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 Post subject: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
So I'm planning on renting out my spare room through Airbnb until my friend can move in this autumn, and was wondering if anyone on here had any experiences or advice they could share about being an Airbnb host?

It will be a vegan listing as my flat is entirely vegan, and I'm not sure yet if that will be an advantage or disadvantage! I know that I would love to stay in a vegan place when travelling given the choice. I do live in a popular tourist city too, so I guess that will help. I'm planning on offering a basic breakfast of cereals, toast, juice and fruit.

If you've got any experiences of being an Airbnb host I'd love to hear from you :)

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:59 pm 
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My husband and I are starting and air bnb as well. We pretty much have no idea what we're getting into, so I hope someone else with more experience will chime in!

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:08 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:06 pm
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I'm not a host, but I have a friend who is and I've stayed in his place and a few others. I would just say to err on the side of caution and rent to folks with previous reviews. Also, make everything painfully obvious in the listing and house guide. For example, we closed the keys inside a place when we left, because the welcome info didn't specify. Turns out the host didn't want us to do that and he had to leave work to let cleaners in. It caused him a ton if hassle, but could have been addressed ahead of time.

I'm not sure how the vegan-only listing will go for you. Have you searched your area to see if there are other listings with similar criteria? Vegan, but also veg, kosher, halal, etc. It might be worth looking at how those hosts address the issue.

As a vegan, I might be worried about staying in a place that is veg only for fear that I'm not vegan enough. I am, but what if I have a second-hand leather belt? Or my toothpaste turns out to be not vegan? I'm not saying you would, but I might be afraid of offending the vegan police inadvertently and making everything awkward! Maybe you could address that concern in your listing?

Also, check the laws where you live. Airbnb is pretty tolerated at the moment, but some states in the US are cracking down on services like this (also uber and lift), because they exist outside of normal regulations. Might be worth making sure you aren't exposing yourself to any serious liability.


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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Definitely check your local rules! I know there are big issues over in NYC and here in SF it's become an all-out war. Given that you are only doing this short-term until your long-term tenant can move in, and you're simply listing a spare room in your house for what I assume will be a modest/reasonable amount of money, it's probably not a big deal. But CYA just in case!

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:12 pm 
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my in laws in upstate NY do this.
they have a room in their house they made up as an airbnb room and they seem to really enjoy it.

they find it really interesting the different kinds of people that come and they can chat with and i think they include a homemade breakfast in their price.

they have not had any horror stories maybe just a couple funny/harmless ones.

i personally think it sounds like my worst nightmare having strangers come stay in my house but they enjoy it.

they dont get tons of people because of their location but have been successful with the ones they have had.

edit: also listing it as vegan may cut dramatically down on the number of potential renters. you would need a vegan looking for a place right in your area.

so i guess you would have to decide if you are open to saying that you keep it vegan and welcome vegans/vegetarians but are open to people bringing none vegan things in. (not sure if you would be allowing people to cook or if you are just looking for people who need a night here and there and would probably be going out to eat anyways)

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:23 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Definitely check your local rules! I know there are big issues over in NYC and here in SF it's become an all-out war. Given that you are only doing this short-term until your long-term tenant can move in, and you're simply listing a spare room in your house for what I assume will be a modest/reasonable amount of money, it's probably not a big deal. But CYA just in case!



there are all these subway ads for AirBnB saying that new yorkers support it or air bnb is good for new york, stuff like that. I'd probably use air bnb before i'd use uber, which is also a big controversy here. I really don't think I'd ever use Uber in NYC. Maybe in another city without the same public transportation/taxi service we have, but it's already scary enough for me getting in a car with a strange man who is a licensed taxi driver. getting a ride from a strange man in his own car when i don't fully understand the rules freaks me out so much! (sorry, super off topic)

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:43 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Definitely check your local rules! I know there are big issues over in NYC and here in SF it's become an all-out war. Given that you are only doing this short-term until your long-term tenant can move in, and you're simply listing a spare room in your house for what I assume will be a modest/reasonable amount of money, it's probably not a big deal. But CYA just in case!



there are all these subway ads for AirBnB saying that new yorkers support it or air bnb is good for new york, stuff like that. I'd probably use air bnb before i'd use uber, which is also a big controversy here. I really don't think I'd ever use Uber in NYC. Maybe in another city without the same public transportation/taxi service we have, but it's already scary enough for me getting in a car with a strange man who is a licensed taxi driver. getting a ride from a strange man in his own car when i don't fully understand the rules freaks me out so much! (sorry, super off topic)


I feel the same way. For some reason AirBnB seems "safer" in my head than Uber. I noticed those subway ads when I was there and I hope that means that eventually they will come to a compromise about the laws. I just think of that horror story from the AirBnB host in California who had someone stay at her place for a month and now, because of the way the rental laws are there, she has to evict the guy because he won't leave. Saw that on Apartment Therapy...I'll try to find the link. It sounds like a crazy, one-off story, but an example of how the laws haven't caught up nonetheless!


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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:52 pm 
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I've stayed in a lot of AirBnB places and some things that have been awesome that Hosts have done are:

-Had snacks on hand in the kitchen that were clearly open for my use. One place even made homemade blueberry muffins for us and left them in the kitchen (they weren't vegan, but my husband ate them and I really appreciated the gesture.) There were bananas and berries and juice and various other things left in the kitchen for our use. Breakfast things are awesome and I def. would have jumped at a vegan listing in a city I was looking to stay in!

-A comfy mattress. This one place had a nice thick memory foam cover on the mattress that was amazing at the end of the day.

-A note with some local recommendations. A host left a really nice letter to us with rules of the house and explaining any things that might have been "weird" with the house (ex. back door sticks sometimes, how to operate heat/AC, etc.) and had some local restaurant, store, etc. recommendations.

-I like the places that just have a bowl on a table in a common entryway for me to leave the keys when I'm done. I don't really like to interact with hosts that much and prefer to come/go as I want, so I appreciated a clear place to leave the keys. I've also used those little lock-boxes that you can put outside with a combination that they emailed ahead of time, that held the key, so I didn't feel weird about arriving late or super-early.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:26 pm 
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Yes to almost everything My Zoetrope said! I too don't like to interact with hosts so I like to be left alone and for the hosts to leave me a list of rules and things to know and to have a place to leave the keys and what-not. Leaving snacks (and clearly marking that they are for guests) is great as is having dedicated fridge space. When I travel I like to buy some thing for breakfasts and snacks and it's great to have a spot in the fridge where I know it's okay to leave my stuff.

As for the vegan thing, when I book an AirBnB place I'm primarily concerned about location/price. If I had to choose between a non-veg place in a perfect location (for me and my trip) and a vegan place in an area that wouldn't work out so well for me, I'd pick the non-veg place. It doesn't really bother me to stay in a non-veg place at all. Just some (vegan) food for thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbnb Hosts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:07 am 
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I have my first guests arriving this weekend! Exciting :) They are vegans and I'm taking on board lots of the things being mentioned here, thanks.

As far as people being interested in staying goes, I've had quite a lot of enquiries already plus the one confirmed booking. I only need to let it out for about 6-7 nights a month to make enough to cover what I would normally get in rent from someone staying there permanently, so anything else is a bonus.

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