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Guest wants re-fund because of bad smell


My recent guest complained about bad smelling from the sewer and they just left after 7 days stay when there was 5 days left of booking. They said that the smell was so disgusting that they could not stay any longer. I came to the house and could feel a minor smell after having flushing in the WC. It is a summer house and none of the neighboors had felt any smell. The sewer from the WC goes to a septic tank and sometimes there can be a smell from the aeration tube when the tank is more than 90% full. The tank was almost empty when the guest came so they must have been flushing 50-60 times per day to make the tank nearly full after 7 days. I will also mention that the booking was for 3 persons but they had invited 4 more people which is not OK.
The guest also behaved badly as they drove there car back and forth on the lawn because they were lazy to walk from the parking place that is only 15 meter from the house. Part of the lawn got damaged and it will cost me money and time to fix it.

My questions are:
Can the guest complain as he just left when there were 5 days left?
Should I refund anything or let AirBnb resolve the issue?

Thanks in advance


Did they contact you during the stay or after they had left? If I remember correctly, their first move should have been to contact you. Note too that they have no way of proving a smell.

Yes, because they stayed with you they can review and I would do nothing - certainly no#t volunteer a refund.

You will also be able to review them and point out the extra unpaid guest they sneaked in and the fact that they damaged your lawn.


You have to be more precise in your communication.
“The guest said” is too vague.

How and when did the guest contact you? Did they use the AirBnB message system?

It all depends on timing and way of communication. If they complained trought AirBnB on day 1 and you have done nothing, they can complain.

If they just left and told you in the driveway when leaving, you can play this out and keep their money.

  1. I would not refund, and wait for AirBnB to handle it. Maybe your guests will not ask for a refund.

  2. Make pictures off all the damages. Also make sure you have prove of the extra persons.


This sounds like a scam to me for a free stay, but they didn’t need to damage your lawn as well. Yikes ! What is the world coming too; so much for the"sharing economy", Call Airbnb immediately with a factual account, have photos to send them, and any evidence of the 4 extra people they brought to stay you might have. I would also send a charge through on the site for these extras.


I had an odour in the basement that seemed to flare up in the summer. Eventually I discovered a loose pipe and the bathtub drain were sources, and left them both plugged. Then I installed a backflow valve. Voila.

…Before I achieved these revelations, i’d pour a cup of bleach in the drain. Worked as a good temporary fix.

good luck!


One thing I do now is disconnect the shower/bath outlet so the grey water goes onto the lawn. After a long drought this became legal and they encouraged people to use grey water for their lawns.


Is this a septic? We are almost all on septics here and one day I was shopping and met a guy with a biochemistry degree who was working in Home Depot and suggested that I use the normal portion of rid x mixed with brewers yeast, the kind you get in bulk at Costco. Mix it together and flush it in the toilet nearest to the tank and make sure not to do any laundry for a day or two so it can settle in and not get diluted. He said you will never have a smell nor will you need a pump out. This mixture will even consume paper.

It works like a charm, if the word charm and sewer can be used in the same sentence. :rofl:

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