Difficult guests

Hi, I’m a new host. I just had a booking for 4 adults and a baby. The woman texted me twice a day for a week prior to arrival asking me if I had a food processor, fans in all rooms, did I provide food staples-flour,sugar ,baking materials ect… She let me know she saw a few black ants, she told me my laundry room ( not provided for guests) light was out, she texted me wanting an extension cord. . I could not make this woman happy. And then the water heater(4 year old perfectly good heater) went out on thanksgiving day. So my husband and I got up at 5 am the next morning and drove 1 1/2 hours to the closet town to buy a new heater.
When we came to replace the heater I saw that she had 2 more adults than planned and a dog. But because of the water heater I just let it go. She checks out today but she texted me at 12:15am last night to tell me they ran out of toilet paper!! I provided ample paper products for the “4” people she booked.
Long story, but my question is if I provide a full roll of TP and a back up roll under the sink in each bathroom (which should be sufficient for 4 adults for 3 days) am I responsible for providing more when they run out?

Without commenting on whether that was enough toilet paper to last for that many guests, I don’t think Airbnb requires that you provide enough toilet paper for the entire stay. Nonetheless, I provide lots of extra toilet paper so my guests don’t run out, just to make sure they have a good experience at my place. I see it as cheap insurance, toilet paper is not expensive.


That’s marginal. I think I have data on that I’ll try to find.

You’ll get differing opinions, but I personally think the answer is yes if you check “essentials” in your listing.

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So, do you think it’s best to specify in my listing what we provide and when that is gone it’s the guests responsibility to provide for themselves ?
And as far as providing food staples in the house. Do other hosts provide flour,sugar ,oil, tin foil, seran wrap ect…?

Found the data:

From Toilet Paper Fun Facts

So, on average, one person uses one roll in less than 4 days. I believe this is a very high average because I don’t use half that much at home and maybe twice have I had guests that used that much. My listing is up to 8 guest for up to 14 days which would be 30 rolls! I put out a max of 8 + 2 on the holders and I tell guests they can just ask for more, but I live right nextdoor, so this isn’t a problem for me. I think having less encourage conserving it, too. However, if it’s not practical for you to bring more, then having some extra in an accessible but out-of-the-way cabinet might be a reasonable solution.

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I don’t think that’s enough. Especially since the closest town in 1.5 hours away. What if someone became ill? You aren’t clear about how much you are actually leaving. In my one bathroom for one night there is always a full roll on the dispenser and one under the sink. I have max of 2 adults for my room.

Both these statements can’t be true. I hope you aren’t insinuating that it’s the guests fault.

There are obviously faults in your hosting and problems with the guest. Like you should have cameras to detect extra guests and dogs if you are not an onsite host. All light bulbs should work in all rooms that the guest can open the door two. I’m not a fan of extension cords and don’t provide any but there are 4 easily accessible outlets/2 not easily accessible in a 130 square foot space. There another quad outlet in the bathroom.

So you probably have a bad review coming. You should also leave an honest review about this guest’s violation of rules (assuming all guests and pets must be disclosed or paid for) and lying. If guests aren’t allowed to have dogs I would have been calling Airbnb right away as that is a potentially serious violation and some hosts would have canceled their stay then and there.

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That’s good information. There was 5 rolls in the house for “4” guests for 3 days.
Had she been honest about having extra people I could’ve provided more. But from now on I will have extra in a cabinet guests can access.

Airbnb defines “cooking basics” which includes: pots and pans, oil, salt, pepper. Consider that the basics for your kitchen.

I provide aluminum foil, plastic wrap, rubbermaid food containers, sugar, a stocked spice rack, mixer and mixing bowls, a few baking dishes, a wrapped stick of butter; mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise in squeeze bottles, and probably more stuff I can’t think of.

No on the flour though. Flour that doesn’t get used quick enough will get bugs. Bugs=bad reviews.


The closet store is not 1 1/2 hours away. The closet store that sells water heaters is that far away. Obviously,if there were no stores I would be providing much more. There is a store less than a 1/4 mile from the house for groceries and paper products.
And obviously,I’m not blaming the guests for the water heater going out.
If a bad review comes of this guests, I know I did what was humanly possible to make her stay comfortable.i went as far as bringing her MY own kitchen aide mixer so she could bake for thanksgiving. I feel like I gave the shirt off my back to make her happy and nothing seemed to please her.


This is called a “starter.” It’s OK for most things you have in your listing, but in my opinion (again, some hosts will fiercely disagree), toilet paper is something you don’t want guests running out of.

The most surprising threads on the forum (to me) have been the ones on toilet paper.


You can do what you want to - it’s your property - and so it depends on what sort of service you want to provide and whether you want to be a great host or a bad one.

It also depends on the quality of toilet paper you provide. Those fat cheap ones can last a day only. Get a decent one and one roll can last for a week. Yes, some guests go out and buy them, others expect the host to provide (which mostly they do gladly).

