Broken sleeper sofa - what do we tell new guests?

So my very first ever guests were apparently lounging (not sleeping) on our brand spanking new Ashley sleeper sofa, when suddenly it “became uncomfortable” and they discovered the frame had bent and they weren’t able to fold the bed back into the sofa. We are not worried about recouping potential costs for repair from this guest. My question concerns our next guests, the first of whom will be checking in the day after this group leaves. Our house is in a fairly rural area, the Ashley repair can’t come out for about two weeks. We haven’t been able to get over there and asses the damage yet, we will only have our 24 hours to clean and try to get the sofa to at least work as a sofa. I have ordered a queen sized air mattress on a raised frame for our incoming guests to replace the sofa bed (they are also group of 9 so I know they were planning on using the sleeper). What do I tell these guests? I want them to be prepared for this adjustment to our amenities, but at the same time I don’t really want to open myself up to offering any discounts. Any wisdoms appreciated!

Hmmmm… you actually have to have the amenities that you promise in your listing. If there is no sofa, then AirBNB will be happy to rehome them since you aren’t providing what you promised. They won’t get a discount. They won’t pay you anything.

Message these guests immediately and explain the problem, and the solutions that you have created to see if they are amenable to them. Do this all on the AirBNB platform so that you have a record of your offers and their responses.


Am I correctly inferring that you plan to have your guests pay for the sofa repair? I believe that would be completely unreasonable. You state that they were lounging, not sleeping, on the sofa bed. Beds are supposed to support the weight of your guests when they are sleeping, lounging, having sex or any other normal activity. I don’t even understand how lounging is much different than sleeping.


I would just tell them the sofa sleeper is awaiting a repair and not usable. You have bought an air mattress as a replacement. Sleeper sofa’s are torture chambers, i doubt they will care. You may want to buy a foam topper for the air mattress to make it more comfortable.

You can react to any response from them after that.


I believe the “sofa” function is still usable (I hope! Otherwise we have a much bigger problem than we thought!). But you’re right about the amenities listing a sleeper sofa. I don’t think these guests will cancel considering the size of their group and the fact that they’re staying over Christmas, but you never know. Do you have any suggestions for phrasing?

I didn’t go into all the details in my post since it wasn’t really relevant to my question, but to clarify: The sofa bed frame is designed to support two sleeping adults positioned vertical to the back of the sofa. It can support up to 600 lbs (standard for a sofa bed) under these conditions. Our guests had at least four average sized adults laying and sitting every which way, thereby not using as designed and exceeding the weight limit, and it broke under the stress. They didn’t deny that this is what happened and have offered to pay any damages. Now I have something new to put on my house rules!

I am not a great wordsmith but I would keep my message to them as simple as possible, outlining just the bare facts along with the solutions that you have already acquired.

"Dear Christmas Guest,

We are so looking forward to having you stay at “Out House” next week. You will be our second guests!

The first guests did, however, break the bed frame in the Living Room sleeper sofa which we purchased just last month. The sofa is still comfortable for sitting. We have already purchased a low frame and air mattress for your use. Will this satisfy your bedding needs during your stay?

Insert happy babble here about some festival or light display.





Substituting a Queen airbed may or may not be acceptable to your incoming guests but not having a usable sofa would definitely be a deal-breaker in my book. You need to establish that it’s functional (and safe!) before the guest turnaround takes place.

If it were me, I would consider purchasing a replacement sofa - and not a sofa-bed. You already purchased a queen airbed and you already know what can happen with an overload of guest-weight on the sofa-bed. Also, Ashley is not known for superb craftsmanship.

If you have to deal with a 2-week delay of Ashley even getting out there, plus a longer delay if they have to take it back to the store for repair, you will be faced with having to get a replacement sofa anyway.

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I had no idea that sofa beds have such a low weight limit, that no more than two adults can be on one and that you have to be lying down and lie in a specific position. I assume that many other people aren’t aware of these constraints on use of a sofa bed. I hope that you are explaining all this to your guests.

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I wouldn’t call 600lbs a low weight limit. Seems a reasonable limit for a temporary bed designed for two people

If four people can fit on it, how would guests know that it is designed for two people?

A sofa with a queen-size pullout bed usually has two base cushions. The number of cushions and/or the width of the sofa would signify the appropriate and obvious seating capacity.

If two gals choose to sit on the guys’ laps or apply any other combination of positions, four could fit…but beyond that, each of them would need to have common sense.

… and now I am laughing out loud! Common sense. What a hoot! ::tongue in cheek::


Isn’t that the standard number of people a bed is designed for? I don’t think some things need to be spelt out so obviously. They don’t generally make beds for 4 people. As @SandyToes said… common sense

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It isn’t common sense - it is more that they don’t care - the amount of careless, stupid damage i have had is just ridiculous. Hot saucepans on to timber surfaces, broken handle on the dryer, broken tray to baby chair, burnt black quality saucepans, melted cooking equipment - let alone the stained towels from fake tan! bet if they were at home it would be a very different story!

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Best to get in touch (“reach out”) immediately if not sooner. Unless they are coming with a large group they usually don’t mind.