Conflicted About How To Review

[Trying SO hard to keep this brief. Failing.] Emergency re-booking. Guest’s profile looks good, and he has four highly positive reviews. Before accepting I reply with my standard response detailing the information for the Rental Agreement that I will need from him. He agrees so I accept. I also send a request for the local taxes via the Resolution Center after a message explaining same. He acknowledges, but then says, “I will have them (Air) take care of it tomorrow”. I call Airbnb to ask them what they are going to do about the taxes and they tell me that they don’t pay VA local taxes, but to get him checked-in before talking to him about them further. He does not give me his ETA (stated as “required”). I have to contact Air to get him to contact me. He had arrived in town early and was ready to check-in (he has the entry code), but agrees to wait until the correct time (early check-in not possible). At check-in he is very personable and agrees to provide the guest list and anything else that I need. We also talk about the taxes again. I send two followup messages about agreed upon info. & taxes. Never hear back so never get the agreed upon info. & never get tax payment. (I’m talking about three items of info. that I ask all of my guests to provide.) I have written this note three times and convinced myself that I know how to review him, changing my mind each time. Do I care about the taxes? Do I care about goodwill? Is this a one-off, a misunderstanding? Did Air mislead him? He was inconvenienced, but eventually got to stay in a beautiful place, probably at half the rate. I finally sent him a brief note asking if Air had answered his tax question and telling him I hope he enjoyed his stay. My purpose in writing the note was just to tweak him and see if he was really blowing me off. I’m in denial, I think, because of the other great reviews. I expect to eat the tax bill. Even so, I hate to blast him for lack of communication and not paying the taxes if I’m expecting too much. Somehow, I feel as though he thinks Airbnb mislead him. I’m just not sure if I’m thinking this through clearly. Help me, please.

How long ago was the stay?

Did you put in a request for money for the taxes? That’s what I did before Air started billing them for me, I still pay them but air now collects I do not know why some hosts can do this and others cannot. So when I was in the position of having to collect taxes from guests I would put in a request for money before check in and I simply would not give them the door code until it was paid.



I agree. I might even just stand there at the door and say “sorry I can’t let you in until I get this tax payment.” However I would request it through the Airbnb resolution center. I’ve gotten my money (for extra guests or for pets) 100% of the time.

As far as the review goes, I don’t have enough information to know if the guest is at fault. I suspect that he is not.


The stay was for two nights.

I contacted Air a long time ago about it, and they pay the state taxes but not local. When I called them about this, I had already sent a request to the guest via the Resolution Center. When the Air rep said to not discuss it with them until after they checked-in, I began to suspect that they were just trying to get him in the place and probably hadn’t explained the taxes to him at all. The guest already knew, from the earlier documentation, that the entry code was the last four of his cell number. I admit, I would struggle with the idea of standing at the door blocking entry which is, of course, why I do not have the money.

Take the entry code out of any automatic emails from Air.

Check your settings, things may have changed go to listings, click on listing and see if you have an option for local taxes and laws. If you do you can set it up there, if not get on the phone and tell Air you know that some hosts have this and you want it enabled on your account.


I understand that I need to withhold the entry code until all payments are made. I made this mistake because of the short time frame and I will be more careful in the future, to be sure. Lesson learned. I have researched the tax question. In my area there is no capability or option to have Air collect and pay the local tax. They will only collect and pay the state tax. I confirmed this on the phone with the rep when I called. We got a letter from our city commissioner of revenue stating as such.

They do not pay mine and I would never trust them to get it right, they collect on my behalf and send it to me. It can be done. Call them, I had to.


Moving forward, would it be possible to raise your nightly fee to include taxes so you don’t have to go through this again. It’s possible that an Airbnb rep gave him incorrect information, lately their reps have not been the best.

Oh, so sorry, I thought you said, “How long was the stay.” The stay was this past Friday night and Saturday night, so four days ago.

I will try. No, I will do. I will think positively. Oy.

Airbnb collects occupancy taxes and remits them to the county on my behalf. I saw a message from that said my guest paid $XX in occupancy taxes and it was more than double the actual rate.

So there is no rush to review. I’d put in the request for the tax via the resolution center. I’d send the link to the resolution request via Airbnb messaging and maybe text to his phone as well. If he doesn’t respond then escalate. After you get your money you will have had plenty of time to think about the review. Something neutral and factual like “Steve was pleasant, quiet and clean. There were difficulties collecting the local tax payment from him but I was able to collect a week after check out.”


I would not do that and risk a bad review over a small amount of money. A bad review for a new host is not worth it because every review carries more weight.


I know. We have differing opinions on this. But we also have very different kinds of rentals. How the guest responds to the fee request is an important thing that I need to review for the next host. I have the luxury to not worry about a retaliation review.


Well, $52.00 is small to some, not to others. I would like to maintain goodwill, if possible, especially if he feels he was deceived or misled. On the other hand, I don’t want to be a pushover if he’s just played me.

Its small compared to a 1 star review and the damage that will do, you will lose more than that if your guest gives you a bad review.

Completely up to you, I would do the math and decide if its worth it.


Right. Actually, my original quandry was how to review him. I sent him a gentle query through the messaging platform asking whether Airbnb had answered his question just to see if he would even respond. That is my way of doing what KKC suggests just to see if he has an attitude about it, or if he ignores me completely or, wonder of wonders, engages. I don’t expect any of that though. Just my question about review suggestions. I think KKC’s review suggestion is very helpful.


In your description does it mention there are local taxes above and beyond the state taxes and any fees collected by AirBnb that are to be paid directly to the host? I gotta admit, if I were a guest, and some one told me after booking and after paying Airbnb base rent, state taxes, cleaning fees and Airbnb fees that I then needed to pay more taxes directly to the host I’d think they were scamming me, or at least nickel and dining me. You need to somehow get this rolled into one payment.

On this one, I’d eat the local taxes. They can’t be more than 10%.