Hi, I have been hosting for many years through airbnb though only have a few guests a year and have mostly had good experiences. One horrid experience and two not so nice. The latest one was not nice.
My guest arrived late Sunday evening. I was expecting a male and the person who arrived was a transwoman. I asked to check ID which I always do now since I had a guest not be the same person that booked. I remarked that she looked very different from her profile and she said it was an old profile from five years ago and that since then she had become a transwoman. I didn’t have a problem with this but was just a little thrown at first because I like to know who to expect when I am hosting.
I asked her what her schedule would be and she said she works for a bank and would be working from home afternoon and evenings and would be at college in the morning. I had asked her before she booked what she would be doing whilst here and she said she was studying English at a local college. IF she had said she would be working from home and probably would not have accepted the booking because I work from home and it doesn’t suit me to have someone work form home every day. But as she had already booked I though I would make it work and I had not specified this in my listing because it’s ok for a few days, and depends on hours etc. so didn’t want it to be a blanket rule. I like to know peoples schedules so that I can work around them (I sometimes record at home and practice (I am a musician).
She was wearing flip flops and a floaty summer dress and a thin jacket and I asked if she was cold wearing flip flops. She said she was not. I’d normally show people how to use the heating but had a sense that she wanted to be left alone so gave her space.
Out of the blue on Tuesday evening, when she was in her room, I got a call from airbnb to say she wanted to cancel her booking because the heating was broken. The heating was on at the time. Airbnb support had emailed me the same earlier in the day but I had missed the email. The heating had been off in the daytime (it’s set to a timer to come on in the morning and evening).
I said the heating was on and not broken and it was strange she had not raised this with me directly. They said it was due to her not speaking English. I said we’d had a few conversations in English and also sent me a lot of messages in English.
Anyway, I told airbnb I would not accept a cancellation because the heating is not broken and that I would try to find a solution with the guest in relation to the heating and that I could turn of the radiators in the rooms for my sole use and she can have the heating on in the rooms she uses I messaged the guest to say I’d show her how to turn on the heating and that I had put the heating on for her so it would be warm when she go back. I also pointed out that there was a thermostat on her radiator (which I checked when she was out because I wanted to check her radiator was working, which it was, and saw it was not turned to full heat). I said because she had been wearing flip flop around the flat s I assumed she was not cold. I also said I could show her how to work the heating herself and said if it is too cold she can turn the heating up using the main thermostat in the hallway.
We had a chat in the kitchen briefly the next day and she told me what her job is and that she is very well known in her country and very successful in her job.
She messaged back a stroppy message that it was a big assumption she was not cold because of her wearing flip flops and also complained that I had asked her what her schedule was and that no host has ever asked her this before. I replied that it is my home, not a hotel and that I work from home and wanted to make sure I did any recording when she is out. She said when she is next in she would ask me to show her how the heating works.
I didn’t see her that evening as she came in late and went straight to her room and I went to bed. The next morning she packed up and left without saying anything. I am concerned that she is going to ask for compensation now for something. I have never had anyone complain about the heating before and I did my best to resolve it.
Any advice would be gratefully received.