Airbnb 1st time rental wants $ back for slow water pressure

14 Replies

I we during the property next to us into an air BNB and rented it out for a month Two weeks after we posted the property.    Wasn't expecting and in the middle of Michigan in the Winter and it has been a learning experience.   The renters Have said a few times if you take care of us will take care of you. Which makes me very leery. On Friday they contacted air BNB and said there  was mold, construction happening, and low water pressure.   We immediately went over to investigate.   The only issue is low water pressure in the kitchen.   We have called a plumber and I let them know.  They now want compensation as its intruding on their months holiday. They got a great deal, about $35 a night (I'm learning) What should I do?

@Luann Renteria I'm not experienced with Airbnb, but I do have some experience in the hospitality industry.  Nowadays, it's often easier to give a slight credit to a customer than it is to fight with them and then have them post negative information about you and your business online.  How much of a credit are they looking for?  If it's a nominal amount, it might be easier just giving it to them.  Was the low water pressure something that you were aware of before you listed the property for rent?

Unscrew the sinks aerator.  There is probably some calcium build up or other debris in the aerator.  If that does fix it, there could be some debris in the valve where the handle is.  Just shut off the water supply and disassemble the valves.  
One of my 2 story houses had that problem.  If someone was using water downstairs, the shower in the upstairs bathroom would get no water.  Turns out the main water valve by the meter wasn't turned on completely.  You should be able to fix this yourself.  If you can't, you need to get out of the STR business.

@Luann Renteria If you’ve got them staying in there for 2 months at $35 per night with no lease you’ve got a much bigger problem than low water pressure on your hands. 

Just get the water pressure fixed and hope they leave when their time is up. Otherwise you’re off to court. 

Sometimes you just have to be firm.  Last week I rented out a place to a welder doing an emergency repair job at a refinery.  He called me the 2nd night and said the place was haunted.  He'd set something down and he'd go back and it wouldn't be there.  I told him he needs to keep the place clean, and that spirit only comes out when people are messy or dirty.  He said he'd spend the night but was going to leave the next day.  He left, I offered him no refund since he brought the problem upon himself.  A previous tenant of that apartment did die there about 2 years ago.

I would offer a small credit and get the pressure fixed asap.

low pressure in the sink doesn't seem like a big deal to me. It would be a bigger deal if it were the shower.

I would try and talk with this renter in person or on the phone to help with these concerns. People who have met you in person are much less likely to be a jerk.

If the mold and construction is bothering them, tell them that they are free to leave and have no obligation to stay there any further.  Then get some non-whiney tenants.

How does this sound?  

Unfortunately, with an older house it is not going to be perfect and issues are going to happen. I feel as a host, I am doing due diligence by calling the plumber to fix the issue. We do not feel slow cold water pressure at the kitchen sink calls for compensation. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

When low pressure is limited to a certain area, it's most likely a clogged aerator, the water faucet, or the supply line under the sink. A plumber can easily fix that.

What should you do? Get a plumber to fix it. If the plumber can't fix it, offer to let them out without penalty.

Odds are, anyone paying $35 a night probably doesn't have the money to hire an attorney and sue but they may very well try to threaten you. Be kind, be responsive, try to get through this situation and get them out.

Correct me if I'm wrong, the average utility bill in the winter is probably $300. I assume you include TV and internet for another $100 or more. Then you have taxes, the cost of furnishing the place, AirBnB fees, etc. At $35 a night, you could rent this for the entire month and probably gross $500 or less. If you rented it out to a long-term tenant, you wouldn't have all those expenses and would probably net twice as much, at least during the winter months. Something to think about.

Hey @Luann Renteria , that language to the guest seems reasonable, but I have to agree with @Nathan G. on this. If you are only getting $35 a night, for a whole place, that seems incredibly cheap.

I am sorry, but it was hard to follow your first post, but is this a filler time for you or is this the normal rate all year round?

I don't know how to do the @ thing so...we bought this property as it has lake access and its right next door, like really close.  We didn't want to take the chance of crappy neighbors or crappy long term renters hence going Airbnb.  Plus the tax write offs.    I chose Airbnb as we do that when we travel and really enjoy it.  I gave a big monthly discount thinking I wouldn't have to change the sheets and clean as often.  The kicker was the 1st 3 people that booked got an additional 30% off, hence the very low price.That has since changed going forward so it was a learning curve.  It is winter and I was truly surprised that it rented.  These renters have nit picked everything.   

@Luann Renteria   Even with a 30% discount, $35 a night is really cheap.  Get the plumber out as you said and cc AirBNB on your correspondence.  I've guessing there is no construction or mold and they made that part up.  Tell them you already gave them a discount plus 30% off, so there is no further discount; they are free to break their contract and find another place to stay.

For future reference, those that talk a lot are a problem.  As you said when they said "if you take care of us will take care of you", a big red flag should have gone up.