Beware of AirBnb on 30+Day Stays, Guests Can Leave Early

33 Replies

@Bob Mueller Jr. I'm purchasing my first property which is a triplex using an FHA loan which also does not allow for short term rentals ( < 30 days ). Looking at the rates other properties in the area are renting for using Airbnb and VRBO, I have considered doing monthly rentals instead of finding long term tenants. Any suggestions or insights besides early cancellation?

@Justin Stark With the STR 30+, I think you'll find pricing is very important and you need to look at the big picture in order to stay booked. For example, my house would easily get $200-250/night if I could do 5, 7, 10 day minimums. However, for someone looking to book 30+ $200-250/night will not make sense. I started at $159/night but didn't get bookings until I got down to $129/night. It's way, way less than I would get with a 3/5/7 day minimum, yes, but it's still worth it for me. Bottomline, be prepared to get more aggressive on your nightly rate if you have to do 30+. Don't look at the 3/5/7 day properties and think you'll be able to match their nightly rate, you will likely be much lower.

Why don't you post in the rules section in AirBnB and description that states you require a signed lease for any stays longer than 30 days or the reservation will be cancelled.  State in the lease that all payments will go through AirBnB.  Give them 7 days to sign and return the contract.  This supersedes AirBnB policies and if a guest refuses to sign you can call AirBnB and they will cancel it without penalizing your account since its listed in the description.  

The key is having a signed lease.  This gives you the control and takes it away from AirBnB.  Then, if they cancel, you can file a small claims case and collect.  

Originally posted by @Mike V. :

Why don't you post in the rules section in AirBnB and description that states you require a signed lease for any stays longer than 30 days or the reservation will be cancelled.  State in the lease that all payments will go through AirBnB.  Give them 7 days to sign and return the contract.  This supersedes AirBnB policies and if a guest refuses to sign you can call AirBnB and they will cancel it without penalizing your account since its listed in the description.  

The key is having a signed lease.  This gives you the control and takes it away from AirBnB.  Then, if they cancel, you can file a small claims case and collect.  

I will look in this again, but I'm 99% sure AirBnb does not allow rental agreements to be added to listings---you must play by AirBnb rules.  VRBO, however, does allow supplemental rental agreements.  I have my first VRBO guest moving in next week, if I have a better experience with VRBO I might just go away from AirBnb or only use AirBnb when I absolutely have to.  

@Bob Mueller Jr. you cannot add it like VRBO, but you can copy and paste it into the house rules which Airbnb requires guests to agree to at the time of booking.

Simply put in there you require guests to sign a written lease for all stays of 30+ days or the reservation will be cancelled within 7 days.

If it’s in the house rules Airbnb will be on your side. I know several people who do this.

Then after they make the reservation you can e-mail it to them to sign or have them esign.

This is a few additional steps but very much possible and legal.

@Bob Mueller Jr.

Received this update this morning from AirBnb,

Hi Mike,

Starting on August 19th, guests who book long-term stays will have 48 hours after booking to cancel and get a full refund.

This grace period includes features that protect hosts:

  • No full refunds for trips canceled less than 28 days before check-in
  • Guests can’t book 2 different listings at the same time and get a full refund on both
  • You can hide your address, phone number, and last name until the grace period ends

Adding a grace period to short-term stays led to more successful bookings for hosts. We’ll add it gradually to all long-term listings to make sure that hosts like you get the same benefits.

We're excited to continue working with you and other hosts to create a better long-term stay experience.

Thanks for being a host,

The Airbnb Team

I have a property that I have a 7-night minimum and get many folks that stay longer than 30 days. As such, I'm familiar with the policy. It's telling when they only disburse monies for 30 days at a time. Thankfully no one has left early. In fact, they end up extending their stay and we deal off-platform -- saves them some money and I keep more in my pocket. 

In my market, Kauai, the average stay is 1 week, with occupancy hovering around 77%. There are condos and townhomes here that have a 30-day minimum, Villas on the Prince is the one that comes to my mind. Not sure if there are similar issues occurring here, but it's good for me to keep in mind for my clients. Thank you for posting this.