Should you use airbnb?
I signed up to AirBnb with good intentions. I would join a travel community. I would welcome people. I would make money.
What went wrong for me is that I forgot about the top lock on my front door. You know, that lock that you never lock? That one.
My second mistake is that I forgot that my spare keys didn’t have a key to this top lock so when I handed over the keys in good faith, I totally forgot to tell the renters that a) don’t bother locking the top lock, and b) there’s no key for it.
Subsequently, I received a series of calls from the renters when I was in the middle of an important work event telling me that they’d locked themselves out. I spent the next hour on the phone (and $190 for a locksmith) sorting it out. Now, there was a ladder, the window was open and they could’ve easily gotten in but the third part of this sad story is that these people were a*sholes.
I concede that the first two mistakes were mine but it was the attitude of the people staying in my home – my tiny sanctuary – that really made the whole thing suck.
I’d made a huge effort to leave everything perfect; left a bottle of wine out, bought milk and bread, wrote a friendly note, but when it came to us behaving like humans – as per the AirBnb tagline of ‘travel like a human’ – my guests were completely obnoxious.
Now, we were both first timers. They’d never used the service and I’d never rented my place out so I imagine next time would be better.
However, I strongly recommend you only rent out your spare room (not your own bedroom), double check the keys before you leave, leave a list of house rules including who is expected to pay for locksmiths and you make sure a friend who is in town has a full set of spare keys.
Have you used AirBnb? What did you think?