How to Prevent Problem Guests and Fraud

On today’s episode, we have a repeat guest. Yes, Michael Mckay is back in the house! He was here on Episode 37 How to Build a Community of Hosts. His New York meetups are still going strong, and his last meetup was about How to Prevent Problem Guests and Fraud, Of course, I was there. And because I’m always thinking about you, I thought, I have to bring Michael back.

Just in case you didn’t listen to Michael’s previous episode…hmmm…. He is an Airbnb host in my neighboring state of New Jersey. Like many hosts, he started hosting in order to finance a vacation. Unlike many folks, four years later Michael now manages over 17 Airbnb properties in New Jersey and Washington, DC.

His spaces are listed on Airbnb,, HomeAway, and many other small channels, and he has hosted over 3,000 guests! Basically, I think Michael knows what he is talking about with problem guests, and I know you will be glad you tuned in to How to Prevent Problem Guests and Fraud with Michael Mckay

Today's show is full of great information:

  • From how to eliminate fraud on channels where the host is responsible for collecting credit card payments (think
  • To develop a screening process to make sure you want to accept that reservation.
  • To his extensive House Rules, which allow him to cancel a guest on Airbnb. Oh yeah.
  • And much more…

You know, I want to say, “stay tuned” and don’t change that channel… Hehe… I just dated myself there. Ok, we’re on with: How to Prevent Problem Guests and Fraud with Michael Mckay

It's All About Prevention:

Michael, thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and experience with us and for explaining how to turn down those pesky problem guests because it’s all about prevention. To keep our hosting life as easeful and peaceful as possible, it’s better to not even let them through the door if we sense they might be a handful.

Michael's House Rules:

As promised, here are Michael’s extensive House Rules. As you learned from listening to the podcast, he uses them as a way to be able to cancel guests on Airbnb and for the different platforms.

Guest Policy:

  1. Check-in is any time after 4 PM.
  2. Guests are not allowed to book a stay in their city of residence.
  3. All guests must be 21+ or accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  4. No parties, no events, and no outside visitors or overnight guests that are not stated on the reservation.
  5. We do not have a ‘children stay free' policy. All guests over 2 years of age must be included in your guest count.
  6. For any parties of more than 4 guests, please inquire before booking instantly.
  7. Pets are not allowed on this property.
  8. Do not engage in illegal activities anywhere on the property, including downloads.
  9. Do not leave any food out that will attract uninvited pests. Our properties are pest-free, and we intend to keep them that way with your help.

Security Deposit, Cancellation Policy, & Fees:

  1. All bookings require a security deposit of $300 or more.
  2. Guests can cancel within 48 hours of booking 14 days or more before check-in to get a full refund. Cancel up to 7 days before check in and get a 50% refund (minus service fees). Cancel within 7 days of your trip, and the reservation is non-refundable.
  3. If more guests sleep at a location than the number originally stated in the booking, the security deposit will be charged in full.
  4. No smoking. A violation of this policy will result in charging your $300 security deposit in full.
  5. No loud noise after 8pm. This property has strict quiet hours after 8pm. A violation of this policy will result in a fine, starting at $300 up, and could result in the cancellation of your reservation.
  6. Return all keys. We will charge a $25 fee for each lost key.
  7. If a property is left overly messy, we will charge $40 for every extra hour of cleaning required.
  8. If guests delay the cleaners from beginning their cleaning at the predetermined check-out time, guests will be charged $50. This fee is applied to any late checkout between 11 am and 1 pm. Any guest who is still in the location after 1 pm will be charged for an extra night. This does not apply if our team has approved a late check-out in advance.

Safety & Liability

  1. For security purposes, we require submission of a government-issued ID to confirm your reservation. You must complete this within 24 hours of booking. We only require an ID from the person who booked the reservation. Other guests do not need to submit a copy of their ID. A link to our ID verification platform will be provided at the time of booking.
  2. If you notice anything that presents a danger that could result in damage to the location or to any individuals, let us know immediately.
  3. Guests take full responsibility for any accidents, injuries, or illnesses that occur while on the premises or its facilities. By accepting this reservation, it is agreed that all guests are expressly assuming the risk of any harm arising from their use of the premises. Guests recognize that they may personally purchase insurance to protect themselves in such events.

The company Michael uses to determine if a phone number is a Google, cell phone, or landline number is Phone Validator. It’s a free website. It’s always a pleasure to have hosts like Michael, sharing their knowledge with everyone. I appreciate you!

Remember, it’s your home and your business. Sometimes, we have to follow our gut feeling and turn down a guest, trusting that another reservation will be right around the corner.

Your host,



Some of the links mentioned are affiliate links. if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Commissions come at no additional cost to you.

PS: Want more…

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