Photo: AlesiaKan/Shutterstock

9 Weird and Humorous Things You Can Expect as an Airbnb Host

Digital Nomad
by Hannah D. Cooper Feb 29, 2024

Renting out a property on Airbnb is a wonderful way to make additional income and connect with other travelers. It may even finance your next getaway. Just as these unique vacation homes come in all shapes and sizes, there’s no average Airbnb guest. These are some of the weird things you can expect as an Airbnb host.

Thinking about becoming an Airbnb host? Check out Matador’s complete guide to everything you need to know, do, and plan for:

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99% of guests will be awesome

For the most part, guests will be brilliant. They’ll respect the house rules, tidy up after themselves, be considerate of neighbors, and remember to switch the air-conditioning off when they go out. That other 1% will be the root of any problems from cheeky requests like asking to “borrow” your car to petty theft. Smoking and sneaking in a pet or extra guests are common offenses regarding guests breaking a house rule. Just as travelers favor Airbnbs with previous reviews, hosts can adopt the same mindset by renting to those with a history of positive reviews. Deactivating the “Instant Book” function helps screen guests.

Guests might play house

messy living room

Photo: Prostock-studio /Shutterstock

Any hospitable Airbnb host encourages their guests to feel at home. Some guests take this to the next level: don’t be surprised if you find that furniture has been rearranged and left for the cleaning team to put back into place. Stealing is one of the least desirable things to expect as an Airbnb host although picture-swapping with no explanation takes the biscuit for being downright weird.

Lost in translation moments

Airbnb is used by travelers from all corners of the globe. Language barriers are a guarantee during your career as an Airbnb host. For the most part, any communication blind spots can be handled through Google Translate, old-fashioned arm gestures, patience, and good humor.

Gifts (intentional and otherwise)

Kindly hosts on Airbnb may choose to lay out a bottle of wine or a hamper of local treats to welcome guests (no pressure). However, some hosts are pleasantly surprised to receive a “thank you” gift from guests upon checkout. Stumbling upon “accidental” gifts is more likely. Typical left-property includes food, liquor, and bachelorette party apparel while less common items include cell phones and a dog.

upside down house

Photo: Bilal Kocabas /Shutterstock

Going viral

If you are the host of a particularly quirky or photogenic Airbnb, it may well find its way in front of millions of social media users around the world. That’s what happened with this Bali Airbnb with a private waterfall and this assortment of trending Airbnbs on TikTok.

Unpredictable complaints

Airbnb feedback usually focuses on the positives but it’s impossible to escape grievances. These vary from reasonable grumbles about street noise or low water pressure to quibbles about the decor not being to their taste. Other guests nitpick shortcomings that are clearly outlined on the listing or about issues that are beyond the control of the host (read: the snowstorm wasn’t pretty enough or it rained too much). Frequently checking in with guests is a logical way to deal with on-the-spot issues that arise. Even then hosts report that issues aren’t always voiced until they come to write their review. Count your losses and move on.

Unusual guest habits

Guests might confuse fixtures. Cleaners have reported finding perishable food items stored in the bedroom closet, evidence of damp laundry being hung to dry over appliances, dirty dishes placed in the cupboards, and evidence suggesting the oven has been used to heat the home. There are only so many peculiar habits that you can predict as a host but hiring a professional Airbnb cleaning service ensures a thorough turnover for the next guest.

Round-the-clock requests

Messages about water leaks and issues with the mains aren’t confined to office hours. All hosts are required to have a line of communication open should there be a hazard in the home that needs instant attention. On the other hand, you can expect non-urgent queries to trickle into your inbox at all hours – late-night takeout recommendations are a common demand that can wait.

Airbnb hosting is a lot of work

That is, if you want to make your short-term rental business a roaring success. Gone are the days when Airbnb was simply a case of renting out a spare room: nowadays the marketplace is awash with boutique A-frames, luxury villas, and OMG! homes. If you have your heart set on becoming an Airbnb Superhost you’ll need to deliver hotel-standard cleanliness, communication, and value. Breakages, mess, and tricky guests are unavoidable while regular admin is required to keep the property shipshape and the listing accurate. It’s mentally and physically tiring, but, it pays off.

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