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Guest that booked in March for the month of July now wants to cancel but wants us (the host) to cancel



We have a guest that booked our condo for the entire month of July back in March. We followed up with her this week because we still have not received her rental agreement. Her first response to us this week was that she has found another place to book and no longer was interested in our place. Wait…what??? you booked the place and paid for it! Now we don’t know what to do. We called AirBnB and they said that she would have to pay almost all of the rent at this point minus one day so we notified her that the booking she requested is still active. She let us know a few hours later that she called Airbnb and they told her that we the host need to cancel her. That doesn’t sound right.

Does anyone have any suggestions? We are assuming she booked with us and then found somewhere cheaper. Now if she really isn’t going to stay with us in July we want this reservation to be cancelled so that we can open it up for reservations and fill in this gap. We are also worried that if this issue stays out there and doesn’t get resolved prior to July that she will be billed and then refute the change with the credit card company and then we are out all that money plus we couldn’t book to new potential guest. I believe that if she cancels she will still be out a lot of money. Someone mentioned that we should refund her 50% if she cancels but if that happens how can we ensure that refund is handled by Airbnb? We don’t want to pay out $ by a different form of payment because again what if this is some kind of scam or something and she also tries to get $$$ back on her credit card.


This is what I would do, tell her to cancel, and you will refund her if the dates get filled.


Is there a way to give her that refund through Airbnb back to her credit card so there is no way she could also try to get a refund from her credit card company? I don’t want any chargebacks to us if we also gave her a refund.


Here is my standard reply to guest cancellation requests:

“I am not able to cancel a reservation on behalf of a guest. I would suggest that you contact AirBnB as soon as possible in order to cancel your booking and minimize your cancellation charges. Bear in mind that AirBnB also determines the refunded amount (if any).”

Don’t do any work on the guest’s behalf, and don’t offer any money or solutions. This is their problem, they are responsible for dealing with it.


Don’t cancel and only offer to refund if you rebook the dates.


Just write back to the guest @gpcabanas and say she must have ‘misunderstood’ her conversation with Airbnb.

If a guest wants to cancel a reservation, they just need to go into their booking confirmation and hit the cancel button. It is not up to the host to cancel a guest’s booking

As you know with a long term month reservation the guest will lose the whole month if they cancel.

I agree with others, you could also tell her that the sooner she cancels the more likely it is that you can rebook some or all of that time. And that even though you are not obliged to do so, if you receive alternative bookings you will kindly consider refunding her for any days booked. (You will need to pro rata this as the discounted monthly rate).


If Airbnb told her to ask you to cancel that’s really disadvantageous to hosts. If you cancel for her then she will get a refund and you will get penalties for cancelling. She does not deserve a refund, she’s messing you about. How dare she block your calendar for months then cancel on a whim at the last minute.
Let her do any cancelling and don’t refund her unless you get bookings and you really want to. Give her a bad review if you get the chance.


I very much doubt Airbnb told the guest this @Jess1. The guest is probably being disingenuous.

What they may have told the guest is that the only way she can get a refund is if the host voluntary refunds her.


I had a guest tell me Airbnb told them to get me to cancel! When I said no they tried a reservation alteration request, when I said no they finally cancelled and got the losses they were due. It was like they’d been coached by Airbnb.
I had another guest who said he didn’t feel comfortable with me without even meeting me and got a full refund on the day. Who coached him in how to play the system?


@gpcabanas Do not cancel, the dates will be blocked for the whole reservation as part of your punishment for cancelling. As @Brandt @KKC suggested if you are in a super generous mood offer to refund any dates that get rebooked, do not refund any money until you’ve had the money from the rebooked dates.


Chancer, dont cancel, you are still available to host her, she has changed her mind hence she must cancel.


Great response. I might also add that a host gets penalized if they cancel on a guest.


If that’s the case and she finds out she will lose some or all of her $, she may decide to keep the reservation. I’ve had that happen before. Or she may make the some “extenuating circumstance” excuse.


“What they may have told the guest is that the only way she can get a refund is if the host voluntary refunds her.”

I think that’s probably what Airbnb did.

I had a guest trying to shorten her stay and asked me about a refund directly. I referred her to Airbnb, and got an email from them informing me that “the guest wants to change the booking”. My choices were to accept or decline.
I accepted because the guest was high-maintenance and I did not mind her leaving earlier - I do not know what would happen if I declined. It looks like, however, I did have a chance not to approve the booking change and get my entire amount.


You need to be proactive and not reactive to her unreasonable and self serving demands to cancel and refund her. Tell her something like “As you know according to the AirBnB rental agreement you agreed to you will only be refunded the first night. However as soon as you cancel I will relist the property. If I get a new booking or partial booking I will refund you the difference less 10% of the original booking fee. For example you paid $2000. If I get another booking for $2000 I will refund you $1800. If I get only a booking for $1500 I will refund you $1300.”

If nothing else it moves the discussion to the refund based on rebooking process and away from the “why don’t you just cancel and refund me because I asked?”


Does she think you were born yesterday? :rofl:


That makes total sense!


I’m a little confused? Why would you go outside of the platform? If you do issue a credit, through Airbnb (and I am NOT saying that you should), why worry that she would try to get a refund from her credit card company? If the CC company sees the Airbnb credit, they are not going to give her an additional credit… unless there has been some charge between you and the guest outside the platform…?


Even if she is able to rebook, she isn’t obligated to return the money anyway. That’s up to each Host to do what we feel is ethical, I believe. If someone had booked with me for a full month and wanted to cancel 4 months later and I suspected they were just tying up my property as a “Plan B” til they found a cheaper spot, I wouldn’t feel anything but contempt. And if that really is the reason (anything outside death of family member, personal severe illness, etc, I’m happy to reschedule), I wouldn’t refund a red cent!!! How dare she!


If a host processes a refund, I’m not sure the CC Company can tell that it’s related to an Airbnb charge.

I used to sell a lot on eBay, which also handles all the money. I had a customer buy a product using his PayPal account, funded with a credit card. He asked for a refund, which I issued through eBay, funded from my PayPal acct. He was then also able to do a chargeback from the credit card he’d used and got refunded twice. The chargeback amount also was pulled from my PayPal account, courtesy of eBay, as instructed by the Credit Card Co.

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