Assistance Pets

I have had many quirky guest experiences lately but one really upset me. I am going away for ten days. When guests try to rent for any nights during that time period, I tell them, “yes, but I will be busy with a project and will not be available to clean the room. There will be a guest the night before, so you will need to change the linens yourself. I will, of course, refund the cleaning fee.” They always agree. A woman sent me an inquiry about a five night stay during my days away. She was bringing a dog which she called an assistance pet. I wrote to her about the cleaning situation and about my house rules regarding dogs. I did not hear back for a couple weeks and during that time one of the nights that she wanted became unavailable. She then sent another inquiry asking if she could have one room for one night and the original room for the other four. I don’t know this woman and I don’t know her dog. The rule is no pets on the beds, but I do know that many guests let there dogs sleep in the bed anyway. It didn’t seem right to be asking the other guests to stay in rooms that I was not there to clean after a dog had stayed in the room. And both rooms no less. I told her that I would not feel comfortable having a dog stay in both rooms in my absence. She actually never sent in a request. It was an inquiry. I take “assistance pets” all the time, even though as a former restaurant owner, I know that most of the owners of these pets are simply entitled people who don’t want to pay for pet care. Some are really assisting, but many are not. Assistance pets typically don’t run around the house and jump on furniture.

Anyway, she contacted Airbnb and told them I violated her rights. They wrote to me and told me it was my first warning. I wrote back and told them to read my correspondence with the other guests that are to be staying during my time away. I asked them if they were going to remove the reviews from the guests that complain about having to clean up a room that was full of dog fur. No response. Those guests who agreed to stay in a room that had not been cleaned would probably not have agreed had I said, oh and by the way, a dog will be staying in the room before you.

Since she tried to cause me problems with Airbnb I was happy to not have her anyway. I thought it was indicative of a complaining, self- centered person. I wrote her a note and said simply “wow”. I tried to follow up and ask her why she would do that when I had specifically told her that it was only because I was not going to be home, but she blocked me. Next time I will simply decline and use a different excuse.

Sorry, but the thought of allowing a guest to use a room that the host (or Co host) hasn’t cleaned or checked just sounds so wrong.



The money from my rented rooms is what pays my mortgage. I cannot afford to turn away that income, consequently I rarely leave. However when I do, that is what I do, and it has not been problematic. Many guests jump at the chance to put on fresh linens and get back $20.


@Annet3176 has or had a system in one of her rentals where the guests do the cleaning and it works for her.

My feeling is that is as long as it’s disclosed and clear the guest understands it’s their business.


@kkc is correct. My two beach condos are “self service cleaning” meaning the guest takes out their own trash and does the exit cleaning. Cleaning supplies are there. They can either bring their own linens or use the ones in the condos (must wash dry & stow them before they leave). It saves the guest a $100-$200 cleaning fee and a $75 to $150 linen service fee.

Consistently my rentals get high scores for being left clean. Services don’t really “clean” the condos. They zip in and vacuum sweep & wipe things down as quickly as they can.

I ask my guests to send me pics of the cleaned condo when they leave for their protection In case the next guest says the condo was left dirty. It is amazing how many real estate listing quality pics I get. My guests are proud to show me how nicely they left the condo. I am grateful to have such good guests.

My neighbor has copied the process and it is going well for her too.

There is another thread where many people doubted me. My reviews are good. It works for me. Is it for everyone—I don’t think so.


I love these responses especially the way everyone focused in on the fact that the guests are cleaning the room and nobody about the dog and about Airbnb’s response to me. Sometimes a topic takes on a life of its own and that is the fun of it. No matter gets posted I always learn something from you all.

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If you are in the US- you do not have to accept any service animal in a SHARED HOME. From your description it sounds as if this is in fact-a shared home… not just a whole unit rental. I’ve also not heard of anyone ever referring to their SERVICE ANIMAL as an “assistance pet.” Is that the term she used??

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The company should be ashamed of itself for its lack of due process, and lack of common decency. I’m sure Brian/Joe/Nathan were desperately happy to acquire any hosts at all 11 years ago. Now it’s just another creepy, gaslighting tech giant, with either robots or robotic humans scolding hosts who are DOING EVERYTHING CORRECTLY.

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You are right she said assistance animal not pet. Here is what Airbnb wrote to me:
“ I hope this message finds you well. I’m contacting you today because it’s been brought to our attention that you denied a guest’s reservation because you were unable to accommodate their assistance animal.
According to our nondiscrimination policy, a host may not decline a reservation on the basis of a guest’s medical requirements. This includes the use of an assistance animal, unless the listing is a shared space subject to an applicable exemption (e.g., severe allergies). “

Since I do accept pets, I could not reasonably say no based on allergy. I would in fact have accepted the reservation under normal circumstances. I would have done what I always do and that is go through the room with a fine tooth comb after a pet has stayed. I usually use a rumba to vacuum but when there is a pet I make sure I have gone over it again and again. However I could not ask my guests to do that while I was on vacation. And she knew that. So the fact that she tried to make trouble for me is really annoying. And so annoying that they bought into it and warned me. “Please consider this a warning. We’re not taking action now, but the details of this situation have been added to your account (which only Airbnb representatives can see). If something like this happens again, we do have the right to review your account for further action.”


