When they bring way more people than promised

Peerspace,

What do we do when suddenly a 6 person video shoot turns into 30 people listening to loud rap and partying at your house?

Also, what happened if they break a window or something expensive?

I’m starting to wonder if Peerspace’s claim of “you’re insured” is misleading, as to what they define by insurance. Please explain, as this has been a problem on more than one occasion, but of course I can’t leave bad reviews because they know who I am and will retaliate or spread bad word of me.

So frustrating!

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I would contact Peerspace IMMEDIATELY about this.
You have two choices, as I see it-
Either you are gonna do something about it, or you are not.

You can weigh all the advantages and disadvantages, but either you report it to Peerspace or you eat it.

If you do report it to Peerspace try to leave a review that is not totally negative. Something like:

“(Renters name) seemed like a nice guy and I think that he might have been caught by surprise as much as I was, but a few of his associates might have mistakenly thought that it was a party and unfortunately invited way more people than was originally agreed upon…”

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To my knowledge the insurance coverage from Peerspace is to protect if anyone is to get hurt on your property. To have damage covered you need the renter to have their own insurance for that, that covers the event. They can buy inexpensive one day coverage for that. You can refer people to this website https://www.theeventhelper.com.

We have different rates depending on the number of people in the crew and cast. If more people show up than are covered by the rate the guest paid, I let them know immediately that I will be collecting the difference through PeerSpace. You can also collect damages through PeerSpace by making a claim. Before I rent our venue, I make sure to schedule a scout with the guest to go over the details of the shoot and house rules in person.

Tommy,

The quick answer to your question is GET GOOD INSURANCE YOURSELF!

You ask: “what happened if they break a window or something expensive?“ is that what actually happened or is it a hypothetical? If that’s what happened then you need to charge them for the damages.

You also ask: “I’m starting to wonder if Peerspace’s claim of “you’re insured” is misleading, as to what they define by insurance.” I too had this question and have spent many hours on the phone with PeerSpace’s wonderful customer support staff to discuss it (and I recommend you do your own research too), but the jist of it is that PeerSpace insures the guest only, and they do NOT insure the host!!!

This is very important to understand! You need to have your stuff insured yourself (which you should anyways), and you are responsible for making a claim and paying the deductible. NOT PeerSpace. You can request that your renters apply for their own one day event insurance (but this is only cost effective if you have a big rental), or you will just need to politely ask the people to pay for what they broke. PeerSpace can help try to resolve the charges thru their system (since they do keep the client’s credit card on file), but this is mainly helpful for minor damages with minor charges.

Bottom line is BE CAREFUL with who you rent to, and try to vet people the best you can. DO NOT keep valuables at your rental location! And make sure you have everything INSURED with a deductible you can afford (not like a $10k deductible, but one that won’t break your bank if/when something’s broken). This has been a problem for Air-BnB when guests would break expensive art, AirBnB just said, too bad, not our fault, it’s your problem to deal with. And it seems PeerSpace is taking the same legal standing by trying not to be liable for anything important. Not to say that if a guest gets hurt it isn’t important, and I’m sure the guest would be happy to have a settlement thru PeerSpace in this case, but that won’t help you as a host.

And lastly, if a guest brings more guests than agreed upon, you can very well charge extra. PeerSpace has an option for varying the rate based on attendance, and you should list this in your space description. To prevent people partying at our space, we say: “no late night dance parties allowed”, and have a no alcohol policy (unless negotiated and agreed upon prior). These are ways to weed out the people looking for a party venue. And if they break your rules, you have the right to ask them to stop or vacate your property. You can also call the cops on them if they don’t comply (which I’m sure wasn’t warranted at your event), but don’t be shy and feel like you are at the mercy of a bad review.

And lastly, don’t be bashful to leave a bad review. I know no one likes bad reviews, but if they deserve one because they were taking advantage of your generosity, then by leaving an honest review it might prevent other hosts from having a similar experience. You would be doing all us other hosts a favor! I’ll give you a recent example where an Air-BnB guest threw an unauthorized party, and one of the party guests brought a gun and murdered someone else at the party. Not a good surprise for the owner of the house to come home to!!! Don’t become that guy!

If you do allow things like parties, you should stay on site, have security cameras, and require a certified bouncer (not just someone’s cousin) to be available to attend the event for security.

Understand your rights!!! Be aware! And protect yourself! There’s a lot of shit in this world. But there are also wonderful people who really appreciate renting our affordable creative spaces, and as long as we keep our spaces safe, then we can continue being a good resource to the community.

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I do 3 things to address these issues.

