Most people by now have heard of Airbnb and as the awareness of the site spreads, so does the use of it. Airbnb provides affordable and interesting accommodations that are a nice alternative to hotels when traveling, especially if you like to meet locals when you’re in a new city. But Airbnb guests are sometimes a nightmare for Airbnb hosts, as is documented on AirbnbHell.
Here are 10 ways you can be a terrible Airbnb guest (Of course, avoid doing these things to be a good guest).
1. Use the site to commit a crime
This might seem like it goes without saying, but it doesn’t. When a host opens up their home to a complete stranger, no amount of verifications Airbnb gives a host to make them feel safe changes the fact that the host is putting him or herself, family and personal possessions in a vulnerable position. Airbnb had to change their entire approach to host safety after a woman had her apartment ransacked in San Francisco when she rented it out via the site. Other hosts have had to deal with identity theft, drug addicts, prostitution and ruined personal possessions, among other things. Dear criminals, Airbnb is not the best outlet for your intended crime. You will be tracked, you will be caught and you will receive the most terrible karma ever for taking advantage of someone who gave you the benefit of the doubt. 2. Cross personal boundaries
You have to have decent discernment and social skills to be a good Airbnb guest or host. One Airbnb host wrote about her bad experiences with guests for CNN and detailed a guest showing her porn he had made with his girlfriend. Know what might be considered offensive to a host and don’t cross personal boundaries without clear and enthusiastic consent.
3. Ask for a discount
Airbnb hosts have already thought through their pricing carefully and are charging you, in most cases, far less than a hotel would. Don’t push your hosts to give you an even better deal than they’re offering. If you want to pay less, find a listing that charges less.
4. Try to get your “money’s worth”
You’re already getting your money’s worth when you use Airbnb. You’re getting affordable accommodations, local insight and breakfast. Don’t push your hosts for additional food, drinks, rides or anything else unless offered. And remember, even when extras are offered to you, you don’t have to say yes to everything offered. Understand that hosts are doing all that they can to be kind to you and make you feel comfortable, but that they also have lives and jobs to balance while hosting you.
5. Leave a mess
Some Airbnb listings include cleaning fees and some don’t. Either way, don’t be a slob. You’re in another person’s home and you should treat it as such. The best guests wash their dishes, keep their things contained to the room they’re renting, clean up messes they happen to make and put the towels and sheets they used in a pile before leaving.
6. Argue about politics/religion/etc.
I believe it’s polite to not talk about potentially controversial issues in any sort of loaded way before making sure you’re in agreement with the other person. Some Airbnb hosts make their political and religious views clear on their profiles or in their homes. If you are staying with someone who has different beliefs than you do, respect that you are in their home. Avoid conversation on those topics if conversation is going to mean an argument.
7. Use things that aren’t yours to use
Most Airbnb hosts make it clear in the rules section of their listing what you can use and what you can’t. For the things that aren’t so clear, common courtesy should tell you when you need to ask permission before using something in another person’s home. You don’t need to ask permission to get a glass of water. You should ask permission before opening a bottle of wine. You don’t need to ask permission to take a shower. You should ask permission before playing one of the host’s instruments. It should be obvious.
8. Make yourself too at home
Airbnb hosts want you to feel comfortable, not take over their home. The rules regarding this tip are a bit different depending on whether you’re renting an entire place or just a room. But if you’re renting just a room, don’t monopolize the rest of the home. Don’t take naps on the couch, invite your friends over, turn the kitchen table into your personal office, perform a seance or redecorate the place. The home is not yours, you’re just staying in it.
9. Complain unjustly
If you have a serious problem with the space you’re renting through Airbnb, you should talk to the host about it. You deserve to have clean sheets and towels, for instance, and you should address this with your host if you don’t. But don’t complain to your hosts (or in your review) if the neighbors are throwing a party, if you rented a room with a loft bed but are suddenly afraid of heights or if you don’t like cooking with the appliances and other kitchen equipment in the house. Know the difference between a warranted complaint and a petty complaint.
10. Expect hosts to change their lives for you
In case this isn’t clear to you already, it’s not appropriate to expect your Airbnb host to wake up at 5 a.m. to let you in, take you around town, wake up before you in the mornings, be available all day long for conversation, watch your pet while you’re out all day every day (unless a rate for dog-sitting is agreed upon beforehand), do your laundry for you (although if you ask nicely when they are already doing laundry, they might say yes) or drive you to the airport upon departure. Have some manners and understand that you should be grateful for any extraordinary efforts a host makes to accommodate you and reciprocal in generosity when possible.