Want to let your home on Airbnb, but worried about the consequences? Don’t be.
There’s plenty an Airbnb owner can do to protect property against party animals, thieves and vandals – from laying down the house rules to getting to know your Airbnb guest before they arrive. Take these easy precautions…
1. Turn off ‘Instant Book’
Find out why your Airbnb guest is travelling and, oh-so much more importantly, why they chose your Airbnb in particular. Asking for ‘Booking Requests’ before you confirm their booking lets you check their profile and read Airbnb reviews left by previous hosts – giving you an idea about who they are and how they’ll treat your home. If you decline their booking for any reason, your listing won’t suffer, so don’t worry about dropping down in the search results.
2. Refuse third party bookings
Nip parties and vandalism in the bud by knowing exactly who is on your property at all times. Only accept bookings from guests who plan to stay at your Airbnb, never anyone booking on behalf of unknown friends or family. When they try, simply ask them to create an Airbnb account and book directly, giving Airbnb their full name, email address and phone number, profile photo, payment information and a confirmation that they accept your house rules. You could go a step further, asking for guests to be verified or to show ID when they check in.
Add a line to your ‘House Rules’ explaining that only registered Airbnb guests are allowed in your property and everyone will have to leave your property if the person who booked doesn’t arrive. If you’re concerned, call Airbnb contact number UK, 0844 372 1679.
3. Cover your home with the right insurance
Airbnb insurance comes in two ways – Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance programme covers up to £600,000 of injury or property damage and every Airbnb booking is protected by the Hose Guarantee, for free. But the latter doesn’t cover your cash, pets or shared areas, so check the terms and conditions or call the Airbnb customer service phone number to find out more.
It’s well worth considering extra insurance, such as adding dedicated Airbnb cover to your Admiral home insurance policy, for example. But crucially, you must tell your home insurance company that you’re an Airbnb host, otherwise, they could refuse to pay an insurance claim, even when it has nothing to do with an Airbnb guest.
4. Charge a security deposit and cleaning fee
Guests are more likely to respect and care for your home when they have something immediately at stake, such as £100s of security deposit. Feel free to claim for an extra person fee when unexpected guests arrive without warning – call the Airbnb customer service phone number for help settling disputes over deposits.
5. Make every guest commit to your ‘House Rules’
Ask your guest to read and accept the House Rules on your Airbnb listing before you accept their booking and give them a printed version when they arrive, to jog their memory. Explain that the area is a great place to party, but your home certainly isn’t. Set their expectations by explaining what is and isn’t acceptable, so they can’t make excuses. For example:
- Can they smoke? Will you fine them if they do?
- Can they bring pets or wear shoes inside?
- Are any rooms or areas off limits?
- Will you charge extra to use the washing machine or for lost keys?
- Do they need to set the alarm or keep the front gate locked?
- When is check in and check out? Do you expect them to strip the bed before they leave?
- What’s the WiFi password?
- Will you ask them to leave immediately if they break the house rules?
6. Trust your instincts
Think twice about sharing your home on holidays like New Year’s Eve. Hide your valuables if it gives you peace of mind. Cancel their booking if you have serious doubts. Or let one room, instead of your entire home, if you want to stay and keep an eye on things.
7. Contact Airbnb customer service team
Call Airbnb customer support on 0844 372 1679 for advice at any stage of your Airbnb experience.