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First guest, first review, 1 Star, trashed place, now what?

Our first guest broke several House Rules including throwing a party and taking our dining and living room furniture outside. They broke glasses, brought mud inside, even had blood on the wall. His party went on until 6 AM even after being asked twice to quiet down. His guests were smoking all night and boxing at 2:30 am. We have security cameras on our patio so we have proof of all of this. The neighbors called us with a noise complaint too. I think he knew he was not going to receive a good review from us (even though I was super polite) so he left a one star review. This trashes our ratings since we are new. I will say our other two guests were wonderful but that still leaves us with a 3.6 (after the other two left 5 stars). Any advice on how to remedy this? Keep pushing forward or is it possible to list under my husband’s account and just deactivate this one? I did receive some money from the resolution center for damages but the real damage is loss of bookings due to low stars! His actual review was basically nothing - saying it was a duplex and we had cameras - umm yes, both stated in the listing (which he didn’t read).

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Oh dear what an awful situation for you and your poor neighbours who were kept awake till 6 am . This ‘guest’ not only broke your house rules, but put your local community at risk by bringing in people to party during Covid. (Are there not local regulations against this at your location)

Sadly guests who want to party take advantage of newer hosts who aren’t so aware of red flags which mean they are likely to behave badly.

There is only a point in having camera’s if you use them to monitor guest behaviour and take action once you know your house rules are being broken.

If you know a guest is partying you don’t just ‘tell them to turn it down’ you need to take action by you or your co-host going over there to tell the guest and those partying to leave after informing Airbnb the booking needs to be cancelled rather than let it go on till 6 am in the morning.

If you try and set up your listing up on another profile because of poor reviews and Airbnb find out they will ban you both from the platform.

When I first started a lying guest gave my literally brand new flat a one star review . i gained SH status within the first quarter and have kept it since.

Hopefully you gave this ‘guest’ an honest review and replied to his review to clarify what happened.

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I have found Airbnb customer service to be of help for things like this in the past. If the guest broke a bunch of rules and then gave you a poor review AND you have communication within the Airbnb app indicating all of this, they will likely remove the review. Just call and talk to someone and explain it.

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Oh gee, that is awful. They sound like rotten “guests” (I use the term loosely).

The first thing you need to do is to have a three day minimum stay (if not longer). This will deter people who think they can party there for one night.

Then consider adjusting the number of guests that can stay there? How many were allowed? You didn’t mention if they brought extra people in. If your listing allows a maximum of 3 people say, it’s difficult to imagine it would have ended up in a party like that.

Then consider increasing your prices. Yes, you are likely going to lose some bookings but it will also deter guests who want a place “on the cheap”.

I agree with @Helsi that starting a new listing from scratch could create more problems down the line so it might be best just to stick with this one. The good news is that your 3.6 will quickly increase the more you host. The bad news is that because you now have a three-day minimum stay, it might take a bit longer.

In a way you were quite fortunate because the partygoer didn’t leave a terrible review in itself. The feedback he has left for the public is actually quite useful to avoid future parties since he (I assume it’s a he - how sexist of me) points out that there are cameras and it’s a duplex. So, if I was you, I would post a public reply that is something like this “Thank you for your review. We appreciate the opportunity to highlight that our property is indeed a duplex and there are security cameras attached on the outside of the property. We’ve taken extra steps to highlight that in the listing description”. This type of response makes you look professional.

Lastly, and I don’t know if this works so don’t bank on it, call AirBnB and explain the situation and ask them to take the review down. 90% chance they will say no but you can at least try.

The steps above should remedy a bad situation. Once you hosted another 10 or 20 guests, that one star review will soon became somewhat irrelevant and you can move on as your averages increase. But yeah, I feel for you, this sounds like a terrible experience.

One final thought: consider being a lot more firm with guests. You mention that you were polite and so forth. Being polite is not actually that helpful in that type of situation. As you can see, being polite still left you with a 1* review. This will take time to learn but you need to show guests “who is the boss”. This comes with experience but at the first sign of trouble you need to start getting firm with them. I give you an example: you asked them twice to “quieten it down”? But is that a reasonable request to make after they have already broken a MAJOR rule? You essentially risk getting delisted by AirBnB for parties like that. So instead of politely asking to “quieten it down”, I would have contacted them and said unless they stop this party immediately, you are cancelling their reservation because they are in breach of all kinds of rules (including AirBnB much publicised crackdown on parties). Other hosts would have already cancelled the reservation when they first heard about the party. I know that it’s easy to be smart in hindsight but you need to intervene before things get out of control and you do have the right to cancel a reservation if guests break house rules.

Anyways, just my twopence. Good luck.

PS: Send your neighbours a bouquet of flowers and an apology card, reassuring them that this will NEVER happen again.

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You have to make the judgement call on that one.

Actually, anecdotal evidence from experienced hosts suggests otherwise.

Yes, it’s worth a try but generally speaking unless the actual review falls foul of their guidelines, they tend to say no. You could try a bit of CS hopping, you might find a sympathetic one.

Here’s the guidelines for removal:

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/548/airbnbs-dispute-moderation-for-reviews

JF

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Every host’s nightmare. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Did you respond to his review? I would write “Guest had a party although Airbnb has a ban on parties which caused damage and several neighbors complained.” Potential guests would read that and would infer why the guest gave you a one star. Meanwhile, call Airbnb and see if they can remove his review. It doesn’t hurt to try.

