Guest spoiling stuff in the home

I have a guest who’s rather hard to host. He’s causing issues like soiling the pillows, leaving stains on the comforter There are other issues with how he interacts, but leaving those aside for now, if I want to file a claim with airbnb to get reimbursed for the pillow/comforter issues (will have to buy new ones to replace these), how does that process work?

Guessing that airbnb will want proof of how things were before (which I don’t have photos of the pillows/comforter, since I didn’t know he was going to spoil them)

Generally speaking, does it take a lot of phone calls/emails with airbnb and interactions with the guest to get the claims processed? If it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, I’m inclined to just let it go and buy new ones myself.


Most hosts see stained linens as part and parcel of the job and class them as wear and tear.

Someone here might have claimed in the past for linens and may be able to advise you but I imagine that Airbnb too may believe the same thing - that linens are items that the host should be prepared to view as wear and tear. The chances are that all Airbnb will do is ask the guest if he is willing to pay.

Because claiming anything from Airbnb is a hassle, you’d be better off asking the guest yourself. As you suggest, it does take time and effort.

Are you confident that they are irreparably damaged? In many years I’ve never had stains that haven’t been treatable. Your STR insurance wouldn’t pay out for such minor claims but do make sure that you have adequate coverage for more expensive items and that your liability insurance is good.


If by “soiling the pillows”, you mean the pillow itself, rather than just the case, you need to have washable pillow protectors on guest pillows.

And some guys (sorry guys, but few women would do this) will just sleep on the same sheets for weeks, so make sure the linens get changed weekly, which will lessen the chances of irrevocable staining.

1 Like

Airbnb customer service has been nothing but a hassle. You can submit a claim through their Resolutions Dept. but unless you have detailed photos that meet their approval they will deny it, no matter what other proof you have. Also, they provide no support if someone gives you a review that is so bad it is obvious that it is retaliatory. We had a guest that left beach sand, garbage and food crumbs everywhere so we had to have enhanced cleaning done. The guest became belligerent and unapologetic when told of this and asked to reimburse. He had previously sent a message to our inbox that stated he enjoyed his stay so there was proof he was lying. Airbnb customer service at first told me they would remove a retaliatory review, so I wrote an honest review. So he retaliated. Yet even with proof, it turns out they won’t do anything. So in my opinion, the only option is to just keep your mouth shut and move on. Such is the state of corporate run America.


Extra cleaning is a difficult thing to prove and claim for. Most of our guests bring half the beach into the apartments and it’s just a fact of hosting by the ocean. If I tried to claim for it, I’d not have time to do anything else. :slight_smile:

It doesn’t matter to me though because the floor is always thoroughly swept, vacuumed and washed at every turnover regardless of its condition.

Not taking out the trash is also annoying (especially as our guests walk straight past the outdoor dumpsters when they go to their cars) but again, as everything is cleaned anyway, it’s easy to drag a large garbage bag along with you as you go around cleaning and straightening.

I imagine that Airbnb thinks that because rentals need full cleaning at every turnover any extra cleaning is par for the course.


If it were I, I would just replace the items and consider it the cost of doing business. Airbnb will factor in wear and tear and won’t fully reimburse you. Plus the time you will spend on the phone with Airbnb will be most aggravating; not worth the time.


Garbage and food crumbs everywhere is disrespectful, but don’t see how it requires much extra cleaning- you are going to sweep, vacuum, and clean countertops regardless, right?

I live in a beach location and of course sand gets tracked in. Even if people wash their feet before entering the house, it’s in their bathing suits, hair, beach towels, etc. I wouldn’t expect guests to sweep up all the sand.


yup…that’s what I’m thinking…I don’t have the energy of making a dozen calls and getting into arguments with the guest. Might as well let it go.


I don’t think I have ever made a claim for excessively soiled towels etc. I just apply more effort in clearing, use bleach etc. So far everything has come out and if something didn’t on say a towel, I would just replace it. Not worth the hassle of trying to claim.


Any new hosts reading this need to realise that from time to time, your guests will give you some challenging linen stain removal scenarios. Scour the internet for information about treating and removing stains. (I swear by Oxyclean soaking, a bit of scrubbing if necessary, a cool wash and line drying if possible)

Most guests will be relatively clean and tidy but what guests consider normal varies enormously.

Some hosts will object to things that guests do that the guest doesn’t see as unhelpful for the host.

For example, when the guests leave and have piled their used breakfast crockery and cutlery neatly in the sink. Some hosts hate that, others think that they’ve got to wash everything anyway so why fuss about it?

Hosts must make sure that they make it easy for their guests to be clean and tidy - supply plenty of spare garbage bags, a hand-held vacuum, lots of paper towels and other cleaning materials.

A mid-stay linen change and spying session will help to keep things under control. All guests staying for eight days or more get this service.

Try to guest-proof your rental as much as possible too. We have blinds instead of curtains, leather upholstery, tile floors with no rugs - there’s nothing that can really be damaged or harbour smells. And be sure to charge enough to replace small broken or damaged items on a regular basis. (You’ll be in pocket if you don’t need to :wink: )

The best way to deal with stains, crumbs, sand, minor breakages and so on is to be prepared for it. But it’s swings and roundabouts - for every less-than-perfect guest you’ll likely have a dozen great ones.


Great advice, only I don’t see blinds as “guest-proofing” as opposed to curtains, because I’ve read lots of hosts saying the guests broke the blinds. Blinds also seem to require more cleaning time, as opposed to curtains, which I just take down and wash a couple times a year.


This doesn’t make sense. How did he retaliate? Reviews are double blind meaning neither of you know what the other wrote in the review until it is published.

1 Like

He already knew I would publish a poor review since he went ballistic and abusive when I asked him to cover the cost of the excessive cleaning we had done plus pay for repairs and for ruining a chair. When a review is posted, Airbnb prompts the other party to post their own review so he knew that I would at the very least not recommend him to other hosts.

No, guests get prompts to review after they check out and reminders during the 14 day review period just like hosts do. It isn’t a matter of them only getting a prompt if the host submits a review.

What many hosts do when they know a guest is likely to leave a bad review is to have the review ready to go, but only submit it a few minutes before the 14 days is over if the guest hasn’t yet posted a review, that way they won’t have time to write and post theirs.

But of course, if the guest has already submitted a review before that, there is no point in waiting to post yours.

Yes I understand that - we both get reminders but I have also received a reminder when the other party has posted, indicating once I post I will be able to read that review. In retrospect that’s a great idea to post just before the deadline if you know there is going to be a problem.

But the thing that really threw me was the advice from the first customer support rep telling me to post my review and they would remove the guest’s if it was clearly in retaliation. And we have proof of this given his message when he checked out and said he enjoyed his stay. His review was so over the top crazy that I’m sure it will make no difference to potential guests - we have 58 other honest reviews. But I’m upset at the way Airbnb handled it.

They are notorious for telling hosts that, don’t feel special :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

It seems like a “Tell them what they want to hear to placate them” in the moment.

I think it was a “please post a review no matter what because it will only affect you, not us”.

I only have experience in the uk of a breakage claim which was totally hastle free. I think if you have to replace a comforter that should be chargeable. I would first suggest a reasonable sum to the guest. He might be happy to pay

Send a request to the guest for payment with photos. I have had guests who would rather pay than avoid getting on AirBnB’s naughty list

1 Like