Posting some good news, Airbnb actually removed a retaliatory review left by a guest who broke the house rules!
I’d heard to much about Airbnb never removing reviews even when unfair or untrue, so I’m extra relieved! We had a 4.94 rating from 50 reviews, his 1 star review took us down to 4.84 and I got an automated warning email from Airbnb about being suspended because he’d reported an issue!
The guest let his two fluffy dogs on all the furniture, blankets, cushions, white linen bed, despite it being against the house rules and also clearly specified in the welcome message that pets are welcome but not allowed on furniture. Everything smelt of dog and the dryer and washing machine were full of dog hair, guest lied initially but then agreed to pay for couch steam cleaning when I sent photos. He seemed fine with it, though unapologetic. I just figured he was just a bit of an entitled bloke, but that it was all settled.
Then he posts an extremely abusive review, including swearing and super inappropriate sexual comments in the private review, in the public review accused me of being abusive, aggressive, unfriendly and disgusting in communication with him (clearest, most bizarre case of projection I’ve ever come across - I was very factual and calm in messages to him. For context, we have 400+ 5* reviews, most of which mention how friendly and helpful we are, and I’ve learnt to be very neutral and professional when messaging guests who have purposely broken rules.) He gave us 1 star for all categories, and he ticked all 80(!) of the negative feedback details you can tick (eg. rubbish left in the house, stains on furniture, no checkin instructions, no guest manual, no communication from host, etc, all untrue, he went to town in a blind rage it seems!)
Was super distressing even though I knew he was just triggered. Reported and blocked him, then called Airbnb. They agreed that my communications with him were professional and calm, and said they’d get back to me. They took a couple of days to assess it based on their guidelines, but they let me know today that it was clear his review was biased and retaliatory, so they removed it, and our rating bounced back to normal, phew! My review for him gets to stay, as it was negative, but fair. I hope no other hosts ever have to host him!