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What about the neighbors?


#1

It’s been awhile since anyone was here with a neighbor complaint so I hope I don’t jinx it.

I’ve been looking at a lot of Airbnb listings lately and I see some (more than I’d like) with a warning about “don’t speak to the neighbors/don’t tell the neighbors/if the neighbors ask tell them you work for the government in an undercover operation and this house based operation is vital to the nation’s security.” (ok, I made the last one up but that’s what I’m going to use if I end up in this situation.) I also had to call Animal Control on my neighbors this week and I’ve been giving it a lot of thought I guess.

If a listing has a warning about the neighbors I assume it’s violating the law or the lease. My question is: Should I make that assumption? I click away because I’m not going to lie for a host and I don’t want to be put in an awkward situation. But I am eliminating listings from consideration that I don’t need to? Maybe @GutHend would like to make a poll?

Airbnb still has the link where your neighbors can notify Airbnb that they have a problem with you:
https://www.airbnb.com/neighbors


#2

I definitely, personally, would never book at anyplace that warned me “don’t speak to the neighbors/don’t tell the neighbors”. First I would be uncomfortable. Second I would feel badly for the neighbors, and third there is always a stronger chance of the booking being cancelled last moment.


#3

So your vote is “yes, it’s in violation of something?” I didn’t think about the cancellation aspect. Any previous cancels and a warning about neighbors and I would definitely eliminate that listing.


#4

Another vote for ‘no, I wouldn’t stay there’. I’d probably forget and let the cat out of the bag to the neighbours anyway. I get chatting to people and tell them all sorts of things. (I’d also never host if I had to put that sort of message in the listing and wouldn’t it be lovely if Airbnb banned that phrase?)

I can’t think of any reason why listings should have that warning other than that the landlord, HOA, condo board, city etc. don’t allow STRs.


#5

What about my white neighbors don’t like the people of color coming into the neighborhood? Good luck putting that in the listing. Or you just have that crazy neighbor who is doesn’t like you?


#6

Hehe - I have several crazy neighbours :slight_smile:

It’s one of the things I love about where I live - everyone seems pretty eccentric. Luckily, guests often are too!,


#7

Would guess it is in a condo building that does not allow STR per condo rules, or is a leased place that does not allow it.


#8

Around Xmas time when my neighbour was making funny hand signs to some of my guests about me (charade for “crazy gay man lives upstairs”) I did say to a couple of guests that she had dementia so just smile and ignore her if she says or does something odd as she has been acting a bit funny but is mostly very nice. She’s just a nasty old b***c really but I figured to try and make it sound neutral, not that it was a neighbourly dispute over my cat pooping in her veg patch (which I eventually rehomed). She also plays loud 80s music for about an hour once a month on a Tuesday about 4.30pm, no I don’t know why either. Some guests have commented on it but I assure them it will be stopped by 5.30pm.

But no I would never put it on my listing.


#9

POLL

1/ If a listing has a warning about the neighbors, can I assume it’s violating the law or the lease?

  • Yes
  • Depends (Please explain below)
  • No

0 voters


#10

No, you should never assume.

Not all countries/cities have laws taking into account phenomena like “AirBnB”. Not all lease contracts prohibit OR explicitly permit STR. There is still a big grey zone, and for those operating in it, it can simply be a case of letting sleeping dogs lie. Hosts did not create the grey zone and shouldn’t take responsibility for clearing up things.

Also, HOAs sometimes (usually?) have some very strange dynamics going on within them… In fact it’s just politics in a multiparty system, but with even more opinions and more private interests. In this country you can add the total absence of common interest and the presence of highly envious characters.

Just the other day we had a neighbor, who we used to get along with very well, totally turn on us. Reasons:

  1. We tipped the vote against one of the proposals she was highly in favor of. We were very willing to look for other solutions, but genuinely thought that the proposal would just further complicate an already complicated situation.
  2. We suggested the creation of a fund with monthly payments for a new future (horizon 5-15 years) elevator. This to the benefit of all poor neighbors who wouldn’t be able to just put $US 9000,00 on the table for a new one. Our current elevator is 53yo and could break down any minute. Although her family uses the elevator when visiting, she doesn’t even want to put aside $US 10,00 a month.

