Weird booking request

Hi guys.
I just got this enquiry on my property and it sounds very weird!
I’m not sure why I think it sounds weird… it just does. I’m not sure how comfortable I am renting it out for 2 months. What do I say back in regards to that? Do I ask for his references?

I am interested in renting a place for myself in Melbourne for around 2 months commencing 31 Dec and saw your place on Airhub

I travel back and forth throughout the year spending 1-2 months at a time in Melbourne

A one bedroom apartment or studio is fine but a two bedroom is also convenient for me

I am 57 years old and retired spending my time travelling around the world.

If necessary I can provide bank and personal references from people both in Melbourne and Abroad

also like to play tenor saxophone and wonder if that would be a problem
in your apartment (I like to play for around 2 hours a day but would
play at convenient times (between 9-00am say and 6pm) as I would not want to annoy any neighbours but am not that loud a player anyway.

am in Melbourne every January (I play poker at The Crown Complex) for a
couple of months and also again in September for the Spring carnival
but sometimes I stay for 3 months before flying off to America or
Singapore or Tokyo.

the past I have rented high end apartments through Kay and Burton in
South Yarra who I am sure will testify to my good standing as a tenant
and have also rented luxury apartments in some of the more prestigious
areas and buildings in the past but to be honest all I need is a decent
bed or somewhere I can get a decent nights sleep

thing I do like to have though is internet access which is essential
for me as well as a gym/pool as I like to work out daily.

you are anything to do with Corporate Keys then I am not interested in
your property because I have found them to be a very disreputable firm
who lie and deceive when renting out their own and other peoples

I’m not sure…! Just doesn’t feel right.
No verification’s… no profile and no reviews.
Guess because have only had 1 guest, we are a bit wary at the moment.

If they have sent through a booking request… if we accept it, does that mean their payment is verified and everything straight up? Or does that happen later? Or even have to wait until the booking starts?

From what he says, he is this guy:

However, I find it a bit hard to believe that someone who i’d imagine would have a fair bit of $$$ would want to stay at our place.

I’m not wild about a guy who complains about someone else right off the bat. There will be other guests to take his place. Decline this guy.

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I did. When asked if he could verify his identity through Airbnb, he replied with this:

This just seems like so much hard work I think I will give up

No offense I have no problem at all verifying my identity at all but I hate all the personal identity issues I have to subject myself to via all these websites that do not protect personal data correctly and inevitably have a data security issue.

Thanks for your time but this isn’t worth all the hassle and I will just go through my usual rental agency and get a high end place through them

Best Wishes

Charidimos (Harry) Demetriou

If he is going to be this difficult up front, I don’t think I want him as a guest, regardless of whether it is legitimate or not.

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Is he some kind of celebrity Down Under? Not that that status makes a good guest. I have a friend who is a high-end property manager here on the Big Island of Hawaii, and she has tales about certain celebrities that will make your jaw drop. Certain ones are on her BLACKLIST. She absolutely won’t rent to them no matter how famous or rich. The names would surprise you. You would never expect such bad behavior from these stars!

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This sounds like identity theft to me. I would not touch this booking. It is very odd.

I agree, he does sound like a snob. The mentioning of high end places… And then you know your place is not high end. I don’t know, it’s just a bad feeling about this guy.

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He sounds like he might be a professional gambler, in which case you probably don’t want to rent to him, especially a longer term situation. I’ve only met a couple of these guys, but something about their opportunism and big-shot-ism makes me uncomfortable.

A lot of these guys are flush most of the time, so the money’s not really an issue. However, if they lose big that can change in an instant and their lifestyles are of risk and, usually, fast living. That might explain his fear of going through the verification process and the “hassle” and risk of poor “online security” (although all of us should be aware of online security issues). The travelling around issue, I’m certain, has to do with tax situations, as in avoiding them. The one pro gambler I knew never owned a home or had a permanent address.

You went with your gut, which is a good thing. When someone falls far outside our idea of normal, we need to pay attention, even if it means we end up saying no sometimes.

Good call.
Just looked him up–I was right…pro poker player…


I had a guest that didn’t want to have their ID verified because they were worried about identity theft. They eventually did, and were wonderful guests, but, that’s why we want the ID verified, right? To make sure there is some evidence that they are who they say they are.

I have gotten a few of these kinds of requests - usually a middle aged guy needing to ‘check out your place as i want to do 2-3 nights a week’, and ‘not into online identity, have no online payment situation’. Usually, they want to meet you locally in a coffee shop.

Candidly, they scare me, and I am an older man. I think many of them either are homeless and are living room to room, or are casing your place.

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Are there any guest scams I should be aware of? If I had of accepted this person’s booking request, would I have got the first month paid up front without him able to get it back due to my cancellation policy?

You did the right thing. I wouldn’t have rented to him either. Especially after he wouldn’t go through the identity verification. He had a little problem with the hassle of it, but didn’t seem to care one iota that for you it’s dangerous to rent to people who no one knows who they are! He didn’t care about your concerns one bit. Enough reason right there to reject him.

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for a guest to book he HAS to have a profile, verified ID… and yes, the first month is paid in full the day after the guest checks in…

The whole system is based on trust and protection, so if one doesn’t want to give ID then it’s a red flag …

also, I decline when I get a request without a photo, or just a “is your apartment available” when I clearly stated “homestay” and “private room” … that shows me the person has not read the listing properly and that would only invite trouble if I would accept.

You have done the right thing by declining this request…

Despite AirBnB’s considerable vigilance regarding user profiles, I would bet dollars to donuts that this guy not legitimate. It stunk right up front and when he backtracked it stunk even more. Report him.


He sounds interesting … we’d have taken him! And some of us hate having our photos up for public inspection … but if you felt uncomfortable then it’s your prerogative to not accept him.

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The guest just sounds frustrated with the sites lacking the proper safeguards when collecting this private info. As long as the saxophone playing was not going to bother neighbors, he prob. would have been just fine. I don’t blame some people for not wanting to give up this info. VRBO’s credit card processor currently has a class action lawsuit for a data breach. This has been the processor that VRBO has been trying to force all of us to use for years.


your instincts are right. trust them.


Wow! Strong work!!! I’m glad the OP turned him down but it would be interesting to see what kind of a guest he would have been…

Couldn’t have said it any better myself. I always decline any requests that just don’t feel right. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You get to say yes or no to who gets to be on your property. Looks like you dodged a major bullet here.