Guest insisting on full refund for mentioned noise

Hi all
In my listing description I mention that there is always potential for street noise due to the central location and also extra music noise on fridays and Saturdays nights. This guest only stayed one night on a Sunday and apparently the club was again working with music noise lasting until 4am. From his reservation I got £65 (entire aprt). I offered him £15 as a courtesy because I didnt know the club can be open on a sunday (the clubs were recently rebranded so I have no idea of their schedule now but is that my job??). Would you give a full refund? What should I write in the description to be covered that there could be music noise at any day but at the same time not pushing people away?

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A difficult one… Mmmmhhh. I would take the following approach: You’ve got your bad review almost guaranteed although you’re not really at fault, so I really wouldn’t bother with refunding.

Did the guest try to contact you when the noise was happening? How do you know if there even was any noise?


I agree – no refund at all. You mention the possibility of street noise, and the guest didn’t read-and-heed – that’s his problem not yours.

BUT. You knew about this problem in advance and should have addressed the issue before you started your listing!

Go buy a white noise generator for about £20 and in your description say something like:

“Because we are downtown and there is a potential for “street noise” almost any evening, we provide a white noise machine to ensure that you have a relaxing night’s sleep.”


Hello Ken
Thank you for you suggestions! You’re right white noise machines were on my immediate list; though the guest said that the bass was more annoying so I dont think theres anything I can do about the bass as its kind of vibrating.

No he didnt. He messaged me asking for a refund 2 days later. I wont know if there was any noise but I will now go online and see if there was an event that night.

Absolutely no refund. The guest chose your place having (supposedly) read the listing so the onus is on the guest.

As @Guthend says, what did the guest say when he complained and what was your response? Do you have a white noise machine? I’m assuming that you do in a ‘lively’ area. I’m also assuming that you provide ear plugs too as a backup? (We do, even in our quiet location- you never know what people will consider as excessive noise).

Guests can’t have it both ways - if they book in a neighbourhood that has nightlife, they can’t complain about the noise.


Yes I do provide earplugs. This far people did say “its noisy but earplugs were provided” and they dont mark me down for that. Though this guest said that earplugs did nothing.

He said that they didnt manage to sleep until 4am and if he had known that the music was on Sunday he wouldnt have booked. Claiming that my description was not accurate. I said a full refund is not possible because his stay have cost me and offered the £15 as a courtesy for their troubled sleep.

Then even more, this situation was the guest’s fault. Relax and move on to the next guest who will probably be lovely :slight_smile:

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I going to differ from other folks as I think street noise and music from a club (I can hear the bass now as I’ve had a similar experience) are different. Since your listing specifically said music on Friday’s and Saturday’s I would stick with the 15 refund. I would change the listing to mention the potential for nightlife noise in general and go buy that white noise machine. Is it just one nightclub like that that’s close? Maybe you can find out their schedule so you can be more specific (i.e. Friday’s, Saturday’s and occasional Sunday’s).

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No refund for sure!

Maybe you delete Friday and Saturday and simply put that weekends can be noisy due to the nightlife and location.

Other than that don’t give a refund.

I’m very interested in this thread as the apartment we’ve bought to Airbnb in Cape Town has this problem also. It’s on the 7th floor so hardly any street noise, but definitely clubs on several nights. There are noise-cancelling windows and we’ve put in aircon so they don’t have to have windows open in Summer.

There are several Airbnbs in the block and they all put a warning about the noise in their listing, but the neighbourhood remains very popular. Possibly about 20% of reviews mention noise but most then say something like “it was mentioned in the listing so we were ok with it.”

I’ve always been sceptical of white noise machines - do they really work and don’t they just put another layer of noise onto what’s already there?

Do you really think a cheap and cheerful hotel would offer a refund? I think not.

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@justMandi, no but I think a refund was already offered?

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Yes I did offer £15 to avoid the bad review. He replied asking a full refund.

Understood. But it seems that as hosts we are now expected to remit for guest oversight. The professionals probably won’t do it; why should we? And the bit about earplugs not working…puh-leeze!

Thats what I just did. In my description I was saying Fridays and Saturdays but when I checked my house rules ( things to note) where the guest actually have to agree to before booking I had the potential for noise checked and “music noise on the weekends”.

I think he is just looking for a free stay as when he first requested the money he said: “let me know if I need to open a resolution through airbnb or if you can simply provide a refund” . His account is new with no reviews so surprised he knows the system so well :thinking:


We absolutely shouldn’t refund. Go to the Airbnb Reddit sub and you’ll find loads of guests saying that the internet was down for an hour, or the shower wasn’t warm enough, or they saw a spider , or whatever complaint and their invariable question is ‘can I get a refund/’

Getting an Airbnb refund seems to be a common thing to try for these days for the most minor problem.

My dad was once booked into a well-known hotel chain place in an equally well-known city for a night. At midnight the fire alarm sounded. All the guests spent a large proportion of the night in their nightclothes on the pavement outside. Refund??? NO.


I usually have no complains as the people who book on weekends are going out themselves and returning at 5am. And yes white noise machines block out external noise so they do work.

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Was the review mentioned in your exchange? If so, that is potentially extortion, and you should be able to get any negative review they leave taken down.