In conclusion: In a highly corrupted, third world (Peruvian wording, not mine) country with a large majority of outright incompetent politicians, we ourselves will not take any steps to clear up any grey zone, that would just be opening a can of worms. I will also try and prevent my (envious) neighbors from opening that can. So although we will not put it into our listing and I will do everything not to burden our guests with it, I will definitely ask them to be discrete towards our neighbors: “If asked, just tell them you are our friend and you are staying over.”

Added: No, we are currently not violating any law, lease or HOA’s rule.


#11

I ask my guests to be respectful of my neighbors. I do not want loud partying or disturbances going on outside. I am on 2 acres of land.


#12

Thanks for your input. That is not what I’m asking. I’m asking about people who tell you to avoid/don’t talk to/lie to the neighbors about airbnb.

People who ask me to lie are definitely off my list but I wondered if I was being too harsh on people who have more ambiguous things in their listing.

@GutHend thanks for your perspective on hosting in another country and for creating a poll.


#13

As long as the brakes are on going down! :laughing:


#14

Yes… it’s sometimes more complicated than just thinking you might be sneaking Air guests for some reason.


#15

I corrected it :relaxed:.

The brakes could break, but currently I’m mostly worried that the floor could just fall out :sweat_smile:.


#16

You know I’m teasing. Your English is fabulous. You speak and write idiomatically, which is to say fluent with a feeling for all the slang. :grinning:


#17

@GutHend

You are correct, there can be more to the story than illegal rentals when a host asks guests to not talk to the neighbors.

I’m having a bit of a crazy neighbor event now too. She started out nice to me then began her “ways” after she discovered I voted against a HOA amendment she supported (allowing golf carts)

One snowbird guest couple asked me to let them know when/if she moves, because then they will be interested in returning. Each time she saw them, she complained about my summer short term rentals and more.

She doesn’t like that I do short term rentals (all well within the HOA STR guidelines) and I rent to people of color so she spreads negative stories such as:

  1. There were over 30 people staying in my unit. (I’m not sure 30 people could stand in my 1100 sq ft unit, much less sleep in it.)
  2. The guests “took over” the pool (??? two parents with two children)

She has my phone number. She hasn’t called me about any guests but has spread stories among the neighbors.

I really want to tell my guests, “DON’T Talk to her!! She’s toxic!”

She has taken similar aggressive tactics with the other 5 units in the building that offer STRs. She has appointed herself the building’s STR monitor & chief lobby to eliminate STRs in the neighborhood.

At least 1/3 of the 200 units in the neighborhood are STR so the HOA will never get the 2/3 vote to eliminate STRs.

Two other owners have told her to mind her own business and she should move.

I’m terrified that the term “nasty neighbor” is going to appear in a review.


#18

The stories I could tell about neighbors.

—the meth head who did both karaoke and drumming at whatever the hell time he pleased. Had a souped up car that he would rev up at 5am and then do donuts down the street. Constant battles with the missus, who looked like she was dragged out from under a bridge in town. He had a bonfire in his driveway, our area subject to extreme fire hazards. When we complained to his landlord he screamed at all of us from his lanai and threatened to spray the neighborhood with paintballs.

—whistling parrot who would wolf whistle at 90 decibels at all hours of the day. Complaints to homeowner and HOA went mostly nowhere. When he did get a fine, he threatened to bring a burning bag of dog poop to my front door.

—young local family who argued, abused their kids, made loud noise before 5am every day and took loud obnoxious cell phone calls at all hours. They were living in a foreclosing home and when I met the new owners, she said that the back room was literally piled high in poopy diapers.

—lots of neighbors with loose or barking dogs.

Yet in all those years (all trouble made by renters, not owners) not one guest complained or really mentioned it in a review. Now I have fabulous neighbors!! Good neighbors are like gold, they really are. I love them all!


#19

@konacoconutz

You are right…good neighbors are gold!!! My one bedroom unit is in a 9 unit building. 4 of the 9 are STRs. The full time neighbors are delightful and helpful both to me and to my guests. Two told me they like having STRs in the building because:

  1. STR owners are motivated to keep their units in good shape to get the rentals

& 2. If there is an obnoxious person in an STR, they leave in a few days so not a long term problem

My 2 bedroom unit (the money maker) has the self-appointed Queen of the development. Groan…