As an Airbnb vacation rental host, you must provide your guests with a great experience that allows them to relax and enjoy their vacation. But that doesn’t mean you can allow your guests to disturb your neighbors and put your Airbnb business at risk.
Top 10 Tips For Airbnb Hosts to be a Good Neighbor
Having a good relationship with the residents in your area is just good business. If your neighbors find your Airbnb property a nuisance, it could lead to serious consequences.
Your neighbors can report your listing to Airbnb for causing a disturbance. This could result in your property getting delisted from the platform.
Your neighbors could call the police if guests are being raucous and disorderly, leaving you legally and even criminally liable.
Your neighbors can report your property to your local council. Depending on the laws and regulations applicable to your locale, you could lose your permit to operate a short term rental.
Your neighbors, as members of your Homeowners Association (HOA) can file a complaint and prevent you from running an Airbnb on your property.
Maintaining a good relationship with your neighbors can be hard, even if you were not running an Airbnb next to their home.
According to a LendingTree survey, 73% of Americans dislike at least one of their neighbors while 23% have called the police because of their neighbors. Giving off a “weird vibe”, being too loud, and being rude are the top three reasons cited for disliking a neighbor. However, there are steps you can take to proactively build and maintain a good relationship with your neighbors.
Don’t let a complaint be the first time you meet your neighbors.
Before you even launch your Airbnb vacation rental, take the time to meet your neighbors, introduce yourself, and let them know who you are. Find out if they have had problems with Airbnbs in the neighborhood in the past or where they lived previously and let them know how you plan to ensure that your Airbnb guests won’t become a nuisance to them or the neighborhood. Some cities and states even require potential hosts to allow neighbors time to lodge their objections prior to their being given a permit to operate.
Make sure to provide your neighbors with means to contact you. Encourage them to reach out to you in case they have concerns or experience issues with your guests.
Just like you would go the extra mile to ensure your guests experience a better-than-expected stay, take action to do the same with your neighbors.
You can offer to let your gardener mow their lawn when he attends to yours, or call your handyman if they need something fixed at their home urgently. On special occasions like Christmas or New Year’s Eve, send over a gift basket or a bottle of champagne.
The other side of building good neighbor relationships is how you choose and manage your guests.
- Set Clear House Rules
Airbnb encourages hosts to explain, clearly, their expectations for their guests in their house rules. Make sure your house rules explain in simple language your terms for gatherings, noise, smoking, littering, etc. Don't make them are too long or guests won't read them.
- Ask Guests to Sign a Short Term Rental Agreement
Being a legal document, a short term rental agreement will not only help cover your legal liability with troublesome guests but act as a deterrent. Make sure you get a lawyer or other legal expert to draft yours so that it is compliant with applicable laws and can also stand up in court.
- Screen your Guests
Switching off Instant Book and screening your guests is one of the best ways to prevent trouble. A wide variety of tools are now available to hosts including Autohost, Chekin, Superhog, and Authenticate, that trawl through a variety of databases, integrate into your PMS, and provide you with verification and other information quickly.
- Manage Parking
Depending on where your vacation rental property is located, parking can be one of the biggest hassles for your guests and your neighbors. Make sure your guests are aware of how many parking spaces are available, where they can park, and any other parking-related rules that may apply in your neighborhood. Consider creating a parking map that you can provide your guests so they are informed and mention if there are fees involved.
- Install Noise Monitoring Hardware
According to the above-mentioned study, 27% of the time, Americans hate their neighbors because they are too loud. When considered together with HOA and neighborhood association rules about excessive noise that are quite common in urban and suburban areas, ensuring your guests don’t disrupt your neighbors’ sleep is of paramount importance. By installing noise monitoring solutions such as Minut or NoiseAware, you will be alerted when the noise level exceeds your set limit, allowing you to reach out to your guests and warn them before your neighbors get upset.
- Have a Trash Management Plan
If you are relying on your guests to take out the trash, make sure you communicate the rules clearly. Different locales will have different trash collection days, so don’t expect your out-of-town guests to know your own schedule. Put up signage where they will see it, explaining any rules regarding recycling/sorting and other tasks related to when and how they should store and dispose of their trash.
- Have a Designated Emergency Contact
If you are managing your Airbnb property remotely, it is essential you have a designated emergency contact even if the city doesn’t require you to have one. Whether they are a friend, family member, or your cleaner, make sure they are someone you can rely on to go check your property in case any issues are raised.
It can be easy to dismiss your neighbors when you are renting the property rather than residing there but neighbors have the power to make or break your business. By cultivating a good relationship with them and ensuring your guests don’t disrupt the neighborhood, you are doing good business. Make your Airbnb neighbors your friends, not your enemies.