Hosting Airbnb guests is a good way to earn money, but it’s important to make safety a priority. This applies to the people who stay there or course, but if you live in part of the property there’s a whole other level of privacy and security that you should be concerned about. You’ll want to have certain measures in place beforehand, and will also need to explain your living situation to your guests during the booking process; last-minute surprises are never a good idea.
Start With Open Communication
Airbnb has a webpage on their site that lists safety tips for their hosts in the booking phase. Guests should only pay and communicate through Airbnb’s messaging system; many hosts use regular email and texting, but this isn’t always a good idea. Research potential guest profiles and reviews, and request that they verify their identities with a government ID like a driver’s license, passport or visa.
Have a set of house rules and a guest manual that includes things like whether or not pets or smoking is allowed, how to run the dishwasher, where to put the trash and recyclables and which areas are off-limits. If you will be there, you’ll also want to communicate this to them through the Airbnb messaging service. And remember, you’ll also want to stay out of their way unless there is a specific need or they ask you to come by; always check with them first.
Keeping Your Airbnb Safe
You can install a security system for off-limits areas in your Airbnb, as explained by Fing.com. You’ll need to use ones that fit in with Airbnb’s policy; they prohibit intentionally concealed recording devices or ones that observe private spaces such as sleeping areas, bathrooms and bedrooms. Hosts have to indicate the presence of all their cameras and recording devices on their listings, and must disclose when active recordings are taking place.
You are allowed to install security systems that have motion sensors that will notify you when guests enter off-limit areas like your bedroom. Look for ones that easy to arm and disarm remotely; some allow you to connect wireless devices like window sensors, too. You’ll want to let the guests know about the system as an added safety measure, because they won’t want to encroach on your space or walk in on you unexpectedly. It’s also a good idea to put up signs on doors, but look for nicer, permanent ones that can be hung up instead of messy, handwritten ones.
Other Important Safety Measures for Airbnb Hosts
The Points Guy shares some other important safety recommendations for Airbnb hosts, whether or not they live in their rentals. There must be smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the rental and when a smoke detector goes off, you should receive an alert and so should a monitoring company. It’s also smart to have an emergency exit plan, and to keep it in a highly visible place like on a bulletin board in the kitchen. And if you won’t be sharing the house with your guests, remember to drive by once a day or ask someone to do it for you; property managers can be hired to do this.
Having comprehensive home and vacation rental insurance is also very important for Airbnb hosts. Things can get broken and people get injured, and as an owner or renter the repairs or replacement can come out of your own pocket if you’re not prepared. Check with your insurance provider, and look into Airbnb’s Host Protection program that can cover up to $1 million for damage and injury claims (with plenty of exclusions, just like other insurance policies; always read the fine print).
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