Guest Acceptance


We just put our entire house on Air bnb yesterday and this morning have a request to stay for one week. We’re new to this but I thought I’d have a bit more info on the person, there are no reviews or links. All I have is a name and a photo (which could of course be anybody…

I would ask the person questions but to do so I have to ‘pre-approve’ their stay. Can I cancel after approving them if the answers aren’t satisfactory.

Perhaps I’m being too cautious but I thought I’d have more info on the person wanting to stay.

Many thanks for your help.


You do not have to Pre-Approve in order to initiate a conversation via the AirBNB message system. Simply send them a message asking for whatever information you feel that you need.

In actual fact, very often you know very little about the people who rent your space. Many of my guests have been first-timers with no reviews and no profile.

Ah, thank you! I’ve just found the way to email them without pre-approval.

Now, I have to think of something to ask… ‘Are you a serial killer…’??

OK, good to know there isn’t always a lot of info about these things. I suppose there’s always a risk.

Since you’ve put your whole property on Airbnb I doubt it matters all that much if they’re a serial killer. More pertinent might be: are you planning to have a huge party in my place that involves drugs, call girls and booze.

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I never select Pre-Approve anymore. I did three times in the past and they never panned out. It’s been an exercise in masochism.

When you receive a “Request”, your choices are to Accept/Deny (not Pre-Approve). A Request means the guest has already paid Air for their stay. When you receive an “Inquiry”, your choices are to Pre-Approve/Decline. The guest has not yet paid anything and is merely asking you for some information.

When I get an Inquiry (the second option), I engage in an exchange of emails with the proposed guest and we both learn about the other and the particulars of the rental. When I have decided to go ahead, I tell the guest that I would be pleased to accept their reservation and to go ahead and submit a Request which I will Accept.

I’m not sure what happens in the follow-through when you Pre-Approve, whether a Request still comes next or whether the reservation automatically goes through.

I love Requests…Inquiries, not so much.

Hi Sandy - Thanks ever so much for this info, that’s very helpful. Yes, it seems that really they were just asking a question with a view to perhaps staying.

It’s just tricky when Air BnB states that you have to pre-approve or deny within 24 hours, doesn’t necessarily give you a great deal of time to have a proper exchange.

Thanks for the advice.


Is it a request or an inquiry? You will know if it is a request. You do have to approve or decline a request within 24. They also just want you to answer if it is a question. They don’t want to leave the person hanging.

OK, so it was a request that required either ‘pre-approval’ or ‘denial’ within 24 hours. I have since denied it. I felt that I needed more than just a name before letting them have my entire house for a week.

Thanks for all your help.


It does seem off-putting to ask questions, but their answers are usually quite reassuring. I usually ask what brings them to our City and often say something about wanting to make sure my place is a good fit.
Then you need to read the answers carefully. When someone wants to “have a few friends over for a beer” I decline. I also do a google search on the name once I have it. I turned down the biggest disc jockey around who alluded to seeing friends!

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Actually, I think this typically means they have submitted their credit card (or possibly debit card) information. They pay once you accept the request.

Hi James,

We have Some simple rules for this; we only pre-approve or accept guests when

  • they have verfied their id or passport
  • have at least 3 positive reviews from earlier bookings.

This should work, but you are never sure. If your gut instict says no then simply don’t do it. I found out the hard way lol

Yea, I was nervous at first too. But get used to it, because that is like around 30% of our guests. Many are just old people who just joined ABB. I think you are being too cautious, but I also don’t want to be the guy who gave you terrible advice so…

Congrats on the 1 week booking!