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Guest lied about smoking

I rent out a room in the house I live in. I have an absolute no smoking policy and have even stated that smokers are not welcome in my property even if they smoke off the property. As part of the screening process I make sure to ask guests if they smoke. My current guest is here for 2 weeks and denied being a smoker in our pre-booking conversation. Tonight I noticed him walking outside smoking. My living room now has the faintest smell of smoke after he came back in. He’s otherwise a good, quiet guest who I’ve had very few interactions with. I don’t know what state the room is in, but I’m afraid it will reek of smoke.

He’s got about 10 days left on the reservation and I’m wondering if I should call AirBnB to ask him to leave early since he’s broken the house rules (I specifically say no smoking allowed inside or outside and to not enter the property if you smell like smoke). He blatantly lied to me and is potentially causing damage to my house with the smell of smoke. Should I approach him about it? Should I just ride out the reservation? He has already extended once because he just got a job in the area and is looking for housing, but I don’t want to extend again. Is there a way to block him from extending his reservation?

Bearing in mind that I’m not an experienced host

  1. I get the feeling that not allowing smokers at all would fall under some type of discrimination issue.

  2. One way of blocking him from extending would be to block off 2 nights in the near future. Not sure if there are other ways.

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You can block him altogether, but I wouldn’t do that while he is still staying with you. He can still see your property and that it is available. He just can’t book it. @Fahed 's suggestion of blocking a couple of days at the end of his reservation is probably best.

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Fortunately, smokers are the one groups we Air allow us to discriminate against!

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That’s cool! This discrimination thing was getting out of hand!

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I would contact Air and ask to have him re-homed.

Then I would confront him, and tell him that since he lied to you about smoking he is no longer welcome there and that Air is going to re-home him.

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I would check your room he is staying in. You could mitigate damage by airing it asap.

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Just be straight up and direct. Don’t bother about subterfuge and booking dates to fake him out. When he comes in next, walk up to him and casually state " Oh Ed (or whatever)! I didn’t know you smoked! I just saw you light up and have noticed a smell emanating from your clothing. Unfortunately, it is my policy not to accept smokers (due to smell). Did you see that in my listing? I am afraid that another Airbnb will have to be more suitable. However, I can assist you with looking for something in the area".
If he asks for a refund, tell him you will give him one if you rebook.

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If I end the stay early, is he allowed to review me? I’m a new host with only 5 reviews so am concerned about the impact of one negative review.

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Yes, he absolutely can.

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That’s unfortunate. So guests can just break all the rules, get removed from the house by AirBnB and then retaliate against the host with a bad review.

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Sort of. First, Airbnb can’t really remove anyone from your house. They can ask, just like you can, but they have limited power to do so since they are just an online plaform.

Also when guests break the rules and their stay is ended early they often lose their money. They should not be able to leave a retaliatory review. Also you get to leave them a review so they might be wary of that.

I’ve hosted almost 500 people and haven’t had any major problems or retaliatory reviews. I understand your concern but maybe you are worried about something that won’t even happen.

If you go down that route it will not be straightforward. Airbnb will drag their heels. It seems that more often than not guests get refunded in these type of situations. It can also take days of barraging Airbnb with phone calls to get the cancellation.

Unless your guest agrees to moves out.

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@GardenFairy Please read this story. Just so you are aware of how difficult things can get.

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Or my recent thread…

The ending of my story is that I did enforce the rules and charged the guest the extra person fee (which I don’t even think they paid; I think AirBnB covered it for them), and they retaliated by leaving me a 3-star review. Because I’m new and have few reviews, this really lowered my rating. Dropped me out of the running for super host and the family/work collections, etc. It will take me a few 5-stars to get my number back up. :frowning: It is really frustrating that you have to weigh the decision on sticking up for yourself and your property vs getting a bad review that could potentially ruin your business.

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Think of it as an opportunity if he leaves a bad review to reply and point out “Mack had his stay cancelled as he ignored the clearly stated rule about smoking inside and out which I put there for a reason as I don’t want my other guests being subjected to smoke smells even from clothes. I ask future guests considering booking to note that I have to treat breaches of this rule very seriously and ask smokers not to book, even those who smoke away from the premises.”

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Not in the US. Not a protected class.

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I don’t know where you live, Fahed, but no place I am aware of has smokers as a protected class. In the US, it is only illegal to discriminate against people who belong to a protected class. Protected class status varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally encompasses things like race, age, gender, familial status and so on.

In my LTRs i don’t rent to gun owners. Gun owners are not a protected class. Neither are pet owners or smokers.

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I had smoker removed with Airbnb’s blessing. They broke my house rules and created a potential dangerous situation in an extremely high fire danger area during a red flag warning.

As other’s have stated, smokers in the US are not a protected class. If they were we would not have non-smoking restaurants, hotels, public buildings etc. etc.

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Do you really not a gun owner who stores their guns off premises live there or are you really only not permitting the guns to be on the property?

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