Roomba, not rumba! Which is funny because my mother used to rumba with the vacuum cleaner when I was a little girl.

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@Annet3176 I may have asked this in the past, so forgive if I already have. But what time do you think the guests get up to clean? I think the system is great. One of my neighbors used to use this kind of system and they had to clean bathrooms, etc. But he always said they still needed to come in behind.

I am curious as to “who” you think in the group is getting up early to scrub toilets, pubic hairs, etc.? Do you get a lot of singles at all who would be pushing check out to last second?

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10 days… the bathroom… TEN DAYS…THE BATHROOM


It sounds like identifarian entitlement syndrome. It seems to have got quite a hold on US society and is here (UK) too. Apart from firefighting it would seem only a political change would solve it. California seems particularly totalitarian.


It’s surprising how clean some guests leave a place. I admire the system @Annet3176 and @Cozy2018 have in place and how they make it work. I stayed in such a place years and years ago - way before airbnb - and it was great. Cheap, cheerful and everybody respected each other. Not all guests and hosts are looking for a hotel experience…

Fair question

I’m guessing up by 8 or 9. I don’t think they are getting up early to clean. Check out is 1. Most check out noon-ish

Rentals in my area usually have check out by 10 am. Check in after 4 That gives the cleaning crew between 10-4 to travel to as many condos as they can and clean.

My rentals are check in starting at 3, check out by 1 so more condo time.

The following is about my 2 Br 2ba 1100 sq ft (335sq meter) condo.

When a group of 2-4 adults go they divide the chores up and it can be cleaned in less than an hour. The sheets go in the washer when they get up or the guests may bring their own so they aren’t doing laundry

When it is two adults & 2 children, I often hear Dad takes the kids to the pool or beach and mom cleans for about 2 hours or less.

One guest shared with me that he & his 2 teenage children had a “30 minutes to clean” session the night before check out so the next day all they needed to do was Clorox spray / rinse the bathrooms and do a quick exit vacuum.

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I live in my home so typically I clean. I have two bedrooms upstairs and when I first decided to rent them, I had a tiny room built off of my carport for me to sleep in when the other two rooms were rented. After the first summer that room was not used very often so I decided to put it on Airbnb as well. It became my most popular room since is very affordable for Santa Barbara. Now when all three rooms are taken, I have a space in my laundry room. This is my main source of income especially in the summer so I appreciate the cleaning fees as well. That’s another $50 a day between the 3 rooms. But there is a man back east who I have known for many years and I’m giving him one last chance to win my heart and so I am depending on the guests to hold up the fort. My bathroom is very easy to clean.

But why isn’t anyone outraged with me about my original post of the wannabe guest who tried to get me in trouble:)

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I believe people are interested in your story and are empathetic to you trying to be a considerate host. However, I think no one was outraged at the Airbnb response because:

  1. There are multiple threads on this site about Airbnb immediately treating the guest’s complaint as valid (when it is not) and treating the host unfairly.
  2. Multiple threads on this site about guests pushing assistance pets as service animals.
  3. Airbnb gave you a warning with no immediate harm. You can continue to escalate your claim to a supervisor.

The Airbnb response is probably what many expected. I hate that this guest acted badly.


Why don’t you just employ a cleaner to clean the room in-between guests when you are away @Cozy2018?

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first of all if I were you I’d never ask a guest to change the bed and clean a room. i’d find a cleaning lady/co-host etc because it is such a big competition among hosts, we all want to look professional. second I’d ask her for the papers for the dog. if this is a trained assistance dog she has to have papers certifying that. If she doesn’t too bad, I would not host her.
I also believe that you can’t impose where the dog sleeps or sits. One you have the dog in the house the bedroom and the common areas are his to roam and do as he pleases. It is weird that the lady asks to rent two rooms. like have dog hair on both beds.

exactly! i rub the toilet bowl with alcohol. i dont imagine any guest will clean the way I do. they’ll just do it quickly to get off the hook. and if the next guest complains what are going to do, sear the first guest in the review? what if guest 2 stays 2 weeks and you will find out that guest 1 didnt clean the toilet only after 14 days review writing period has passed. guests will never clean thoroughly, they’ll just do the minimum to look good in pics and get off the kook.

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