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I understand now. That type of issue will be a trust & safety dept case due to the fake weapon. As ignorant as it is, the system is set to automatically drop any user, regardless of host or guest status and length on website, for any type of weapon (toy or not) if it is brought to the attention of Airbnb. I won’t speak in length on this because it’s not what I handle on a daily basis, but if it was a rubber pistol, that was why the user was instantly dropped. I’m not sure how it would be handled once it is confirmed other than I’m sure reinstatement would happen at some point like you stated has already happened.


Yes - reinstated after going through a court process. The guest made a complaint saying it was a weapon in open view. It wasn’t, it was a training piece. A rubber toy! The host was not contacted as it appears that what ever the guest says has a weighted truth.
The trust and safety appears to have their own unexplained agenda.


And by the way - you are now of Facebook - prepare to be inundated!


wait…what about facebook? I really can’t have this on that large of a platform unless admins and moderators never release my personal info that is used to sign up


@TheInsider I always thought that guests who cancel after check-in, but before their first night were still allowed to leave a review although they did not stay? Has this policy changed?

This question is about the “complainer” we had. We asked him to cancel because we don’t want to host unhappy guests. I thought he would still be able to leave a review, but now we see that we don’t have an option to leave him a review :thinking:.

EDIT: I just received the invitation to review him. Apparently this is only after his original reservation, not after the cancelation.


No - it is not shared. I will DM you.


We are long time hosts and are super frustrated with the unfairness of the review system. A recent guest who mentioned NO unhappiness while she was here (although fought with her hubby non stop) left a 1,000- word rant, a cruel and taunting missive on us and everything she could possibly name that made her unhappy. She decided it was a better use of her time to count mosquitoes and categorize them all rather than watch the most glorious, jaw-dropping sunsets weʻve had in decades. There was more but you get the idea. She paid our lowest rate, and complained in the review the loudest of any guest in years, no surprise there.

Even though the Guidelines stated clearly (at the time) Reviews
must be no longer than 500 words, thus violating Airʻs stated policy, the CSR would not even consider removing the review because it was her “opinion.” If a review violates stated policy and is allowed to stand, what hope is there?

We were guilty of “agent shopping,” as you call it. I took screenshots of the policy showing 500 words to be the limit and submitted it again but no one at Air seemed to think there was anything wrong. I asked several different times and I was finally “shut down.” So discouraging that someoneʻs lies and rants and abuse are allowed to stand, even though they exceeded the limit by almost double.

I wish CRs were given the option to remove more bad reviews. Itʻs made our whole lives about reviews, and one kook like this will wipe you out. Yes, I know all about responding, but sometimes that makes it worse. You have to word a response very carefully.

Thoughts? Thanks for making an appearance here and wanting to help us out!


@TheInsider This is so helpful that you here. I have been hosting for 3 years and over 900 reservations since. I rarely have issues but when they do arise it’s really frustrating and time consuming. Are you staying that in case an issue arise with the guest and we are worry about getting a reliatory review airbnb support can block it? I read about this before and when I asked the CSR guy he was clueless… I have some questions regarding what airbnb can do or not if the guest sneaks in extra guests for example.

I had an issue with this guest who beside smoking in my home came in 3 people instead of 2 people listed on the reservation and which is also against my house rules and listing maximum occupancy. When I confronted them I asked them to leave since they were violating the policy which they did. I called airbnb after and I was told that I couldn’t cancel without issuing them a full refund… Since I was not a fault and I also could prove the number of guests with cameras and footage which I submitted to airbnb, I thought the reservation could be cancelled and my cancellation policy upheld. However, this guest was issued a full refund for her entire stay (3 nights) and I lost my entire payout. She arrived at 1PM and left at 10:30PM.

Now I had a similar issue yesterday with another guest and airbnb representative told me the following :

“Yes, if your guest failed to indicate on the reservation or even inform you about the correct number of guests prior to booking, you can cancel the reservation and choose to uphold your cancellation policy.”

This is not what happened in my case with the first guest so I don’t get it. I am trying to understand how did airbnb proceeded and why.

