Guest refusing to cooperate with govt required paperwork (Form C)

Sorry folks. I’m back with another difficult guest.

This one is due to arrive Thursday, but earlier today she emailed me, saying that submitting Form C wasn’t actually required. Apparently I’d been doing it for 3 1/2 years for no reason.

She’s also ignoring Airbnb’s page on the subject -

I reproduce her email and my reply below, suitably anonymized. I haven’t heard from her since that email. I was hoping she would cancel, but she hasn’t yet. And she’s arriving Thursday. And given this email, I think I’d prefer not to deal with her any more. Perhaps I’m being oversensitive, but I don’t want the hassle.

I was wondering if I can/should contact Airbnb and ask for her reservation to be cancelled without penalty. I’m not sure in that case I will get any money back, though in theory I should, based on my moderate cancellation policy. But I guess that’s not so important.

At this risk of stating the obvious, this is a legal requirement under Indian law. It’s true that (as far as I can tell) many (possibly most) Indian Airbnb hosts, and probably other hosting establishments ignore the requirement, but that has no bearing on my responsibilities. And the Airbnb page is fairly clear about that (modulo some minor errors), so someone in Airbnb is aware of this.

What do you folks think?


Hi xxx,

On Mon, 11 Nov 2019, xxx wrote:

Hello Faheem, I have looked further into Form C and asked others, including the 4 other AirBnB places I have stayed. Short term visitors are NOT required to fill this form out. Only those staying more than 180 days
Here is the link

You’re mistaken.

What you are talking about is the foreigner registration for the FRRO. That’s for long term stays, and is a completely separate procedure. This is a procedure that the visiting foreigner has to complete. The Form C is something that the host has to complete and submit online. It’s true that Foreigners staying for less than 180 days do not need to get themselves registered, but Form C is not a foreigner registration form.

Form C is required for stays of any length.

Please give me credit for knowing the laws of the country I live in.

I feel very uncomfortable giving anyone this level of detail and I don’t understand why you want it

I would prefer to cancel my booking if you are adamant you want this information

I hope you understand that it is an invasion of privacy and I don’t know why you are asking for it

I’m sorry you feel this is an invasion of privacy. It’s a form that the host is legally required by the govt to submit.

If you prefer to cancel your booking, please go ahead and do so. And if you want to do that, the sooner the better. I would hate to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

If you are asked for a reason, please feel free to mention that you didn’t feel comfortable filling out the paperwork. You’re also welcome to check with Airbnb about this.

I’m sorry to cause any inconvenience. I was unsure to start with, as you know. And now it this information confirms it

Again, you’re mistaken regarding this rule.

Regards, Faheem Mitha


It looks like you handled it perfectly, if she does not cancel and shows up do not let her in. I would let her know now that she needs to fill out the form or cancel as she will not be allowed to stay. You do not want it to get to check in day because then she will be able to review you.



Hi @RiverRock,

Thanks, but I haven’t actually handled anything. My main question is whether I should contact Airbnb. I don’t want to involve them in every little thing, but at this point I also don’t want to have to force this woman to give me her information, and probably get a bad review out of it, assuming she doesn’t cancel, that is. It just feels like a disagreeable situation waiting to happen.

But it there any downside to contacting Airbnb?

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I think you’re fine, all of the communication with the guest is documented on the platform. Personally, I wouldn’t involve AirBnB at this point, as you’ve quite clearly laid out your case (politely, too, I might add) and provided her with options (fill out the form and stay, or cancel herself).

I always prefer to handle any issues myself. (And quite honestly, I think that I have more common sense and gumption than all the CS agents put together).

But in this case, yes, I’d contact Airbnb.


Yes I guess you should contact them, unless you are on instant book then I would just cancel as uncomfortable and be done with it. The problem is the CS agent is going to try and save the reservation and if the guest does fill out the form and stay they will likely leave a bad review. I would ask the agent to cancel on the guests behalf.

Good luck, let us know how it works out.



Hi @CeeBee,

No, actually this email isn’t documented on the platform. It was sent to my email address directly. But I could forward it to a Airbnb rep, along with the headers. And I doubt the guest will deny writing it unless she’s really nuts. Also, she does complain a bit about Form C in the Airbnb messages, but unfortunately I heard more from her on the subject via email.

Thanks for the feedback, @CeeBee, @jaquo, @RiverRock . I’m not enthusiastic about contacting Airbnb (it always feels a bit iffy), but based on the impression I’ve gained of the guest, the alternative is probably worse. If she arrives: some measure of hostility, and probably a bad review. But of course, with a complete stranger one is guessing by definition. It’s a 4 night stay, and I’ve already had a lot of correspondence with this guest. Usually not a good sign.

So, I’ll contact them via the web page, and ask them to cancel on the guest’s behalf without penalty because the guest is refusing to do the paperwork. Does that sound reasonable?

BTW, it’s happily very rare that someone flat out refuses to fill in the form. I did have someone who seemed unhappy at the idea, and then later cancelled for supposedly unrelated reasons. But most people don’t seem to care at all.

PS. Currently trying to figure out how to contact Airbnb via the web page for a particular reservation. I’ve done it before, so I think it’s possible, unless they’ve changed it. They sure don’t; make it easy, do they? Tips/directions appreciated. I’ve used Twitter before. Should I just fall back to that? Never mind, found a button that says “contact us”. Yay.


Probably because they don’t have anything to hide. I’d ‘feel uncomfortable’ about this guest and wonder why she was so paranoid about filling out a form.

I know that some people are unreasonably scared of releasing any private information but they are usually the ones who tell the world everything on Facebook or Instagram anyway. It’s weird that she contacted four other hosts she’s stayed with (and took them at their word) rather than officialdom - her embassy or the tourist authorities or similar.

