Guest gives great review but not so good rating cos he broke house rules?

I am still a pretty inexperienced Airbnb host and I realize I have made some severe mistakes with what has turned out to be my worst guest to date: So I had a guest with an extended stay. While we were away he/she trashes the house, breaks house rules and urinates in the yard after his/her one person party when he/she has an awesome private bathroom to use. I know now that I should have kicked him/her out at that time but since he/she apologised after I expressed my dissapointment, I let him/her stay till the end of his/her reservation. (Mistake #1). He/she needed to then extend his/her stay by 3 weeks and wanted to do so outside of Airbnb app but I told him/her, in light of the recent house trashing and rule breaking, I was not comfortable doing that…So he/she was annoyed and booked somewhere else for the rest of the time. Then came the review time and mistake #2: I didn’t want to be the one yerk that gives him/her a bad review when everyone else gave him/her a great review. BIG mistake. I apologise in advance to all hosts that may be negatively affected by my mistake! Then he/she gives a ‘great’ review but only a 4 star rating…just to have a dig when he/she fully knows the damage that does as he/she is also a host on Airbnb. He/she just wanted to have a dig because I had called him/her out on the house trashing and broken house rules and because I had covered my ass by sending him/her the message on the app so, unbeknown to me, his/her partner saw the message. The private feedback message on the app from them was pretty snippety. What should I do to fix this mess up, if anything?

  1. Respond to their public review, reveal all and thereby explain the descrepancy between the glowing review and shitty rating? 2. Message Airbnb about the whole ordeal and see what can be done? 3. Do nothing and hope that people are smart enough to realize this guest was just being a jerk?

If the written review is good don’t worry about it. You aren’t going to get a 4 removed (and in the grand scheme it is not THAT bad at all).


The he/she, him/her was painful to read. I don’t think you have to hide the guest’s gender. Just pick one.

I don’t imagine you should respond at all. If you want to get a review removed, it will need to violate Airbnb’s terms, and there are some new terms specific to reviews they added about 3 weeks ago. Please post the complete review.


Do you need to see the full private note too?
Thanks for your input, I do appreciate it!

No one but you can see the private note.

What would be helpful to see would be the separate star ratings to see where they scored you low. i wouldn’t know whether or how to respond if I didn’t know what the scores were.

How many reviews do you have? If you have over 40, a 4 star is not going to lower you score very much, and you would be better off just to let it get buried by new reviews next summer.

Good to see another Alaskan on here! Please check the personal message I’m sending you.

1 Like

The written review is really nice. I wouldn’t worry about the 4 star rating. When I travel, I read the reviews and don’t focus much on the number itself.


It’s a 4* review. Not good, but not the end of the world.

You can’t change it, Airbnb wont remove it, the guest is now long gone so move on. Have a glass of :wine_glass: and start thinking of your next guests.



If they urinated in the yard there’s an 99% chance they identify as male. :wink:

Heidi, I wouldn’t respond. Most people aren’t going to realize this person is a jerk, they aren’t going to give this review a second thought.

1 Like

I thought that too, but then I rememberd the news story on the Airbnb guest blacklist Facebook page where they called out the host the posted a photo of the female guest urinating in the backyard.

1 Like

That’s the one of a hundred.


Unfortunately, this just seems like a case where the guest thinks that 4-stars is a good review because he isn’t aware of of Airbnb’s expectations of hosts. I can see why this bugs you because the review even indicates you went well beyond normal host expectations, but as everyone has said, really just have to let it go and move on. The review will not deter any future guest, but your response to it might if your intention is to highlight that the guest didn’t give you 5 stars when you think you deserve it.


The star breakdown shows all 5s but only the overall star rating is a 4. I only have 35 reviews as I only started with Airbnb this year so it has affected the overall rating a little but I will just suck it up and move on as everyone has advised. This guest sure has taught me a few things though lol!


Absolutely nothing. And it’s not a mess that needs fixing. It happens to everyone from time to time. You might call it a shitty rating but the chances are that your future guests don’t know the difference or even notice. I really think that you’re a little over-touchy if that review bothers you. The professional thing to do is forget it and move on.

You probably type quicker than me (most people do) but even so, the time it has taken you to write your original message is too much time spent on this person.

You have realised that you’ve made errors. Learn from them. Every guest brings lessons along with them, especially when you’re relatively new.

I agree.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

That’s probably the most important lesson of all.


I know you are not happy BUT this could be much worse. The review is very nice - a potential guest will think that you are great host. No one will think about the 4 stars.

You learned some valuable lessons without taking a big ratings hit.

We got a 4 star review early on from a woman who was new to airbnb - she honestly thought that she was giving us a good rating.

Lesson learned - we now have a guidebook on the coffee table, with a little bit on the cover that educates guests about the airbnb rating system.


Thank you Jefferson! After reading all your comments I feel a lot better about it and am moving on - looking forward to a busy season😁 Best wishes to you all for 2020!

It may not have anything to do with the house rules issue.

Over the years I’ve had a few 4* reviews from guests who we prepped for in exactly the same way as every other guest. No issues, no complaints, just a lower mark.

Other guests will only see the glowing review, so nothing to do here. Very few listings can maintain a perfect 5.0 rating. Even if you prep perfectly every time and never have an issue, it’s inevitable that someday a guest will give a lower rating because they’re just a tough grader, find a flaw others didn’t see, or just take out some personal misery on you.


This. Just use “they” if you don’t want to pick a gender.


1 Like