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I’m fairly new to airbnb and have listed the second bedroom in my home. The first 2 guests I had were polite and respectful and left glowing reviews. I’m an easy going and generous host and have provided a basket of goodies for each guest. The third guest however, who is currently in my place has been somewhat difficult and I’m really unsure how to handle it.
Even though the guest only rented a private bedroom, I was out of town for their stay so they had the entire place to themselves.
The first day they were there, they sent me a message saying that their significant other was in town and can they stay at my place. I directed the guest to contact airbnb as my policy is an additional cost per night per guest. After around 12 hours the guest said he couldn’t work out how to do that and asked if he could leave cash on the table.
A day before checking out, the guest asked if he could stay an extra night. I politely told him no as I had another guest checking in that evening.
In his initial message, he stated that he would be checking out early Friday morning and I accepted his booking on this basis. I returned home from an international trip early Friday morning and wanted to unpack and relax. Despite receiving an email from airbnb stating that the guest had checked out, I arrived home at 9:30am incredibly jet lagged to find his personal items scattered all over every room in the house.
The house manual advised guests to use condiments and tea and coffee in the kitchen, however I noticed that imported beers and ciders had been drunk from my fridge.
I left the house and am doing some work up at a local cafe, and texted the guest to ask when he was checking out so I can send the cleaners in and he replied he’ll be out by 2:45pm. My policy clearly states check out time is 2pm. Despite the fact that this guest was due to leave early morning.
I’m feeling incredibly frustrated with the guest and even though his communication has been polite I feel as he has pushed every boundary possible. The money I’ve spent on his stay and will need to spend on additional cleaning means I’ve made around $30 for this 3 night stay which is a complete waste of my time. I regret accepting this booking.
The guest had no prior reviews and I want to be honest however I don’t want to attract a negative review.
Does anyone have any advice on how to go about this?
I have to stay out of the house just so he can check out and am feeling completely defeated.
You can’t see the guest’s review and the guest can’t see yours until both have been written. Neither host nor guest is permitted to edit their review after the other review is written. Go ahead and write an honest review.
Thank you for your response! Do you think I have grounds to write a negative review? To summarize: Asking for the additional guest, additional night, checking out at a different time then communicated and then checking out past check out time which put me in a tough situation for my next guest, drinking alcohol from the fridge.
It would be much easier if this guest had been rude but all communication has been polite… It’s a tough one.
Just to flip the coin onto the other side for a moment…
If the guest has no reviews, this is probably his first time using Airbnb. So it is up to you as the host to set the boundaries. For example, you don’t ask him what time he is checking out, you tell him. You should also have made the change to the booking yourself to allow for the additional guest. (And at least he didn’t sneak the second person in - he was upfront about it).
And to be honest, if I was staying somewhere that had beer in the fridge, I would assume that it was for me to use if I hadn’t been informed otherwise. You say in the manual that you allow use of the kitchen so he was, well, using the kitchen.
Your big mistake though was leaving the country when you had a guest with no previous reviews in your house.
Because you say that he has been polite throughout, I don’t think he deserves a bad review unless he left his room is terrible shape.
I don’t mean to be harsh but you do have to set the boundaries and control guests properly.
I agree that as this is the guests first airbnb stay, perhaps he has stepped the line without knowing. My first 2 guests were so polite, clean and courteous that I was expecting the same.
I sent an email once their booking was confirmed. I clearly stated the check out policy as 2pm and the reason for it being at that time (to allow for cleaning before the next guest).
I guess this is a learning curve as a new host. I’m still not sure how I will go about the review. Should I leave negative feedback in the comments section? I feel I was polite and flexible but other hosts would not entertain it.
I don’t see most of your complaints as negative; some I see as positive. It is fine for the guest to ask if it’s okay to bring another guest and stay another night. As a matter of fact; it means that the guest is comfortable and happy at your listing. If the answer is no, that’s fine. When a guest asks me if they can bring another guest and/or change the dates of their stay and I accept their request; I change their reservation and ask the guest to accept the change.
