I don't understand why Peerspace won't accept host rules

Once again Peerspace is denying our request for our studio rules being broken.

A guest has broken our studio rules and exceeded max capacity in our studio. We have it so clearly listed that 10 people is the max capacity during COVID. You can’t even book for more than 10 people. They paid for a small group of 5 but brought in 11, they ignored messages and warnings and all rules. They ignored verbal and written communication stating we will be charging them.

We have a penalty fee of $250 when max capacity is exceeded.
we have photo and video proof.
yet Peerspace said they WILL NOT accept these charges because they don’t pursue arbitrary fines.

why the heck do we have studio rules if we cannot even use them?

Peerspace shouldn’t allow hosts to include rules in their descriptions and listings if they can’t even follow through with them. The entire studio rental industry is based on arbitrary pricing. Penalty charges should be pursued when so evidently necessary

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HELLO Peerspace- can you address this??? I discontinued an event listing because I received requests from people that wanted to misuse the space.

Hi @Smac_M , thanks for your note and we understand your concern. The team is looking at ways that we can objectively enforce rules and include fines.

First, it is important to note in cases like this that Hosts are allowed to end the booking immediately if any laws or house rules are broken. This falls under 3.1 Terms Applicable To Hosts (i. Preparation for and Supervision of Event). Peerspace expects Hosts to supervise and monitor the Space and Amenities and your Guest’s use of the Space and Amenities for the Event, to the extent (if any) you as Host determine in your sole judgment.

If a booking is terminated due to a rule violation, guests will not be reimbursed for time lost and hosts will be paid in full. As is standard for our dispute resolution process, we do ask for as much evidence as you can of law/rule breaking: photos, videos, screenshots, text messages, emails, etc to support your claim. Based on the evidence provided, this may lead to suspension of the user for terms violations.

In general, for all damages/missed expectation claims, Peerspace is only able to pursue actual value (i.e. fair market value), for additional charges. Our dispute resolution process involves the mediation of monetary values for documented damages and repairs that are required to bring a space back to good standing.

When hosts submit damages or additional charges, we need to be able to provide something tangible to the guests to substantiate the requested costs. Fines for violations of policies have been historically difficult for the team to objectively mediate and collect payment for, and there have been instances of abuse because the costs are less tangible and defined differently for each host.

As mentioned, we are investigating a solution for fines we hope to roll out at in the future. We will continue to support hosts with disputes for damages in the meantime.

Best,

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Thanks for the response Lauren,

I understand the reasoning for needing third party documentation for damages/broken items but am still confused how an over-capacity violation falls into the same category of needing proof of fair market value. It’s such a standard rule across the board for all the studios listed on Peerspace. We all have capacity maximums and most of us have rules/fines to enforce for when that is violated. A maximum number of persons in a business is not a unique or unfamiliar rule so how Peerspace is treating it as something that requires monetary value proof is baffling. It should be in the same category as over-time charges.

The guest is agreeing to these rules when they book. It’s a mutual agreement. With undeniable evidence that they made the violation it seems ridiculous that Peerspace cannot enforce this over-capacity fine.

I understand the simple solution and the response i got from Peerspace support was “you should’ve kicked them out” but we gave fair warning and they proceeded to violate that, ignoring the written and verbal reminders. Whether they hit over-capacity for a minute or for the entire booking we expect those fines to be enforced.
Peerspace caters to many hosts with varying procedures on how they run their studios so it’s common that hosts aren’t always directly on site during a booking. Regardless, the guest is agreeing to your studio rules upon booking, they agreed to the set fines.

I’ve done some soul searching as of late in regards to bad renters, missed expectations, misrepresented bookings, etc and I have some ideas that I’ve started putting in place in my own space.

I’ve already shared the story of my last BIG disaster - it was a booking for the music video “I wanna kiss Bob Dylan” by tom Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson. Lovely, lovely woman, but the renters were complete slime.

They booked my space for a ‘ten person’ shoot and the director told me that the shoot would primarily be in my bedroom and that the main area would only be used as a ‘waiting room’ for ‘social distancing’.

She completely and utterly and totally lied.

That morning I was having some issues with my security cameras; the camera in one room wasn’t working at all and the other cameras kept freezing and I realized at some point that I was looking at a static image.

So I rebooted the entire mesh router system and when it came back, I nearly screamed, as EVERY PIECE OF FURNITURE AND WALL DECOR had been put completely out of place. Every plant, every rug, everything. It looked like moving day out there.

They moved so quickly and quietly that I had zero idea what was going on while my cameras were down. They used my entire home to make all sorts of different sets and while the end result was beautiful, this was in direct violation of my house rules and not how I intended my home to be used.

They ended up breaking half of my plants, a couple of sofas with custom made covers and a couple of smaller items went missing. They also ended up bringing over thirty people (I didn’t realize how many people were there until much later).

They used Thimble insurance, which is FAKE INSURANCE (they never processed the claim and stopped replying to my emails when they realized that my evidence and I have reported them to the California Insurance Board) and we ended up having to get reimbursed after Peerspace filed a case with Fairclaims on our behalf.

