Challenging guests

We airbnb a room in our house, mostly for Saturday nights as we work. Most guests are one nighters and great. We live in a destination tourist area. We constantly get 5 reviews. This long weekend, we have a couple for 2 nights. We came in from the backyard to find our guests had gone through our cupboards and were cooking up a feast. Our listing description says no cooking 3 times. Our house manual says no cooking. When we pointed that out, he shrugged and said he didn’t bother reading it. They had pots, pans and had gone through the pantry for condiments. After they ate, I went past and he muttered that he supposed he had to do the dishes like he was the kitchen hand.
Our listing asks for a check in time and I also personally ask when supplying check in details. They didn’t respond and turned up late. (9pm).
I guess I’m really disappointed (and also lucky) - it’s our first guest we wouldn’t invite back. We’ve had amazing guests over our 16 months of opening our home. I’m working on the review. First not so good review and need to be honest and fair.

Wow. What a richard.


Sounds like a drag. Sorry this happened to you. But it is up to you to enforce your own rules. An easy way to start that process is to tell the rules as you give the guest arrival tour. For example:

“This is the kitchen. You’re welcome to use the microwave for any food you bring, but not any of the rest of the cooking facilities. Here’s the trash, and here is the recycling. If you use the microwave, please wash or properly dispose of any containers and packaging."


Thanks Rebecca. Absolutely did that. We greet on check-in. I show them their room. Explain the tray on the bench is their breakfast if they want to have toast, point out the guest shelf in fridge with juice, milk, jam and butter.
I’d come in to get some glasses to take back in our backyard (a lovely evening we were enjoying) and was shocked to see them cooking with 3 pans and the oven on and looking for salt in the pantry and had the cheek to say it was a well stocked pantry. I said there’s no cooking. Hubby came in and politely asked them to not cook anymore. They continued adding more cooking.
I know we’ll probably get a bad review here. They were obnoxious. I’m writing this and they are still here. It’s early. Can’t wait for them to leave.
Grateful our guests are mostly awesome!

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As you say, you’ve been lucky. I am a bit surprised though that neither of you (you or your husband) wasn’t more forceful with them. We all know that guests, as a rule, don’t read listings and don’t read house manuals. And when you think about it, why should they?

None of us tend to read the things we should. I’m sure you’ve seen here the number of times hosts have posted asking about something that’s as plain as day in the Airbnb help pages or in the TOS - hosts don’t read either.

This is what I don’t understand:

Can you confirm that you told them during the house tour that there was absolutely no cooking allowed in your house? And what you did when they carried on cooking? You shouldn’t get a bad review if nothing happened?

Oh and we have thought we’ll now make a sign to put in the kitchen saying no cooking!

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I told them no cooking. I was getting glasses and he leaned over and took salt from the shelf. I explained our listing has no cooking facilities. They were almost done with their meal cooking on the stove. My husband came in and also told them that there was no cooking. The guy then put several sausages in the pan to go with all the other food cooked.
We realise guests don’t read.
We’ll make a sign to put out as well for future guests. For one night, most guests use the array of cafes in our town.

No problem then. :slight_smile:

As they’d just about finished cooking, it seems that it was a bit pointless to tell them to stop when they’d already more or less done with their cooking. I can understand why it was confusing because…

… and yet they found that there were in fact cooking facilities.

If this has been a one-off experience, I’d have just ignored it.

I don’t think that a sign is necessarily the way to go. Maybe just make sure that guests really do understand when you tell them the cooking situation during the house tour.

What a bunch of Fking jerks. Suggested draft for your review:

Would Not Host Again. John and Sue broke multiple house rules. Poor Communication. They Insisted on using Host Only Areas and disregarded our notification. Very rude and entitled behavior.

Make sure that, at the end of the review - that you click the No when asked “would you host X again”.


I agree with @jaquo, if these guests ignored you actually standing in front of them telling them they need to stop cooking, a sign would not have helped here. Since you have not had this problem before I would not change the way you do things for one bad set of guests.

If it keeps happening, then you should look at changing things.