I think that your guest drinking your beer and cider was a misunderstanding. You state that you left instructions regarding what the guest was free to use. I believe that you also need to leave instructions regarding what is off limits.
Did you tell the guest that you were accepting his reservation because he planned to check out early? If so, it’s fine to mention that you and he had agreed that he would check out early and he didn’t. If you didn’t tell him that you needed him to stick to his early check out plan; the only negative thing you have to mention in his review is that he didn’t check out by the check out time on your listing.
I suspect that you’ve been spoiled by your first guests
To me (others may disagree) he didn’t really do anything wrong. He shouldn’t really have used your booze from the fridge but if you didn’t specify otherwise, then I can see why he did it. I leave beer in the fridge for guests and he might have stayed in rentals before where the same thing applied.
I’ve also stayed in a traditional B & B where a fresh carafe of wine has appeared every evening (my favourite place ever!) so I guess he just didn’t know your hosting style. Asking for an additional guest - and offering to pay for it - is normal. And asking for an extra day happens often to me and it’s a good thing. More $$$
I completely agree with this. I also could have communicated more effectively and take responsibility for some of the misunderstandings. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to clarify my house rules and communication with guests. I think I will just let this one slide due to the kind messages and friendly nature of the guest.
Perhaps I’m just being grumpy and jet lagged but wanted to throw it out to the community to see if my complaints were warranted. Thanks for your input!
My first suggestion would be to actually contact Air and explain everything to them, and ask them for their advice/guidance. Whilst they may not be entirely helpful, it is at least on their records that youve contacted them about the guest.
It may well be that this guest was a first time air user and wasnt aware of the rules/regulations/expectations, hence no reviews or that maybe the guest has been a previous mediocre guest and equally the host wasnt sure what to put, so didnt.
Maybe you could leave a review that says something like ‘Nice guest who communicates well. Unfortunately he took advantage of my business trip (not being at home) and helped himself to a number of items which were not for guest use and flaunted several rules, including check out times.’
This is exactly right! I think I’m just being a little precious and agree I was spoiled by my first guests. This really was a learning experience for me to tighten up some of my house rules and set boundaries. The guest did respect my place and am sure would be a great guest for other hosts. It was a case of the blind leading the blind as we’re both new to hosting/traveling through airbnb. Thanks for your advice
In my opinion it doesn’t matter that he didn’t check out early. Yes, that was not cool to say he would. Now, all of it depends on your correspondence with him. If you stated “I can only accept your booking if you check out early morning” that would be one thing. Then of course mention it in a review. But if he merely said he should be leaving by early morning, you still technically need to give him until your advertised check out time. I always assume the guest will not leave until the last minute, even if they tell me otherwise.
He didn’t plan to have all of his stuff out by check out time, and had his stuff all over your house - mention it in a review.
Did you only have booze in your fridge? If you also had food then he took advantage - he should have assumed everything in the fridge was your personal stash. If your house manual/rules says that guests can help themselves to tea, coffee, and condiments - then just because you don’t say “my alcohol is off limits” doesn’t imply they can drink your alcohol. Bad guest. For example - I rent out a whole home and tell guests to help themselves to anything in the kitchen cabinets, fridge, and bathroom cabinets. I explain all of it is for guest use and none is personal items. However, I do NOT say “please don’t help yourself to all the items in the storage room.” This room is not locked. It looks like a messy storage room too. Any guest going in there to help themselves to “extra” items is stealing.
I wouldn’t mention him asking for the extra guest or extra night. But you have every right to mention he ignored your check out time, and maybe in private feedback say something about the booze.
As this is only your third guest, I’d be inclined to give him some leeway and only mention the late checkout in the private part of the review, if at all. As a potential guest I think I might percieve you as overly critical (which I’m sure you’re not!) if I saw that only your third review was a negative one.
