Check out flexibility

Hello all,

We’ve just had our first guest staying for a week. I’m looking for views on flexibility with guests about check-out out times.

We’ve had minimal contact with the guest, just asking mid-way if everything is okay or linens are needed etc. All was fine. The check out was today at 11:00. I sent the guest a message last night advising we may not be in when they check-out (which we like to do) and advised of where to leave the key but didn’t state the time again. The guest acknowledged but didn’t advise of a time, some guest do some don’t.

I left the house at 11:30 as we had other commitments and was willing to be flexible. By 13:00 I hadn’t heard from the guest so I sent a message asking if check-out went well (I like knowing it’s locked properly and they has been dropped safely). The guest advised they were just packing up and then minutes later advised the key had been left. I acknowledged this but highlighted the check-out time and, while we can be flexible, i advised I would have appreciated being asked for a later check out. The guest apologised and acknowledge they should have asked the check out times. I wished them well for their day.

Do you think I was reasonable or not?

While we don’t have tonight booked (yet) the check-out time is set so we can turn it around if need be. I don’t want to be overly negative and elicit a bad review but I do think the guest is advised when booking the times and it is also in our house manual.

I am also not certain whether to reflect this in my review. The guest also asked for an earlier check-in too which we accommodated - although they turned up an hour earlier than agreed, which was awkward.

My check out time is firm 11AM. Even if I dont have someone checking in The same day - I want to get the place ready for the next guests regardless

I just dealt with a guest who asked for early check in and also checked out at 11:08. No doubt he would have checked out later if I hadn’t been at home. (Now that I think of it that’s probably why he was insistently banging on my door at 11:01…trying to determine if I was here!!) I’ve posted else where about him having an overnight guest he didn’t pay for in advance. The room was otherwise in fine condition and the one night stay uneventful. He got 52 “free” minutes because I only let him check in 45 minutes early. 52 minutes of a one night stay is probably equivalent to several hours in a multi day stay.

Like you I didn’t want to provoke a negative review so I proceeded carefully. After check out I messaged the guest that I have a $5 second person fee, which he paid immediately. So in consideration of everything, including my suspicion that he was going to be in town a few days and would be heading to another airbnb, I went ahead and reviewed him. He had already texted me that he would be leaving me a “great review.”

Keep in mind the reviews are double blind so they can’t see what you wrote until they write their review. So unless you say something to the guest prior to reviewing it shouldn’t provoke anything. There are others here who don’t review because they are so afraid of getting a negative review that they don’t want to provoke the guest into reviewing. That’s not been my experience or strategy. I review 95% of my guests as soon as I get the notification.

The review that I wrote said this: “xx requested early check in which I was able to grant by 45 minutes. He was quiet and clean while here and paid the second guest charge when requested after I discovered he had an overnight guest. He checked out exactly at check out time leaving everything tidy and in good condition. He was friendly and appreciative of the space. My recommendation of him as a guest is conditional; make sure he has registered his guests with you in advance.” I also gave a thumbs up but only 3 stars on rules.

Despite the review being kinder than some here advised I feel that it is honest and fair. He took objection to it and tried to call (unanswered) and texted me about it. I blocked him on Airbnb and he responded to my review. But that only shows on his profile it doesn’t affect me.

That’s not awkward, that’s rude and entitled. Although my guest started bugging me about check in two hours early he didn’t actually show up until I gave the green light. So please review honestly, you might want to wait until the last minute on day 14 so as not to provoke a review in return. No one wants guests who think the rules don’t apply to them.

I also advise that you get security cameras so you don’t have to rely on the honesty of the guest.


He didn’t respect your check out time. He took advantage of you because you were gone. Unacceptable and needs to be addressed in a review. Or at the least be given one star on house rules.


Absolutely mention in a review!!!

“Guest checked out 2 hours after checkout time without asking. Also asked for early check in, which we agreed to, but showed up an hour prior to the agreed time.”

I would not have left at 11:30. At 11:15 I would have knocked on their door.


