Advice on writing a review for slob guests who ignored house rules

I’m usually very lucky in having clean, tidy guests who respect the house rules.
Top of the list- logs, first basket free then £3 per basket afterwards.
- no smoking
I also ask guests to leave the cottage clean and tidy.
These last guests left this morning. There’s broken glass outside by the hot tub (I have a safety rules sheet specifically for the hot tub which advises not to take glass near it), a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and more broken glass beside it, a filthy oven with the remains of a pie and some chips still in it, cigarette ash over the bedside table, a roll up on the ensuite window ledge and the whole cottage stinks of smoke. I saw advice from someone on this forum a few months ago who said you should wait until the two weeks were nearly up before writing a review as the guests could alter their review if you posted it straightaway. Is this right? Also, can you please give me some advice on stars and what I should say. I was thinking along the lines of, ’ Guests seemed pleasant but didn’t seem to have read the house rules’. Oh yes, another thing they did was use about six baskets of extra logs without paying- but that’s minor.

All the guests know is that you’ve written them a review. They won’t know what you’ve said until they themselves write a review or until 14 days have gone by and they’ve not written a review, in which case they cannot leave one. So the question is do you think that their knowing you’ve written a review will prompt them to write a bad review of your accommodation? If they are expecting a bad review from you then it’s probable that they will. So what I would do is to write a totally honest review and then wait. If they leave you a review, then post yours. If as time goes on they appear not to be leaving you a review, than post yours at the last minute.
I think these people are 3* maximum, possibly lower.


I too would wait till the last minute and them give them a one star for cleanliness and home rules. I would simply state that house rules were not followed and home was left a mess.


When writing a review, the main thing to think about is what other hosts want to know about these guests. I don’t like to see ‘guests broke the rules’ because I’ve no idea what those rules were or whether they’d bother me.

For instance, if one of the infractions was ‘they didn’t take out the garbage’ then that doesn’t bother me at all. If it was ‘they made a lot of noise at 2 am’ then that does bother me. We all have different rules so it’s better to be specific.

Another issue for me reading reviews is the question ‘how much of this could have been avoided by the host?’ For example (in this instance) how could they use the logs? Weren’t they locked in a woodshed and available if the guest requested them? You see, if information is scant, we have no idea.

This means that you met the guests and gave them a house tour but they still ‘broke the rules’? Personally I don’t care how ‘pleasant’ they are, I want details.

Also, I wouldn’t be particularly bothered about any cleaning problems - as most guests are clean, tidy and wonderful just the luck of the draw says there’s going to be a bad one from time to time - but the broken glass and the smoking are things I’d want to know about.


Thanks for that. For me, leaving broken glass by the hot tub was dangerous and my no smoking rule was prominent in the house rules. So I’ll write, ‘Unfortunately, guests did not deal with a couple of glass breakages. This was dangerous as one was beside the hot tub. Also, there is a strict no smoking policy inside the cottage, a rule which was also broken.’ These guests only joined Airbnb in January. This is going to be a pretty damming first review.


This sounds perfect. Never mind the fact that it’s their first review - they should have thought about that before they acted so slobbily. :slight_smile:

Your fellow hosts will thank you. Honest.


So very well said!



What total jerks. The broken glass and smoking really bother me. I would worry about any glass fragments that might have gotten into the hot tub, and clean the whole thing out to be sure.

As a “smoke screen” (pun intended) I would message the guest “thank you for staying with us. Did you enjoy everything”? Just to give the impression that you aren’t pissed.

Then, follow the strategy from @southendbootboy. Please find below a possible draft:

Would Not Host Again. Guest smoked in house, left broken glass by the hot tub outside, and left our place a mess. Broke several house rules. Sink full of dirty dishes, more broken glass in the kitchen, filthy oven, and leftover food. Ashes on tables and window ledges.

1 star for cleanliness and house rules, and of course “would not host again”.

Of course, next time, they’ll just have one of the other jerks do the next booking but we do what we can.

Good luck!


Thank you. That’s very useful:)

I would definitely want to know about this. I have a pool and put out plastic (Kate Spade!) glassware for my guests to use on the lanai and pool deck. I don’t want anyone stepping on broken glass, my cat getting it in her paws, and having to drain the pool/hot tub to make sure there was no glass in there!

Also the smoking. I used to allow smoking outside, but that got abused, so I stopped it. Now I get people who tell me that they love it that I don’t allow smoking or vaping.


Or take it up a notch, thanks for being great guests I will be reviewing you this afternoon, please take a moment and do the same for me…


@RiverRock Seriously? Outright lie to the guests that you considered them great guests and mislead them into thinking you’re going to write them a nice review? Wow, just wow. I like @Jefferson’s suggestion much better. Nice message, no lies.


Eh? My suggestion was to lie - 100% Absolutely. There is no upside whatsoever to me in being honest with a shitty guest in that circumstance.


No, an outright lie would be something like, 5 stars for you!
The gloves come off when it comes to protecting my business.



Agree 100% It would not bother me in the least, just like they apparently did not care about our property, etc.

@Jefferson That isn’t a lie to me. That just sounds like a standard message that a host might send to all their guests after they check out, maybe even before they had had time to check the place over. That it might be interpreted by the guests to mean they were considered to be great is up to them.

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Just to be clear, I am pro “write whatever you want to a bad guest”, if it might put them at ease at review time. Whatever it takes.

That is just business. People do it to each other all the time. It would be counter to my interests to actually be honest with them.

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I’ve bookmarked this one to see how it turns out. Please don’t leave us in suspense when you have more info @Gillindevon

I agree with this approach:


Right. We all have different ways of dealing with objectionable guests and guest behavior. To each his own. What I was saying was that I thought your message was a good one, in that you aren’t actually lying but it could easily lead the guest to think you considered their stay to be great, therefore they will hopefully leave a nice review rather than anticipate a bad one and review you poorly. It was a compliment. I appreciate clever and ambiguous wording about such things.


Hmmm. You mean lies? :wink: