A little venting and advise on making sure Airbnb backs up the host

If you had a bad pet allergy, wouldn’t you read the host listing or message the host prior to booking?

I have been hosting for 2 years and have learned to document all my inquiries through the Airbnb messaging system ONLY and also to make my listing as complete as possible. About a year ago I added in my listing “No pets inhabit the suite you will staying in but there are 1 dog and 2 cats that live in the apartment below. If you have severe pet allergies this suite may not be suitable.”

So the morning after check in I sent my normal message to see if everything was as expected. Imagine my surprise when I got this message: “Everything is fine except that I am allergic to pets and their smell. There is serious per order because of which I kept throwing up until 2:00am. Do you know any solution to this problem?”

Obviously they wanted their money back but they were booked for 4 nights and I have strict cancellation so I told them to contact Airbnb and maybe they could get a different place and not get charged more airbnb fees but that I would not provide a refund.

And here’s my second piece of advice. I immediatly called Airbnb and discussed the situation with a customer support person so that it was documented in writing.

Now the guests have left and I both verbally and in writing asked them to let me know if they were coming back (they left with their luggage so I doubted it) but they never replied.

So, even when people say my listing has too many details, I’m grateful that I had the documentation and strict cancellation policy so that I didn’t lose anything (except maybe a bad review but my listing states in the house rules say you can’t complain about something that is in the listing - but I’ve never tested that with airbnb review policy :wink:

Now some of you might think I was heartless but honestly, I have severe allergies that cause me to throw up too but It’s my responsibility to make sure I am not exposed to the allergens. I would never expect the host to be physic.


NOT heartless! Smart and spot on. You sound like a seasoned host to me!



  1. Don’t book this listing
  2. When you disregard obvious rule 1, go to a doctor and keep your issues to yourself.
  3. If you can’t do 1 or 2, realize this is all your creation, check out & book into a pet free hotel immediately and chalk it up as a life lesson.
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While I got a smile reading your response, I’ve learned that it never helps to tell your guest the truth. I finally went into the suite to cleaned it 2 days ago and discovered they broke a few of my house rules but the thing that bothered me the most is they opened a window where there was an ac window unit installed. The AC unit is kept securely in the window by using the window bottom lip. It was tipping out the window and any strong breeze would have had it fall down. They also left the suite and front door wide open when they left and never sent me a message that they were not coming back. I don’t plan on leaving a review unless they do.

I think this is a big mistake, you should leave a very factual review. I would never ever want someone so immature staying with me, even if they had a legit complaint about somewhere they stayed. I think they wanted your aircon to fall out.


Please do leave a review otherwise you are hurting other hosts by not providing information that is valuable. One possible message is “So and so left early as they claimed to be allergic to the cat that lived in the apartment below. They also broke house rules and left the front door wide open upon exiting. Cannot recommend these guests.” The allergy thing to a cat in another apartment would be all I needed to know to decline them…


This is a disservice to the next hosts. Reminder: reviews are for other hosts, not the guest. Not leaving a review means that the next host does no have the advantage of your experience in making a determination on whether to host this person.


You need to secure that window AC with a chain or screw the window shut or something. It’s an accident waiting to happen and a liability to you.

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The ac was secured with white duct tape and the window. It took a lot of effort for them to be able to open the window. The fan could have Brough in outside air. We have done that for 25 years for the small units. I now have it with a sign that says do not open window when ac is in window and retyped with with very secure duct tape.

Securing the ac with screws rather than duct tape seems like a better idea. Scary to think that duct tape is holding in an air conditioner…


There really is no such thing. Duct tape is for emergencies not installing AC in a window.

Good luck



I think this is really pretty weird. AC units that could blow onto the ground in a breeze, duct tape, a host who believes that ‘it never helps to tell your guest the truth’, a host who has no intention of warning other hosts about unsuitable guests, a host who mentions giving other hosts advice but doesn’t, who says 'my listing states in the house rules say you can’t complain about something that is in the listing '…

Odd stuff.


Leave a review at the last second. A sneak attack.

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LOL - I have it on my calendar for the 14th day. :wink:

I think you all misunderstand. I install the ac, put wood and foam around the frame and then use the top window to secure. Then I duct tape around the installation. These are only for the very small units. For the larger units I have frames that are mounted. I have been doing this for 25 years with no issues. The guest untaped the tape around the window and then opened the window. In regards to warning other hosts, I have mixed feelings. If I write a review, then they can zing me with 1 star reviews. I have it flagged for the 14th day. Not odd stuff, lesson learned stuff. I have over 185 5 star reviews and have learned when to engage and when not to.

They do not see your review before they leave theirs - just like you cannot see their review before you write yours.

If you leave a 5 star review, they can leave you an any star review.
If you leave a 1 star review, they can leave an any star review.
If you leave no review, they can leave a review.
They get to choose how many stars they give, and they do not get to see your review first.

I had a guest that was absolutely perfect, no questions, no issues. I left him a 5 star review 2 days after checkout. Two hours after I leave the perfect review he slaps a resolution on me for something that could have been handled within 2 hours of checkin if he had just told me about it. Then, to top it off, he leaves me a 1 star review. So - you can never guess what a guest may or may not do.


After 2 1/2 years of hosting I understand how the review system works BUT if you don’t write a review, they won’t get the teaser about seeing what I wrote. I understand that they can still write a review. If I don’t write a review it may be possible that they never will write one themselves.

Also, here’s some ways to negate the experience you had.

  1. Once the guest checks in I send them this message via the Airbnb app that way if there are any concerns and they don’t address it I can prove to Airbnb that I reached out and the guest didn’t say anything.

'Welcome to our Airbnb Guest Suite:

I just wanted to check in and make sure that everything was as you expected.

If you have any concerns, please message me via AirBnB message system.

Pleasant dreams and enjoy your stay.

Warm regards,

  1. Then on the morning of check out I sent them this message. This really helps to get the 5 star reviews.

Thank you for staying at our suite in Melrose.

As a reminder, check out time is 10 am.

I hope your stay in the Boston area was enjoyable.

We will be writing a glowing review if you write us a review so that if you decide to use AirBnB again, it will help your next host know what great guests you are.

We hope that your review will be a 5 Star Review! Five star reviews help our listing being found by future guests and let them know what our AirBnB is like.

AirBnb only gives you 14 days to write the review and as hard as it might seem, the time will fly by once you check out.

Warm Regards,

Hope this info helps. It can be so frustrating to get a bad review for things that you had no control over or could have easily remedied. It took one bad guest to change the way I interact with guests.

Don’t count on it! :joy: seriously, I agree with the premise of the prompt, but remember they get badgered by their own prompts.

This is a violation of the TOS. I would NOT say that! You can not barter for reviews.