Advice needed- requesting alteration to end booking early due to difficult circumstances

Is it reasonable to ask a guest to leave early (ten week booking, in week seven) because you had some awful news about a friend taking their own life and need space to deal with it? Obviously I live in the property. I did ask my guest and she refused at first, then airbnb rang her to persuade her and she agreed. I had already sent her a link to another airbnb nearby and same price, that looked nice. But I was surprised she said no under the circumstances.

If you are looking for reassurance about whether your need for privacy and your request for the guest to relocate are reasonable – yes, yes, yes.

As a practical matter – if you can afford to make a good-will gesture by offering the guest a refund for their final week (in recognition of the disruption), it might leave her feeling a bit better about the situation, and leave you less likely to be asking yourself if you did the right thing.

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Really? There seem to be a lot of people out there who are extremely self-centered. I’m no longer surprised by it.

But you can bet if she wanted to get out of her last 3 weeks of booking for a similar circumstance, she’d be hounding you for a refund and accusing you of a lack of compassion.

I’m truly sorry about what you’re going through. I’ve been there myself but, no, absolutely not, it is not reasonable for you to boot someone out of their home (temporary or not) because of your personal life.

This is the kind of thing that reflects poorly on all hosts. Your guest (who is effectively a tenant) made a reservation for 10 weeks and you accepted it. They have no obligation to leave early. You should at the very least do the responsible thing and pay them to relocate, e.g. “cash for keys”.


Oh that’s actually a really good idea. I think I will offer that. Thank you.

she is not a tenant at all, she has a flat that her parents bought her in London and she is there most weekends. She hardly has anything in the room other than a few clothes

What I didn’t mention is she has also been breaching the terms of our agreement …but I didn’t want to go into that.

There is a difference between “booting someone out” (which Annie didn’t do) and “ask[ing] a guest to leave early [and offering an alternative]” because you aren’t in any shape to be a good host after your friend killed themselves.


There’s also a big difference between personal circumstances of the host being that their friend unexpectedly committed suicide and “I forgot my sister’s bachlorette was that weekend”.

Just as a host might compassionately refund a guest whose husband just had a heart attack, but refuse to refund just because the guest changed their plans.

I don’t think that asking a guest to please relocate in the OP’s situation, accompanied by searching for a similar accommodation to recommend, reflects badly on all hosts.

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Ps I didn’t mention though she has also been breaching the terms of our agreement in terms of what we agreed when she booked which has been causing a lot of disruption too, which I didn’t want to go into. We did discuss that and she promised she would start sticking to what we agreed, but I said that it all felt too stressful on top of the news about my friend, otherwise I would have ridden it out.

When you mentioned upthread that she’d been breaching the terms of your agreement, I thought that might be the case- if she was a sweet, quiet, respectful person who was non-intrusive and easy to have around, you might have been inclined to let it ride, even though you’d prefer to be alone right now.

Many of my homeshare guests are so quiet, and eat out, so barely use the shared kitchen, that half the time I don’t even know if they are home or not. The ones who are super chatty and hang out a lot in shared spaces isn’t something I normally mind, but if I were in your situation, I’d find those types stressful to have around.