I agree about setting boundaries but I also think that those boundaries should make it as easy as possible for guests to abide by them and to afford them a bit of leeway if they slip up. For instance, if you have same-day guest changeovers I think your checkout time is way too late. I’d much rather you said a 12pm (do I mean 12am - I never know?) checkout and then as a special favour and only if asked beforehand you could graciously make exceptions to that!
Similarly with the beer , yes, it was a bit clueless of him, but we all are at times … he might even have meant to replace it and then forgot. For the future would you consider an Honesty Bar on a shelf in your fridge? We do that with beer and wine (after the first bottle which is free) and we put a new post-it on the fridge door for each guest to check what they have taken. They pay us in cash at the end and it’s worked very well so far and guests really love the convenience of not having to shop if they fancy a drink in the evening.
When I was a kid Silver Lake was where to go to swim and have a great time. So I like your name!
Yes, your first guests ‘spoiled’ you - but that’s ok. You’ll get such guests again, I promise. Most are good. Some are great. A few are not.
Hosting is tough, so you need to get tough. It’s hard for all of us but you must be upfront and clear. Be generous, kind, welcoming, and happy to see them - but just underneath that exterior, tough.
Do NOT expect guests to have read and understood anything in your listing. Do NOT expect them to understand your boundaries. Communicate them clearly, reinforce them as needed. When he said “2:45” your immediate response should have been - “oh, that’s not possible; my check-out time is 2:00”.
At the same time, strive to not be offended when they do something wrong. Try to remove your emotional response and just deal with it head-on. It’s a business. Sometimes it goes all our way, and sometimes our time comes up where we have to leave a bad review, clean food up from under the bed, spot treat gross stains, etc. It’s the Cost of Doing Business. But it’s not personal against you.
Somehow guests think the ‘sharing community’ means few normal business-related boundaries. The ads have confused people. Airbnb isn’t being sold as a professional business but as a friendly sharing environment. We have to educate them.
Just some random thoughts. Welcome to hosting - it’s the cheapest but most painful therapy you can buy. You will learn a TON about other people but mostly about YOURSELF. You will mature more than you knew you needed to.
I think your guest did push by pushing your check out. That’s rude and disrespectful, I don’t care how polite he was otherwise. If he asked and paid for additional guests and nights, that’s cool. If he left his stuff all over your house and drank your alcohol without being invited to, uncool.
If you feel like this stay could have been better, you can simply write…xx was polite and mostly communicative, but unfortunately, he did not respect the check out time and left his items strewn all over my house when he should have been gone. He also drank beer belonging to me without asking. If you rent to xx, make sure he understands your house rules.
And next time, get firm. YOU tell them what to do, not the other way around.
I would personally drop the extra guest thing. If we are candid here, it is a pain to modify a booking that’s already in progress for the sake of a few dollars - live and learn, and just accept the cash if this rare event ever happens again.
But yes, mention the beer. “Unfortunately Barry paid little respect to my home, taking expensive items from my fridge and ignoring my checkout time. I’m afraid I can’t recommend Barry for this reason.”
As for heading this off in future - you need to say (out loud) to your guests which items are ok to use in the kitchen and then note that everything else belongs to you and isn’t for sharing. I would also recommend you change your official checkout time to 10am and be sure the guests know this before their last day.
And I’ll also note, guests like this aren’t the norm. Sorry this has happened to you!
This guest may just be sloppy. Even though he said he was leaving early, he didn’t have to if he was leaving at your check out time. I don’t think i would ever leave when a guest checked in. I have a room that I host for. That is when i think, the tone is set for expectation. Its a learning curve. I don’t think there is anything wrong with stating your concerns in the private feed back.
This is the kind of booking that didn’t go as smooth as it could have, for no other reason that it was all new to you, and maybe to him also. Per se the fellow was annoying, but perhaps a bit ignorant of the ways. This is a classic booking were you learned about the necessity of boundaries and you will undoubtedly set them in the future, so in way because nothing earth-shattering happened, it was a ‘wonderful guest’ because of what it taught you, so early in the game.