If you could clarify and help me understand better airbnb policies in this situation I would really appreciate it. What can airbnb do or not do? The best outcome for me would be to cancel their reservation with my cancellation policy upheld but is this possible? If yes how to proceed then?

Thank you so much for your help


It’s great an Airbnb staff member (like you) is “volunteering” to help us on this blog site. But, why can’t Airbnb assign someone to do it full-time, as this website receives many hosts’ comments and questions each day?

P.S.: I had an Airbnb issue that none of the Airbnb phone-center staff could help me. I then wrote and mailed three well-written letters to the Airbnb CEO, communications director and IT director at the Airbnb San Francisco headquarters six months ago, but I have never received a response. Shameful!


Probably they already have someone full time following this and other forums. At least that would be the professional thing to do for such a huge company. As for officially answering any questions: You know that AirBnB doesn’t like to enter in any kind of discussion, so don’t get your hopes up :wink:.


Very touchy subject. Extra guests are #1 difficult to prove and #2 difficult for Airbnb to receive payment on and thus payout the host more. Long story short, make sure your listing pricing is airtight. If the guest books for two and you see on camera that 4 show up, it’s hard to prove that the guests are not “visitors” unless you very clearly state that you have a no visitor policy and additionally, you charge “X” for each additional guest. From your first case, the agent simply handled it incorrectly. If you have camera evidence (and the cameras were listed on your listing ad at time of booking) then the agent should’ve looked at your “additional guest fee” in what we internally refer to as “snapshot” and asked the guest to pay the “x” additional fee. The unfortunate part of all of this is that Airbnb can not “force” payment on a guest for ANYTHING other than physical damages caused by the guest with valid documentation from the host when a security deposit is listed on the listing ad at time of booking and within the snapshot. As much as I love my job, Airbnb needs to adjust things to be more on the host side when it comes to damage claims, breaking house rules, etc etc. No documentation = no payout or reimbursement unless you have an agent like me whom is primarily always on the host side of the claim. The second agent you spoke with told you correctly… if the house rules are being broken, a host is to contact Airbnb regarding the issue, try direct communication to get a fair resolution to both parties involved via the Resolution Center and if all else fails, let us know you need to cancel for “XYZ” and every agent SHOULD cancel on behalf of guest for not following house rules. This becomes sticky once a guest doesn’t admit to breaking the house rules which is why I always tell hosts that documentation is your best friend. I know I’m rambling through all of this but hopefully it helps you out in some way.


IMO, Airbnb will never allow an employee on an official basis to discuss topics like this forum does on an official capacity. There are things that each one of you would love to have answered that a csr on a recorded line will never tell you even though a majority of us agree with you and your frustrations. Policy comes from people 50x higher salary than us and we are simply the robots that enforce policy. The only benefit to talking to agents is that each agent will handle the same case in a different way. Myself, I can take a case, mediate a solution to the problem and even though I’m following my policy to a T, both parties feel as though I’m 100% on their side.

As far as Airbnb official involvement in these type of forums would most likely never happen. They are about community in their mission but their bottom dollar behind scenes. For the 6% of issues that arise off the millions of daily reservations, it’s just simply not worth their investment.


This is very disconcerting, so WTF is the host guarantee exactly besides a marketing tool? Security deposits are not real I do not even bother. My only solace is at least i have the guests ID and I could sue direct if something bad happened.



@TheInsider Umm…that’s nice for future bookings but the concern is those ALREADY booked and the guest has assumed they have paid full amount and now there’s going to have to be tax collected at some point. Making it more complex is that there are over 300 towns and cities in MA and EACH one will have their own rates based on FOUR separate taxes which may also change as late as May. And let’s say there’s a booking starting Sat Jun 29 to Sat Jul 6 - the first two days in June are NOT taxed but the other 5 are. I foresee a HUGE mess here unfortunately!


Reader’s Digest: Host guarantee is that Airbnb guarantees reimbursement for stolen/damaged items in your listing that the guest is unresponsive in paying for.

