September 30, 2016

5 Ways To Prevent Parties at Your Vacation Home

With more people opting to stay in vacation rentals, business is booming. But what if your guests get a little too rowdy? Parties are growing problem in the vacation rental & Airbnb industry.

While parties can be fun for renters, they’re a real nightmare for rental managers and owners. Parties can damage the home, leaving managers, homeowners, or hosts scrambling to clean, do repairs, and bill guests.

Parties can also be a major pain for neighbors who are trying to sleep or otherwise get on with their lives. Complaints to police or zoning committees can result in short-term rental properties being shut down entirely, and they give the short-term rental industry a bad name. As Airbnb hosts, homeowners, & property managers, we need to be in the good neighbor business as well.

Of course, you want your guests to have fun. But where is the line between having fun and being disruptive? How do you make sure that your guests are respectful of quiet hours and the neighbors? How can you prevent the next big kegger being thrown at your vacation home while you are unaware?

Here are a five things you can do to discourage parties at your vacation rental or Airbnb and make sure that your guests respect the property and the neighbors.

1. Set clear expectations before letting guests book a stay.

It’s great to have house rules, but it’s best to be proactive and let your guests know the rules before they book. Big parties at vacation rentals are often pre-planned, so clearly state that parties are not allowed in the listing and define what you consider an unacceptable party. This won’t deter everyone, but it will help.

One thing to note: don’t overdo it! Some vacation rental listings have a massive list of rules, which is a good way to scare off guests (even the non-party-having kind). When you write the listing, make sure you’re clear about the expectations while also being warm and welcoming. Always avoid writing in all-caps on the internet, which is difficult to read and can be interpreted as yelling. There’s no need to yell — just be clear and concise.

2. Vet your guests, & talk to them on the phone.

If you’re consistently having less-than-stellar guests, it might be time to start better screening them & talking to guests on the phone. Before confirming their reservations, get a feel for them, and ask questions to see what kind of guest they will be.

It’s best to ask specific questions, like these:

  • Why are you coming to town?
  • What are your plans?
  • How many people will be staying?
  • Do you plan on having any guests over while you’re staying here?

You can also ask straight out if they are planning on having people over to the house, and remind them that you don’t allow large parties at your property.

They might not be honest with you, but over time you’ll learn to notice red flags.

Also always avoid profiling people based on age, race, gender identity, sexuality, or nationality. Profiling is not only a morally gray area; it can also cost you business, and no one likes to be discriminated against!

Actually having a conversation with the person can really help you determine if they’ll be a good guest without having to resort to stereotypes.

3. Have someone on call who lives nearby.

If you’re managing your vacation rental remotely and you don’t live in the area, it’s crucial to have someone who lives nearby who can go check-in on the property and the guests if a problem arises.

In case of a worst-case-scenario, you don’t want to be stuck in another state or country without any local contacts to do damage control. You want to be ready to fix the problem, immediately.

You can easily pay someone a small but reasonable amount of money to stay on call, but if you have a friend or family member who’s willing to help out for free, even better!

If you don’t know anyone in the area, there’s always the option of using a vacation rental manager who can run your property for you. In addition to taking care of guests, they’ll arrange cleanings and supplies and everything that needs to be taken care of in person.

A good property manager will also make sure you’re getting only the best vacation home guests. As they’re liable for guest damages, property management companies will go through extra hoops to ensure quality guests. Some even have technology to confirm guest identities on various databases & scrape the internet for any mentions of parties, events, etc., that a guest may be holding!

Note from We’re here to help! Want to see how much a property manager could pay you to manage your home? We’ll search our network of 600+ property managers to find the best manager for your home.

4. Use Safely for guest certification and to insure your property.

Safely offers guest certification, meaning they do background checks, checking for things like fraud, felonies, and sex offenders. They also have a database of vacation rental guests that lets them check for rule violations, property damage, and payment issues at other vacation rentals.

Safely also has vacation rental insurance, which protects homeowners and guests for up to $1 million in damage and liability protection. If your vacation rental is usually booked and you’re having consistent issues with guests or damages, this is a great solution to protect yourself and your property.

5. Monitor your property — but not your guests — with Parakeet’s party sensor.

At Parakeet, we’re committed to developing technology that helps homeowners and property managers run their vacation rentals for maximum profit and minimum stress.

As parties are one of the biggest causes of tension in the vacation rental industry, we wanted to build a tool to help our customers with this issue. We are currently developing a party sensor that will be included in our Gateway, free of charge.

The sensor works by monitoring the noise levels on the property. If the noise rises above a pre-set limit, you’ll get a text notification, allowing you to take control of the situation and curb any problems before they get out of hand. Unlike a camera, the sensor does not listen to or watch your guests — it just monitors the noise level, so your guests can enjoy their privacy, and you can relax, knowing that you’ll be alerted if any problems arise.

Perhaps the biggest cause of strife in the vacation rental industry is disrespectful guests and upset neighbors. Even though you may not live there, it’s still important to respect the neighborhood and the neighbors by making sure that your guests respect them.

Set clear expectations about noise and how many people are allowed on the property, talk to your guests before they book, and trust your instincts.

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