I just had my first experience as an Airbnb host. I was really excited to try it out - cleaned my house like crazy, took some pictures, wrote up a house manual and bought new sheets, towels …
In retrospect, I should have suspected trouble from the get-go. The guest wanted to pay me in cash rather than go through Airbnb and I told her that I was only accepting people through Airbnb.
Before she even arrived, a package had come in the mail for her from India. Granted, I never put “No mail” on my house rules so I let it go.
Once she arrived, with no car, she locked herself in the bedroom. I saw her very briefly over the course of 4 days. When I did see her, I was polite, asking her if everything was okay, if she needed groceries or help since she had no car, how previous visits had gone before, how she liked Airbnb. She was very distant and removed, hardly giving me answers which was just fine - I respect a person’s need for privacy and space.
The trouble was just beginning. I did not receive payment from her for all of the days she had requested and so I had to ask her to leave. It was incredibly uncomfortable. That night, she informed me that another pharmaceutical shipment from India was coming and that I would need to send it to her. At that point I told her that I had wished she had asked permission before shipping things to my home. This was going to create an inconvenience for me since I don’t get out of work before the post office closes and I am often away on weekends. But, rather than apologize or show some kind of gratitude (since I did say I would be willing), she got incredibly angry at me.
The next day, I came home and she was gone. But not before leaving the garbage literally overflowing with food so that it was spilling everywhere. My room was a shambles, the towels left on the bathroom floor and she left a fair amount of food in my fridge (which I was clear about in the “rules” section - please take any food you bring in with you.)
I just received an awful review from her - she said that I was asking lots of questions and was incredibly suspicious. (I was trying to be friendly and make some light conversation.) She said my house was “dusty, dusty, dusty!” (I had my house cleaned and I personally spent hours making sure things were impeccable - I even scrubbed out the closet.)
The thing is - this was my very first experience and it was just awful. I ended up with someone who turned out to be a nightmare! I had visitors last weekend as well and I am quite sure they will leave me a good review but I feel as thought the damage has been done.
I did reply to her after she reviewed me but I am not sure people are interested in hosts who get that kind of negativity. Does anyone have any advice? I put so much into getting my beautiful home ready only to be rated poorly.