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Am I over-reacting?

I’ve been doing BnB for about a year and all apart from my very first guests have been lovely, friendly people, who have been clean and tidy and I have had in the majority five star reviews.

Hearing some of the stories here - I appreciate how lucky I have been :slight_smile:

I have had a couple stay with me this week, who had great previous reviews about how friendly, clean and tidy they were and how they had interesting conversations with the host/s.

Initially this couple agreed to arrive at 6 p.m. and then on the evening let me know they wanted to arrive by 10 p.m. as they wanted to eat first, which I said was fine. I showed them around my place and told them about local places to eat and they went to their room.

When I came home from work the next day, I found the toilet not flushed and hairs from where someone had been shaving in the sink. They had also used my fresh coffee to make themselves coffee. Small things but made me a bit miffed.

Nevertheless as they weren’t in before I went to bed, I left them a nice handwritten note saying I hoped they had a nice stay and that if I didn’t see them in the morning before they left (I knew they were leaving early) where to leave to leave the keys and that I hoped they enjoyed the rest of their travels.

When I got up this morning they were gone, with no acknowledgement of my note (just a soaking wet bathroom floor and damp towels on the bed).

I am probably over-reacting, but wondered why the guests were a little off with me when they had glowing reviews from previous hosts? I certainly don’t expect everyone to become my best friend - it just seemed at odds with other hosts experiences.

Aside from the toilet not being flushed; I would view most of this as guests with different cleanliness habits than mine. I would be mildly irritated with the hair in the sink and the wet bathroom floor, but as I clean the bathroom between guests it wouldn’t get under my skin. I think that not flushing toilets is disgusting and smelly, but I’ve been slammed by other posters on this board for that viewpoint. I wouldn’t mind if guests left their wet towels on the bed as I’m washing the bedding anyway. Most of our guests leave their wet towels draped over the wood chair in the guest room despite the fact that we have a laundry hamper in the guest room. I don’t understand why you’re upset that your guests made coffee. I usually make coffee for my guests. When they make it for themselves I’m pleasantly surprised. I also don’t think they were obligated to respond to your note.

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This is anecdotal, but at the beginning of my hosting I was enraged that so few folks flushed the toilet that I put it in my house rules.

Then one day I idly flushed the toilet by flicking the handle, and realized that the mechanics were failed - to actually flush my toilet, you needed to hold down the handle for the duration of the flush, rather than how all other toilets work, which is just one flick and let go, and the toilet completes the work.

Not sure if this is applicable to your situation, but it was really worth the $20 repair that I did myself. And it made me realize that most folks expect things to work to a current standard. Hoping that a guest does things that you take for granted especially when things do not work like they do everywhere else (doors that need extra effort to close tightly, a window that sticks open) will ultimately be frustrating to you.

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I think you mean to be replying to the original poster, not to me. My toilet flushes just fine.


Hi @Helsi,

Though I’m new at this game, I’ve had more than one guest where their behavior and appearance were at odds with their reviews, their description of themselves, and, often, their photographs.

As regards the photos and the descriptions, that’s the least surprising part. People lie a lot. Based on some of the descriptions of themselves guests have written, I think they’ve mistaken Airbnb for a dating site, or suchlike. The reviews are more difficult to understand, and I don’t have a good answer for that. Perhaps interpersonal dynamics play a role. People are different with different people. (Wow, that sounds tautological.)

Having said that, your guests, as non-ideal guests go, sound pretty mild.


I have certainly been guilty for overacting, so you may wish to take my advice with a grain of salt. Yes, I think you are over-reacting. I’ve had guests with great reviews be total slobs and pinch my food. What I do in those situations is take a deep breath and ask myself if these transgressions were worth the cost of their stay. They always are. :slight_smile:


@Helsi Small stuff, albeit annoying. The quicker you forget them, the better.


Thanks for the feedback Ellen

To explain a little more, I do offer guests free use of a selection of teas (8) and coffee (1) and showed them where that was They actually went into a separate set of shelves and helped themselves to my expensive freshly ground coffee

Thanks Rolf - I live in a newly converted property and the flushing mechanism works fine :slight_smile:

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Thanks that’s helpful deep breath, smile and large glass of wine :slight_smile:

Thanks I feel so much better after reading all your replies. Appreciated.

