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Guest who misrepresented their stay!

I had my first houseguest today or should I say had. She indicated she was expecting 4-5 adults and one-year-old twins from out of town. Well, she came and through a conversation, indicated she was having 20 give or take people over for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner tom. Now, she has two Airbnbs so she is well aware of the “rules.” I was caught off guard and reluctantly said ok and went home to discuss it with my husband. I wasn’t totally on board because I felt she was disingenuous and misrepresented her intention. My husband was totally against it. I told her several hours later we would not allow it so she said she would leave and asked if we would give her a full refund.

I was going to refund it minus the cleaning fee but am feeling some kind of way. She tried to say 6 people we’re spending the night. I told her when she said she was having the dinner with her family, I assumed it would be just her family! What do I do? I’m out of a weekend and am not feeling giving her back any money.

She’s not stupid and didn’t put up a fight when I told her she couldn’t host a party/get together at my place.

First of all, do you specify no parties or events in your house rules?

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YES, that’s why I was caught off guard during the conversation. INcluding the fact that she has two Airbnbs and knows the rules!

No parties or events aren’t enough. You have to put in your rules that only guests listed in the reservation are allowed on the property.

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Actually, this is probably an unusually good time to call into CS with a complaint about the guest having a party and get backed-up on it.

Do you have an extra guest fee? At the very least you can charge for each guest. I’ve not had a problem having that done.

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I did have only registered guest stated in the House Rules which I’m sure she didn’t read. Like I said she is aware of the “Airbnb rules” because she rents out two places. Well, after a while I told her it was a no go, so she left. Now, the dilemma is the money. Do I refund it, do I report her, or do mediation?

I don’t have an extra guest fee. Do you apply it? Per guest other than the person who secured the registration ?

@francinebentley1 Yes, we have an extra guest fee for each guest after the 1st guest, which is billed for when booking; however, we had a situation where some guests had a baby shower (a type of party technically) in our apartment and Airbnb charged them our extra guest fee for each of their visitors. And they charged them for the visitors for 2 days of extra guest fees because the shower (party) started before check-in time and ended after check-in time (about 2:30 - 5:00 when our check-in is 4:00 (so Airbnb considered it 2 different days even though it was only a few hours). We have a no parties rule but not any rules about visitors or unregistered guests.

Have you called airbnb? You need to call them and get them involved ASAP. You have a good case to not refund since you have a no parties rule and also only-registered-guests rule.

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Correction: How do you apply it? What is CS? In this case, I don’t think it would apply because she was expecting more than 20 people, which in my book is a full-on party! She had no idea how many people would show up.

You can’t apply an extra guest fee to a reservation that didn’t have the fee applied at booking time.

Nobody has brought this up, so I will…

This is your very first guest, right? It’s almost certain that you will get a bad review from the guest if you don’t provide a refund. You may still get a bad review even if you do give a refund. There Is some evidence that it can be extremely difficult to recover from bad reviews very early on. This guest, who is also a host, may have been counting on you letting it slide because you’re new.

This is incorrect. If your guests have additional guests, one of the options (the preferred option) is to charge them the extra guest fee. The other option is to have them leave. CS is happy to facilitate charging the fee instead of you having the guests leave. Even if you don’t charge an extra guest fee when booking, it’s important to have an extra guest fee listed in your prices so that they can be charged for if needed.

Yes you can as long as you have an extra guest fee listed in your prices.

Edit to add: I probably do it, on average, twice a month.

@francinebentley1 CS is customer service. You really need to call them! And tell them what’s going on so that they can help you. It’s for the best that you call them before the guest does.

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@francinebentley1 - In my experience, guests that are trying to get away with something, target new hosts. There are alot of posts from new hosts on here about situations such as this. I also had a run-in with a guest that thought I would accept whatever shenanigans they tried. Hang in there, and stick up for yourself. :+1:

I would — Call ABB immediately. Calmly explain the situation, include that you are a new host and are worried/ uncertain and they will help. If they don’t, ask for another case manager or call back and get someone that will listen. I wouldn’t refund her a penny. She knew what she was doing. However, I would tell ABB that you are afraid that she will give you a bad review out of spite if you don’t refund.

