Travel is at the top of my “to-do” list, and since the invention of Airbnb, I have been all about renting an apartment or house instead of staying in a hotel. This allows me to live more like a local, and makes it easier to meet locals. However, there are some Airbnb red flags to look out for.
Not Enough Reviews
If you view a listing in a fairly common tourist area, that has been there for a while—but has few reviews—this may be a red flag. When looking at the client’s profile you can see how long they have been on Airbnb. You can also glance through their calendar to see how often they are booked. If they only have a handful of reviews a year, it often means one of two things: Either it is a property they only rent on occasion, or they don’t have reviews because their tenants don’t have anything nice to say. Don’t hesitate to ask if this is a year-round rental property or a more full-time residence.
The Landlord Lives On The Property
If you choose an option of an “Entire” property, but the landlord lives next door—really look at the reviews to ensure they reflect your desire for privacy. I learned this one the hard way. After booking for 2 months in a studio apartment that was literally right next door to the landlord, I will never do it again. She would stop by to say “Hi” as early as 7am and as late as 10pm—and as often as 5 times a day. If you go for it, just be sure to inquire about the level of privacy provided. If you are renting a room in their home, this is of even greater importance.
Last but not least, really read the reviews—and if it doesn’t sound like a place you would be comfortable residing short-term—there is always somewhere better! Better to recognize an Airbnb before you book and are left scrambling to find new accommodations.