1: I have my own business insurance that covers personal injury and my stuff. Fortunately, in 4 years I’ve never needed it.

2: I have every rental provide a credit card for potential damages. I don’t charge the card unless there’s an issue. I’ve had to do this a handful of times without issue from the renter.

3: I have every photo/film production provide their own certificate of insurance. If they can’t supply a COI then they’re not professional and not someone I want to rent to. I do make exceptions to this rule based on the vibe I get from the renter. If they feel responsible, communicate well, and make promises (that I get in writing via email) to keep things reasonable, I’ll work with them.

For events events like weddings where it’s unlikely the individual has their own insurance, I send then to EventHelper to secure their own day-of policy. It’s usually $125.

I’d shut off the music, most of the lights and then announce over every smart speaker (via Alexa) announce that they’re kicked out. If there’s friction, then I’d call the cops.

If they booked a music shoot and then threw a house party with people you weren’t expecting, then they misrepresented their reason for renting your space. you run the risk of theft, property damage or noise complaints. If they obtained insurance for a music video, then insurance might not cover damage caused by a house party.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and make sure that you have some security cameras to record evidence in the event that something is broken, or they leave you a negative review.

The exact same thing happened to me once and when I came out, the renter told me to shut up and get back in my little room (and I was approached by several people to ensure that I complied), so I informed the police that I was being kidnapped.

@Geoffrey_B I think Peerspace should give an option for hosts to require a credit card for incidentals just like hotels do. Or there should be an option for hosts to add security deposits on our listings. When you collect a credit card do you swipe it or just take a picture of it? If you swipe it for incidentals do you use something like square?

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Thank you guys for the great advice.

They’ll obviously dispute any charges for damage, or extra people, or charges, so I don’t have much confidence in that.

I don’t think Peerspace can do anything because of that, am I wrong? And as you mentioned, I don’t see any kind of host insurance provided by Peerspace.

Business insurance is a must, I definitely agree.
Thank you again for the insight.

Every renter is different but you should have a safety precaution(your insurance, their insurance, deposit, hold on to their CC info). All of these are great but until the client is not comfortable with some or all. At that time they may get uncomfortable. There will be a bit of giving and getting.
Good luck, there will not be a one type fix all for this.

Tommy, if you ever do have damages, you need to make sure it is well documented with photos of the before and after. So it’s a good idea to go around two or three times a year and photograph the hell out of your space to be sure you have updated before pics (they don’t need to be nice pics, just a bunch of snapshots. Then if you notice damage photograph it, and bring it to the clients attention right away, in writing. PeerSpace does have the ability to charge a client for extras including minor damages with the credit card they have on hold, and they are willing to help mediate a minor dispute. Their staff is very helpful. But at the end of the day, if the client is unwilling to resolve anything, then you will be left with the bill, or you can take them to small claims court.

This stuff happens rarely, but as the guy who basically got kidnapped made us realize: Clients can be real criminals!

This would be helpful, but I prefer to do it myself. There’s a real advantage for me in dealing with unexpected expenses face-to-face with customers.

1: When people know they’re going to have to deal with me directly for things like damages, they’re more likely to be cautious and take care of things. Going through Peerspace eliminates my leverage.

2: I get the money right away and don’t have to dig into my pocket to replace something like a studio light that costs $1,200 while I wait to (maybe) get paid through Peerspace.

I do not swipe their card beforehand. I used to do that, but it just got to be too much of a hassle. Now, I have each renter fill out a credit card authorization form that has all of the info I need to run the card (name, number, expiration, security code, zip code). There’s also a brief statement above the signature line that says the renter agrees to have their card charged for any damages incurred during their booking.

This has worked for me countless times. Never had an issue with people trying to refute the charges.

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I’m not sure PeerSpace allows us to demand credit card authorization forms to be filled out by their guests? Can PeerSpace chime in on this?

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Perhaps just try reading the rules for your answers.

We have a COVID-19 statement at the top of the description on all of our listings. This item is the first thing listed:
“No more than 10 people are allowed in the studio. If your group grows larger than this, some people will be asked to leave and you will not be offered a refund.”

When I communicate with potential renters, the ten-person limit statement is one of the first things I say. So far, I have not had to kick anyone out and every group has either been under the limit or not booked.
Right now, it’s about not catching the plague rather than trying to get bookings.

I hope this helps!

Hi Leon. Great points. I just wonder what short term rental insurance you use? I tried with Geico but it adds 5k to my regular rental. I wonder if any Recomendation for better insurance deal ? For short rentals and events ?
Olga v

@Olga_V Try this…

https://www.theeventhelper.com/