Better Ways to Handle a Guest who causes damages

I am curious to hear how others would have handled this situation.

I had a guest who when he booked told me he was a massage therapist that has clients all over the country. He asked if it would be okay to have a few clients come in and out throughout the day (we live on the premises in the front unit). I said this would be okay. He booked for 9 days. I quickly discovered there was something a little off as all of his clients were older men. But, I shook it off and thought I was being too judge-y. He was quiet, and no one came after 11pm. He communicated throughout his stay as to how great the place was and thanking me for my hospitality.

After he left, when I went in to clean, I found oil/grease all over every floor of the unit, which took a couple hours to clean. I also found 2 sets of white sheets and white duvet cover completely stained with oil and dirt, and it smelling like Chinese food. I quickly found in the kitchen a half bottle of Canola oil.

I decided not to make a claim to damages, but I did write him a review and presented just the facts as I did above. Gave him 5 stars for communication, 2 for cleanliness and 3 observance of house rules. He left me a very nice review. Well once he read mine, he messaged me to tell me how petty the review was and he left me a nice review so I should have done the same and reached out to him privately. He also wrote that he could revise his review and comment on how he can hear my dogs barking and that he was locked out for an hour (lie - it was 6 minutes).

Should I have handled this differently? I am curious to hear how others would have handled this situation.

Move on dont even reply to him. His stay is over you should’ve claimed for damages but you cant if the next guest checked in already.

Edit: you gave him permission for massages. Massage=oil. Next time collect security deposit.



That’s how you should have “handled” the situation. Whether his business was legitimate or not, allowing a guest to do ‘business’ n your home will probably negate your homeowners liability insurance, as well as anything “insurance” Airbnb provides.

If someone stays more than 3 or 4 days you should have provided a change of linens, and while changing those linens you might have discovered the oily floors and oil-soaked linens. Then you could have read him the riot act early instead of after the fact.

As an aside, white linens, and especially a white duvet cover, are a recipe for frustration and costly replacements. You aren’t a hotel, and should have no pretentions of being one. So why all the white? Spend 10 minutes here reading the horror stories of white linens and towels getting makeup and hair dye stains, blood and other body fluid stains, food stains, and more. Pastels - blues, greens, pinks even; or patterned linens, are much more forgiving in that respect.

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He absolutely cant do that. Reviews cannot get changed.


I feel that you didnt give him a chance to make things right by doing that. You could of claimed money for the damaged sheets and extra cleaning and write that review if he denied paying. But if he paid for damages you could write:” some sheets were damaged and took more time to clean after his departure which he admitted and paid for it.”

Just a thought if you ever have a similar situation.

I agree with @Gem20. Don’t reply; he can’t change his review now.

I think the “reach out privately” should have been in the form of a damage claim. Then if he agreed to pay the charges for new linens that could have been reflected in the review. He was honest about his use of the space and sounds like an otherwise good guest. I don’t see in your OP which rules he violated. New rule “don’t use canola oil for massages?” LOL.

I do agree with Ken about not having businesses operate out of your home but I don’t agree about pastel and patterned linens.


Run a business out of Airbnb listing is a big no no. He should have at least use his own sheets. This situation is so wrong anyway you look at it.
I think you handled it right to write an honest review about him. It’s seriously hard to believe this guy: he knows for sure he would stain the sheets , he is a massage therapist, and yet he proceeds using yours for his business .
And who knows what other services he provides there


This is helpful thank you!!! I definitely learned a lesson!

Yes…I might need to add that rule! White sheets are usually awesome because you can bleach out any stains…just not oil.

Thanks so much!

I disagree. I switched all my towels and linens to white so that I could use bleach. Much less spoilage. I have separate washcloths for makeup, etc.


If someone told me they wanted to do business in my space, I would assume it was a prostitute and would say NO. A massage therapist would have a place of business or would come to customer’s residence. The fact that he needed a space to do business, sounds shady to me.


And there I was thinking this story had a happy ending.

(Sorry couldn’t resist).


Haha!!! Thanks for the laugh!

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