Becoming a vacation rental host is stressful enough but don’t let vacation rental problems surprise you. Lets get right into it!
The biggest problems Airbnb Hosts deal with?
The most common problems vacation rental hosts deal with are regulations, local laws, parties, excessive turnovers, unmanageable guests, not knowing your market and finding better guests.
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Problems with Unauthorized Parties
Problems with parties is the most one of the most common Airbnb problems for hosts. When parties are held on your property, what’s fun for the guests is typically not so fun for the host or the house cleaner. These house cleanings can quickly turn into a long delay for the next guests who’s soon to arrive.
Are parties a problem for Airbnb or vacation rentals?
Yes, parties are a real problem for vacation rental owners and Airbnb hosts because they introduce liability to the host, insurance claims, expensive cleanup costs, delays for your next guest and negative reviews that last forever.
Should you allow parties in your Airbnb vacation rental?
No, As of August 2020 Airbnb and Hustle Pads have officially banned parties and is now part of their official policy. This applies for “open-invite” parties on social media and “party-houses” that are a serious risk to the property owners, partiers and the neighbors.
Once an airbnb party gets out of hand, it could mean chaos, disturbance, damage and a lot more. In other words… a potential legal disaster.
To prevent parties, your house rules will be your first line of defense. No loud music after a certain hour, no outside guests and no unauthorized parties! Unfortunately most vacation rental homeowners have a strict no-party policy already in place and we all know those can only help so much.
Making your house safe for guests is key and that should include noise detectors, inspection checklists and more. Full details on how to make your vacation rental safe for guests can be found found in our article.
According to The New York Times, house party complaints across various vacation rental sites soared 250 percent between July and September of 2020.
As a STR host it’s important to know the policies in place to protect and guide your rules. If you’re an Airbnb host then this Parties and Events Policy will be handy to point your guests to in case they need a reminder.
Likewise if you’re a host on Hustle Pads, please visit Hustle Pads Policy on Parties and Large Events. Being a Hustle Pads Host means you enjoy the benefits of providing housing to mostly only remote workers who are there to go on an adventure together or Hustle together across different business themes.
Local Regulations and rules
By far one of the most common issue all hosts deal with is the changing legal landscape. For instance on October 2022, Hawaii’s Honolulu will introduce changes in the short term rental regulations where only 90+ day rentals will be permitted.
Changes like these are happening all over the country and depending on the platform you leverage or your impact will be different. As a shameless plug, Hustle Pads is built for extended travelers like remote workers and retirees. Food for thought as guests now seek ways to travel and work.
Short-Term Rental Regulation Checklist To Stay In Compliance?
To ensure hosts are within legal right to host a STR, start first by checking close to home and then expand outward. Check your building rules, then local town or city regulations, then state laws. And finally national laws and tax codes.
Unmanageable Excessive Turnovers
– High operating costs and management fees
There are real expenses to having high turn overs. These expenses can range in a wide variety of costs. Here are common expenses vacation owner face from excessive turnovers:
1) Initial Setup Fee – the fee to set up your initial account
2) Monthly Management Fee – a fee to manage your property on a monthly basis:
- Flat Fee
- Percentage of Rent
- Rent Due vs. Rent Collected
3) Tenant Placement Fee –a separate fee for placing tenants in your property, may include:
- Advertising cost
- Tenant screening
- Move-in Procedures
- Preparing the lease agreement
4) Vacancy Fee – a fee for vacancies.
5) Maintenance Fees
6) Eviction Fee
7) Customer service fees from the host
8) Early Termination Fees – If you break the property management contract early, you will often have to pay an early termination fee.
To avoid these problems hosts should extend their minimum nightly stays. During a host’s peak seasons, it’s recommended to set the minimum nightly stays to whatever fills your Airbnb or STR the most days of the year. However, during your slow season, its recommended to take longer stays to reduce your turnover expenses.
According to vacation rental analytics, a good or high occupancy rate is considered to be roughly around 65%-75%. To attain this, hosts should to take careful consideration of your market, pricing, and marketing.
Remember, a low occupancy rate means a high vacancy rate, an indication that your property is not renting well.
It has been forecasted that in most U.S. markets, demand growth is outstripping supply growth. According to a 2021 Vacation Rentals market size forecast, there are ~25,000 Vacation Rental Companies in the United States, ~140,674 Vacation Rental Companies Worldwide, and 1.98 million professionally managed vacation rental properties in the United States. Thats a lot of competition!
