Bad guests are a dime a dozen. We’ve all had them, and if you haven’t had yours yet then we can’t wait to welcome you to the club.
But what if I told you that there was a way to earn extra money from guests who break your house rules, or at least stop them in their tracks?
In this article, I’m going to cover the Top 3 AirBnB party prevention devices that are on the market and how you can use them to make more money from bad guests.
And by the end, you may even look forward to the next guest that throws a party in your home! (Just kidding).
Summary Of AirBnB Party Prevention Devices
- Sound monitors help prevent parties by alerting you when sound, temperature, and humidity levels go over a specified range.
- Wifi cameras help confirm and record events for your records, and will allow you to get a head count of unauthorized guests.
- Air quality monitors will help give you the proof you need to collect smoking fees.
- You need to set up your house rules properly so you can collect fees and remove retaliatory reviews from guests who break your rules.
A Party, Interrupted
My friend stared silently at his phone.
“An inquiry just came in for the 31st,” he said. “Boom! Accepted.”
“Awesome! How many days?” I asked.
“Just for the night. Looks like they are from Seattle.” he replied, which was just 30 miles away.
“Ummmmm…You do realize that this is likely a New Years Eve party, right?” I said.
A look of concern came upon his face as he realized what day it was and what had just happened. The pieces of the puzzle started coming together.
Cancelling the reservation wasn’t really an option without penalty. And it was just a hunch that his new guest was going to be throwing a party. We didn’t have any proof.
No one ever really does until it’s over.
The day of the reservation came and he was out of the house, lamenting the inability to check on his home because he hadn’t installed any AirBnB party prevention devices like we had suggested.
But he did have one saving grace. A camera in his Samsung refrigerator.
A notification rang out from his phone, the fridge was open. Moments later jello-shots and cases of beer started coming into view.
“Ah, they’re probably just a thirsty group.” I said, sarcastically.
My friend didn’t find it funny.
Wondering what kind of damage would be left gnawed at my friend until he couldn’t take it anymore. He decided to head over to his house for a drive-by, but these kids were smart. They didn’t park at his house, but at a parking lot a few blocks down the street.
As the night started to get on, the sound got louder and louder and he finally confirmed that it was a party.
He called the cops and said the magic words, “I think there’s underage drinking too.”
Within seconds the cops swarmed in and put an end to the party which had only gone on for 2 hours. But within that time there was damage to his carpet, fridge, couch, table, and for some reason a few people decided to pee on the walls in the bathroom.
Well, they were from Seattle, after all.
$1,500 in damage after everything was said and done, payed for by the guest who booked the place because my friend was proactive and collected evidence as soon as possible.
He also had a $25 fee per extra guest in his house rules too, earning him a small fortune for the night.
But none of this could have been possible without the right equipment for early detection of parties. If he didn’t have a camera in his fridge it would have been a very long night of speculation. And God only knows how much damage would have been caused by the morning.
Luckily there are 3 devices that help hosts prevent parties early. And if used together with your house rules, you will be able to earn extra money from guests who abuse your home.
This is how.
Sound Monitoring For AirBnB To Detect Parties
When it comes to devices that alert you to potential problems with your guest, sound monitors stand at the top of the list. They don’t record audio or video, but they track noise levels and alert you to when things go above a specified range.
As a party gets started, it isn’t loud right away and there is a pretty sharp spike in sound levels when you use the vacuum cleaner. So how does it know when to alert you?
They take an average reading over time, eliminating false alarms.
You can then use this data to investigate further and see if there is a lot of motion, if the temperature and humidity drastically increased, etc. And since the data is charted on a timeline, you can simply take a screen shot to save any proof you may need.
This works well for nosy neighbors that like to complain about your guests too.
They may accuse your guests of throwing a party or disturbing their sleep, and you can simply pull out your phone and ask when it happened. If they were lying, their face will be priceless as you turn the screen to expose their fraud.
People seem to have not yet realize what kind of technology we have at our disposal, and a sound monitor is one such device that every host needs to have.
Our Sound Monitor Recommendation
|Subscription||Free for 1 listing. $8/mo thereafter.|
|Battery Powered||Yes, Internal|
|Purchase||Check Price on Amazon|
Hands down one of the best sound monitors on the market right now. This little device is about the size of a hockey puck and looks just like a smoke detector. We’ve placed it in the middle of the ceiling and no one has ever given it a second look.
What we really like about the Minut Point is that you can set it to alert you if noise gets above 75-80db and you can track it in real time.
It will also track motion, pressure and humidity too, as well as send out push notifications if it detects other alarms going off.
The battery life lasts approximately 4-6 months between charges and works through your wifi connection to send you notifications. It can also be set up to notify other people in your “emergency contact” list if an alarm goes off and you don’t respond.
You can use the data that this collects to determine if your quiet hours are being respected, and have the proof you need should guests disturb the peace.
Wifi Security Camera For Evidence
Speaking of people not realizing the kind of technology that we have at our disposal, wifi security cameras also make this list.
While not technically a party prevention device, these cameras are able to connect to our wifi and send us alerts to when it detects motion or has a new recording. They are perfect for collecting evidence of events that occurred on our property, and their price can easily pay for itself in extra fees or in damages that have been avoided.
When preventing parties, these security cameras are able to verify how many people are in your property so you can get a head count and charge a fixed amount for every unauthorized person. More on that later.