@Arlene_Larsson is being nice – at 11:01 I’d be knocking on the door, telling, not asking, them to leave now – because you have an appointment and they must vacate the premises at the specified check-out time.

Definitely mention in reviews wen guests make un-approved attempts to check-in early by just showing up; and attempts to check-out late. Be firm; if that’s not enough, be tough!


Also whenever I do have time sensitive turn arounds I typically message them at 10:30-45 and say "I hope you enjoyed your stay. Check out is 11 AM. Have a great day. " And I’d be knocking on their door shortly after 11.


Do you own a leaf blower? My husband actually started leaf blowing right outside the unit’s bedroom window at ten thirty one time when we had some guests we were worried about not leaving on time. Probably not the best practice but it worked!!! LOL.


I do. What I don’t have are…leaves. LOL. What I can do and have done is let the dogs make a racket. Dogs barking is disclosed multiple times in my listing and if getting the guest out is more important than getting a good review, that’s my go to. The guest room is separated by a couple of doors but shares walls with the rest of the house. We can make a lot of noise.

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I wish I had dogs that made a racket but all I have now is one 16 yr old, soon to be 17 yr old (end of Feb) senile pit bull that never barked in her younger years and now gets lost in the yard, :frowning: and an 18 year old cat that’s slightly senile/gone deaf. I’m running an old age home here. Just got done doing morning meds and helping the cat get back under the covers on he bed. If I don’t help him he starts meowing/wailing really loud. Sorry to get off topic everyone.

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Someone here, I cannot remember who… used to tell the hilarious tale of how right at 11, they would knock, enter the room and begin vacuuming and picking up towels… not say a word just knock, open and go!!! Even if the guests were still in bed!


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It is possible they were confused by your we will not be there at check-out time. I would avoid that in the future. Just tell them when check out is.

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Yeah but that doesn’t even seems to get them up to leave. They quite thick skinned.

In future I will set out the check-out time, again, in any reminder message. I had to leave at 11:30 because I had an appointment to make. I could see there was life in the accomodation - blinds up etc. - so I believed departure was imminent. I will be more assertive in the future about the times, I helped create this situation. I looked afterwards that the event they were attending started at 16:00 so I suspect it was deliberate to fill the gap.

The departure instructions are in the house manual. I doubt they were looked at though as they’d been set out of sight after the WiFi password was found (I was there as I was still cleaning the unit on arrival!).

The guest left a really nice message in the accomodation, which was written prior to checking-out, advising they may come back for the same event next year. That’s less likely to happen when we review!

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Has your cat got a thyroid issue? One of ours (19 in April) has. Meds are a nightmare; he gets more steak than I do! As for the howling/wailing at 5 am… Well, throughout the day. But he gets mentioned more than I do in reviews; he’s a total tart for a fuss and cuddle. His sister is fit as a fiddle, same age, and still brings me presents in from the fields.

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If I liked a guest and thought they would come back that would affect my review. Has this guest used Airbnb before? Maybe it’s a matter of educating the guest about check and check out. And for some hosts a good booking is a multi day booking. If he’s an experienced guest then the nice note is probably just manipulating you.

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No, no thyroid issue. Just early stages of kidney failure so he takes some meds and I give him fluids 2-3 times a week.

So howling is not peculiar to hyperthyroidism then. It must be simply down to “feed me, feed me; no, not that sort again you fool.”

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We had no issues whatsoever with the guest other than the check-in and check-out process. They have used Airbnb three time before but I feel they would be educated about it more and specifically how we operate. Another weeks booking for February next year would be good. However, that jars with me on the honesty of my review.

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The guests were dishonest with you, taking advantage of the fact you were out and staying longer. They are thumbs down guests in my opinion because they can’t be trusted, they should have asked you first. For all they knew they could have been in the way of an important time for you at home. The bottom line is it’s time they have knowingly not paid for. I would give them a negative review. Experience dictates it is not worth criticising a guest during checkout, that risks a bad review for you. Just go about things quietly!