New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year. And last year there were over 3 million guests staying in Airbnbs across the globe on that night. But invariably, after every New Year’s Eve, there are also stories of guests trashing their rental. However, there’s no reason to let a few bad apples spoil the celebration!
During this busy season, as a host you just want to make sure that your guests have a good time—and keep your property safe, sound, and undamaged. So here are some tips to help you navigate this important holiday for rental hosts.
New Year’s Eve is the busiest time of year for short-term rental hosts
Let’s meet Emma and Ben!
Emma and Ben began renting out their place this past February. So far, they’ve done well. In less than one year they achieved a Superhost status on Airbnb with 5-star ratings from all their guests.
The couple also planned on being out of town for the holidays this year. Ben liked the idea of renting their place out for New Year’s Eve. Emma wasn’t so sure about the idea.
Ben pointed out that last New Year’s Eve was the biggest night for Airbnb group stays in the company’s nine-year history. Over 3 million people had booked places to stay. This year New Year’s Eve is on a Monday and a lot of people would be taking advantage of the long weekend. Ben was sure the demand would be strong, and they could raise their rate for the New Year’s Eve weekend.
Emma agreed they could use the extra money, especially since they were going on holiday themselves. But she’d heard quite a few horror stories about Airbnb hosts having problem guests on New Years, with hosts finding out after the fact that they didn’t have the right insurance for their vacation rental.
How to avoid problem guests
So far Emma and Ben hadn’t had any problems with their guests. But they decided that if they were going to rent their place out for New Year’s Eve, they would play it safe.
Guest reviews and ratings
Emma and Ben decided to pay a lot more attention to what previous hosts had to say about guests that wanted to book. If there was any indication that prospective guests wouldn’t behave, the couple could simply decline the reservation request.
Considering pausing Instant Booking
Instant booking allows guests to book right away, without the host having a chance to vet the guest. Emma and Ben thought they might turn off instant booking until after New Year’s. Although Emma did concede that once they did get short-term rental insurance she’d be much more open to turning instant booking back on because she’d feel protected.
How to make it easy for your New Year’s Eve guests to have fun and still play by your rules
Emma and Ben didn’t want to make it too hard for their guests to book with them for New Year’s weekend, but they still wanted to play it safe.
First, they put together a special New Year’s Eve guest book
They included specific party rules and stressed the importance of being good neighbours. Their guest book also included recommendations on places to go to ring in the New Year, contact numbers for local taxis, and emergency phone numbers.
Next, they stocked the refrigerator and kitchen
Plenty of water in the refrigerator would make it easier for their guests to stay hydrated. Coffee and tea in the kitchen would also help their guests perk up, so to speak, the morning after their New Year celebration.
They also documented everything before and after
Emma and Ben put together a detailed checklist they would use to inspect their place. Their checklist included everything from counting towels to looking for scratches and stains. They also took plenty of pictures of their place.
Short-term rental insurance to cover what Airbnb and other platforms don’t
After a bit of research, Emma and Ben discovered that the Airbnb Host Guarantee and Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance may not provide them with all the protection they were looking for. For example:
- If a guest damages something, it’s often up to the host to try and get the guest to reimburse them. Emma couldn’t even imagine how difficult it would be to get a guest to pay for damage after they’d gone home
- Hosts are usually required to report damage from a previous guest before a new guest checks in. Emma and Ben often had back-to-back bookings, so it would be difficult to meet these restrictions
- The Airbnb Host Guarantee often doesn’t pay the replacement cost of appliances or electronics. That means the big screen TV they’d paid $2,000 for last year might only have an “actual cash value” of $1,000 if it were to get damaged
That’s why the couple agreed that before they accepted any more guests they would definitely get short-term rental insurance.
Duuo specializes in short-term insurance for vacation rentals
Fortunately, Emma and Ben discovered duuo, a company that specializes in insuring short-term vacation rental properties on popular platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway, and CanadaStays. Duuo offers easy online claims processing and covers things that the rental platforms and standard home insurance policies don’t.
While Ben updated their listing for New Year’s Eve, Emma immediately got in touch with Duuo.