For mediocre guests, do you not leave a review?

I don’t feel comfortable leaving a critical review for a guest – I just declined to review them. Infractions aren’t serious – apartment isn’t thrashed or anything. But person wore shoes in apt and communication was poor – I ended up waiting over an hour to check them in as they didn’t text to tell me they were running late, etc. I wouldn’t want them back as they weren’t particularly likeable and it took the cleaner an extra half hour than usual to clean up after them which I paid out of pocket. Sheets required soaking due to self-tanner staining. So again, nothing serious but not easy or ideal guests.

Do you leave critical reviews for people like this or just decline to review? I notice some people have been members for awhile on AirBNB but have no reviews – might this be the reason why?


I would absolutely leave a review stating your concerns. If people don’t then what is the point of the review system?

Although I would say people who have been members for a while without reviews may have just not stayed anywhere yet. Or the host may have just been too lazy to actually do the review.

That’s why having a review that is explicit about a guest’s shortcomings is better than no review. And it may not be a big deal if, for instance, a host didn’t mind shoes being worn in the apartment.


I’m in agreement with Telos. I think you should absolutely leave a review. Have a read of this recent article about why you shouldn’t trust Airbnb reviews. Very appropriate!

Say all the things you said in your post - apartment isn’t trashed, but not an easy or ideal guest. There are ways of saying it tactfully!


Don’t you think that most guests would build a new profile if they got a review that they believed might impact their future acceptance rates?

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OK – how about this as a partial solution?

For great guests, I always specifically outline what made them great – “nice people, good communication and they left the apt in great shape! Would love to have them back, anytime”.

For guests who arrived 90 min late without texting and left stained linens that took me extra time to clean, I outline nothing specific – “Nice people, thanks for staying with us”

If I read a review that doesn’t say “very clean” or “left the apt in tidy condition” I will assume those guests weren’t very clean. Do you think that’s a reasonable interpretation?


I am a host and sometimes I am too tired so I just write, “Great guest!” Do you really want a psychological analysis and detailed criticism of yourself on there? There is no standard way to behave. The way to critique a guest is to use the star rating system. It is unfair that we can’t see the star ratings on our GUESTS the way we see them as HOSTS - so I’m not even sure why we fill them out. Is it possible only AirBnB uses those star guest ratings internally for themselves?


I stand by my original observation that honest reviews should be left. The review system is there to help the entire network - both guests and hosts. If it’s not used honestly then it ceases to be helpful. It just becomes worthless noise. I think this article sums it up neatly:

chicagohost I certainly see where you’re coming from, but it requires that other hosts read between the lines to understand the hidden message.


The review system has been a blessing and a curse. In answer to your question, Chicago… I TOTALLY avoid leaving a so-so guest a review because I am afraid it will prompt them to write something with some negative dings in return. I know they have changed the system so that you can’t read theirs until you’ve written yours, but lately I have had such a string of whiners that I’d rather they didn’t leave one… especially if it will contain a backhanded compliment, which many, not surprisingly do! Even the GOOD guests, ones I was positive I could trust to leave a great review, have left me one with a stinger. I mean, if they want to communicate something and let me know something was wrong or not to their liking, I wish they would simply write it in a PM. It’s totally unfair of the guest to write a review and ding me for things that are disclosed in the listing or were bonus items not even advertised in my listing in the first place! I’ve had it so much I just can’t trust guests.

So short answer… unless they are OUTSTANDING guests, ones whom I have confirmed with and asked to leave a good review, I skip it. I just don’t want them to be reminded to leave a review, and/or prompted by the system to state what could be improved.

I have 60 reviews, but am at 4.5 stars. Just over the whole review process.

Back to your specific case, Chicago, I would call that guest in violation of more than a serious infraction. Wrecking your sheets with self tanner? What are they thinking? Extra bill by the cleaner? Shoes when the house rules say none? These are things that should get the guest dinged. I would have…

One trick I use so that I can avoid the ping pong review effect is to wait until 11:59 on the last night of the review period. Unload it all and hit submit. They won’t have time to ding you back.


