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Guest departure. Maybe a silly issue

Luckily, I have nothing but good to great guests. However, one thing that I am finding annying is a good portion not notifying me when they depart.

If no one is arriving the same day, I have no checkout time. This can allow people to sleep late, go to brunch if they like or just get a little extra shopping time.

It is becoming a pattern that people dont tell me when they are taking off. Just shoot me an email, I don’t need to kiss you good-by. This leaves me waiting half a day to clean for people who left at 6AM. It has happened with people who were. Very friendly and people who clearly wanted to be left alone.
I think it is rather rude and realize I can solve this by asking their plans and probably will, but that also seems a bit rude.

Maybe I just need to vent.

No, venting will not achieve what you want. You need to set your own rule about the departure time and notify your guests what it is.

If you are flexible about the departure time when you do not have incoming guests, come up with a time that is best for YOU and notify your guests that you are allowing them a ‘relaxed’ departure time and they are welcome to stay until _____pm., and that the cleaner (even if it’s you) will be there shortly thereafter.



Not rude at all. I have always done this with guests on the evening before departure.


I send a text or Air message at 9:30 PM on the evening before departure “Hello X, I hope you’re having a nice stay ! When would you like to checkout tomorrow ? Please remember that checkout is before 12 :-)”.

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Venting does not help you – or us.

If you can’t be bothered to either meet your guests in person when they arrive, or see them off in person on departure day, the very least you can do is set a firm Check In and Check Out time, publish it prominently in your listing, and enforce it.

If you’re going to be generally slack about times, of course guests are going to take advantage of it. I’m surprised you haven’t had someone stay until after dark on Check Out day…

I too get annoyed by this, but it is important; My guest house has a 24 hour self check in/out private entry/exit set up and I often dont see guest after i greet them at check in. To remedy this I’ve added language that makes it clear just how important it is- it to my listing, posted it on the fridge/house rules, AND follow up with a “check out courtesy text” at 10am, 2 hours before the scheduled check out time. Though most of my guests leave early, some try to stick around. I dont mind a late check out, but I like to know when they leave so i can plan and prep accordingly for the next guest. If they fail to do so, i mark them down for communication.

“Good morning , ____! hope you enjoyed your stay with us, just a reminder check out is 12pm, please leave keys on hook, lock the door, and send a courtesy text when leaving.Thanks again! :)”

I ask them what time they are checking out the day before. I’m pretty lax about checkout time but I have it listed as noon. Usually at that time they ask me where to leave the key and a couple of other questions. I

Is this a whole home rental? If so, this is my departure checklist:

Checkout time is 11 a.m. Please ensure everyone is out on time. Housekeeping must begin on schedule in order to prepare for the next guests. All vehicles need to be off of the property so that other cars can pull in near the waterfall. Please do not remain on the property taking group photos after check out time.

  1. Please return any items or indoor/outdoor furniture to their original location. Dragging chairs/tables on hardwood floors or deck will leave scratches on wood; please lift when moving.

  2. Used kitchen/bath towels can be placed in the backpack hampers located in each bedroom closet. Set hampers on floor. Please use a plastic grocery bag (located under kitchen sink) for any muddy/clean up rags.

  3. Please do not strip bed linens; leave this for housekeeping.

  4. Housekeeping will remove the kitchen trash compactor bag as they will use it while cleaning.

  5. You can leave leftover condiments/goods if you think the next guest may find it useful.

  6. Double check drawers for any personal items.

  7. Please start dishwasher; detergent pods are located under sink.

  8. Double check stovetop, oven, and gas grill are off.

  9. Close all windows. Turn thermostat to 60 in winter and 75 in summer. Turn off indoor/outdoor lights.

Leave keys and grocery card on dining table. You can leave doors unlocked.
Call or text cabinhost at (XXX) XXX-XXXX as you are leaving.
Thank you and have a safe trip home!

ONLY the evening before departure - if I have closed off the dates (for maintenance) do I tell guests that they are welcome to stay longer if they wish, and check out by 1 p.m. That’s it. You still need to set a checkout time.


Yep, ‘no nonsense’ is the way to go. Guests need specific rules and guidelines, just as children do. As konacoconutz says, ‘you can’t let the inmates run the asylum.’

As hosts, we need to curtail the growth of self-entitlement that today’s guests are adopting.

@ajmartin - The guest should be made aware of the checkout time and it should be up to them to request an extension of time to sleep-in or have brunch, etc. Then you can show flexibility in accommodating them. If you coddle them from the get-go and leave it to them to decide on their departure time, you are giving them the upper hand and promoting a reversal of power.

I urge you not to do that because I don’t want to deal with a guest who thinks they can govern their check-out time ‘because the other host allowed it.’


True, this is a disservice to other hosts. Many of us have back-to-back guests and absolutely need guests to leave at the appointed time.

If I know that the next guests won’t be arriving until the evening, I will allow the current guests a more leisurely checkout but still give them a firm time.

They are NOT great guests if they don’t respond to messages about checkout time and should be marked down for communication.

Why do you not want guests to remove bed linen from the bed?

Probably because it’s easier to see and treat stains if the linens are still on the bed and not scrunched up in a laundry basket. That’s the case for me, anyway.


I actually think it’s better for guests to have a given check out time. If you want to be flexible I think it is okay…but at least have a firm time to work off of.

I do not need them to send me a text on check out. Most leave early.

I agree with above that it seems to be preferable to have a firmly set Check-In and Check-Out time.

I also ask guests to message me when they leave. Not all do, that but at least I still know that they will have left by 11am.
Of course there is the occasional request to Check-In early or Check-Out late but that can then be handled on an individual basis with the timing prearranged.

good luck!

Kenh…I do meet my guests on arrival and I do see them off if they let me know when they are leaving. Their apartment is a motherinlaw conjoined to my house.
I emailed this particular couple…50ish doctor and wife…nice people…in the AM to let them know they were free to take the morning for brunch or last minute shopping. i simply find it odd that they and other adult guests do not take a moment to let me know they are leaving or are gone. I am very careful not to invade my guests’ privacy, so I end up waiting all morning for an answer.

I am am in an incredibly walkable neighborhood, so a car in the drive can mean they are out and about or asleep. No car can mean they drove to breakfast.

I travel a good bit on business and the early checkout of hotel is a royal pain for me. I feel the offer of an extra few hours with the possibility of returning and brushing your teeth or whatever before a longish drive is gererous and I would love it. And as they were here for their university reunion, I felt they might like the extra time.

I do need to set the boundaries.

I dont believe I said anything about the bed. Most people actually make the bed which is a pain…I love those who strip it.

My guests are great because they leave the house very clean…no nasty surprises. In general, they are interesting and friendly. This is a business but if I were not to treat abnb guests as I would those in my own home, I would not want to do it…and I have a constant stream of house guests in my own house.

One thing that is happening with abnb in Nashville is that has become a non-resident host business in the majority of rentals. I dont want to be a faceless hotel. I want a relationship with my guests, however small or fleeting.

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I have electronic door locks and an app with many functions connected to these, telling me when the guests are arriving and leaving.

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