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Angry guest, circumstances beyond my control



Hi, need feedback about guests and how to proceed with them. It is making me so stressed. Have an awkward situation. Started off well yesterday, the man seemed really nice (I only saw him).

This morning I had to have a plumber at my property, where I live, adjoining the Airbnb apartment, because I have had a slow dripping toilet that ruined my floor. The plumber accidentally did something with my toilet/plumbing which made the leak 1000% worse (from a dripping leak to a sudden gush) and suddenly the floor was 2 inches in water and he ran out saying he had to turn water off to house. This was only in my own part of the building, leak was not affecting guests. However, had he not turned the water off, the water would surely have spread and gone under locked door into the apartment. As soon as the plumber came back in after switched water off outside the house, my doorbell rings (next to apartment on Airbnb/shared building) not even a minute later. It’s the guest looking upset asking about water.

It all happened so fast so I just said the plumber had to shut off the water but it will be back on in 5minutes (even though I didn’t even know how long it was going to be at that point). In about 3- 4 minutes the plumber had the water on again. I went and apologised to the guest for the inconvenience, he looked a little annoyed.

I followed it up later with an Airbnb message apologising again for the inconvenience and that if I’d know in advance about plumbing problems/water off, I would have given them notice. He didn’t reply.

At 6.00pm, My daughter’s friend’s mum turns up to collect her daughter. While we’re chatting and her daughter is getting her stuff together, the guy turns up by my door looking REALLY angry. I said “oh, do you need to get out of the drive?”. He just didn’t say anything, just looked at me and turned around and walked to his car and slammed door. His wife looked through window also looking angry.

What should I do? They are still out but with a newborn I expect they’ll be back soon. Should I approach them on their return and say I noticed they looked very angry and explain again about this morning and about some parts of the premises being shared space (as that is clearly on my Airbnb page)?? Or should I leave it and either way they are sure to leave a negative review…? It’s making me feel sick to my stomach.


Sorry it’s not terribly clear and your message is in one long paragraph making it difficult to read.

So are you saying

  1. You had a plumber to your property and the plumber did something that affected all accommodation in your property including the Airbnb. This was fixed within a few minutes

  2. You have a shared drive and your friend blocked your guest in.

Now personally I would have asked my friend not to block guests in, or at least you could have left a note to let him know she was picking up her child.

However - neither of these issues is anything but a mild inconvenience.

Personally I wouldn’t apologise it sounds like he was being very passive aggressive. Why reward bad behaviour?

(Perhaps you could buy a rattle for his newborn, so he has something to chew on next time he has a tantrum).

Going forward I would avoid getting maintenance work like this done when you have guests.


Hi Helsi,

I’ve tidied it up, thanks for pointing out it was confusing. The plumbing problem was not in the Airbnb part of the property but my own house, adjoining it.

The work wasn’t planned and it was unavoidable. The plumber called (returned my call) and said “I can come now”,so he did. It went from there, he just did his thing and it affected the guests momentarily. Yes, annoying I can agree, but a minor inconvenience really. Otherwise, no I never plan maintenance work while guests are here.

If anyone turns up in my drive, and it’s a ‘living home’ as described on my page, they will block me or guests in. My page describes, and it is obvious to anyone who arrives, that if someone arrives, others will be blocked in.

I always say on arrival to let me know if anything is needed, that includes moving cars. But his attitude implies he feels it is HIS driveway and that this is another unexpected ‘disasterous’ occurence for him.

I was trying to establish, through clear communication that I am basically reading him right and then to explain in detail that this morning’s plumbing issue was sudden and severe, resulting in water having to be turned off for a few minutes, and no time to send a notice though I already messaged him to say that. Could happen to anyone.


I don’t see these events as a big deal in guest management. Perhaps try to avoid them, but I don’t think anything other than saying “sorry about that” is warranted.


I agree @Brandt - nothing at all to get stressed about.


