Guest vs Host Expectations

This was posted for discussion on a local host forum. Per the listing details, it’s clear to me the guest violated the host’s rules. However, I also blame Airbnb marketing with its theme of “be at home anywhere.” What appeared to be reasonable accommodation to the guest appeared to be high risk to the host – potentially losing a local permit or getting an Airbnb suspension for a party. I have little doubt the guest has experienced discrimination in the past that may have led to their perceptions; and possibly the host also has had negative interactions with partiers, neighbors, etc.

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Thank you for sharing this.

Looking at this and other posts I think it makes great sense for hosts to summarize the salient rules of the listing in their confirmation message, which would have avoided what might have been a misunderstanding here.

An example of a recent confirmation message for our listing goes, in part, like this:

We look forward to hosting you starting at 4 pm on Jul 24, 2023; your check-out is at 10 am on Jul 31, 2023. Your reservation is for 4 guests and you understand:

o Home is suitable for non-smokers (no smoking inside or outside),
o Unless otherwise agreed only for children age 12 and over.
o No animals.
o Maximum occupancy, whether overnight or not, is six and, unless otherwise agreed, limited to registered guests.
o The person making the reservation must stay throughout the stay (no ‘third party bookings’ in Airbnb speak).
oThe number of guests in your Reservation cannot increase until approved and they arrive.
o No parties or events
o Quiet times are, outside 9 pm - 8 am (Worcester noise ordinance); inside, 10 pm - 8 am.
o Kindly, no shoes to be worn inside the house.
o Full list of rules in listing.


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This is BS. I’m really sick of people playing the race card- it makes a mockery of real discrimination.

This woman says “I never hosted parties in any of these spaces, but I always believed it was acceptable to have people over for a meal or drinks and this was never a problem- until that Sunday.”

What she “believed” is the issue. Just because no host has ever called out having other people over without permission of course doesn’t mean it’s okay.

That the host showed up unannounced isn’t normally acceptable, but maybe the host had had party issues before, tried to contact the guests with no response and feared that the house was being trashed.

That there were white people partying at a neighboring place also means nothing as far as discrimination. Different place, different host. Perhaps the neighbors complained about that group, too, and the host isn’t responding or doesn’t care. The guest is simply assuming that no one has complained.

So sure, it’s possible that the host could be racist, and it’s possible that the neighbors could be racist, but I can’t see that any of what went down here is some obvious case of racism- all it is for sure is a case of a guest making assumptions about what is allowed at an Airbnb. And it all could have been avoided if she had only conveyed her plans to the host beforehand. And not having the link to the listing, the House Rules may have clearly said no visitors, which the guest didn’t bother to take notice of.


I agree with what you write here.

Without knowing more, I think the article is defamatory.

I did look at the listing (provided in the article) and its rules. It does not say ‘no visitors’ though it does say eight guests maximum.

Many people feel that the guest rule applies to overnight guests, which is why I think it makes sense to have both a rule and a reminder in the confirmation of the reservation that occupancy, inside or out, is limited to registered guests, whether overnight or not (if that is the Host’s intention).

Using the phrase “playing the race card” devalues your argument and makes you sound like a racist.

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How so? I don’t understand that. To me, it means jumping to the conclusion that one has been the victim of discrimination based on race, and accusing others of doing so, rather than entertaining the possibilty that it was your behavior that caused you to be called out, not the color of your skin.

When a white person calls the cops because a black family is enjoying themselves in a public pool, uses the n word, etc, that’s a clear cut case of racism. If you get booted out of an Airbnb for having 20 people in a place with a max guest count of 8, without asking permission to have a gathering, it isn’t a clear cut discrimination case at all. And claiming it is so, to me, is what playing the race card means.
This guest had zero knowledge of whether the host would have acted exactly the same had the family been white. Assuming the host was racist is also a form of racism. As is the notion that black families somehow have fun and party in some significantly different way than others.

It actually should be “playing the discrimination card”, because discrimination can be based on age, religion, sex, sexual orientation,etc. But in this case, it was race.


You’re sick of “people playing the race card?” Whatever pain that’s inflicted on you, however much you’ve been distraught or inconvenienced by this, in your words, “BS” action, I’m sure it’s nothing like what every black person experiences all the time. Maybe she misjudged or overreacted this time but if so it’s in proportion to the host’s insanity.

The main thing I took from this story is that Airbnb doesn’t always side with the guest and that allegations of a racist host aren’t an automatic ticket to get what you want.

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I can assure you I fully understand why someone who has experienced discrimination, sometimes on an everyday basis, with their ancestors having experienced the same, and worse, might jump to the conclusion that they are being discriminated against.

But while understandable, that doesn’t make it okay, anymore than it would be okay for a white person whose family member was the victim of a Muslim terrorist to assume that all Muslims are terrorists.

I don’t care what color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. one is, or how much discrimination one has encountered, no one is above examining what prejudices they may have. And accusing others of discrimination, based soley on discrimination one has experienced in
the past, one’s sensitivity or “feeling”, is in itself a form of discrimination.

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Yeah, that’s what I was saying, but about you. You’ve made yourself clear. No need to keep digging that hole.

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I’m not sure I’m understanding this exchange.

I took that to mean that it sounds bad to say ‘playing the race card’ but not that it is necessarily bad.

We don’t know all the facts here. We read what is alleged, but when you say

What insanity is that?

The Host had a rule against parties, and the House Rules also says that the maximum number of guests is eight.

I have long believed that Airbnb rules against parties is unclear. There are numerous references on the internet saying the same thing. Others have made the point that it includes, at a minimum, a sound disturbance and an open-invite arrangement. Fair enough, as a minimum.

