Are you renting your home on AirBnB or any other short-term rental platforms? This experience should be all about meeting great people and making a few extra bucks. Sadly, letting strangers into your home can sometimes turn into a nightmare, like for these Montreal or Calgary hosts. Read our 35 tips to prevent any loss or bad experience.

Be compliant with your local regulation

1.    Make sure your short-term rental activity is legal. Read our article about the latest regulations.

Get the right insurance

2.    Don’t rely only on the AirBnB Host Guarentee. It’s not insurance, it’s not enough. Read our article to understand what the AirBnB Host guarantees are really about.
3.    Get a quote from APRIL, the first insurer to cover your specific needs as an short-term host. A lot of non-specialist insurers would decline or non renew due to the increased risk exposure.
4.    Consider getting coverage theft and vandalism caused by your guests. 

Select your guests

To avoid a misfortune like these Canadian hosts, take the time to select your guests.

Do a background check

5.    Google your guest’s name & phone number.
6.    Check social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc…
7.    Read reviews about your guest (if available).
8.    For AirBnB, request Government ID to be verified, if not already on Guest’s profile.

Feel free to profile your guests

9.      Trust your intuition: If you don’t feel right about a reservation, don’t accept it! 
10.    Ask the reason of stay in your home, the total number of guests…
11.    Consider having an age minimum to rent your home.

Engage with your guests

12.    Exchange emails or talk over the phone to get a sense of their character.
13.    Avoid accepting last minute bookings.
 

Prepare your guests’ arrival

Secure your belongings

14.    Install locks on doors of rooms / closets you don’t want your guests to access.
15.    Store your most precious belongings away from your home:

  • Cash  / Electronics,
  • Jewelry / Arts,
  • Wine / Items with personal value

Make your home safe

16.    For babies & children

  • Keep your household cleaning products / medicine securely stored & out of reach.
  • Install removable safety gates for stairs.

17.    Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor; as well as fire extinguisher
18.    Remove any hazards that might cause guests to trip or fall, or mark these areas clearly.
19.    If you have a pool, install a fence all around it.

Document all around your home

With little signs around your home or in your House Manual:
20.    The Do’s & Don’ts: 

  • No smoking in the house / No partying…
  • Maintain heating at 17°C at least / Take off shoes before entering…

21.    How to use / Where to find:

  • How to use the spa / the barbecue / the woodstove…
  • Where is the water shutoff valve / fire extinguisher…

Welcome your guests

Be there (or have someone you trust) to welcome your guests

22.    Check their ID:

  • Make sure it’s the same person who has done the booking
  • Ideally you would take a photo of it

23.    Take the time to explain the basics of your home (Do’s & Don’ts, How to use / Where to find)
24.    Share again your contact details if there’s any problem or question (and be available!)

Feel free to have your own rules

25.    Secure a deposit before the rental:

  • Make sure the credit card / check is valid 
  • Verify that the credit card belongs to the person who has done the booking

26.    Have the guests sign a rental agreement.
27.    Ask the guests if they have personal liability insurance.
28.    Be clear as to per what is expected from the guests before they leave (level of cleaning, lock all windows & doors, turn off the A/C….)
 

Bid your guests farewell

Check your home quickly before the guest leaves

29.    Is everything in order
30.    Is anything missing?
31.    Any damage to your property?
32.    Did they forget anything in one of the rooms?
 

If damages were done / rules weren’t respected

33.    Decide whether you just rate / review badly the guest
34.    Or if you keep the deposit partly or totally
35.    If bigger actions need to be taken such as report to the police, insurance claim. To report a claim, please contact us.