If you know something is going to inconvenience guests, like shutting the water off, best to tell them that you’re going to do it and warn them. I’m pretty certain that if you knocked on his door and told him the water will be off for a little bit it would not have been as much of a situation as Discovering you certainly do not have water, and knocking on your door confused and angry because the schedule has been interrupted


Thanks to each of your replies. I agree, they are minor things but the guy looked like he has smoke coming out of his ears when he looked at me and, of course, being my ‘blood sweat and tears’ trying to remain ‘superhost’ I can get stressed out of proportion for fear of that one person leaving me a horrible review over some minor thing.


The guest is really rude and passive aggressive. Plumbing stuff happens occasionally. Give him thumbs down. Is there anything you can do about the parking in situation? That’s annoying, not that that justifies your guests behaviour.


I think he was being a passive-aggressive twonk.

The only thing I might do is drop him a message through Airbnb and say something like

"Dear ‘twonk’

I hope you are enjoying your stay. As it says on my listing/in my guest book/ we are glad to be able offer our guests space to park on our driveway so they don’t have to park on the road.

However you seemed a little put out this morning when you came and knocked at my door when you wanted to leave and found there were other cars, which needed to move to let you out.

If you would prefer not to have to do this, do feel free to use the local on street parking".


Thanks Jess1.

Can’t do anything about the drive that isn’t going to cost several thousand £. Can’t park on the road as it’s a busy road. It’s an L-shaped drive and as soon as someone pulls in, the corner in which you turn to point out is blocked. Only wide enough for one car, so really it is what it is. But it’s not been a big deal. I will have to verbally tell people from now on perhaps that ‘on occasion we will have someone turn up, so please just knock and we will be happy to get out of your way’…to make a point of it on arrival.


To be honest I hate passive aggressive people like that. I would have just waited for him to speak. If he wanted you to do him a favour he should have had the common courtesy to have asked. You are not a mind reader :slight_smile:

Definitely mark them down for poor communication.


Thanks Helsi!

Dear “Twonk” - love it haha.

People come racing down this road so I wouldn’t want anyone to park there unless they are ok with getting their car potentially damaged from speeding cars. Though it is legal…


I know it’s not ideal for the guest. That was my point. It might give him a reality check.

  1. Safe parking on driveway but might need to be involved in car shuffling.
  2. Unsafe parking on road.

And apologies for those from outside the UK - ‘twonk’ is a derogatory term. I would say harsher than calling someone an idiot. But not so harsh as calling them a fxxkhead.


The main point here is the guest is a w***er as someone said in another thread. However parking is not always a given. I live in a Victorian street in a city and occasionally the nearest parking is 100 yards away. In a few years time we might get residents only parking with rationed guest permits which in all fairness I would have to charge for. Guests should adjust their expectations.
Put a sign on the door where guests leave reminding them to please ask (nicely lol) if someone needs to move their car for them.


Yes, exactly. I thought why did you not come tell me as soon as you were loading up the car with baby and all, to go out, to say you were getting ready. then there would have been no wait for my other guest to move. He is not going to be satisfied with 100 apologies for me. So, I think I am going to be honest and, even before he arrived, he was not communicating well and asking for my address on his way down when he’d booked a few weeks ago and should have all the information from Airbnb, and from me, because I always send it upon booking.


Clearly that is a good idea and I always do if there is something to know in advance. I always schedule work done on days when nobody is here. This was a sudden situation and no time to warn anybody, or if I’d tried, the situation would have been over by the time I walked over, knocked on the door etc.


I wonder if perhaps the newborn may have an amplifying effect on even the littlest of inconvenience. Sure they are blessings and bundles of joy but they also make for poor sleep and stress. Just saying.


Well yeah I remember it well, just share the joy with the host then why not? They are adults and they decided to go on holiday with a newborn, they are responsible for managing their own emotions.


Actually thinking about it, if someone dumped that kind of angry energy in my space I would call them out on it. ‘I noticed you looked absolutely furious earlier. Is there anything we need to know?’


Yes, it could be they are extra irritable due to lack of sleep.

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