No matter how hard we try to ensure that a guest is going to be a good fit for our listing, problem guests always seem to all through the cracks.  So we compiled a list of red flags that generally indicate a problem guest might be coming to stay.

  1. They book a multi-room unit and only list 1 person on the reservation.  Sometimes it’s just an oversight, but in my experience people who do this are often trying to hide something and it’s usually too many guests for the property. 
  2. Same city bookings no explanation.  This one always tingles our spidey senses because if you live in the city then why do you need a short term rental?  Sure there are those who want to experience a different neighborhood, just get away from their roommates, or are just having their own place fumigated.  But more often than not these same-city rentals are for parties. Yes, that’s right, folks don’t want to disturb their own home and neighborhood so they get a vacation rental.  So if that’s OK with you then by all means accept the booking, but if parties aren’t allowed at your property then ask a few more questions and maybe politely remind them of the house rules.
  3. No verifications.  I know this one sounds pretty obvious but we’re always cautious about this.  It’s not that we don’t host people without verifications but we just pay a little more attention when we do.
  4. The five question rule.  We generally don’t accept bookings from people who ask more than 5 questions.  Our listings and instructions are pretty thorough so when guests ask too many questions we find that they can often be the types that are just a bit too high maintenance.  Our property isn’t perfect, but it also isn’t priced like it is, so we try and steer clear of guests who are too have expectations that are too high and let them book the perfect places. 
  5. The check-in-late-and-check-out-early discount. One of my pet peeves is people who say they’re going to check in really late and check out really early and ask for a discount.  I just don’t see their thinking here, they are taking the unit off the market and I can’t rent it out any more so it’s just a money loss for me. And if they’re irrational about this then they’re usually irrational about other things too.