave it on all night no biggie.
Just a suggestion but you ought to consider having a rule of No Moving Furniture … because why? Why drag things around?? It causes damage (my Worst Guest Ever) broke my drop leaf table by moving it… So now, a rule, please don’t move furniture around or if you really want to, come and get my help.
Yes, I really do need to update my departure checklist to say that they will be charged for $50 per half hour leaving late vs. just $50…ha! I get so caught up in all the different sites’ rules and everything else. But I haven’t had the issue since I started making guests on other sites sign the contract and rules before making payment. That has been a savior and a pattern I noticed with towel treatment, etc. When you are on a site just making payment it is easy to say “I read the rules.” But when I make you agree to terms and sign a contract, and then send a payment request the treatment is so different. they don’t get the payment request until they have read and agreed to all rules…night and day. I need to do this with Airbnb as I am guilty of not requiring a signed contract from those guests. But any guests have been scrambling out at 11 - never have they thought they could stay the entire day for $50. But you are right - I need to change that!
As far as the no moving furniture rule - people just won’t follow because the furniture is not stuck to the ground. I put those noveable canisters on some of the furniture and others it still needs to go on. But I couldn’t believe the pro. photographer who had moved the chairs and slid them across the hardwood floors scratching them. I am only lucky my partner built the cabin himself and can fix that kind of stuff. I don’t know how people deal with having to hire someone to fix things like that. I still see scratches from the ottoman in the king room. They are pretty bad and I guess he will get to them after caulking. The cabin dining room benches and coffee table are all scratched up. Maybe he needs to come up with thicker coating. He initially built the house to sell with furniture, but I cannot imagine people with log furniture hire someone to redo it every year. So he needs to change something…I suppose.
Very true- better behavior when met in person. My cabin rental has so many different things to abide by and be told in person - as if anyone is going to listen to the gnats, stink bugs from a doc. My partner does greet all guests so that is good. And when they learn he built the cabin and it is his baby I think they treat it better. It harder to look someone in the eye and disregard how you will treat something.
Yes! My guests would run with that… another night for only $50! Deal!!! LOL
Except when you start vacuuming around them and stripping their beds. Then they get the hint and start packing…ha!