Did you mention in your previous post what nationality she is? (There’s no need to - I don’t want to stereotype here). But there are some people from other countries who see India as being another planet or something full of villains who want to steal their identities. (Or their kidneys :slight_smile: )

She sounds to be a very inexperienced traveller and pretty paranoid but I’d still wonder just why she doesn’t want to give information that doesn’t bother other people,


“Better suited to a hotel…”:rofl:


Hi @jaquo,

Hi @jaquo, no, I didn’t mention her nationality. The guest appears to be Australian, and also helps co-host, based on her profile. In general I find Australians very easy to get along with.

Frankly, that’s not an inaccurate reading of India. It’s a savage land, though it has less guns than the US. There are definitely dangers. But unless you are very careless, you’re not in any real danger as a tourist.

And I respect a healthy dose of paranoia. I’m fairly paranoid myself. It’s just that having to deal with it, especially in the middle of the night as I am doing now, is fairly tiresome. Though paranoia is one thing. Telling me that the form I’m requesting isn’t actually required isn’t paranoia. That’s just insulting. And a bit dumb.


Me too. I was thinking about another specific nationality.

I agree absolutely. She is treating you badly.

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Thanks, @jaquo. In case anyone is interested, the message to Airbnb support follows.
And now I really need to get to sleep. Good morning/afternoon/evening/night, everyone.



This guest is refusing to give me the information to complete the govt
mandated paperwork, namely Form C. She’s also claiming it’s not

For further information about Indian law in this matter, please see
the Airbnb page

I include the email she sent me below. It is not in the Airbnb
mesaging system, but I can forward it along with full headers to any
email address you want.

I’m asking that this guests reservation be cancelled without penalty
to me. Obviously I cannot be expected to do business on this
basis. Not submitting the form is a violation of Indian law, but I
also don’t want to deal with a hostile guest who will probably give me
a bad review. Note also that she said she would cancel if I insisted
on the form.

I’d appreciate a quick decision. The guest arrives Thursday.

Regards, Faheem Mitha


Hi Folks,

I was just called by an Airbnb rep, Mark, 11 am local time (IST). He said he would cancel the reservation.

I also got another email from Melissa basically repeating that she would cancel if I insisted on the form. Under the circumstances, I don’t see much point in replying. If she has sent this email yesterday, I wouldn’t have needed to have this conversation with Airbnb.

However, they gave her a complete refund, even though the cancellation was two days prior. I wrote to the rep asking why, as follows:

Hi Mark, Just writing to ask why the guest was given a complete refund. Per my moderate cancellation policy, should I not get something? Regards, Faheem Mitha

He responded with

First, it was the host who requested for the cancellation, Faheem, and should be under penalties.

However, like we spoke about through phone, for host not to have penalties for his request, guests shouldn’t have either which was clarified before the procedure.

It was us who both gave you courtesy. Let me know if this is clear.

So if the guest had cancelled, I would have got some money, apparently. But of course, one could not know in advance if or when she would cancel. I guess Airbnb will always take the guest’s side whenever possible. I was already sort of aware of that, but just something to keep in mind for the future. A complete waste of time for me, basically.

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And when you received the email you should have answered on the Air platform, and quoted her entire email, and stated that you will communicate ONLY on the Air platform. You need that trail which she obviously doesn’t want to provide. Some Air airhead might accept copies of emails, but sometimes they say they aren’t valid because you might have altered them.

CALL THEM. Messages don’t get answered. You have to be a squeaky wheel.


Hi @NordlingHouse,

Thanks you for your helpful comments and advice.

That’s certainly a good point, and I’ll keep it in mind for future discussions involving the reservation. I’m aware of these issues in theory, but conflicts regarding the reservation are relatively rare, so I don’t always remember to keep my guard up.

I agree that it’s best to keep discussions about the reservation on Airbnb messaging, for the reason you mention. I think it’s ok for discussions that do not involve the reservation. I use email to send PDFs to guests, for example.

I think in this particular case the guest was having problems with the AIrbnb site, at least that is what she wrote to me. But she also didn’t strike me as a very competent person.

In this particular case, I pasted the guest’s email into the message I sent to Airbnb, and the rep I spoke to seemed to accept that it was genuine. I offered to send him the email with the full headers, but it’s true that I could have trivially altered it.

Actually, in this case, the message I wrote to Airbnb was answered, and quite quickly. Though I don’t think one can rely on that.

Did the guest book directly through you, or instant book?
Do you have this form as a requirement in your house rules?

With an IB, a guest refusing to provide necessary information prior to the stay IS a valid reason for cancellation, with penalty on the guest.

Even if it isn’t IB, so long as you have the form requirement in your house rules, you should be able to cancel with penalty to the guest for refusing to comply with the rules they accepted at booking.

I’m not sure if you can salvage it with this reservation because they’re loathe to revisit decisions, but I’d argue this point.

In the future, ask that it be cancelled in accordance with your cancellation policy, specifically pointing out that the guest is breaking house rules (and not providing required trip info if IB’d). By asking “without penalty to me” - that’s all they did - no penalty to you or the guest, but no money either.


So annoying! Maybe try posting on Airbnb facebook site “Airbnb wouldn’t let me collect on a rental unless I agreed to violate the law.” Then explain as you have.


Also post it on Twitter - airbnb seems sensitive to pressure applied through social media.

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I communicate via the platform, via phone and text and actually IN PERSON! Imagine that. IF I ever have an issue I need to involve air in, which I have not as a host, and I have texts on my phone I will screenshot them. Same with emails. Maybe texting on the Air platform is ideal, but it is not always practical.


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