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That makes sense. That would irritate me also.

None of these things would bother me. But ours is a separate apartment and, for example, there’s no expensive coffee they could use.

The only bothersome thing would be the unflushed loo. When I go into the apartment after guests have checked out, I go into the bathroom without turning the light on (it’s dark in there) and flush. Just in case :slight_smile:

Sometimes the little things really grate on your nerves, ha… I have a long-term guest with me right now who leaves crumbs on the kitchen counter after every meal – HOW CAN SHE NOT SEE THEM? :grin:


I don’t really know how you’re reacting to say if you are over reacting, but at least every couple of days someone in my household (yep, my family) will leave wet towels laying on a bed/lounge/floor, forget to flush and leave whiskers in the sink. (forget the coffee, I don’t drink it)
So nothing I’d be shocked about if a paying guest did any of that.
I’d say it’s all part of the joys of hosting in your home (which I will never do, hats off to everyone here that does, it’s whole house or nothing for me!)

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Following on what @Australia says, you may indeed be over-reacting, but the problem with having guests who do things that annoy you (and let’s face it, none of us are so saintly that nothing annoys us!) is that you can’t react at all! You can say/scream to your spouse/partner/child “How many times have I told you to hang up your bloody towel?! I’m not your maid, you know!” or you can nag, or give them THAT look or sigh, but doing this to a guest gets you a less than stellar review … so you’re in quite an artificial situation.

These things can be REALLY annoying but not worth giving a bad review for, so you have to have some sort of way to vent - the large glass of wine is good, provided it’s not at 8 in the morning … and I sometimes think an all-purpose guest voodoo doll mightn’t be a bad idea!


For the towels… have hooks where they can be hung between uses with a sign or explanation that the hooks are for towels.

You could have a sign (in a nice frame) that explains the checkout procedure. Mine says things like, don’t strip the bed, put used cups in the kitchen for me to wash, hang used towels on the designated hooks, and put the key in the mail slot.

As far as bathroom cleanliness is concerned… if it’s a shared bathroom, put in your listing that since it is shared, the guests need to tidy up after themselves. Then give specific directions: removed hair from shower drain and sink, wipe up water (with a rag you’ve designated for that). Then also place a reminder sign in the bathroom-- possibly on the mirror.

I have a sign in the bathroom that asks guests to use the PooPouri, air freshener, and fan when appropriate. I had too many young men who had fouled up the bathroom enough that I could smell it in the dining room. Ick. Now the worst I smell is the air freshener!

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I don’t know. I’d say these guests were unfriendly at minimum and certainly not respectful. I might be inclined to overlook one of these things but not all of them. Guests like that would get a thumbs down from me. I would not want to host someone like this so please let other hosts know.

Unfortunately, X was not a very good fit with us. They were unfriendly, non communicative and left things messier than I expect.

@Helsi, I don’t think you’re over reacting, really. You’re just reacting. While none of my guests have been terrible, most of them are so good that the ones who are not are thrown into sharp relief. My ratio seems to be 1 set of annoying/kinda bad guests for every 4 fantastic ones. I get accustomed to things going smoothly, and then I am a bit shocked when guests that are less than wonderful show up, and I react the way you’re reacting.

As my hosting experience grows, I think I’m going to start adopting @konacoconutz more hard line approach in terms of reviewing guests like these. Were they truly terrible or destructive or whatever? No. But comparatively speaking, there was enough of a contrast between them and other guests that it should be mentioned. If the vast majority of your guests leave the sink clean and manage to flush the toilet, then guests who don’t should be called out. Otherwise, there is no point in the review system.

As far as the coffee, that is just plain rude and obnoxious. If they want to be provided with expensive gourmet coffee, then they can pay the $300 a night price tag that comes with amenities like that.


Thank you Chloe - that’s exactly it. I think I have been lucky in that all of my guests have been lovely (apart from the first) so it was rather uncomfortable having these guests.

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