Running a successful Airbnb vacation rental property can be rewarding and lucrative, but it certainly has its difficulties. From unruly guests to inclement weather to unhappy neighbors, many things can threaten the well-being of your business.
One of the most challenging of these is working with the neighbors.
In this article, we will be taking a deep dive into neighbor complaints: how to avoid them and how to handle issues that arise. Are you ready? Let’s go.
What sort of issues can lead to a complaint?
While you may not be on-site that often, the neighbors of your short-term rental property will always be there. They are the ones who will be present during any issues that may arise, which means they are going to be repeatedly impacted by your guests. Most people are not entirely comfortable with having strangers around their homes.
Below are some of the top issues that can cause your neighbors to complain:
- Parking Problems: If your Airbnb rental is anywhere close to neighbors, you may run into the issue of parking. Guests, if not correctly instructed, may take up the parking space belonging to the neighbor. They could also block driveways and have additional people over, which takes up more parking space.
- Excessive Noise: No one enjoys being next door to an obnoxious party or a home full of screeching kids. While you may not intend for your space to become that, it can happen. Whether your guests are loud talkers, celebrating an occasion, or tend to move heavily, your neighbors can be impacted and take issue.
- Safety: These are strangers who are coming into your neighbor’s space. If your guests are rude, unpleasant, or aggressive, your neighbors may feel unsafe and uncomfortable in their own homes.
More potential complaint-causing occasions could arise, but these are generally the big ones.
How can these negatively impact your Airbnb?
These complaints can negatively impact your business, both in big and small ways.
- Direct Complaints: If they are unhappy with something happening at your vacation rental, the neighbors could begin to complain directly to you. This may include phone calls, emails, or confronting you when you come by the house to check-in. This is usually the first step if there is an issue, and if the problem is unresolved, they may feel they cannot trust you and decide to take additional steps.
- Complaints to Airbnb: A second step of action would be to report you and your space to Airbnb. There is a section of the platform called Neighborhood Support where people can voice concerns, after which Airbnb would take time to review and get in touch with you as the owner. If there are multiple reports of problems or complications, Airbnb could ultimately decide to suspend your listing.
- Legal Actions: If the previous steps fail to provide a solution, the neighbor could decide to look into local municipal regulations to see if your property has broken them, such as noise codes, and call the police. They could even go as far as to take you to small claims court, though this is generally a last resort since it requires time and money.
What can you do to prevent or fix complaints?
As you can see, neighbor complaints could potentially be detrimental to your Airbnb business. That is why you should get ahead of any problems that may arise and resolve them as quickly as possible. Being proactive and communicating with your neighbors goes a long way to avoiding conflicts.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your Airbnb runs smoothly.
- Introduce Yourself: When you open up your short-term rental, take the time to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Offer them a small gift, such as a snack, and have a quick conversation. Get to know them, let them know what your business is, and ask them if they have any boundaries you should be aware of. Once you start receiving bookings, keep your neighbors informed about upcoming guests and leave yourself open to their concerns.
- Prohibit Parties: Keeping clear specific rules about parties and events helps to minimize noise-related problems. Parties can bring complications, such as extra guests, loud music, and general disruption. Clearly state your house rules in your listing and guidebook so that guests know how to behave when they are staying.
- Embrace Tech: There is a plethora of tools and software that Airbnb owners can add to their homes to help moderate noise levels remotely, such as Minut and NoiseAware. They will notify you and your guests if the noise levels rise past the acceptable range, and tell them to lower it.
- Screen Potential Guests: Check out potential guest ratings to see how they are rated by past hosts. Make sure their profiles stand up to scrutiny. If they have poor communication skills, an incomplete profile, or any other red flags, it may be safer to turn them down as guests. It’s better to have a small loss of revenue than a problem guest who may damage your rental property and disturb your neighbors.
- Make an effort: If any problems do occur and neighbors reach out to you, make every effort to listen to their concerns and make changes that will improve the experience for everyone.
A common theme that you may have noticed is anticipating problems. If you know what a neighbor may become irritated by, you can take steps to prevent these issues from happening in the first place. Your neighbors did not choose to deal with the hustle and bustle of Airbnb guests. If you consider your neighbors when setting up your property, it shows respect and helps to minimize potential problems. Make sure that you can remain successful in your business by keeping those around your rental property happy. Remember: happy neighbors mean happy guests.