As the data suggests Airbnb’s or Sort Term Rentals rentals are paving their way to being “The New Normal of Travel”. Advanced planning on where hosts purchase properties should to be done.
To avoid this common Airbnb host problem, hosts should look to buy properties only in highly desirable areas and do more market research prior to assuming all short term rentals will be profitable.
Not the Ideal Guest
One reality about having guests in your property is that there is no assurance whether you’ll have a great experience or a terrible guest.
The most common concerns about non-compliance with house rules are:
- Cleanliness and orderliness
- Noise and disturbance
- Fabricated profiles
- Difficult and irate guests.
Hosts can avoid these problems by checking the guest’s previous reviews and checking their social presence online to see if there are any red flags they should be aware of. Other basic things are creating house rules and asking sufficient questions about a guest’s trip to get a better feeling about them.
Poor Customer Service for Hosts
Good customer service is a must in hospitality. However, it’s commonly limited and focused on guests.
While every host is required to be proactive & reactive in their customer service responses, this study shows that we are more likely to remember negative encounters than positive ones.
To avoid negative reviews, having a proactive customer experience can be done by having a great guest book that contains, emergency phone numbers, food recommendations for guests and the property managers phone number.
Also, small things like having a great cleaning kit for guests is key. Hosts are still surprised to find out that guests are more willing to clean up after themselves if you offer cleaning supplies that are easy to find.
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Late Notice for cancellation of guest
A classic problem vacation rental hosts face is last minute cancelations.
Guests may have valid reasons for late cancellation ranging from travel restrictions, wildfires, flight delays, and family emergencies. Whatever the reason, it’s imperative for the host to be patient and understanding when a cancellation occurs.
To avoid these host problems, set clear cancelation policies and if needed remind your guest in advance so there are no surprises. Ask them how firm their trip is or if there is anything they need to know before they finalize booking. This will give hosts a better understanding of how likely a traveler is to cancel a trip and fabricate a reason to cancel.
Abusive Guest Reviews
Even when you think you’ve done everything right, unpleasant reviews can happen!
According to review insights conducted by Tripadvisor, 84 percent of travelers believe that reviews are extremely important, and 63 percent of travelers rely on reviews as one of the main factors when making reservations to a property.
Negative reviews contain constructive criticism and abusive guest reviews, on the other hand, are vague, irrational or contain profanities.
Guests are prone to complain if their dreamed vacation doesn’t go as planned and if this is not addressed, the odds of receiving a negative or abusive guest review are higher.
To avoid this common host problem, include essential guest necessities with a few thoughtful touches like a well designed guest book, welcome kit, water in the fridge, and advanced notice of anything they should be aware of.
Here are some tips from Hustle Pads on the best features and amenities to keep your vacation rental booked and get high reviews.
Complaints from Neighbors
Excessive noise is the largest issue among potential vacation rental neighbors. Excessive noise, blockage of driveways and partying at all hours are the most common complaints.
There are many ways to make your Airbnb safe for guests and neighbors by installing noise sensors that set off alarms when the noise gets too high. Hosts may also set house rules on what is a potential fee if guests hit hose high noise levels.
Compensation for Missing, Broken or Damaged Assets
Damage could happen accidentally or intentionally. Hosts may want to consider implementing a security deposit as your deterrent to potential damage.
Hosts should allocate a certain percent to wear and tear on the property. Some forms of guest damage is inevitable. If possible, opt into extra damage protection or require guests to pay for damage protection if its an option. If you are a Hustle Pads host, we offer a no questions asked $5000 damage protection service that all guests get as part of their booking! This is the most comprehensive coverage in the industry for any item over $50. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Guest Accidents During Stay
Although guest accidents cannot be predicted, as the property host, you should be aware that your role carries with it the obligation of potential liability.
The vast majority of vacation rental accident involve dangerous circumstances where guests are doing unusual things like jumping into pools or running down the stairs.
Follow an inspection checklist to keep your property safe for guests. This will help prevent a claim against the owner against common things like loose railings, plumbing issues, bad decks and patios, roof issues and more.
Related: Get Your Home Safe For Guests.
Thats it! Now you know the most common problems vacation rental hosts face. Stay safe out there!
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