A case study for honesty in reviews of guests

Earlier this year I had a guest book. He was part of a large group of about 9 people. They were in town to work on an electrical project for a local big box store. He had 15 reviews, all good and positive. One of the hosts who had previously reviewed him was a host whose house I had stayed at recently. I knew her house was absolutely immaculate and well maintained so I figured if she was good with him, I would be too.

This is the review I ended up leaving for him and his group.

It was pretty honest although I left out some of the more gruesome details ( finding chunks of meat on the dining room floor and stuck to the outside of the oven door.

Still and all, they were a nice, friendly, respectful crew and I hesitated to leave the negative review, but I did it.

Now he has 20 reviews. Since my negative review of him. 3 of the 4 hosts he’s stayed with have remarked on the lack of cleanliness. So it looks like either (a) my honest review opened the door to subsequent hosts doing likewise, or (b) they started being slobs at my place and have continued being slobs since. Either way, it looks like they are getting the reviews they have earned.

Here are the recent ones:

It looks like, from the mention of a tip for the cleaning crew, they are getting a little smarter about the expectations of the AirBnB hosts. If they had left a nice tip for us, I might have had a harder time leaving them a negative (but truthful) review.


I think what is remarkable about this story is that these subsequent hosts either didn’t bother to check out this guests previous reviews or if they did they ignored them !

Personally I wouldn’t have hosted these guests if I had seen your review @Keugenia

Good for you for being honest about this guest.


Definitely :slight_smile:

Just one thing though - I wish it had gone a little further. Unfortunately I would have been one of hosts with no hesitation in hosting this group.

That’s because a) I’d expect a greasy stove due to nine people cooking (not floor to ceiling admittedly) b) the fridge is cleaned thoroughly with every turnover and c) everything kitchen-wise is taken out and washed at each turnover too.

Sorry to say that I would have taken the comment that the house took four times longer to clean with a pinch of salt.

I would have wanted the other ‘gruesome details’.

Good job on a truthful review - but I just wish it had gone further.


Possibly, I should have been more descriptive.

I clean the fridge with every guest too…but that usually just requires a quick wipe down, not removing every shelf and bin and washing it in hot water and cleaning the gaskets. The fridge stank from the cut onion they stored there as well as other food smells from food they let spoil there.

I expect the stove to be a little greasy…but not a solid sheet of grease splatters from floor to ceiling. The oven was a mess too, and so was the microwave.

I don’t expect to find chunks of meat on the dining room floor and carpet, and stuck to the oven door.

There were other issues…stuff they left behind, and paper trash on the floor, and in the drawers, etc.

Luckily, I had a day until the next guests were due. I had to hire two extra people (besides me and my usual cleaner) to get through everything in time.


Thanks for your honest review and yes, indeed I believe your review probably did open that door to other honest reviews. Depending on how many people and how long they stayed I would expect quite a mess. That’s why I don’t like long stays in my one room rental. I’d rather clean every day.


I’m going to bet your place doesn’t accommodate as many people, and doesn’t have three complete sets of dishes.

Some guests book this house so they can host big dinners. This house sleeps up to 14. There are everyday dishes for 12, another set of plastic dishes for outdoor dining serving 24, plus a blue Willow China service for 20, plus all the serving pieces. Then there are all the glasses, wine glasses, coffee cups, pots, pans, utensils, storage containers for leftovers, silverware… It is absolutely not practical to wash everything every time guest stay at this place. It would be a tremendous waste of water and electricity, not to mention time, even though there is a dishwasher on site. Definitely not green to do it, that’s for sure.

I can see doing what you do in a smaller place, but it simply isn’t practical at this one. Bravo for your effort, but if I had to do that, I’d probably take out the dishes and provide disposable ones.

So far, they have been the only guests to put away dishes that were dirty. I don’t think the guests expect that I wash every dish and utensil in the place between every booking. I know I don’t expect hosts have done that when I’ve stayed places as a guest. And I still get “sparkling clean” in my reviews quite frequently.

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Absolutely right - the rentals accommodate two people. Which doesn’t mean that only two people are in there (I allow guests to have visitors during daylight hours), but even so, I provide only a minimum of crockery and cutlery which ‘forces’ the guests to wash up after themselves.

If they want a bowl for soup and one for salad at dinnertime, then they have to wash the ones they used at breakfast for their cereal.

It’s not a case of guests putting away ‘dishes that are dirty’ - that’s not a thing I’ve ever experienced and I hope I never do - it’s more a case of them not cleaning them to the standard that I expect. And in those instances yes, I believe that all guests do have a right to sparkling clean dishes that they know to be perfectly clean to use.

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My listing is comparable to yours (up to 10 overnight, guests with dishes for 12+, and dining room seating for 20) , and I generally agree with @jaquo, at least before you elaborated. It does seem like there’s a cleanliness issue, but it’s still hard to judge without seeing it.

Curious what rating you gave the guest for cleanliness?

