A complaint is one of the easiest ways to derail all your hard work — not just guest complaints but also Airbnb neighbor complaints. Airbnb hosts are often so busy focusing on creating the ultimate guest experience that they fall into the trap of forgetting about their neighbors’ rights and their responsibility to help maintain the spirit of the residential area. In fact, several hosts discover that their neighbors are actually one of their biggest hurdles to success.
Whether it’s to help change their perspective of short-term rentals in general or deal with the aftermath of an unauthorized party, when you rent out your property you’ll most likely need to interact with your neighbors at some point.
To help you prevent Airbnb neighbor complaints and deal with a complaint when they should happen, here are some practical ideas. After all, each and every host needs a support community and so it’s key to have a good relationship with your neighbors.
Top Reasons for Airbnb Neighbor Complaints
From noise levels to parking infringements, here are the three top reasons why neighbors complain about an Airbnb in the neighborhood:
1. Parties & excessive noise
If your property is regularly the venue for parties, your neighbors are most likely bound to get frustrated, even more so if your vacation rental is located in a quiet neighborhood.
2. Rude or unpleasant guests
Parties and events are one of the main ways that Airbnb guests can disturb a quiet, residential neighborhood, but it’s not the only common neighbor complaint. Rude and unpleasant guests are also ruining neighborhoods. So, it’s key that an Airbnb host reminds their guests to be considerate of the neighbors next door and respect their privacy.
3. Parking on neighbor’s property
Whether your vacation rentals are located in the city or a family neighborhood, parking is more often than not an issue. When guests park on a neighbor’s property or take up too much of the available off-street parking, you can expect a visit from your local authorities.
What Could Happen If Airbnb Hosts Ignore Neighbor Complaints?
If a neighbor complained to you directly and you didn’t manage to address the situation timeously or simply ignored it altogether, your concerned neighbors can escalate the matter. Here’s what could happen next:
Neighbors can complain to Airbnb
Airbnb has a Neighborhood Support process that concerned neighbors can use to submit complaints to the platform online.
In addition to a noise problem, neighbors can also use this channel to report general concerns regarding their neighborhood or personal safety. The platform will then assess the situation and contact the Airbnb host.
After their investigation, they will also report back to the neighbor, if required. The good news is that it’s unlikely that Airbnb will remove your Airbnb listing or suspend you as a host.
Neighbors can take legal action
While there might be no zoning laws preventing you from running a short-term rental, there are still laws regarding noise levels and parking that you’ll need to keep in mind. So, if you break these regulations, neighbors will have every right to take legal action. When this happens, it could result in hefty fines. If the Airbnb neighbor complaints continue, it could even mean that your short-term rental permit gets revoked.
That being said, lawsuits are costly and time-consuming. So, for most this will be a last resort and your neighbors will very likely be open to the idea of resolving the problems outside of court.
How to Prevent and Deal With Neighbor Complaints About Your Short-term Vacation Rental
As an Airbnb host, there are a number of preventative steps that you can take to keep your neighbors happy and prevent complaints. In addition to applying your common sense, here are five practical tips:
1. Set out clear house rules and penalties for breaking them
There are a number of rules that you’ll want to include in your house rules. These include limiting the number of guests, banning parties and loud music altogether, and setting out clear quiet times at night and parking instructions for your Airbnb listings. After all, just like you are expected to abide by rules as a homeowner, your Airbnb guests will also need to respect these community rules when they stay at your property.
To help enforce your rules, you can charge a security deposit or inform guests that they can be charged a fine for breaking these house rules. Whether you decide to go the route of charging a security deposit or applying penalties, make sure that you communicate this clearly in your house rules too.
2. Communicate with your neighbors
Your neighbors shouldn’t find out that you’re running a vacation rental after your first guests have checked in. Before you even publish your Airbnb listing, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself in person to your neighbors and share with them the plans you have for the property.
Also, after that first introduction, not all communication with your neighbors should be left for only when there’s a complaint. It’s also a good idea to keep the communication lines open by sharing details like when Airbnb guests will be checking in and checking out. These types of updates can help to build trust and can be done via email or text message.
3. Use noise management tools
It’s much easier to prevent Airbnb neighbor complaints than having to deal with them afterwards. One tool that can help you to prevent issues is a noise management tool like NoiseAware. In short, it measures decibel levels and the duration of noise empowering you to monitor noise levels remotely via a website or app. As it doesn’t record any specific sounds, the privacy of your guests remains intact. If the noise levels get too high, guests will simply receive a text message reminding them about your house rules and requesting them to lower the level of noise again.
Not only can this type of technology help you to prevent actual noise-related issues, but it can also serve as evidence against false claims. So, if you have a neighbor who’s making a lot of noise about the constant noise that allegedly comes from your Airbnb rental property, you can use this data as proof to show that it’s in fact not the case.
4. Take complaints seriously
In the event that you become aware of a problem, it’s better to communicate with your neighbors in person. Communities often dislike the idea of short-term rentals because they view it as impersonal. So, if you handle serious Airbnb neighbor complaints with a generic template answer, don’t be surprised when you get a cold shoulder.
Then, when a neighbor complains, hosts should act immediately so that the problem doesn’t get worse. This is especially important if you’re dealing with noise complaints. If you fail to act swiftly, you risk losing your neighbors’ trust that you’ve worked hard to gain.
5. Screen your guests
While you’ll be only too happy to receive a booking request, it’s better rather to decline inquiries from guests who have received a number of bad reviews. Not only can it help to prevent Airbnb neighbor complaints, but also damage to your property. Other red flags that you can watch out for when screening potential guests are dodgy profiles, poor communication, and a reluctance to share details about their trip.
You can also use guest screening software solutions like Superhog and Safely. Screening guests manually is time-consuming and these types of proptech tools can help you to reduce the workload and speed up the screening process.
At the end of the day, your neighbors and neighborhood deserve the same respect that your guests receive. With regular communication and a clear set of house rules, you can create a pleasant experience for both guests and neighbors. Also, the proptech industry has grown significantly and there are a number of tools to help you with noise monitoring and guest screening. So, invest in third-party service providers to help you prevent a visit from the local police.