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It’s no secret that some Airbnb guests will try to sneak a pet or two into their rental unit even if the listing specifically states that pets are not allowed. As an Airbnb host, it’s important to know how to deal with this situation should it arise. Here’s some info on how to deal with Airbnb guests that bring pets without permission.
HOW TO DEAL WITH AIRBNB GUESTS THAT BRING PETS WITHOUT PERMISSION
Let’s go over a couple situations that you may run into like this, and ways you can be prepared to response.
The Situation – You Find Out After the Fact
You’re an Airbnb host who has just returned from a trip to find that your guest has left you a negative review because they were not happy with the cleanliness of the rental unit. Upon further investigation, you discover that the guest had two dogs with them during their stay and that they did not inform you of this beforehand. Not only did they not inform you, but they also did not adhere to your house rules regarding pets, which state that all pets must be kept off of the furniture and out of the bedrooms. As a result, there was pet hair on the furniture and in the bedrooms, and the guest was not happy about it.
How to Handle It
The first thing you should do is reach out to the guest directly and try to resolve the issue amicably. If the guest is uncooperative or unwilling to work with you, then you can contact Airbnb and open a case against them.
In your case submission, be sure to include photos or video evidence of the pet hair in the rental unit so that Airbnb can see for themselves what happened. You may also want to mention any other damages that were caused by the guest’s pet (e.g., chewing on furniture or scratching floors).
Once Airbnb reviews your case and sees that you have evidence to support your claims, they will likely take action against the guest and may even refund you for any damages that were incurred.
SITUATION 2 – YOU FIND OUT DURING THIER STAY
The other situation is that you have a guest and a ring doorbell. You notice right away when they arrive that they’ve brought a pet with them. This time you have video evidence of the pet coming into your house. What do you do?
HOW TO HANDLE IT
If you find out that a guest has brought a pet with them during their stay, you should follow the following 5 steps.
1. First, reach out to the guest and let them know that you are aware they have a pet with them and that it is against your house rules.
2. Second, give the guest a warning that if they do not remove the pet from the property immediately, you will be forced to ask them to leave and they will not be refunded for their stay.
3. Third, if the guest does not comply with your warning and removes the pet from the property, then you should reach out to Airbnb and open a case against them. Be sure to include photos or video evidence of the pet in the rental unit so that Airbnb can see for themselves what happened.
4. Fourth, if the guest does not remove the pet from the property and you are forced to ask them to leave, then you should contact Airbnb and let them know what happened. They will likely refund you for the nights that the guest did not stay.
5. Finally, if you have any other damages that were caused by the guest’s pet (e.g., chewing on furniture or scratching floors), you should reach out to Airbnb and let them know. They may be willing to refund you for any damages that were incurred.
Following these steps will help ensure that you are able to deal with guests who bring pets into your rental unit without permission in an effective and efficient manner.
POTENTIAL RESPONSES FROM GUESTS
There are a few potential responses that you may receive from guests when you confront them about bringing a pet into your rental unit.
1. The first response is that the guest may claim that they did not know that they were not allowed to bring a pet into the unit. In this case, you should remind the guest of your house rules regarding pets and inform them that they should have read the rules before booking the unit.
2. The second response is that the guest may claim that their pet is not a problem and will not cause any damage to the property. In this case, you should remind the guest that you have a no-tolerance policy for pets in the unit and that they will need to remove the pet immediately or they will be asked to leave.
3. The third response is that the guest may claim that their pet is a service animal and is exempt from the no-pets policy. In this case, you should ask the guest for proof that their pet is a service animal. If they are unable to provide proof, then you should remind them that your no-pets policy still applies and they will need to remove the pet from the property.
POTENTIAL RESPONSES FROM AIRBNB
Just as there are a few potential responses that you may receive from guests when you confront them about bringing a pet into your rental unit, there are also a few potential responses that you may receive from Airbnb.
1. The first response is that they may tell you that the guest did not violate any house rules and therefore no action will be taken. In this case, you should remind Airbnb that you have a house rule that specifically states that no pets are allowed in the unit and provide evidence (e.g., photos or video) of the pet in the unit.
2. The second response is that they may tell you that the guest did violate a house rule but that they will not be penalized because they have a pet that is a service animal. In this case, you should again remind Airbnb that you have a no-pets policy and that the guest did not provide proof that their pet is a service animal prior to booking.
3. The third response is that they may open up a case against the guest and ask for more information from you. In this case, you should provide all of the relevant information (e.g., photos or video) to Airbnb so that they can make a determination about whether or not the guest should be penalized.
4. The fourth response is that they may immediately penalize the guest and refund you for any damages that were incurred. In this case, you should be sure to document any damages that were caused by the pet so that you can be reimbursed accordingly.
Our Experience With This Scenario
Unfortunately, we recently had a pet come into our home without knowing. The next guest told us they found dog hair behind the couch and dog food in the pantry. This disappointed us on a few levels.
First, we strictly do not allow pets on our property. It’s evident that a previous guest had snuck one in.
Second, why didn’t our cleaners notify us? They must have seen the bag of dog food and should have been cleaning behind the couch.
Lastly, we had to go through the home with a fine-toothed comb looking for any other damage the pet may have caused that was not visible.
As a result, we will be paying close attention to the doorbell camera during guest arrival from now on to make sure no pets enter the property unbeknownst to us.
We would also suggest that you take a similar approach to prevent this from happening at your rental property as well.
We didn’t contact Airbnb about this because, since we found out after the fact, we can’t be sure to which guest the animal belonged.
However, if you do have video footage or another way of positively identifying the pet and the guest who snuck it in – we would recommend opening up a case with Airbnb.
Airbnb takes pet policies very seriously and you may be able to recoup damages from the pet as well as any extra cleaning fees that were incurred.
No host wants to deal with unruly guests, especially when those guests try to sneak pets into the rental unit without permission. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to stay calm and follow these steps: reach out to the guest directly, gather evidence, and submit a case to Airbnb. By taking quick and decisive action, you’ll be able to resolve the issue quickly and get back to hosting worry-free!
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