Red flags: How to avoid problem guests

Every short stay operator dreads the prospect of the out of control party or fraudulent booking, and there have certainly been a number of well-publicised examples hitting the headlines recently.

Whether you are a landlord letting your own property on the short stay market, or you are a short stay agent handling multiple properties on behalf of their owners, there are ways that you can mitigate the risk and cut down on the likelihood of it happening to you. Here are some excellent tips from our friend Linton Wood at Beyond A Room. Linton shares their business's best practice pro tips for avoiding problem bookings.

Linton says prevention is always better than cure, so here are some red flags to look out for (with a couple thrown in by Ceneta).

  1. The Number One no-brainer is, get yourself some appropriate insurance!

  2. Although not always possible, face to face meet & greets can give you a general sense of who your guests are and what the purpose of their stay is

  3. Beware of last minute bookings

  4. Never take bookings for a single night. Rent for a minimum of two nights

  5. Add house rules to your listing and guest reservation agreement

  6. Ensure guests fill out a reservation agreement outlining the terms and conditions of their stay and verifying their identity as the reservation holder.

  7. No pay, no stay

  8. Always set a security deposit

  9. Give the neighbours your contact number

  10. Require guests to give you their residential address when booking

  11. Ask lots of questions. The responses (or lack thereof) may give you early warning

  12. Are they locals? This can sometimes indicate a party about to happen

  13. Check if they have reviews on any booking sites (ie: Airbnb). This can sometimes reveal a poor track record

  14. If in doubt, call the booking platform and request more information about the booker

  15. See if you can find their profile on social media

  16. Listen to your gut feeling and pray

  17. If managing from afar, recruit someone close to the property to help you

  18. Bonus flag: How many repeating numbers does the booker's phone number have?

To drill down into the detail on all of the above, click here to see Linton Wood's pro advice on dealing with dodgy bookings.


This information is general advice only, please consider the PDS.

Refer to the FSG on our website for our services and remuneration details.

Need to know more? Contact Ceneta Insurance Services

AR 332815 | Authorised Representative of PSC Connect Pty Ltd

ABN 23 141 574 914 | AFS License No 344648

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