Guest claiming refund for broken washer

A guest stayed at our 1 bd/1 bath newly renovated property during July 4th week. They initially listed 3 adults staying at the place and although I have the unit listed as self check in, I sent a message a couple of days before providing them with directions and said that I would meet them. They then requested to add a 4th adult less than 24 hrs from arrival. When I met them, I noticed that two of the guests are smokers (they came out of the car and the first thing 2 of them did was to light up). I walked through the unit with them, showed them around and reminded them of the no smoking policy inside the unit. The person that I communicated with via email said that they don’t ever smoke inside. I then left. I noticed the next day that there was an extra car parked in the driveway aside from the one that they came in with 4 adults and asked them about it. They said that it’s their sister that is from the local area and she’s just visiting. I asked if she will be staying overnight and they indicated no. On the afternoon of July 3rd (2 days before their check out), the guest said that the coin operated washer on the property was not working; however, I had used the washer just the day before on July 2nd with no problems. I did a load in the washer and then dryer with no issues. I responded to her immediately via text asking her to try pressing different combination of buttons as it might be the settings. She said that she did and was telling me how those coin operated machines work. I called my maintenance guy to go and check it out and he said he will go on July 5th as it was the holiday. The guest mentioned that she put in $2 into the machine and how they have to go to the local laudrymat that costs double of the amount per load. I offered immediately to refund her the $2. On July 5th, my cleaner was there in the morning and he used the washer with no issues. I was on the phone with him and he ran a load successfully. I have testimony from my cleaner and have photos and video of the working washing machine. I let the guest know that it was working and let her know that it might be that she didn’t put the lid down after putting $ in it so that the “close door” trigger will be pressed in to operate. She insisted that it was not working. I’m not sure how or why it would be working the day before they used it and then on the 5th. After the trip, I sent in $2 for the money they said they put into the machine. I got a message from Airbnb that the guest is requesting a refund for their stay. I am not understanding what refund they are asking from me and asked Airbnb for clarification. Surely they are not asking for a refund of their entire stay because they didn’t know how to operate a washing machine or giving them the benefit of the doubt that the machine was out for a couple of days. They said that it was an inconvenience that this amenity that was listed on my listing isn’t available and that they couldn’t do a load of laundry before they go back home from vacation.
As mentioned, I asked Airbnb whether they are asking their money back for their entire stay even though they stayed for the entire time, and broke house rules by having extra guests without letting me know in advance (her sister) and parked there for free (We’re 2 blocks from the beach and have had other local freeloaders park in our lot instead of paying for parking at the beach). When they checked out, the unit smelled of stale smoke and I used my ionizer to deodorize but haven’t charged them extra cleaning fees. It sounds like they are looking for a free stay at a perfectly nice Airbnb and are trying to take advantage of a host. Anyone had a similar issue like this before and how should I respond to this?
I do see that she submitted a review the day after she left and then 2 days later, requested for a refund. I have not sent in my review and am formulating my review and next steps. Any guidance from this experienced community would be helpful!

Were they still staying there after you confirmed with your maintenance person that the washer was working?

It’s pretty hard to understand all that unbroken text but I think that the gist is that the washer wasn’t working and now they want a refund?

I’m not clear about how you handled the situation when she told you - it looks like you said ‘well it was working yesterday’. (So if my car breaks down tomorrow it will be a total surprise because it works today?)

Did you go to see to the washer and show her how to use it or try to fix it for her? Sorry, it’s not quite clear.

My cleaner went on the 5th and was able to use it without any issues. They guests had checked out that morning. Because it was working, I called my maintenance guy and cancelled my appointment.

