Guest checked himself in whilst I was out with no prior agreement

I had an arrangement for a guest to check in between 8pm and 8.30pm this evening. I was out with my friend and got back at 7.45pm to wait for the guest. Presently I was told by my other guest that he had come at 7.30pm, followed him in the house, asked if it was my house, searched for his room and went out with the keys which were in the room. No messages, no phone calls, no communication whatever. I have called Airbnb to tell them I do not feel comfortable with this guest and need to cancel penalty free, I am waiting to hear back from Airbnb. In the meantime the guest finally picked up their phone and I asked them to come and bring back my keys and collect their stuff immediately, which they have just done. I am feeling shaky and in a state of shock. How could they possibly think it’s ok to not even call me?

Hi Jess1,

I have a completely different feeling about this, than your “feeling shaky and in a state of shock”. Your guest had booked and simply showed up only slightly early. It’s really no big deal. Why call Airbnb? I would suggest to work on a self check in process for next time so you worry about this less, and relax with a pot of tea or a nice bath.


Guest turns up within half an hour of when they said they would = RESULT!


He entered my home without my knowledge or permission, prior or afterwards. Just because he has booked a room that does not give him rights over my home. There is no excuse for his lack of communication whatever. If I had wanted self check in I would have arranged it. There was no need for him to enter. He was earlier than arranged, it was his responsibility to contact me. I will be talking to Airbnb again later. Thankfully the guest finally picked up his phone and he was told to bring my keys back immediately and his bags would be in the hall. He has left now and I have to deal with all the fallout.

But entered your home without your permission or knowledge?

There’s nothing wrong with my check in process. We arrange a time and I check in the guest. My check in does not involve following other people into my house at random times!

I once had something similar when somebody turned up 5 hours early, just shook my head and moved on.

Nowt so weird as folk.

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Did they walk in your home when you weren’t there and take a set of keys?

If your guests showed up 5 min. before 8pm, would you still feel the same consternation as them showing up at 7:30? I don’t know why but I’m thinking you would. I may be wrong but I wonder whether you’ll be getting much sympathy from many of the hosts here on your rigid stance in handling this situation.

If your guests arrived a half hour early and another guest let them in, why are you putting all your ire against the arriving guests? Had you informed them how stringent you are about not coming in without you being present? Did you inform your other guest that he is not to allow other guests entry into the house when you are away? If not, then you can tighten up your pre-arrival instructions to avoid a repeat occurrence.

It’s obvious you are all fired up and emotional over this and I hope it ends happily for you with Air. We all want everyone to have the same thought processes and standards as we do and act in any given situation exactly as we would but that’s not the reality.

There are varying degrees of guest behavior which hosts will not tolerate. For me, your experience would not have rated high on my “severity” meter, at least, not enough to give them the boot.


They did enter when I was not there but I do not have keys.

It’s not just about them being early it’s about them entering my home without even contacting me. Yep the other guest has been told not to let anyone else in now, but he was put in a difficult position by an overconfident personality, and it has never been an issue before in 3 + years. It seems totally abnormal to me to follow a guest into a stranger’s home and not even communicate with the owner. I am surprised you don’t get that.
The arrangement was to check in with me between 8 and 8.30, any deviation should be a matter of discussion, that seems obvious. I shouldn’t have to triple reiterate arrangements or warn all neighbours, guests etc. not to let overstepping guests into my house!

I have keys because I don’t want anyone in my home when I am not there without permission. That’s normal in a big city.

I am a frequent Airbnb guest as well as a host, and if I arrived a half hour ahead, ran into and chatted with another guest (“Hi, I’m a guest staying here, I’m a bit early”), I could see myself possibly doing the exact same thing your guest did, just following the other person in, thinking, great here’s my room and my key. They might not have known you weren’t in the house at that point, right? Or could they have possibly thought the other guest was a family member?
Then the guest went out to do whatever, they eventually replied to your phone calls, you asked them to leave due to their unauthorized and unsupervised check in, and they complied.
If I was your guest, I would feel super-embarrassed at my innocent mistake, would probably not want to stay anyway, and would think you were pretty rigid. Wonder what their review will look like – hopefully not, “I got to the house a half hour early, somebody there let me in, and the host got mad and threw me out.”


No sympathy here, jmho but an over reaction. Poor vivacious guest!


If he’s vivacious then why zero communication to even let me know he had checked in? Why so impatient he wouldn’t even wait for the time he had chosen? Still don’t get this at all, it’s is not a holiday rental, it’s a homestay!

I do not live in a city but did leave the backdoor open, found them in the dining room when I got back from Home Depot. They were only staying a night and were supposedly tourists, think they just sat in here for 22 hours, weird.

Plus now the other guest has now “been told,” so they’re probably not having a jolly time anymore either. How long are they staying? How much risk is there they will let more people in? If they are leaving soon, I probably would have let it go, and just brought it up with future guests not to let anyone in as a security measure to protect them.

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I agree with you.
I would not have felt shaky nor in shock, but I would feel very intruded upon.
My family does not even enter my home without “permission”.
Since you do meet and greet, it is incredibly inappropriate to help themself to a key.
And I disagree with all the input on this site that always suggests self check in and self entry. That simply does not work for everyone, and it is ok to feel better providing a personal check in instead of lockbox or keypad.

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Just my two cents. I wouldn’t have been happy about this, but I wouldn’t have thrown the guest out. If I was to do this for every little thing, I would have no guests left.

I agree with @Jess1 that this is considerably less than ideal behavior, and arguably a bit disrespectful. I tend towards the control freak of the spectrum myself, so take my biases into account. But people can be a bit wacky sometimes. They were probably just in a holiday mood and being “casual”. Expecting perfect behavior from strangers is fighting a losing battle, imo.

I would have told them firmly that this was not ok, and that you should have checked with the host first. And tightened up the rules to make sure that didn’t happen again. And left it at that.


There’s no more risk of my guest letting anyone else in, the guest didn’t want Mr Pushy and Impatient following him in anyway. He felt uncomfortable. It’s not nice for him having an unchecked stranger intrude either. I run a trusting homestay with no locks on doors. That means everyone needs to respect boundaries. Now my guest has the freedom to say no!