Airbnb hosts are often busy providing guests with the best experience. Although, if you think about it, most hosts do not stop to think about how a next-door neighbor can impact their Airbnb business.
One of the biggest obstacles any host can experience is having unhappy neighbors detest your business which could lead to bigger problems. Put yourself in their shoes! Nobody likes strangers disrupting the peace in the neighborhood. No neighbor will feel at ease with the in-and-out strangers staying next door.
Managing neighbor complaints while keeping guests happy can be very challenging for hosts. The best strategy for any host is to prevent neighbors' complaints from happening. That said, let's dive in:
While the location of your short-term rental property is everything, remember that excessive loud noises such as screaming kids, loud voices, or constant slamming doors from Airbnb guests can quickly lead to neighbor complaints as it disrupts daily lives, especially in a quiet community or apartment building.
Apart from that, if your short-term rental constantly welcomes parties, especially late nights, this immediately leads to frustrated neighbors that quickly escalate to either reaching out directly to the owner or petitioning other neighbors in shutting down your Airbnb listing.
Parking is the fastest route to a disagreement between your neighbors and Airbnb guests. Think about it! No neighbor will honestly be happy to see their driveway blocked by a stranger's car or worse take up a parking space they rely on.
When running a short-term rental in a quiet and suburban neighborhood, the biggest concern for any family-oriented neighbor, especially with having no interaction and background with the Airbnb guests, is how safe will they feel being surrounded by strangers.
Ideally, if a neighbor complains against the guest or your short-term rental, the first action a neighbor would do is to directly speak in person or by phone with the owner about their issues before law enforcement or third parties are involved.
Though, if the issue is not resolved or has not been taken seriously, most likely the neighbor will lose trust and respect in you which could pose a threat as they can take legal actions against your short-term rental especially if your property violates the Homeowners Association (HOA) rules and regulations.
Airbnb provides a Neighborhood Support platform for concerned neighbors that allows them to report any issues online whether it is from excessive noise, parties, uneasy personal safety, etc.
If the neighbor reports your Airbnb listing, Airbnb will then evaluate the situation and contact the host of the listing. Apart from that, Airbnb will conduct a follow-up investigation and if required, communicate back to the neighbor.
It will be unlikely for Airbnb to suspend you as a host or shut down your listing. However, having numerous complaints can affect your business and leave a negative impact on your Airbnb listing.
Considering lawsuits are costly, risky, and time-consuming, neighbors taking legal action against you would be less likely the last resort.
Although, be aware that breaking the law such as noise and other disturbances allows neighbors to seek damages or hefty fines against you in small claims court.
Moreover, if Airbnb neighbors' complaints are continuous and unresolved outside of court, short-term rental permits could result in getting revoked by the local authorities.
Introducing yourself with a small gift like a box of chocolates or a fruit basket to the neighbors is a good place to start in building a relationship with them.
Before even listing your Airbnb, have open and transparent communication with your neighbor by letting them know about your Airbnb business and how you run it. This way, the neighbor will feel at ease knowing that they can contact you if an issue arises.
Keep your neighbor informed at all times via text or call about your bookings. That way, they will be well aware in advance of the guest checking in and checking out of the property. Moreover, this will also help the neighbor plan ahead and be conscious of their surroundings.
Parties and social events ideally attract large crowds, loud music, and misbehaving guests that can lead to disturbance in the neighborhood. Airbnb recently announced last June 2022, a permanent ban on parties and events at homes on its platform, after a temporary measure implemented during the pandemic proved to be popular with hosts.
That said, be clear with your listings that parties and events in your short-term rental are not allowed at all times and will be penalized if rules are broken.
Noise monitoring devices like NoiseAware and Minut are lifesavers for any hosts. It simply remotely monitors your short-term rental noise and lessens the risk of excessive noise from the guests without invading their privacy. This also ensures hosts that their short-term rental is responsibly rented.
More importantly, while protecting guest privacy, be transparent about installing these devices as this helps discourage guests from organizing parties or social gatherings.
In case of noise, these devices alert hosts or property managers helping to contact guests via message or call, reminding them to take it down a notch. What's also great about these devices is that it helps hosts to take immediate action before a neighbor complains.
Although it is great to receive a booking, keep in mind that not all guests are pleasant and respectful of your rules. Guest tends to leave bread trails that tell the host what to watch out for such as:
That said, screening your guests before reservations is a great tool to help identify bad vacation rental guests. Moreover, the current software out in the market such as Safely, Autohost, Checkin, etc. helps with verifying guests before accepting a booking that simply saves time, prevents property damages, and more importantly, avoids neighbor complaints while providing you with peace of mind.
Host reviews are a great tool for screening potential guests. Reading through Airbnb host reviews will help you as a fellow host to learn about their guest experiences.
So, if a host or multiple hosts complains about a prospective guest, especially with nuisance behavior or loud noises, this will benefit you from accepting any possible bad guests. Additionally, this also protects you from any neighbor complaints and difficult behavior.
It is important to clearly communicate with the guest about the House Rules in your listings, especially when staying in a community. Be aware that not every guest will automatically know the rules such as policies on parties, additional guests, quiet times, parking, garbage, and so forth.
Apart from that, let the guests know that breaching any rules will incur hefty fines or even possible eviction from your property. That way, rules will be enforced and respected by the guest. Moreover, this also eliminates complaints from happening.
Also, when it comes to parking before guests' arrival, set clear parking instructions on where to park the vehicle. This prevents neighbors from being less irritated with strangers blocking their driveway and lessens conflicts as well as complaints from the neighborhood.
In general, most short-term rentals should ideally accommodate guests comfortably according to the number of rooms provided. Although, some guests tend to break this rule and bring a number of guests to the property leading to noise complaints from the next-door neighbor.
That said, it is important to be clear with your listings by limiting your guests especially if the property is located in a quiet residential neighborhood. Also, let guests know extra guests or visitors are not ideal on your property. Doing so will help reduce noise complaints or unwanted disturbances from the neighbors.
The sound of luggage wheeling over the pavement or the noises of your dogs grumpily barking when checking in or checking out late at night or before even the sun appears can sometimes drive a neighbor crazy. Why not implement reasonable check-in and check-out times? That way, it puts a stop to unwanted noises outside your short-term rental at unaccommodating hours.
Also, why not suggest for guests to check in preferably during the weekends? This not only keeps peace in your neighborhood, but it also encourages guests to stay longer rather than a one-night stay.
Before even starting your Airbnb business, be fully conscious of the short-term rules applied in your area. It is important as a host to comply with HOA regulations, and local or zoning laws to avoid serious outcomes for your Airbnb such as fines, etc.
Additionally, possibly present to your neighbor that your Airbnb operation does not breach any rules. Though, do not impose too much as it may seem like you're proving a point to them. Instead, delicately highlight that your short-term rental did not violate any rules and you are willing to happily co-operate in finding a balanced solution between two parties.
Although it seemed like an impossible task to keep both guests and neighbors happy, realistically it exists. It is as simple as following the local rules and regulations governed by the HOA.
Moreover, not a single host would want to be part of the Airbnb horror stories being told. Building a good relationship while maintaining good ties with your next-door neighbor eliminates any potential obstacles that may be faced and allows your Airbnb business to thrive to its best.
Apart from that, accept guests that will be good neighbors and maintain peace within the neighborhood.