My point here is that what I did wrong was that I didn’t run out the room cussing and screaming like I should have. This is my home - why in the world did I bother to be reasonable with them after being blatantly lied to?

My recommendation to every host is to treat the situation the exact same way as if any other guest were in your home. What would you do if the UPS driver was standing on your furniture or brought in a dozen people? You’d kick them out and give them an earful. That is exactly what you should do with guests.

There was another booking in which a guest had a model stand on a tiny little fragile pink couch (disallowed by my house rules) and the couch slid and she cracked her head on the highly polished concrete floor.

The guests were actually going to continue with the shoot (without even checking for a concussion) and I came out and scolded them like I’d scold my four year old and kicked them all out.

Here’s the thing: If a guest breaks your rules and you throw them out, Peerspace WILL STILL PAY YOU as long as you have evidence, preferably in the form of video camera footage. They will even remove unfair reviews that guests leave out of retaliation and I cannot stress how utterly awesome that is and what a relief that is.

BUT! If you let the booking happen anyways, you might be in trouble.

  1. For larger shoots, you need to take a more active role in the hosting and remain on set with the crew at all times. This is a mistake I made, as I am relatively paranoid about COVID and try to remain in a different room while watching my security cameras. Oversee the use of your space, moving of your items, etc. For this extra effort, the guests should be charged a site rep fee. I offered this to a guest for the very first time last night and I felt good about it.

  2. If anything is going to be moved or altered, take a $500-$1000 damage deposit via Venmo and refund it within 48 hours after the booking. Write up an agreement and have them sign. If you take nothing else away from my rambling post, it should be this. If something is broken by a guest, then you need to get paid immediately. We have other bookings and other things to do and should not bear a hardship in the interim.

  3. Don’t be afraid to kick people out. I allowed the shoot for Rita to continue against my better judgment, only because they had already trashed my place and it seemed at first that they were handling everything with care (later when time got tight is when they got sloppy), but I should have thrown them out after making them put EVERY piece back the way it was. When I talked to them, the psycho that booked us was so convincing when she told me that I approved all of their changes that even I would have believed her if I didn’t have video evidence.

CHANGES THAT I THINK WOULD BE VERY WELCOME TO THE PLATFORM

  1. Peerspace needs to attract a higher level of clientele. I don’t mind amateur and semi amateur shooters at all, because I know how to talk to people, but there’s this weird ‘gray area’ now where people book massive shoots and lie about the amount of time needed, like about the amount of people they’re bringing, don’t get insurance, don’t get permits, etc. That’s the dangerous part. We need two tiers of renters, from amateur to semi pro, to pro. The ‘pro’ tier should require Peerspace to handle obtaining insurance paperwork, a call sheet and a filming permit. Peerspace takes a 15% cut from the renter and from the host and it is entirely fair to have them pick up the ball to vet the guests as a value added service.

The benefit to the renter for being in the ‘pro’ tier would be a reduced hourly rate.

  1. Peerspace has done an amazing job for me removing bullish fake reviews that guests leave out of revenge if I charge them overtime, or damages, or have to ask them to leave. An AMAZING job. But the thing is, eventually a fake negative review is going to slip in eventually, because guests have an unlimited amount of time with which to leave a review, whereas my camera footage eventually gets overwritten. The day will come when a guest leaves me an unfair review and I will not have the evidence with which to exonerate myself. The statute of limitations for leaving a review needs to be shortened to no more than 2 weeks.

  2. We need a referral service for security and site reps. Sometimes, a host may need a little help getting unruly (or let’s face it, a little scary) guests out of their home. Along those same lines, we need tutorials to train hosts how to speak to guests, templates for house rules, setting up a good security camera system, things like that. Things are nowhere near as busy and big as they were pre-pandemic, but our hopes are that events and off-sites will eventually make a full return, as well as larger scale productions. With those things returning, more hosts will come back and new hosts will arrive. Imagine the good will generated if there is a whole learning series waiting for them? Back in the days of the chapter leader program (which I was lucky enough to be a part of), I had suggested towards the end to change the events to online events, as fewer and fewer people were showing up. I’d love to see that made into a reality!

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good feedback, thanks Deacon.

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Thank you my friend!

Understand where you’re coming from @Smac_M , as Lauren mentions we are working on a plan for this. What has been problematic for us in the past is the wide variety of fines that hosts have reported and Peerspace has been unable to collect on your behalf. Across hundreds of thousands of bookings, there’s been quite a bit of abuse from all parties, including for rules around attendee size. We can get there though. So, we plan to introduce a system that makes the levy and collection of fines more transparent, understood, and enforceable in the future. Remember, we will always ask that hosts continue to enforce their rules and abide by the host terms that require supervision and protection of their space. This is for your own protection and to minimize the chances of losses during your bookings.

Stay tuned for updates from us.

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Thank you for the response!

I’m new to Peerspace but a super host with Airbnb. Does Peerspace not collect the refundable deposit to cover damages as does Airbnb? We set the deposit amount mine being $350 and within 24 hrs. after check out if we discover damages we make a claim against the deposit money.

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Hi @Robin_C thanks for joining the community. While we do not currently take deposits, this is a feature that many hosts are requesting and the team has its sights on bringing to you all soon.