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Fairly new host - had my first less than stellar guest - advice on how to deal with her review and moving forward needed!

#1

Hello all! I’m a relatively new host on airbnb.com. My first guests stayed at our house on christmas for two nights and were amazing! Everything was feeling great! Second guests were also wonderful. Quick background on our space, we have a 4bdr, 2.5 ba house that sleeps 10 in the Lakes Region of NH. We bought it in february of last year as a second home, with the potential for us to move there down the road, or at least have it as a vacation home a few times a year. It was a wreck and we put in 10 months of work to get it looking nice again.

This past weekend, we had a “family reunion” of 10 people stay at the house. The woman in the house next door keeps an eye on things and also does the cleaning for us in between guests. She sent me a picture of 8 cars in the driveway, which seems excessive for 10 people. When there was an issue the first night of one of the breakers blowing, my neighbor went over to take a peek, and said that there were more than 10 people, and that they wanted him to stay and drink and celebrate a 21st birthday party. My neighbor also said they were up until all hours of the night as well. I sent the guest a message letting her know the neighbors were unhappy with the level of noise, and she apologized and said they’d keep it down. After they left (only a two night stay) she said the place was tidy and they had a wonderful time. Was feeling mostly good, despite the messages from the neighbor. When she went over to clean - she found 10 large bags of garbage (for a two night stay) including a kitty litter box in one of the bags (listing says no pets). She had found two of the window screens upstairs removed from the windows, and apparently the neighbor’s downstairs tenant saw folks on the roof at one point. The house was left less than tidy, someone left behind an air mattress (an indication that there were more than 10 people staying) and the kitchen stove (glass top) was just caked in burned on food.

We live 3 hours away from the house in CT, but were on vacation in Costa Rica during this group’s stay at our house and I have to say, it made my personal vacation less enjoyable because I was stressed about this whole situation. I know that there will eventually be guests who don’t respect my space, sadly enough. I’m wondering what you folks think of how I should handle the review? I also won’t get up to the house until next week (We have guests this weekend staying as well) to see if there’s anything else missing or damaged. Our neighbor doesn’t know enough of what the house was like before to be sure of what is or isn’t missing/damaged. Any thoughts or suggestions on this situation, as well as security deposits, or tips for weeding out the party folks would be helpful! I don’t want to be cynical with this moving forward…and i feel like this group has made me question this whole renting thing…

Thanks in advance! :slightly_smiling:

Athina

#2

Just to clarify, has the review period already ended for them??

#3

It has not. I still have time to leave a review and definitely plan on leaving an honest one!

1 Like
#4

Tell it like it is. It’s is horrendous behavior for guests who took advantage of the situation of you being out of the country. If you haven’t already open a case with Air. You may be out any damages though because you have to report that with documentation within 48 hours.

In the future limit the number of guests. I’d say six max for a house like that and if you haven’t already, add to the house rules, no loud parties. No extra guests.

You have to spell out how you want guests to behave. Don’t leave it to chance.

Geeze, whAt a bad start!! Very sorry!

#5

Thanks Kona. There wasn’t enough damage per se to file a report - it was more the general disrespect of the house and the neighbors as well as the astronomical amount of trash! I have to store trash bags in the garage (off limits to guests) because the garbage collectors won’t take garbage that doesn’t fit in the bin. My neighbor is putting some in hers, but I can’t understand how so much garbage can be made in two nights. Will hopefully get up to the house next week to get eyes on the place. But for now, lesson learned!

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#6

I could see that much garbage being made in two nights if over ten people are staying and partying. The garbage, burnt food, and party alone warrants keeping the damage deposit but it sounds like more than 48 hours have passed.

#7

I would file a claim against their depost for extra cleaning charges! That’s ridiculous!!! They totally disrespected you. For shame.

(Please tell me you collect a deposit!)

#8

Sadly, I did not. This was only my third rental. Wanted to get a couple reviews under my belt. Lesson learned and deposit added. I’ve been reading a bit and folks are saying the security deposit should be equivalent to one night’s stay? Thoughts?

#9

I would never rent a house to a bunch of kids. 21? Noway!! Of course there will be more people, they hang out in large packs:) Always. Remember good old days, one friend calling another, and suddenly instead of 5 there are 25 people, and they hardly know each other.Plus 21 years old eat non stop as they are still growing, and finally they can drink!!Let the party begin.

