Vacation Rental Home Scams on the Rise

September 27th, 2019 | By Mindy Timm

As the owner/operator of a successful vacation rental home, you try hard to provide an experience that will prompt your guests to leave glowing reviews – but even putting forth your best efforts doesn’t protect you against the ever-growing list of scams affecting AirBnB hosts.

 

A quick online search reveals numerous tales of woe from AirBnB hosts describing nefarious guests’ attempts to garner anywhere between 25% to 100% OFF their reservation total. Some hosts claim that due to AirBnB’s guest refund policies and procedures, guests are doing everything from turning wi-fi routers off and claiming the internet “isn’t working,” to staging and photographing undesirable cleaning “misses” in order to whittle down their lodging expenses.

 

One way vacation rental homeowners are protecting themselves against the “discount” scammers is to snap pics of all areas of the “guest-ready” rental before their guests arrive.  Moxie Girl Vacation Rental Assistants have been providing this service to our clients for several months now – and as it turns out, that’s a really great idea!

Moxie Girl has always provided photo documentation to our clients of any theft or damage to their property should we find it. Timely evidence is crucial for vacation rental hosts hoping to charge a guest for misuse of their vacation rental home or items that have gone missing during a guest’s stay!

 

Providing photos of their guest-ready vacation rental gives our clients peace of mind, knowing their guests will arrive at a clean, inviting space – in addition to being pretty solid evidence against false claims by guests that the rental “wasn’t clean.” Even a screenshot of the wi-fi showing as “connected” on a smartphone proves it WAS working when we left the property.

 

Moxie Girl recently even used a guest-ready photo to prove that a guest (or rather the guest’s child) was responsible for breaking a large mirror in one of our clients’ vacation rentals. The guests had claimed they found mirror broken upon arrival, but our time-stamped photo of that room from earlier in the day showed an undamaged mirror! Long story, short, the kid fessed up and the guests took financial responsibility for the replacement cost.

 

There are plenty of other (and far more costly!) scams being perpetrated against vacation rental homeowners as well. Many of those may be avoided by knowing what to watch out for. Most rental listing platforms such as AirBnB and VRBO offer secure payment processing and warm that guests requesting to pay by any type of check or wire transfer should be a red flag.

 

Vacation rental homeowners are also urged to never accept more than is due for any booking, putting them in the position of being persuaded to issue a refund outside the rental platform’s refund policy and structure – and ultimately lead to identity theft as well as financial loss.

 

Clearly you’ve got enough to worry about as a vacation rental homeowner – why not let Moxie Girl take away the stress of between-guest cleanings? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental homes throughout the Phoenix area – and we are just as interested in helping your property get great reviews as you are. CLICK HERE for a FREE consultation!

Interested in being a Moxie Girl? We are always on the lookout for motivated individuals to join our growing team of Vacation Rental Assistants! CLICK HERE to introduce yourself – an HR representative will reach out to you shortly!