Critique my review of nightmare guest

Which is why all of the annoying stuff should be mentioned. The cat thing, while interesting and relevant, is not the whole story.

(And you’re still referring to the initial version and not the improved one later on. )

I don’t care about the cat, it seems like an unlikely repeat behaviour. It should be mentioned because it speaks to character (or lack thereof) but what I need to know about the guests, as a host, is that they communicate excessively and at all hours (because that means when I’m sleeping) and that they’re bothered by the sounds of a city (the concert).

isn’t quantifiable such as ‘nit-picking’ or ‘at all hours’

“All hours” is 100% quantifiable. It means 24 hours of the day. I’m not going to put up with that, outside of emergencies.

There is no reason to be vague or overly brief. A 2-line review is just as lazy as the hotel line.

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But reviews are not written for Airbnb, they are written for other hosts (and if the guests were great, a good review is a show of appreciation to them).

I personally don’t mind overly communicative guests, such as those who ask a lot of questions, but contacting a host excessively with a litany of complaints, or during sleeping hours about anything other than an emergency situation, is just plain rude and doesn’t fall under the communication rating to me. It falls under “self-absorbed jerks”.
And therefore needs to be explained in the written review.


Forget about the cat, that was minor. What needs to get mentioned is the constant complaints and things the host had zero control over. Music from a mile away. Ok, he could run over and tell them to knock it off.

Maybe these people weren’t big travelers and were not accepting that things happen differently in other countries.

Constant complaints would put me over the edge.

Regarding the cat…I wish you could have seen my face when you first wrote that gem. They are nightmare guests…HOWEVER, don’t just say they let a stray cat in and it pooped inside without saying HOW you know it did. Otherwise, it sounds like you are spying on them, seriously! I think you said there’s a housekeeper so if he/she reported it include that part.

Exactly. I am available 24/7 to my guests but I don’t want to deal with guests who take advantage of it or are self-absorbed jerks.

And I don’t want to deal with someone who complains and exaggerates about music from a mile away. Because they might have the same experience at my listing, best to cut it off before it happens.

I do think the cat should be mentioned because it’s so obnoxious, but the other stuff should be mentioned too.

Here’s the latest version of the review. A lot of the comments are referring to the original post but he changed it later:

Guests were high maintenance, and we found it hard to please them. For example, complained about the ruined vibe because a concert 1 mile away stating that they had to keep the windows and door shut for 2 days because of noise, but in reality the concert just started 20 minutes before their message to me. They also left the space in bad shape as they took in a stray cat and locked in the living room and there was unfortunately cat fecal matter on the stairs. Communication was excessive, at all hours. I can not recommend them to other hosts, nor would I host them again.

I think it’s totally fine. I want to know what a host thought and how they felt about the guests. It is their personal experience that is relevant and this version gives enough examples to make the issues clear to me. If I disagree with any of it or think it doesn’t matter to me, it’s easy enough for me to disregard it because there are examples. Without the examples, I have no idea what the host actually means.

And as i told @balivilla, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, there’s no prize for continued editing or pouring over it. It is a subjective review based on personal experience with details for explanation.

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Not minor at all. It is a perfect example of the absurdity of their complaints. If they had simply let a cat in and then locked it inside, that wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but they complained about the resulting cat poop, as if it were the host’s fault.


I advertise a cat-free home so it would not be minor in my case. However, I doubt they do it everywhere they stay, it’s not a huge concern in that way.

But if it is not a cat-friendly listing or if there is a house rule that requires pets to be disclosed ahead of time then they’ve certainly broken a house rule so it should be mentioned just for that. It’s not okay to let stray animals into someone else’s property without permission.


Reason I said forget the cat is @rolf used that as the negative experience when clearly the complaints and demands are what needs to be addressed also.

And, yes a big problem for a pet free rental having a confined cat.


If it’ll keep someone from bringing in a stray cat then I’m okay with them thinking I’m spying on them :wink:

Well rolf shortened the review so much so that there’s no way to tell what the hell happened. That’s why I disagree with it. It’s edited down so much so that it’s not useful.