2 Likes
#10

Yana - she did not indicate her age when she requested the house reservation and told me it was going to be for a family reunion. Shame on me I guess for not checking into it more. Had I known, I would have denied the request, for sure!

#11

o ok, but its a good idea to ask for age and pictures. Or may be put age limit like 30. Really, i would not rent a separate unit to anyone yonger than 30. Even 25 is not old enough to be trusted.

#12

funny thing though - our first rental was to a younger couple and they were absolutely wonderful! Left us a glowing review on airbnb and they were the epitome of great guests! I just need to be better about interviewing potential renters and make a decision.

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#13

I don’t know about the security deposit being equivalent to one night’s stay. I used to have mine set at $150. Now I ask for $180, since I did have a guest cause more than $150 of damage one time.

You have to ask for a deposit.

#14

You can’t always tell through the “interview process” though. My guest from hell number one was a “quiet professional from Portland” while my guest from hell number two was an “easygoing older couple from Alberta.” Bother we’re neither. Terrible guests! The first turned out to be a party whore and the second a wicked viper. So you never can tell, no matter ho much you try to interview. They are always on their best behavior when they enquire!

Sometimes newbie or blank guests with no reviews are the best…partly because they are not expecting much! Haha.

The best thing I have found for getting the kind of guest you want is to describe that guest in your listing copy. For example, I say, "I’m only interested in hosting quiet coples or singles mainly interested in sightseeing, as this is a very quiet area. Party animals need not apply.

2 Likes
#15

It’s is another thing to add to the review. She LIED about the reason for the rental. A family reunion conjures different images than does a 21st birthday party. Yowser.

Don’t hold back in that review. Tell everything they did to your house in detail,…no one will ever rent to them on Air again!

2 Likes
#16

Here are some things I do and some things I’ve seen other hosts do. Both my places sleep six. However, to avoid the party animals, I charge an extra guest fee: for one it’s 20 a night after 4 and the other, it’s 50 a night after 5, with the exception being if the extra guests are children. That way, I don’t rule out families, who are usually okay.

If your place sleeps 8, why don’t you consider adding an extra guest fee of some sort, but with the child proviso, just in case you really do get a family reunion. Two nice families of four each might be just the right guests for you and “specializing in families” (what I say) might actually help you get more guests. Tell your guests that for insurance purposes, every guest must sign in and your neighbour, or someone, will check and do a sign-in in your stead.

I have big damage deposits–for my upmarket unit it’s 500 and for my more modest unit, it’s 300. I saw a host in Boston who had a great set of rules. One read, “No parties, no smoking and no loud noises,” “a failure to abide by these rules will mean an automatic forfeiture of your damage deposit, no exceptions.” He had a big house too.

For their review, I would just tell the story plainly. The facts really speak for themselves and you don’t have to say anything of a really evaluative nature. I wouldn’t rent to these jerks, point-finale, and you’d be doing every host a favour by warning them.

#17

Please write a honest review. It doesn’t have to be a mean review, but I would state all the information you listed. In the beginning when I had bad guests I didn’t leave them a review, but I realized this just isn’t fair to the next host. Now when a guest is extremely messy or break a house rule (i.e. smoking) I make sure it’s in the review.

2 Likes
#18

Thanks Reeny for your input! How do I justify to airbnb that if there are loud noises, smoking or parties that i keep the security deposit. do they not require documentation? How would that work. I guess I’m not 100% sure what I can or cannot do as a host regarding asking folks to leave, calling the cops on them, keeping deposits, etc. I’ll have to scour the FAQs on airbnb a bit more!

#19

I will be writing a thorough review but not one that sounds vengeful. Facts only. I don’t want anyone else to have to deal with this because of her! Thanks kona! :slightly_smiling:

#20

I don’t know! I thought it was a strongly worded warning and I don’t use it myself, but then I’m right on site. I think as a deterrent it works more so than in reality. I did try to find the listing again and couldn’t (maybe because of the dates I chose), but I did wonder and wanted to ask the host…if you’re not on site you need to write something a bit strongly, I should think.

It was impressive, however. You got the sense that this host was no-nonsense and that partiers did not stay at his place at all.

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