Declining rental to guest with bad review discriminatory?

I received a reservation request and I’m conflicted about declining or accepting it.

  1. Guest has one review 3 stars. Short version: good communication but the group should’ve taken better care of the apartment. No details are included.
  2. Name used in the review is not the same as appears on the guest profile. It doesn’t appear to be a middle name or nickname.
  3. Guest did a booking request with no comment or message to me.
  4. Declining this guest could me interpreted incorrectly as discriminatory. However a quick perusal of the guest pics with their reviews shows great diversity.
  5. I need the money.

I think I just answered my own question. I’m just not comfortable with this guest due to the prior negative review & lack of communication.

What are your thoughts?

I’ve had guests with poor group reviews who were great guests; they were probably unfairly tainted by someone in the group. Or maybe they learned from the prior bad review. I’d message the guest with my concerns rather than a straight up decline. If they don’t answer or have unsatisfactory answers then decline.


The few times I’ve had a request with no communication, I’ve replied asking them the purpose of their trip and to tell me a bit more about themselves. In one case the person then wrote me a lengthy email and I accepted her, but in a few other cases, they just cancelled their request and I felt I was right and I was relieved.


Follow your instinct. Perhaps send them a note requesting more detail about their stay and then decide. I wouldn’t mention their review but you could perhaps contact the host that left it?

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Thank you all for your comments & ideas. Strangest thing—about 4 hours after I received the reservation request, I received a message in my Airbnb in-box time/date stamped for the time earlier in the day of the reservation request. It appears to have been held by the Airbnb system.

The guest addressed my concerns in her original message. We discussed the rental a bit more. She is now booked.

We shall see what happens. I feel better about it now.


I once got a message months (yes months!) after it was initially sent. It knocked me down to a 99% response rate. When I got it I messaged the guest and apologized, she didn’t respond. The site can be terribly glitchy and I’m sure every host misses out on bookings because of it. I’m so glad I can do instant book.

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If it doesn’t FEEL right to you, don’t do it. Reservations come and goes.

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