Thinking about using Airbnb or a similar short-term rental service? Well here’s how to really piss off your host. If you’re looking for bad reviews and a definite thumbs down (meaning you’ll have a hard time renting from that service again) then just follow these ten tips.
Want to be a perfect guest? Then do the exact opposite.
NUMBER ONE: ASK FOR A DISCOUNT IN YOUR FIRST MESSAGE
Hosts tend to price their rentals as low as they can whilst still covering their costs plus make a little bit on top. They’re not hotels. They’re not huge corporations. They’re not millionaires. If you ask for a discount then you’re going to piss off your potential host right away.
General host wisdom, rightly or wrongly, maintains that guests who ask for discounts are trouble. Note that many hosts offer discounts for stays of seven days or more – this is applied at time of booking. If you can’t afford the listing, move on and find somewhere that suits your budget.
NUMBER TWO: DON’T DISCLOSE WHO’S GOING ALONG WITH YOU
There are two of you, plus your three-year-old and your dog. You’re all four of you going on this trip. So to annoy hosts to the max, be sure to choose a place that has a maximum occupancy of two people (yes, children are people too), that doesn’t allow children and doesn’t allow pets. Say there’ll just be two adults. Sneaky but so what?
Sneak your child and dog into the rental. Chances are that you host has surveillance cameras outside the property that will expose your cheating ways but what the hell, eh?
NUMBER THREE: BE SURE NOT TO COMMUNICATE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS
Some hosts are right there on site. Others are at work in their ‘ordinary’ job or they live a few miles away from the place you’ll be renting. So the chances are that the host will leave home (or work) and be waiting for you to let you in at check-in time. But you don’t care, do you?
After all, you’re paying them. You saw in the listing that check in is at 4 pm but your flight gets in at noon so that’s when you’ll go to your accommodation, right? Host not there? Call them and pester them.
NUMBER FOUR: STOP FOR DINNER OR TO SIGHTSEE ON YOUR WAY, THEN TURN UP LATE FOR CHECK-IN
Okay so your host has asked you what time you plan to arrive and that they’ll meet you at check-in time, 4 pm. But on the way, you see a tourist attraction that you’d really like to explore. It doesn’t matter that your host will be waiting for you does it? Or maybe there’s a really good (cheap probably, knowing you) place to stop to eat? Go ahead.
Your host will be waiting for you but that’s their look out right? Similarly, even if the delay isn’t your fault – the flight is delayed or the traffic is bad – don’t even think about your poor host waiting for you. Sure, it would be so easy to send them a message to let them know but what the hell, it’s your vacation.
NUMBER FIVE: DON’T BOTHER TO REPORT ISSUES TO YOUR HOST
So you’re settled into your accommodation and it seems just fine. You’ve sneaked your kid and your dog in with no problems. But there are only two towels for your ‘two people’/ two-night stay. And hey, that lightbulb in the bedside lamp isn’t working.
Don’t contact your host and ask for a couple of extra towels and a spare lightbulb. No way. You know your rights. Call Airbnb and demand a refund or wait until after your stay and leave a rotten review. Just don’t to give your host the chance to help you. After all, if you’re lucky you might get a regfund. (You won’t, but that’s what people think).
NUMBER SIX: BE SURE TO DEMAND ANYTHING YOU MIGHT NEED AND DON’T BOTHER TO READ & OBEY HOUSE RULES
You’re renting a private room in your host’s home. Although the listing and house rules say that there’s no kitchen use, feel free to ignore that. Help yourself to the host’s kitchen – and the food in the host’s fridge if you feel like it.
Most hosts, even if you’re sharing a bathroom, will supply basics such as shampoo and soap. This was outlined in the listing. But you want body scrub and conditioner? Maybe a loofah or bubble bath? Then demand them, the customer is always right of course.
NUMBER SEVEN: DON’T WORRY ABOUT MAKING A MESS – IT’S NOT YOUR PLACE AFTER ALL
Hey, you’re on vacation. Normal household cleaning and tidiness rules don’t apply on vacation, do they? And remember, when you booked this Airbnb you paid a cleaning fee, right? Sure, hosts call that a ‘preparation fee’ and say it was to get the place ready for you but you’re not daft. You know that the host has to clean up after you.
So don’t do the dishes, be sure to wipe your dirty feet on the crisp white towels, let your child break the TV remote, if your dog pees on the carpet that’s just human (canine then) nature … who is in charge here, after all?
NUMBER EIGHT: BE SURE TO COMPLAIN IF THE LOCATION DOESN’T SUIT YOU – PREFERABLY IN THE REVIEW TOO
Now that you’re in your accommodation, you realise that it’s a mile to the beach and to buy anything at all, you have to call a cab or an Uber. This isn’t what you wanted at all. You have a kid, for crying out loud, so you need to be near to the beach and a convenience store. What a dreadful place this is.
Luckily, when you come to review the place, you’re offered the chance to mark it for ‘location’. Give it just one star – the location is terrible. Despite the fact that the location was clearly described in the listing and ignoring the fact that you chose it, you can make sure that you give the place a really bad star rating for location.
NUMBER NINE: CHECK OUT LATE WITHOUT LEAVING THE PLACE IN GOOD SHAPE
Remember your mantra – you’ve paid for the place and the customer is always right. Because you didn’t fully read the listing then you were surprised to get a message from your host saying that check out time is 11 am. Well, screw that. Your flight isn’t until 9 in the evening and you can’t hang around the airport with your luggage and kid and dog all day. No, you’ll just stay right here in the accommodation you paid for.
Actually, you only paid for it until check out time and you should have made plans for the rest of the day knowing that you have an evening flight. Sure, the host has another guest coming into your rental at 4 pm but half an hour should be fine for him/her to get the place ready, right? Or let them wait.
NUMBER TEN: LEAVE AN INACCURATE REVIEW
Despite the fact that the host waited to check you in until you arrived at your leisure, despite the fact that he/she turned a blind eye to your kid and dog, despite the fact that you were an appalling guest who constantly tried the patience of your host and despite the fact that you got accommodation for yourself, your partner, your kid and your dog ar a fraction of the price you’d pay for a hotel, be sure to leave a rotten review.
It’s just what twats like you do.
Congratulations. If you follow the instructions above you can guarantee that you’ll soon be unable to rent anywhere using an online service. Be aware that we hosts club together to share information so there are a lot of us who know all about you and your horrible habits.
Avoid the above, get great reviews and leave the place in great shape and your hosts will love you forever.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.