Airbnb Theft: 7 Ways to Prevent Your Guests from Stealing

Airbnb theft

By The Hospitable Team

Renting out a vacation rental property on Airbnb and other listing sites can be a lucrative business that brings significant profits. But like any other business, it has certain risks implied, including the possibility of Airbnb theft.

Opening your house to strangers always comes with an element of risk, and although having a guest steal something from your rental is very rare, you should take measures to protect yourself and your valuables.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you can do as a vacation rental owner.

You may also want to check out our article, where we talk about other common Airbnb risks hosts face and offer suggestions for preventing and overcoming them.

Airbnb Theft: What Can You Do to Prevent It?

If a guest has ever stolen items from your Airbnb property, you know how frustrating and upsetting it can be. Even if it’s not too big of a loss, you must replace whatever has been stolen. And if Airbnb theft happens often, the cost of owning a vacation rental will gradually increase over time. So, what can you do to prevent your guests from stealing?

Screen your guests

As a host, you have to be wary of Airbnb scams and protect your rental from damages and guests who tend to help themselves from something that isn’t theirs. Although Airbnb runs background checks on guests, this process is far from perfect, so you must take additional steps to screen your guests before allowing them to stay at your property.

Although Instant Book on Airbnb is on by default, you can turn it off. Then you’ll have a chance to find out who you invite into your home. Do some online research to determine whether your guests are who they say they are.

Review guest profiles and read the reviews left by other hosts. Get in touch with potential guests via messages before you accept a booking, ask additional questions, and watch out for red flags.

Ensure your guests understand your policies

It’s smart to have a short-term rental agreement that minimizes your risks of dealing with problem guests. The rental agreement should include the guest’s responsibilities when staying in your home or apartment and the consequences of taking an item from the property.

When guests sign the contract, they’ll acknowledge what is expected of them. So, if they steal something, they are fully aware of the legal consequences.

The contract should also cover your house rules, where it’s important to clearly state what is allowed at your property, which items are intended for guests’ use, and specify areas that are out of boundaries. By providing clear house rules, you can be prepared for any potential issues and minimize the risk of having a negative experience.

You may also schedule messages to remind your guests about your house rules before they arrive. You’ll never forget to do it if you use vacation rental software like Hospitable to help you automate guest communication at all customer journey stages.

Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.

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Make an inventory

Make a rental inventory checklist of all the items and pieces of furniture that you have at your property. A good idea is to add photos to this inventory. Then, after each stay, you or your cleaning team can do a run-through of the rental space and quickly identify any missing items.

You should include the most valuable items and even the most basic belongings, like cutlery and mugs on your inventory list. If guests continuously take small items from your Airbnb rental, these expenses will add up and negatively affect the experience of other guests in the future.

Don’t store valuable items

Although some valuable items, such as a television and quality bedding, are necessary for guest comfort, you shouldn’t leave your family heirlooms or favorite mementos in your vacation rental property. Short-term rental insurance can help pay for the theft of high-value items, but it’s impossible to replace the sentimental value of your grandmother’s ornate vase.

Maintain good relationships with guests

Communicating with your guests before, during, and after their stay helps build trust, maintain good relationships, and may help prevent Airbnb theft. Guests are less likely to steal from the person they know and trust.

Focus on providing your guests with an enjoyable experience and ensuring they have everything for a comfortable stay. Always check in on your guests during their stay and ensure they are satisfied.

You’ll have more time to create a welcoming atmosphere for your guests if you automate your routine tasks using vacation rental management software like Hospitable.

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Install a home security system

Installing security cameras is a good way to monitor theft at your Airbnb property, but you need to ensure guest privacy when setting them up. Appropriate places to install security cameras are outside each exit door. Then, if your guests decide to steal your large valuable items like a TV or microwave, the camera will capture it.

Remember that Airbnb allows installing security monitoring only in public and common spaces as long as they are disclosed in the listing description. But you should never install cameras inside your rental to monitor private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms.

Provide gifts

Sometimes travelers take something from a vacation rental home just because they want a souvenir of their holiday. You may avoid this if you fulfill that need and provide guests with a postcard, mug, or a key ring about your local area that will act as a souvenir. You can also provide your guests with a welcome basket and give them something they’re looking for.

Final Thought

You can take certain actions to minimize the risk of Airbnb theft and protect your STR property. Start with making an inventory, vetting your guests before you choose to let them stay at your property, and installing a home security system. These simple measures can help you avoid guest theft of the small items and the big ones.

You may also want to check out our article to learn about the red flags you shouldn’t ignore to avoid dealing with Airbnb squatters and prevent them from occupying your property.

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Airbnb Security: Tech Items to Keep Your Rental Safe & Secure

There are plenty of ways to protect your home while you’re not there using smart tech items, especially when you’re allowing new people in your space. Discover how to use technology to feel safer and more secure as an Airbnb host while abiding by Airbnb’s legal terms and conditions.

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Airbnb Scams: How to Spot Them and Protect Yourself

Most of the time, your guests are genuinely interested in staying at your property and are honest and law-abiding. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, so you should be on the lookout. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some common Airbnb scams and how to protect yourself from them as a host.

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Airbnb Risks and Remediation Strategies for Hosts

The financial benefits of listing your rental property on Airbnb are apparent, certain risks come along with renting your home or apartment to strangers. In this article, we’ll walk you through common Airbnb risks that short-term rental property owners face and offer suggestions for preventing and overcoming these challenges.

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