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I’ve called Airbnb and they asked for all the video footage and pictures of all the damage which I sent but ultimately his one star review did not go against their guidelines. I was reimbursed for the damage. That was from one case manager but the case manager I was assigned is on vacation until Friday. It Sounds very unlikely that it will be removed.

OK so my next question would be if you have to kick out a guest because many House rules are being broken and you cancel their reservation, can they still leave you a review?

We got five bookings within the first day of listing but now since his one star review nobody has booked. This is a real shame that AirBnB has no consequence for guests like this! If we get five stars on the rest of our bookings, we will be back up to a 4.2, better but not so great.

Really? Have you had reviews removed? Because if you have you are in the minority.

RR

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Yes, but at least you will mitigate the damages.

I would read the TOS regarding reviews and see if the review violates it in any way, but I am sorry I agree the likelihood of getting it removed are slim.

Maybe post the review here and see if anyone can spot any violations of the TOS

RR

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You can get past a bad review. @Suntory is correct, the neighbors may a Create problems to prevent you from continuing to host if they are in fear the parties will continue.

There are many reasons for a surge in bookings then nothing.

  1. Airbnb gives new hosts a boost with a temporary discount on what is charged to the guest
  2. New listings Can/may display in the available listings first
  3. Seasonal demand

You may have time to leave a short public response to the negative review of, “Please see other guest reviews for accurate information about our rental. This guest violated house rule of NO PARTIES, which was reported to Airbnb with documentation from our exterior cameras:”

Food for thought…

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This is why some hosts are hesitant to take control and kick offending guests out.
Guests can still leave reviews.
IF the review appears to be retaliatory CS might be able to remove it for you. As others mention you need to try a few times sometimes to get a CS person who is on the ball and sees the guest is being spiteful.

Guests should be turfed as soon as they start breaking rules. I have it in my house rules that if they bring extra guests in or break house rules they may be evicted immediately with no compensation.

Good advice from others for you to respond to their review. Mention them partying til 6 am disturbing the neighbours in the duplex that was clearly listed as a duplex. Definitely respond and point out your other great reviews and features/highlights of your property… Good luck with all of this moving forward.
I have found CS to be a great help to me in my recent dealings with them.

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First - sorry about the jerk “guest”.

You can come back from this, especially with the visibility boost that you currently enjoy.
But IMO you need to do in-person check-ins, FILTER bookings before they check-in (for all guests, get full names, addresses, and ages - as req’d by insurance), if a booking for 4 shows up with 10 then they do NOT GET IN YOUR HOUSE. “smile for the camera”.

Good luck trying to get that removed but very little chance of it. You may wish to post DAILY (factual) complaints on Air’s FB and Twitter pages - for some this “squeaky wheel gets the oil” technique might help improve your chances. Technically, the “policy” is to crap all over hosts, as long as a guest does not write review extortion.

That seriously sucks! So sorry. You could deactivate your account and just your husbands. Your choice. Airbnb can’t stop you from doing that.

I had an almost identical situation to the original poster. I called AirBnB while the party was going on and said that I was planning to stop a guest from partying but I was worried about a revenge review. He said he would remove it if it happened. I just said I was worried and felt unsafe with the booking.

I have found AirBnB CS to be extremely helpful in resolving issues. I have had a few contentious damage claims that they helped with as well.

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If by anecdotal evidence you mean forum postings, I would caution you that you may be subject to some bias. Hosts probably don’t come on forums to rant about Air CS competently resolving their issues and making things right. You generally will only see the negative rants. But, as you imply, maybe I’m just not “experienced”.

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So it seems. It’s a good idea for you to read the Airbnb information about acceptable and unacceptable reviews.

I don’t understand why you were ‘super polite’. Over the years I’ve only had a few guests who have not behaved like decent human beings and I’ve never even considered being polite to them - I’ve been bloody awful.

Please please don’t worry about the occasional poor review or your star ratings. They’ll just cause you a lot of stress. As @Suntory says, be sure to make the peace with your neighbours, if you’re not on the spot get a good co-host and do take on board what @Helsi said about delisting then relisting.

And read this forum! There are many experienced hosts here with a wealth of experience.

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One of Airbnb’s very limited criteria for removing a review is if a guest complains about features that they were forewarned about in the listing, Airbnb will consider removing… like if the listing makes it clear it is a duplex or that live-cams are in place, and then the guest turns around and builds a bad review around those features, Airbnb is bound by their own rules to take it down the hit-job review.

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They can absolutely stop you from moving a listing from one profile to another if they believe you are doing it because you have bad reviews @m

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Hey folks… Airbnb banned parties world wide back in August. As I recall, there may have been a ban even before that, due to someone, or several someones, hurt or killed at a party. If guests break the rules this egregiously, then I would contact Airbnb to cancel the stay immediately and send them on their way. Zero tolerance for bad behavior!

4 Likes

Good news and bad news. They took down his one star review! But, they also took down the review I left for him which is really unfortunate for future hosts. I sent AirBnB heaps of photos and video footage of them trashing my place. His messages to me were nasty and I’m honestly worried he’ll find some friends to book my place since they only live a few hours away and do it again. I’ve taken off InstantBook as that seems to be a big factor in getting quality guests. I appreciate all of the tips!

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