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Bad CheckOut: Doors/windows left wide open, heaters on, in February

Hi all,

Hoping for some advice. I had a group of 7 from China, first time Airbnb users. They left yesterday, but I did not get over to the house until today. I found that they had left the furnace on, as well as space heaters, while at the same time leaving 3 exterior doors wide open, and just for good measure, the kitchen windows which face the street. Of course, they also left every light on in the house, because if your in for a penny, you might as well just be in for a pound. Thankfully, nothing was stolen from the house as we are in a safe neighborhood.

All that would be bad enough, but they also left the house in a deplorable state- grease all over the kitchen, unwashed pots and pans stacked all over the stove and in the sink, vomit in the bathroom… it took my cleaners twice as long as usual to get it ready.

I plan to seek recompense from their security deposit. I was thinking $150 for the extra cleaning (My cleaning fee is normally $250 because we have a large house), plus $50 for the wasted electricity and gas. It is after all, February, and our PGE bill is going to be insane.

My question is this: my cleaners had everything ship shape before I thought to take photos. Will Airbnb still collect from their security deposit without photo evidence? Can I get them to pay for the doors left open, in February??

This is all assuming that the guests decide to fight the charges. Anyone else have a similar experience?

Of course, I will mention all of it- the doors left open, the heaters left on, the vomit, the filthy kitchen, in the review. I have never left a bad review, but I will this time. I’m just going to be very matter of fact, and state exactly how they left the house. I think that is totally fair.

Dude no pictures!!! That will be hard. there is no proof. from now on have your cleaning crew take a time stamp photo of your place before a guest arrives and after.

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I am curious because all of my Chinese guest have been actually very awesome and I love them, mostly very young and so warm to me like I am a American grandma to them. I would welcome all of them back and some of them as my personal guest freebie.

I have yet to encounter a guest that really put me out… culture differences aside and breakfast miso soup that lingers for days I love my Chinese guests.

I think you should call Air anyways just to tell them about the situation. At the very least leave them a bad review stating the things you mentioned.


If you didn’t take any photos it is very unlikely air will give you any money back. The best you could do is leave a bad review but then if there is 7 of them the next time they could use another Air account…

Being a host is hard sometimes and putting up with this sh*t is unfortunately part of it.

I would still try to take it to resolution. Open a case with Air as well. Do it quickly, you only have 48 hours. Do you have the cleaners’ invoice for the extra time? That sounds absolutely horrific, and I am very sorry these clods did this to your house. Makes ya just want to quit this damned gig sometimes, eh?

Keep us posted.

Do you have any sort of checkout instructions? That might be good to tack onto the house rules or some information sheet you leave at the house. That way you will at least have something to go on if they deviate far off from your instructions. “Please set the thermostat to X and be sure all windows and doors are secured at departure.”

Out of curiosity, what is your nightly rate? I’m just curious considering the standard $250 cleaning fee.


Yes, I have very specific check out instructions, as well as house rules, that are on the itinerary (along with check in, key instructions etc). I know they have read them because they can’t get the lock box code unless they read the itinerary.

My check out instructions are:

  1. Turn off all lights and heat
  2. Wash dirty dishes
  3. Close and lock Doors
  4. Return the key to the lockbox.

They are pretty simple and straightforward, and other than the dishes rule, I think they are just basic common sense. The guest also told me that he had locked the front door and returned the key to the lockbox, which was true. He just left everything else wide open in February, with the heater on! Anyone could have walked in and taken a TV if they had so desired…

I heard back from the guest- he apologized for the way he left the house and agreed to pay extra money for cleaning. I went through Airbnbs resolution center, but haven’t actually received the money yet. I requested it 2 days ago, so he has 1 more day before Airbnb will step in and moderate the situation.

Chinese guests in a nut shell

No matter if it is a bad review. You have to be frank friend. Else this situation will happen again in future.

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