You got this!

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If you didn’t specify an extra guest fee before the booking, you can’t just make up any number and assume the guest will pay. Well, you can, but then you’re also assuming the guest is reasonable, and not many reasonable people are sneaking in a dozen extra guests.

Maybe we’re talking about slightly different things. The OP appears to be asking about this reservation, not future reservations.

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Concur, call, don’t email, customer service immediately, say you are a new host, the guest reserved for 5 adults and two infants, you have a no-party rule, and they just informed you (did not ask permission) that they are having 20 people over for a party, and you’re very concerned it will get out of control and result in damage, besides being against your rules and your stated guest limit.

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@francinebentley1 - it’s not good when your first experience of hosting brings you an awkward customer. However, I’m sure that you’ve reflected now about the lessons you’ve been taught by the experience.

Everything seems to be rather vague and it seems from your post that you’ve got quite a lot of work to do and plenty of learning too. :slight_smile:

You say that the guest ‘indicated’ the number of guests she’d be bringing and then ‘indicating’ that she was hosting a dinner party.

Is this your husband’s business, yours or a joint venture? You know now that it was an error to say okay to her! Then, after discussing it with your husband, you told her that it wasn’t okay. I’m not sure why you told her it was okay if it’s in your rules that parties and gatherings are not allowed in your rental.

(By the way, just because she’s a host, doesn’t mean that she knows your rules.)

You also have it in your rules that only registered guests are allowed but despite that, you said that the dinner party was okay.

The reason I’m pointing these things out is not because I’m being harsh (truly!) but because if she tells her side of the story to CS then you’re at a disadvantage because you had said that the dinner was fine.

Regarding a refund simply tell her the system with Airbnb (i.e. that you don’t receive the money until the day after check in or thereabouts) so she needs to talk to them about any refund, bearing in mind your cancellation policy.

What’s still confusing to me is whether she actually did break any of your house rules as she has not actually had her dinner party.

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Respectfully disagree, J. of course there are two sides to every story, but it sounds as if this guest played a new host. And as a host, the guest should have known better and should have been upfront about looking for a place to hold a party. After contacting CS to give a head’s up why the guest was asked to leave, I might send one final message to the guest, on platform: “Sorry I could not accommodate your party/event. It exceeded my guest limit, and is prohibited by my house rules as well as by local ordinances. Please contact Airbnb with any questions.”

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Actually, we’re agreeing here. (Well, more or less).

I just wanted to warn the host that from the guest’s point of view the situation isn’t as clear cut as it first appears and because the host said it was okay to have the dinner party and then changed her mind, With that in mind, CS might not be very sympathetic as the guest didn’t actually break any house rules.

Your suggested message to the guest is perfect.

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Maybe, I can tell we’re misunderstanding each other one way or another.

You’re correct, it won’t apply for this reservation (I asked if she has the fee but she said she doesn’t and this 20 people thing is a non-negotiable for her anyway) However, she is a new host and I wanted her to know that it is a good idea to have the fee in place. Under “Standard Fees and Charges” there is a place to have an extra guest fee after a certain number of guests. We happen to charge for each guest which is typical in our market but it is recommended to have a fee listed for each guest over your maximum occupancy at regardless of your pricing structure. For example, if your max number of guests is 4 guests, you should have an Extra Guest Fee listed for anyone over 4 guests under Standard Fees and Charges as it can be used in the case of guests bringing extra guests instead of the reservation going belly-up.

But I have had reasonable guests bring over 8 extra guests (though it’s more commonly 1 or 2) and quickly and politely pay the extra guest fee as negotiated by CS. I call them reasonable because they also apologized. Of course it won’t always happen this way but it is a nice back-up plan and just a detail for a new host to be aware of.

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