Others might say it includes having visitors, or (as apparently here, many visitors – more than maximum occupancy).

In the quoted story the author/guest says of the people who came to the property for lunch:

“It took a community of help. A bunch of cars of family and friends who had no idea they would be needed to transport so much from one place to the next, all the post-wedding logistics you forget when planning a wedding 2 hours from home.”

Since the reservation was for five people, it sounds like and (see the picture in the story) looks like more – many more – than three more people came to the house for a meal. Many if not most Hosts would call that a ‘party’ in violation of the Airbnb and the house rules here of no parties or events, and the maximum occupancy of eight House rule.

The guest says that the host talked in “in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner” but then goes on to interpret the Host’s insistence on its and Airbnb’s no-party rule as racist in intention, though, by the way, the Host said that they could finish the meal/party before the non-registered and maximum-occupancy-exceeding guests left.

I would think many Hosts here would think that this Host was being more than fair.

I’m sorry that this Host’s insistence on the House and Airbnb rules that were agreed upon – and perhaps (who knows?) this guest did not read or understand them – triggered (if that is the appropriate word) a feeling of racism in this guest.

But without specific facts suggesting racism I understand @muddy’s post above.

It’s all unfortunate, and more so because this guest wrote an article with identifying information about the Host and its listing and made explicit charges of racism. I don’t know what laws or Airbnb guidelines might have been violated by the article, beyond potentially defamation, but it feels invasive and wrong to me.

I continue to think – assuming an honest misunderstanding here – that Hosts should include in their rules and confirmation messages something defining parties or the behaviors that are not permitted, specifically I would think loud noice/music, sound that violates the local noise ordinance (with timeframe provided) and that, unless explicitly agreed otherwise, occupancy that is limited to registered guests, inside and outside, whether overnight or not.

If that language were in the confirmation message and rules and if this guest is acting in good faith, I think this situation and the feelings this guest had would have been avoided. BUT I do not blame the Host for not having that language. I am guessing that many Hosts here have a no-party rule without more description but they might re-think that especially with guests who might be disingenuous, feign misunderstanding/ignorance, and put them and their listing in the public domain with scurrilous charges.

It’s unfortunate that I feel I am walking on eggshells here and might have made a poor word choice here or there, which could be used to impugn my motives or character. I hope that’s not the case.

I’m done…you and Muddy can have it.

She lost me at “folx”


From here:

Mine is simple. No events and no one other than registered overnight guests is allowed at our home without my written permission.


Interesting explanation but doesn’t make sense to me. “Folks” seems all-inclusive to me. I never considered it to not apply to everyone- it just seems like another word for “people”.

Didn’t say I didn’t know what it meant. Said that where she lost me, my attention, desire to read further, etc.

Well, this site is saying that ‘folx’ is explicitly understood to include people who are non-binary or genderqueer, whereas ‘folks’ might mean to be as inclusive to you but not to others.


Well, I had to look it up for myself.

She lost me when she wrote:

“I never hosted parties in any of these spaces, but I always believed it was acceptable to have people over for a meal or drinks and this was never a problem- until that Sunday.”

Especially when it looked like it might be a LOT of people from her picture (her reservation was for five people; maximum occupancy was listed as eight people, along with no parties or events):

I wonder what her other ‘beliefs’ are.

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She lost me when she said, “While there ended up being more people there at the same time than I imagined…”

As well as, “Rules are never race-neutral”. Say what?

This guest says she has been using Airbnb since 2015 and always had great experiences. So she has one bad experience, for which she refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever, and that leads to her accusing the host or neighbors and Airbnb of racism and tells anyone reading her article to boycott Airbnb.

It’s one thing for this woman to write an article speaking to the real racism she has experienced in life, and how it has made her feel, or even to say she felt like this might have been race-related, but the brush she uses to paint this Airbnb experience as being all about racism, is far too broad, and that the host’s intention was to ruin her “Black Joy” sounds absurd. She doesn’t even entertain the possibility that her past experiences with discrimination might make her jump to inaccurate conclusions.

She didn’t mention anything that made it apparent that there was racism involved, just blanket statements about white neighborhoods, and assumed the host was rude to her due to her race, when the host may just have been distressed about how many people were there, and quite possibly not adept at staying calm and polite in stressful situations with guests. Maybe that host is always short and aggressive with guests who break rules and take advantage, who knows. Not me, not the guest, not anyone but the host and her former guests.

I have read quite a few posts over the years from both hosts and guests who were accused of or accusing of race discrimination when it was obviously no such thing.

One was a white host accused of racism by a black guest who had been called out for breaking house rules. Unbeknowst to the guest, the host was married to a Black man and they had 4 biracial children.

Another was a long time host in London who had hosted something like 1000 guests. He had gotten a request which had “party” red flags all over it, from an Asian guest (this was before Airbnb started hiding profile photos). He declined the request, then got a message from the guest saying “We so woke, we know you can’t decline us. We’re reporting you to Airbnb for discrimination.” (I remember this wording, because it was one of the first times I had heard the expression “woke”)

Airbnb contacted him, accusing him of discrimination, threatening to suspend his account. He was irate, and told the CS rep to take a look at his past guest profiles- he had hosted about 100 Asian guests over the years, most of which he had left 5* reviews for, that this booking was declined based on the red flags for a party intention. Airbnb backed right off.

I’m sure there are racist hosts out there, and certainly they shouldn’t be hosting, but it’s just too easy to accuse others of this these days without any proof whatsoever. I’m also sure there are racist guests, but they don’t get taken to task because they simply don’t book with a host whose profile photo shows them as Black, Asian, wearing a turban or a head scarf, etc.


Always two sides to every story. Has anyone seen a response from the host?