Thanks everyone. Our guests have just left. What a mess in the bedroom. They’ve used extra towels, cushions from the lounge room and the bathroom is also a mess. They rifled through our personal linen cupboard and kitchen cupboards (that we know of).
What a shame to have such disrespect. I know it’s a rarity. We’ve been homestay hosting for years through SERVAS and love meeting new people.
And this couple stole our toilet paper! (Here in Australia there’s been panic buying and there’s none left on our local supermarket shelves). I hope they get the shits and really need it! : - )
If they’d said gee, sorry, we didn’t realise we couldn’t cook, I’d be okay. He was really rude and intimidating, messy, disrespectful and a thief. Definitely could not recommend him to future hosts.
On to next weekend and hopefully back to great guests again. Thanks for your comments and ideas. They helped : - )


Please leave details in your review; not generalized statements like “disrepectful,” or “suited to a hotel.” I want to know that they willfully break rules, rifle through cabinets that aren’t for guest use, are untidy, and steal TP.


What entitled, pompous, sneaky pigs. PLEASE light them up so that they are never accepted as renters again. I’d call them “guests” but, no, they don’t even rise to that level.

Review suggestion?

Would NEVER host Ass1 and Ass2 again. They blatantly disregarded clearly spoken and written house rules and repeatedly went through the stated off-limits sections of our home. When this was addressed, they were confrontational and entitled and rude. Upon checkout, they left our house a mess and stole from us.


Nailed it. Love it and has made me feel much better. :heavy_heart_exclamation:


WOULD NOT HOST AGAIN. John and Sue VIOLATED HOST ONLY AREAS. They disregarded us when we pointed this out. They continued to do as they wished regardless. Very rude and entitled. Broke several additional house rules. Very Messy. Poor Communication.

Make sure you hit “would not host again”.

I would skip calling them thieves RE toilet paper. It can’t be proven and is not worth the risk of having a review deleted. As is, a scathing review will screw them nicely.

Oh - and I would hold off on posting your review until just before the 14 day limit UNLESS they post their review earlier. If you are lucky, they won’t post a review at all and you’ll get to review them!

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I would have been on the phone to Air CS immediately asking them to cancel and rehost them because they were not only violating House Rules but refused to obey them when asked repeatedly.

Fortunately my 3 Air rooms share a separate kitchen, and almost everybody is very good about washing up immediately, unlike last week’s guest who left partially eaten food frozen to a plate in the freezer of the fridge, didn’t wash out plastic containers he put in the recycling bin (in spite of signs saying WASH ALL CONTAINERS) and since he was the only guest when he was here, used all 6 mugs, all 6 glasses, and most of the dishes before washing any of them! His dish cleaning was pretty spotty, too. Fortunately I have time before the next guest to run the whole bunch downstairs and put them through the dishwasher in my unit.

I’ve read of reviews being taken down for this kind of wording. It’s best to tweak it a bit and say “We experienced confrontation, entitlement and rudeness from these guests when asked to comply with clearly stated rules”. If you talk about what you experienced, rather than stating that the guests are or were a certain way, you are only expressing your own experience, not labelling the guests. It’s a subtle difference.
Same with “they stole from us”. “There were several items missing from the guest bedroom and bathroom” is just a statement of fact, without blatantly accusing the guests of criminal behavior.
I wish we could just say “These guests are thieves, and rude, entitled a-holes” but the point is to post a review that warns other hosts but won’t provide any cause for removal.


First draft:
We couldn’t recommend x to future hosts. They disregarded the information in our listing and did not follow our house rules. Rifling through our cupboards was inexcusable as we were home and could have worked around reasonable requests. Communication was poor. Guests were untidy.


Don’t leave out the part about there being missing things discovered after their departure. We want to know they are thieves, too.
And from what you described, “Guests were untidy” sounds far too mild. How about “A great deal of extra cleaning time was required in the guest quarters.”

I think @Minnesotamary your use of language is confusing. Just say “ONLY microwave and toaster are available for guest use. NO other kitchen facilities for guest use. Clean up after yourself.”

That way, no confusion over your well-stocked provisions and cooking facilites.

Since they were almost finished, yes, let them eat. When he mumbled under his breath that was your opportunity to say “Yes, you cooked a full-on meal against house rules that were provided both in writing and during your house tour. All guests are required to clean up after themselves.” I mean, at this point he’s a Richard and the review is going to suck, but will get buried.

Just make sure YOUR review of them states “Blatant disregard of house rules and was rude as well. Messy. Would not host again.”

I’d never book them if you wrote that.