Security deposit: The only thing Airbnb can force payment upon a guest for if a PHYSICAL damage to your property happens.
(Security deposit IMO is very needed. It is not something a guest is required to make an actual deposit on at time of booking (which I don’t know why and hate that) but rather it is what the guest is AGREEING to pay up to if it is PROVEN that a physical property damage happened during their reservation.

In short, yes the host guarantee is not an insurance policy and has about a week worth of hoops to jump through, but it is a resourceful tool to protect hosts in replacing item(s) in their listing. I know it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it.

Airbnb policy: It has been shown in case studies that Airbnb trainees must view, hosts have tried suing guests for incidents/damages that occur during the guest’s reservation period and have lost the case for the simple fact that the guest can hide behind Airbnb for legal coverage. Just keep that in mind when going about your own lawsuit. As much as I am a for-the-people type of agent and not pro-Airbnb, I just urge caution with that mentality if anything comes up. Please please please add a security deposit even if you think it’s not real, it can greatly help agents help you in the future.


Thank you for your reply. I did have documentation and a strict no visitor and no extra guest policy with a $250 fee if it happens. Airbnb response was that I didn’t contact them before I asked the guests to leave which is true and therefore why they got a full refund… When I have people at my place smoking drugs and sneaking people in I just can’t let them stay. I thought since they were breaking my house rules and I could prove it airbnb would have been on my side. Is it true that I needed to contact airbnb first before asking the guest to leave or did they just had no idea what they were doing? I asked to speak to the supervisor but she told me the same thing…Should I have just told them they broke my house rules and do CBG? Is there any documentation/resources we can use somewhere to back this up for references in case this happens again? Thank you gain


To be blunt, no. There is no verification/documentation that will help you in any case (almost) IF you have not contacted the guest regarding the issue first. The Resolution Center comes into play on this one:
Host opens Resolution Center Claim against guest named X under reservation # X
72 time hour limit opened before host can ask for AIrbnb involvement/mediation
Guest refuses any payment or is unresponsive
THEN and only then will Airbnb justify and side with host on the breaking of house rules and may offer some form of reimbursement. Some cases happen where an agent will side with Host and cancel a reservation either as the guest or as an admin if the agent wants to play nice with the guest. Airbnb thrives on telling hosts/guests to work things out between themselves before taking action (cancelling reservation) or involving an agent.

Please keep in mind (im here unofficially so this is just advice) you charging $250 fee for breaking of house rules will never be enforced with Airbnb. A fine/fee can only be charged if the rule broken causes a monetary fee to the host. For example, a no parking on street means a $200 HOA fine, then the owner can have it listed as a house rule with a fee involved. If the house rule such as a no visitors rule doesn’t directly cost the owner a fee, it can not have a dollar amount attached. (I know a visitor can cost electricity, water, etc but Airbnb won’t be on your side on this one)

Just make sure under your listing fees that additional guests cost X per night and state visitors are also unauthorized but are charged the same as additional guest per night.


Hi Insider,
If I understand you correctly, you said the host guarantee only covers Items, and a security deposit is necessary to get physical damage to the property covered. But this is what it says on the platform for the description of the host guarantee:

"What’s protected?

  • Damage to a host’s property (home, unit, rooms, possessions)"


My strong suspicion is that the reviews began to be out of order by date, circa March 2016, due to hosts who start off with three fake reviews from their friends. (Not the claimed “language” preference.) A practice that is rampant.


eh, yes, kinda sort of. The only time Trust & Safety dept can force a payment to a guests payment method on file is if you have a security deposit on your listing at time of booking. A host guarantee claim does the same thing in most aspects except that it’s just Airbnb’s way of saying “we’ll cover you as long as you have every piece of ridiculous documentation we ask for in the event that “x” is damaged and the guest doesn’t pay/respond and you don’t have a security deposit in place on your listing.” The main difference is one is forced upon the guest to pay with valid documentation/proof and the other guarantees Airbnb payment.

Keep in mind, valuable art work, cash, personal documents, jewelry, high-valued TVs and other electronics, etc are not covered under any policy and just about the ONLY time Airbnb pays up is after a long wait period and the mention of media covering your story.

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