Why were there ants in the rental? Why was the light out? Why hadn’t you provided an extension cord?

I know that you’re new but experienced hosts will tell you that none of those things should have happened. Yes, I once had ants in one of the rentals so it does happen and the guests were delighted that I dealt with it straight away. If the guest ‘wasn’t allowed’ in the laundry room, how did she know that the light wasn’t working? And guests often need extension cords and plenty of other things that you probably don’t supply.

Regarding the water heater, that sort of thing is going to happen. I once had a guest and the water heater and the cooker both stopped working. It happens, we deal with it. And the fact that you and your husband had to travel to get a new one isn’t of interest to the guest - they expect what they’re paying for.

Yes. And lots more besides.

You’re a new host so you have lots to learn - reading this forum will be invaluable. Read as much as you can here and at the Airbnb site. And please continue to ask if you need advice. We’re blunt, but honest. :slight_smile:


I usually leave an abundance of TP. I leave a new one on the holder and leave four on the extra rolls holder plus I have extras in the laundry room on the shelf.

I know it’s excessive but I would hate to get a bad review simply because guests ran out of TP and they were to cheap to buy extra when they went food shopping. I rent a whole house and most book for a week.

I don’t provide food staples but I do provide plastic wrap and alumimun foil since it doesn’t go bad like food.

I’m waiting on the environmentalist TP police discussion to start up again. :wink:

@Bigsmith Seems like an avalanche of guest challenges. All things that you’ll learn from.

I host mostly couples and have only one bathroom. I take a ‘better to be safe than sorry’ so I provide one on the TP holder, three extras on a shelf above the toilet, and two more as backup in the vanity drawer.

With that said, some guests use barely a roll in a week, while I had one couple use 4 rolls in three days. On a side (but related note) please make sure you have a plunger available somewhere for those who may overuse the TP.

It wasn’t clear if you had this discussion on the app to document things. if not, in the future, I’d suggest that you make it clear

  1. Your remediation of the water heater (to document that it was fixed within x hours of being notified)

  2. If you’re “letting the extra people “ go as a compensation for the water heater issues, it would have been important to advise the guest on the app. Something like:
    I’m very sorry about the water heater issue. Thank you for letting us know so we could resolve it quickly. While we were there I did notice that there were two additional people than your booking reservation confirmed as well as a dog. In the spirt of Thanksgiving and because of the inconvenience of the water heater fail, I hope that we can consider the water heater issue and the dog & extra guests a bit of a wash. Please let me know if that is an agreeable consolation. “

Without something like that you might find yourself with a guest who is looking for additional compensation. And from my own prior experience, unless you have something in your house rules about additional guests (and what You will charge) you will likely not be able to recoup that.


Im surprised that an extension cord is something I need to provide. There is an over abundance of electrical outlets in my house.
In the town we live black ants are a problem in most houses. Especially when it rains and we are having an “atmospheric river” right now so I’m not surprised there were a few ants. I use ant bait but I don’t leave it out when guests come because it’s poison and I worry about kids or pets getting into it.
This is all a huge learning experience for me.
I appreciate the feedback.
I was an AirBnB guest before I was a host so I understand there can be problems or hang ups but, this woman really tested me!

Ok I skipped over a bunch of this to get to issue of reviews… So if you have not let on you are upset about anything DO NOT. I would message the guests something along the lines of " Thanks for being great guests and understanding about the hot water heater, I am sorry you ran out of toilet paper had I known you were a group of 6 I would have left more. I strive to offer a five star stay! I will review you this afternoon as soon as I get the email from AirBnb and I hope you can take a moment to do the same"

Then review honestly when you get the prompt, they will not be expecting a bad review and hopefully will either leave you a good one or not at all.

Good luck



Anecdotally it seems that “difficult guests” or ones who want to take advantage select newer Airbnb hosts. It seems that they know that the less experienced the host, the more leverage they have. So in the future when someone asks if you have things that aren’t in the listing, say no and hope they find a different host to sucker.


Truly, it’s not unusual. Guests come in many flavours - not all of them palatable.

Regarding the extension cord, you have to think about just about everything that a guest is likely to need when they stay in your rental. It might seem a bit extreme but as a new host, you’re going to need some good reviews to get the ball rolling and a few reviews that say ‘[host] thought of everything we might possibly need’ will be great for you.

Remember incidentals like tissues, toiletries, notebook & pen, makeup mirror, magazines, playing cards … the list goes on and on.

If you haven’t already, it’s a great idea to spend a few days staying at your rental to work out how a guest may feel and what they may need.


Here is my review suggestion:

I do not recommend guest. Guest had two extra guests and a dog which were not authorized. Guest was needy and demanding things which were not listed as amenities.

Thumbs down and 1 star for rules, 1 for communication and depending on the mess lower stars there too.