No refund. You had someone go inspect it and have proof it is in working order. She broke rules. Just say no. Likely already left a bad review so dont ding yourself twice


Sorry for the unbroken texts as I had copied and pasted from a word doc. : D

The washer and dryer are about 3 years old and based on the reviews are pretty reliable. I used both to wash my own laundry the day before and when my cleaner arrived on the morning of the 5th, it was working fine. In fact, he regularly uses them to wash the sheets while he’s cleaning the units and used it on the 5th. She reported it the afternoon of the 3rd and knew I would be out of town on the 4th. My maintenance guy didn’t work on the 4th so I scheduled him to come out on the 5th to check.

We have a coin operated washer and dryer and I find that often guests need to be shown how to use them - although they are extremely basic. Did you show the guest?

I would not refund her for the entire stay. I might consider refunding her the amount she had to spend at the laundromat since it sounds like the washer was one of the reasons she booked your place. I would then laminate some written instructions and place them near the washer so that “operator error” doesn’t cause issues in the future.


Take the washer off your listing for future guests so you won’t have this issue again. When future guests arrive they will be pleasantly surprised that there is a washer and if they have issues, they can’t complain about it because it wasn’t listed as an amenity.


If the OP does that, all the guests who are specifically looking for a listing with a washer will book elsewhere. :roll_eyes:

This sounds like a guest that is looking to freeload a stay off a host.
Under no circumstance should a 'non working washing machine justify a full refund and even less so, since your washing machine was actually working. You need to decline the refund request saying that the machine was indeed working perfectly before,during and after the stay.

Me personally: I have taken off most of the amenities. This includes wifi and a/c even though it is all available. I used to think: the more amenities I can check,the better. Since reading the stories here, I have come to the conclusion that the less I check, the better.

However, I am not hosting in the US


I only offer guests staying 5 days or more is of the washer once a week. Hadn’t had anyone ask to use it since I started with this new listing (55 sets of guests).

Unless you cater for long stay guests having a washer isn’t an issue.

You are local, why didn’t you go to the listing and either show the guest how to properly use the machine or verify that it was broken?

I think you need to be careful with that approach, given that there’ll be a proportion of folks who will filter for amenities they consider essential.

That said, if it works for you, fair enough.



I was away for the 4th of July holiday. They texted me about the washer the afternoon of the 3rd and left the 5th.

Many thanks for all the great suggestions! I really appreciate all the comments.

Okay, but why didn’t they (or you) contact your co-host or whoever you’d left in charge?

Do you not have a co-host in place for when you are away @Betty_Boop ?

No, I don’t have a co-host. How does this work as I’m not familar with this.

So I’m drafting my review of this guest and have the following so far. As Airbnb’s content policy states that I shouldn’t provide details of any ongoing investigation, I purposefully didn’t mention the washer and that they’ve requested a refund.

“Jay was pleasant during the booking process. Less than a day before her trip after I told her that I would be meeting her to give her the keys, she sent in a request to add another adult to the previous reservation for 3 adults. I had informed her that it’s a 1 bd/1 bath unit and might be a bit tight for 4 adults. She assured me that it’s fine. As they were already on the road down to SPB, I knew it would be difficult to find a place for an extra person during July 4th week so accepted her request to add another person. They wanted to check in earlier that afternoon before the 4pm check-in time and I told her that I would try my best to accommodate but it’s a busy week and we had guests staying prior to their arrival. I texted them that the unit is ready and they came at 3:30pm. When I met her at the unit I noticed that there were smokers in the party and reminded them of the no smoking indoors policy.
The next day we noticed an extra car parked outside of the unit and asked around if it is other guests/tenants’ car since it’s a busy week and we’ve had locals park in. Jay then let me know that it’s a local family member’s car. I wished she would’ve let me know in advance so I can confirm in advance that I can accommodate. Later on the week, they parked their car behind mine and blocked off the spot next to them by pulling the trash cans into that spot. When I asked when they would be back to move the car, she said that they would be away for the day so I had to make alternate arrangements. Jay was nice but unfortunately, didn’t give me advance notice or heads up on several issues that ultimately gave me some challenges that I had to work through on my end.”