Do you provide sealed containers for food leftovers? If not, consider it for guests to store onions and similar food items. I have a set of Rubbermaid containers and surprisingly, about 20% of guests use them. It’s not a perfect solution for the refrigerator smell because guests may not use them and I’ve found the source of the vast majority of food smells in the refrigerator is restaurant leftovers in takeout containers, and I wouldn’t rate a guest lower for that. I do take out all of the shelves and drawers and wash with diluted bleach water when odors become noticeable. I would say I do it at least once every 2 months.

I have had guests put away dirty dishes on multiple occasions. I believe it’s a case of somebody putting dirty dishes into a dishwasher that was already full of clean dishes, then somebody else putting the “clean” dishes away. Almost every time it was families with kids around 8 to 12 years old. It’s also extremely common for guests to put away drinking glasses with dirty hands that leave very visible finger smudges. I’ve also twice had pans put away that were clean on the inside, but covered with grease on the outside, and a couple of times where the pans appeared to be washed in the dishwasher then put away but were not totally clean. Because of this, I inspect all of the dishes and pans and wash any that aren’t clean. It’s rare that there are none needing to be re-washed.


Yep, got a bunch of them—the nice kind that are made of glass with lock down, gasket sealed, heavy duty plastic covers. Some folks use them and some don’t.

I don’t rate them lower for that. This was beyond that. And if the fridge has been the only issue, I wouldn’t have given them a negative review.

This was my first time of guests doing that. I do spot check the dishes…for example, the glasses are plain clear glass and it’s very easy to see when they aren’t perfectly clean. If they look spotty, I’ll take them out and wash them in the dishwasher and check the other dishes to see how they look. But I don’t remove everything from all the cabinets and wash it between every guest.

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I think this is nearest the truth. You find the same phenomenon with guest reviews - one person mentions something and then it gets picked up by others. We’re all sheeple, essentially!
I’m about to leave a review for my nightmare guest who talked incessantly. Her previous reviews mention that she is “very sociable”. I’m going to go a little step further, not rude but a little more forthright that others. It’s the ‘Emperors New Clothes’ thing, isn’t it?


I’m dying to know what you are going to say! Will it be…

Can talk the hind legs off a donkey
Can talk the gate off its hinges
Can talk the hide off a cow
Can talk the legs off a chair
Her tongue is hinged in the middle
She beats her gums to death
She speaks ten words a second with gusts up to fifty
Ask her the time and she’ll tell you how to build a watch
Chattier than Cathy
Enjoys the sound of her own voice
Very loquacious
Prone to loquacity
Prone to logorrhea
Unnecessarily garrulous

My paternal grandma was a talker. No one could get a word in edgewise unless they had some juicy gossip to share. You had to just excuse yourself and leave the room if you needed to go to the bathroom or get something to eat while you were visiting her—and she would keep talking across the house (it was a small house) the whole time you were in the bathroom or kitchen or whatever. Two of her three brothers were exactly the same. I have a chuckle to myself wondering what mealtimes were like in the house when she and her brothers were growing up. I know her father was a very quiet man and her mother was not much of a talker either.


Vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

My father in law liked that one for folks with a great number of words to use up. :wink:


Love it!

Love it! 2020202020202020

I have a friend like this. She bought a tract of land in New Zealand and she and her husband are trying to restore it and preserve the habitat as it includes breeding ground for the endangered yellow eyed penguin. I asked how many trees they planted so far and I got an hour long lesson on wind, soils, trees, seasons, everything imaginable. I still don’t know how many trees they’ve planted.


I have had this happen. Pots and pans with cooking residue / burned food just run thru the dishwasher (of course sometimes you need to scrub! they didn’t!) and thrown back into the cupboard.

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Interestingly, it seems to happen more in our larger apartment - the one that has the dishwasher. The smaller one has such a tiny kitchen that a dishwasher just won’t fit in so everything is done by hand. People seem to trust that the dishwasher has cleaned everything just fine. When they do it by hand it seems, they are a little more vigilant.

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This is an interesting thread because I’m right now deciding how to leave a review and have only one day left before the time limit is up. I hosted a group and the person who booked was perfectly nice, but one of her friends spilled something nasty on our brand new down filled couch. Instead of contacting me, they went out and bought Shout, which is not the proper product to clean the couch with, and dragged it to the garage and sprayed it down. Subsequently, the down inside got soaked with the Shout and the upholstery is also ruined. The question is, do I leave a poor review for a nice guest or a bad review based on one of her not so bright friends? Also, she has left me a review, which of course I cannot view until tomorrow.

Airbnb TOS says that the booking guest is responsible for the other guests on the reservation (assuming they were legit on the reservation). So unless the booking guest was tied up and blincfolded during the entire escapade they are just a guilty as the one who pulled the trigger.

And how do you know the friend did it and not the booking guest? Unless you witnessed it yourself, you don’t.

Review commensurately.