But which one should you get?
Our AirBnB Security Camera Recommendation
|Battery Powered||Yes, AA|
|Purchase||Check Price on Amazon|
The Blink XT2 was made for AirBnB. At least that’s what it feels like.
When I was first looking at different security cameras for our properties, we were trying to decide between the Blink XT2 and a different camera system.
They both looked like they would be able to do the job, but we found that the Blink XT2 was simply better suited for running a short term rental even though the other system had more features.
We ended up getting both units to test at two different properties to see which one we liked better, and settled on the Blink being more reliable.
The user interface was also easier to use when in a panic too.
Because the Blink XT2 is battery powered you don’t have to run any wires, which means you can place it in locations that are inconspicuous. We also found that the batteries lasted a lot longer than we expected, even longer than the 4-6 months from the Minut Point.
However, if you get a lot of traffic then they can wear out quickly. We had one guest who kept going in and out of our property dozens of times in a row and it finally sent us a notification saying that the battery is draining more than expected.
There is even a feature for using the onboard speaker to talk to people through it, but isn’t very reliable to be honest. While I’m sure this has some useful scenarios, I’ve never been tempted to use it.
Fresh Air Detector To Catch Smoking
The elusive cigarette smoke. Your nose can detect it, but AirBnB is becoming more and more stingy about paying out for these types of claims.
Guests like to try to hide the fact that they smoked in your building by opening a window or turning on an exhaust fan. Whether or not it is due to malice or laziness, there is always that lingering smell and has been the cause for many cancelled reservations when the next guest checks in.
Typically you need to have hard evidence in order to collect fees from guests on AirBnB, which means cigarette butts. A lot of guests are catching on and aren’t throwing them away in the garbage anymore, so what do you do?
One way is to use an air quality monitor.
Our Fresh Air Sensor Recommendation
|Awair Air Quality Monitor||Info|
|Detects||Temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), |
chemicals (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM2.5)
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Tracking down an air quality monitor has been quite difficult, to be honest.
The Awair Element tracks temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), chemicals (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM2.5) in your space, allowing you to collect evidence of smoking that AirBnB deems more reliable than your nose.
The best place to install these would be in a discreet location within the bathroom and bedrooms.
They need to look inconspicuous so your guests don’t tamper with them, and there doesn’t seem to be a good solution for AirBnB hosts yet.
So in this case, you have to take what you can get.
How To Set Up Your House Rules To Collect Fees
Just because you’re able to prove that guests have unauthorized people in your property, smoked or threw a party, doesn’t mean that AirBnB will back you up for the Host Guarantee. This is why it’s incredibly important to set up your listing properly and add the house rules necessary to collect additional fees and remove retaliatory reviews.
Now that you have these devices, you’ll need to disclose them in your listing. Here’s how I did mine:
Because the noise and air quality monitors don’t actually record any audio or video, they don’t need to be disclosed. However, AirBnB may update their requirements at some point in the future.
Setting Up Fees For Extra Guests
Even if you’re property is only accepting 2 guests, it’s not enough to charge for extra guests in the house rules without this feature set up, so make sure you add this in there. Otherwise you might have a difficult time collecting.
This pairs nicely with the security camera, because even if someone books your property and doesn’t throw a raging party, you’ll be able to verify how many people are in your property and charge accordingly if any funny business is going on.
How Much Should You Charge For Extra Guests?
Pick something reasonable and don’t go overboard. AirBnB (or whatever platform you’re using) will more likely honor your policies if you’re not gouging.
For our property, $35 per person would put us in line with some of the other properties and their accommodations.
Now that you have your fees for extra guests set up, the most important way to protect yourself from bad guests is to add the following to your house rules:
The property is a non-smoking property and any form of smoking is prohibited inside the property. Violation of the non-smoking policy is grounds for immediate removal without refund. $100/day fee.
Collecting smoking fees has become more difficult, and having more than your nose to verify that someone smoked inside your property will help make your case more solid. Nowadays you have to provide a cleaning receipt for the odor removal, but with this you may be able to collect your fees up front.
All guests staying at the property must be listed on the reservation. Unauthorized guests will be charged at an additional $35/per person and is grounds for immediate removal without refund.
This policy helps to cover your property outside of parties that get shut down by the police. If someone uses your space as a halfway house or an entire family moves in that wasn’t listed on the reservation, you’ll be able to be compensated for the extra wear and tear.
You agree that breaking or attempting to circumvent house rules forfeits your right to leave a public review and incurs a $100/night charge.
This goes without saying, but collecting fees from bad guests is a great way to get burned in the reviews. And we all know what a 4-star review will do to your Superhost status.
Having this extra bit will allow you to remove retaliatory reviews if you were able to prove that the guests broke your house rules.
While the ultimate goal here is to prevent parties from happening, it’s not always possible and you won’t always get AirBnB to cancel a reservation.
To make matters worse, the police wont always remove people from a property depending on what State you’re in. There’s no worse feeling than to have the police tell you there’s nothing they can do and watch your guest smile back at you as they continue with their party.
Adding this extra layer to your house rules helps protect you further and can help get you compensated for some of the things guests are doing.
If you’ve got a horror story, we’d all love to hear about it! Please leave it in the comments below and share this article with a friend if you found it useful.