The cat was an example in @balivilla 's because they locked the cat in the unit and then complained that there was cat poop :frowning_face:

On the cat:” The guests brought a stray cat into the house and then complained when it made a mess.”


I have read of reviews being removed for that phrase. It is an opinion, rather than a fact. The guests are being labelled.
Phrasing it in “I” language would be better, as in, “We found these guests to require a great deal of ongoing attention”. The host is then not stating that the guests “were” something, but how it was to host them.


That’s interesting. It doesn’t go against the review policy and I see it in (too many) reviews. I don’t see any difference in that or “the guests were messy” or “the guests were very loud coming in at night”. I imagine it’s like any other time that someone has a review removed, it depends on the CS they get.

I suppose you’re right that it could be phrased more actively, like the example you gave, but the meaning is the same and seems more like a composition course note than a review issue. I really think we overthink it too much. The review could just say “these guests were assholes” :rofl:

I’ve often wanted to just write, “Meh.” :grin:


It isn’t really like saying that the guests were loud coming in, to me. While “loud” may be relative, it is still a fact about an action, not a general comment on who they “were”, as in high maintenance.
Also if the constant complaining is made clear, it’s obvious to other hosts that they were high maintenance.

Guests may be less likely, I’d imagine, to contact Airbnb about a review removal if the review states facts, even if it puts the guest’s nose out of joint, than if they are labelled as “high maintenance”, “messy”, etc. And as you point out, it depends so much on the CS case rep as to how they interpret review policy.

Years ago, in a parenting course took, I learned the wisdom of using “I” statements, rather than “you”, which puts people in a defensive and aggressive mode. It’s applicable to many situations in life.
Saying to a teenager “You were supposed to do the dishes before you went out- you’re so irresponsible” will elicit a much different reaction than “I was really dismayed to come home to a pile of dirty dishes after working all day”.

If someone let an animal into my listing and it shat in it, they’d get a 1 on cleanliness and a 1 on house rules, cuz, “no pets.” Also a 1 on communication for not letting me know of the mess.

Take you best shot after absorbing all this advice and then don’t let this disrespectful guest take up anymore or your thoughts or time.


A review is merely a written account of a subjective experience with guests by one host for other hosts. It doesn’t have anything to do with the psychology or effort of parenting. There’s no reason to try to manipulate a particular response.

My two cents:

  • Focus entirely on their behaviour

  • let the facts speak for themselves on matters of character – don’t be the assassin, let their track record do that job

  • make their shortcomings about why they are not welcome or recommended – focus on staff time (yours) and extra cleaning. Make it about “bad business” – rather than “I’m really pissed off.” Make the issue be that they broke the code/norms, and not that you were annoyed… that they were bad guests, and not that you are an angry host

  • I agree with others in this thread who say don’t even mention that they are gay (use Richard & spouse/partner/travelling companion). I know that’s not your issue, but why create even a tiny opening for someone to play the victim card in a desperate attempt to discredit your valid criticism? If their sexual orientation is irrelevant to your complaint, don’t include it in your complaint.


I[quote=“JJD, post:57, topic:54675, full:true”]
A review is merely a written account of a subjective experience with guests by one host for other hosts. It doesn’t have anything to do with the psychology or effort of parenting. There’s no reason to try to manipulate a particular response.

I disagree. I was referring to how a guest might react if they feel they have been attacked as a person in the host’s review. As opposed to the host simply stating the offensive behavior. The former might lead them to call Airbnb and demand the review be removed, or make up bogus complaints like bedbugs and have a rep side with them.

I wasn’t suggesting that we need to tiptoe around an honest review, but hosts have to be a bit careful with wording, lest it come back to bite them. It certainly does no host any good to give possible grounds for removal of an honest review warning other hosts about bad guests.


I understand.

I just don’t agree that anyone is going to feel attacked by being called high-maintenance. It’s not even an insult. Lots of people proclaim themselves to be high-maintenance. You seem to think it’s a big deal but I think it’s merely descriptive. It’s good information to have for hosts. But it’s not a character flaw or anything that most people would be ashamed of, it’s okay.

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