No… During a recent problem case I opened, Air told me that’s why very shortly they are requiring ALL guests and hosts to be ID Verified so that they can’t open a new account with a phony name after getting bad reviews. See my story about my mosquito coil guests. He was definitely traveling on her account… because he was making all the decisions and was surly and unpleasant (and probably made the decision to light the coil in my house.) He’d probably been trashed by other hosts. So I had to give HER a bad review because it was booked through her account… when I actually found HER to be very nice and him to be a jerk. Speculation of course but sure seemed obvious that he was traveling on her account. And now her name is muddied. Shame.

Can guests see the ‘star’ rating you leave them? Or just the comment?

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That is a great question I’ve wondered myself. I don’t know what the star ratings on a guest can possibly be good for except as some internal tool for AirBnB itself. I wonder if AirBnB ever bans a guest from using the service if they always get 1 star reviews. Anyone know?

No, the guests can’t be rated with stars, which is totally ridiculous. The very people who need protecting the most (the hosts inviting complete strangers into our homes) are unable to see a star rating system for the guests that might be coming. Even though we know for many reasons the rating system simply doesn’t work effectively, (I am planning to write more about this at some point if anyone is interested), we do know people are at least a bit more comfortable with using a rating, or at least a sliding scale to rate an experience. At the moment the review system with guests is deplorable for giving hosts any kind of idea what to expect as many of us have experienced.

They give us the stars to check off and don’t display them, so it’s bizarre. My guess is they don’t want us to turn down those paying customers so they just show the reviews. Some here have said a bad review was removed. But I keep checking the one I left on The Worst Guest Ever, and it’s still there, evil laugh.


I agree they have reasons for not helping hosts decide if they will allow guests to stay with a star system, just as guests get. Mira not as if they don’t know that the majority of hosts are scared to leave negative reviews for guests because it makes them look unkind or not like the nicest guest ever (if anyone checks).

All our guests have been great except for one who was not really bad, but just like they were here under sufferance. They had stayed at over eight different airbnbs previously and had received reviews along the lines that “they had stayed there” kind of thing. This guest had not left a revue for anyone. I had questioned him about that and asked if all their previous experiences had been bad but they felt better in not leaving a review, and was told that they NEVER leave reviews for airbnb or anything else. It seem that airbnb class a non review as a negative one. I wrote to them about that, but in six months have not had an answer other than they wopuld be responding to my question shortly. Since then I will not accept any guest who has received reviews but never left them.


Hi, do you know what time zone that expiration period is… so say if you are on the last day to write a review and live in the central time zone… would that be 11:59 or is it based in Pacific time zone so we would have to leave it at 10:59. Or maybe it is time zone specific and nothing to worry about, no matter what time zone you are in… I tried this game and I was too late by an hour… and I tried again and was a day early… lol… Wasn’t paying so much attention, will do better next time…

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I agree with you about the back handed compliments and whiners… I am at the same level as you rating wise and number of reviews… Would rather them not leave any more if they are not totally ecstatic. So trying to give them last min reviews so they don’t have time to leave one. Also, since I think Airbnb counts it is a sorta strike against you for not reviewing… and I am always worried about my search engine placement… Wanna always to get them reviewed


KK: It is is Pacific Standard Time… so for some of you that would fall in the middle of the night! For me in Hawaii right now, it’s 9:00 PM.

Now some here have said that it’s your check out time but I don’t think it is. It’s MIDNIGHT PST. I have confirmed that myself and have done this last-minute review leaving myself and was able to get it done in less than a minute at 11:58 or 11:59 because I had it pre-written.

I will experiment with my last guests’ review period which will expire in about a week here, and report back.


And I will be allowing you access to my account to test it out if ever need be Kona. Thank you for testing for the rest of us! I honestly never would have thought about slamming them at the last minute!

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It’s a great idea, and solves a sticky dilemma handily. :slight_smile: