Best Practices for Screening Guests for Your Short-Term Rental 

Screening Airbnb Guests

You have worked hard for months preparing your home or rental property for guests. Even though your short-term rental units are clean, safe, and inviting, you still have a lot of work to do before the first guest spends the night. At this stage, you need to invest in an aggressive marketing campaign and complete guest screening. After all, there is no sense doing all that work and then having the first person who stays in your short-term rental destroy the place. That is why having a professional Airbnb property management company handle your property to make it completely hands-off!

Plan to Complete Initial Telephone Screening Yourself

With each application you receive, you should reach out to the prospective guest by telephone to ask a few basic questions. Here are some typical examples:

  • How many adults and children will be staying in the short-term rental unit? Keep in mind that you cannot refuse to rent to families with children under federal and state laws. The most you can say is that your unit may not be as kid-friendly as the guest would like.
  • Will you be bringing any pets? You do have the right to make your short-term rental pet-free or request a deposit to cover any damage caused by pets if you do allow them.
  • Do you smoke? If the answer is yes, you can request that guests not smoke on your property or limit their smoking to certain areas.
  • Have you stayed in a short-term rental unit in the past? Can you provide me with references?

Be sure to go over the house rules with your prospective guest once you have completed your telephone interview. You should also put your rules in writing and mail to the guest prior to the scheduled stay.

Questions You Cannot Legally Ask

The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for property owners to ask questions or discriminate against potential renters based on the following:

  • Age
  • Country of origin
  • Marital status
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Pregnancy status
  • Previous arrests, although you can inquire about charges against the person
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation

Work with Sojourn Properties for a Comprehensive Guest Screening Experience

Guest screening in Arizona is an involved process that requires many additional steps. We invite you to contact our office in Cave Creek, Arizona to learn more about this and other property management services that our experienced team can handle for you.