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Guests booked for 5 and 8 stayed with unruly children

Brandie and her surly acting husband booked for 2 adults and 3 children. When they checked in she states that her sister and her kids will come over tomorrow for a while. I say, OK. Well, sister and her 2 unruly kids came over an hour later and stayed for the 3 night booking along with her husband for 2 nights. My listing states that there is a maximum of 6 people allowed with a $25 per person per night charge. So, that is 4 extra people for at least 3 nights. Four adults from West Virginia and 5 (Mostly) unruly children. They also messed with the hot tub buttons which had to be reprogrammed and ran around in the yard getting in and out of hot tub which will now have to be drained and cleaned and the $25 filter replaced. Along with jumping on the $50 raft from the dock which of course will now not hold air. Can I just not refund their security deposit of $200 for the extra guests who stayed? And request additional money, which I probably will not get. I have been hosting for 2 years now and have been very lucky with 99% of my guests and have never kept a deposit, although I should have twice before but didn’t because one of the guests house had burned down and the other seemed so financially stressed I just wrote it off.

You should NOT have let them stay and if you let them stay you should have charged them ASAP.

Completely irrelevant. Remove your regional biases and maybe that will clear other parts of your thinking.

You don’t have control over that on Airbnb.

REquest it anyway. If you have proof that extra people stayed then you should get paid.

read up on Airbnb deposits



Are you a charity??? I’m probably not understanding this but the way it comes across is that you excused guests’ bad behaviour because one had his/her house burn down and the other was ‘financially stressed’. I’m sure you didn’t mean that.

If you have items available for your guests that aren’t suitable for children, or might get damaged by them, why not just try your best to avoid kids? Say your listing isn’t suitable for children. With a hot tub and a dock, I can’t see how it can be safe for kids and unless you’ve got the very best liability insurance it’s better to be safe than sorry.


You are making valid points. I am going to act on your suggestion to change my listing as not suitable for children. The financially stressed person would have fought tooth and nail to not have to pay for the extra cleaning and it was not worth my time to fight for an extra $50-$75.

“Brandie and her surly acting husband booked for 2 adults and 3 children.”

How exactly was the husband acting surly when she made the reservation? That might have been your best opportunity not to allow them to book: “not comfortable with this guest.”

Did she ask or did she tell you? If it was the former, then it’s on you to tell her NO, that your maximum number of guests is six. If the latter, you tell her that she’s breaking your house rules and call Air to have the reservation canceled.

Why did you choose to say OK?


Did not know the husband was surly until after their arrival and he would not speak to me when I tried to greet him and had a mean expression on his face. It was more his demeanor than anything. She told me her sister was coming.
I have had other guests (with approval) invite friends to hang our for a while and have had no problems. 99% of my guests have been great. I have had to deal with hardly problems in the 2 years I have been doing this.
I have never cancelled a reservation before. I feel like if I had with this couple they would have retaliated in some kind of way.

I don’t accept children because of the dock (no fencing at all, just open water), the exterior stairs, the hard tiled floors and other issues. Sometimes I’ve had inquiries from people with kids but I tell them about the dangers in such a way that they’d seem like bad parents if they wanted to expose their kids to all the dangers here :slight_smile:


How on earth would they do that? I’ve had mostly lovely guests for years and years but I get tough with them if I have to. And I’ve had to throw a couple out (only the once, mind you). And there’s never been any retaliation. It’s not a thing I’d ever think to be concerned about.

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99% chance this has nothing to do with you and nothing would have pleased them. They are unhappy people living unhappy lives. Their “friends” don’t want to deal with it so canceled. You’re not a charity or a therapist.

Sorry this happened to you.

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If you’re afraid of what might happen if you enforce your (perfectly reasonable) rules, you might want to rethink being in the STR business.

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I’d love to hear that wording! Any chance you’d share the secret phrase?

There isn’t one really. I just describe all the things that I feel make the place unsuitable for children and say something like “I’m sure you’ll agree that the apartment isn’t suitable for your four-year-old. There are many Airbnb rentals nearby though, that would be great places for you to stay. I hope you find a wonderful place and have a great time here in South Florida. Thanks for your inquiry!”

I like to be upbeat :slight_smile:


Seems like the big mistake was to just say “OK” when the guest said her sister and her children were coming over for “a while” the next day. I assume that you think extra guests not staying overnight shouldn’t have to pay the extra guest fee, and that you thought the extra guests were just coming for the afternoon or evening and not for 2 whole days. Normally, I’d say that was the time to make it clear that no overnight guests are allowed that are not listed on the reservation, but in this case I’m fairly certain the extra guests would’ve caused the same damage even if they didn’t stay overnight. You may want to re-think your rules for extra guests.

Also, adults are just as likely to have caused the dirty hot tub, raft damage, and the button reprogramming, and people, not just children, tend to get more unruly in larger groups. You might have some very valid reasons for changing your listing to not allow children, but with a hot tub and a dock, you probably should be more worried about larger groups of adults.


I live and I learn.
I have gotten much insight as to how to respond when future guests try to take advantage of my good nature. I will use this for future guests relations, expectations, rules and policies and will update my listing. How do you apply these without sounding too harsh?
Thank You for your responses and please them coming.


And please, in your review, click the button for “not recommended” so other hosts know not to book them. And as you will see here, post only the facts in the review, i.e “hot tub dirty xyz in it, had to be drained and filter changed…”. Some things are part of wear and tear of hosting, spills happen etc, but some guests just don’t care about other people’s property.


They have left and I will certainly address future guests differently. I have learned a lot from this forum as this has never happened b4.
But, what is more ALARMING is when they left I found a canister of 5X Premium Butane FAS Fil along with something that looks like something to light up something. I have pictures. When I asked my husband what it was he said something to light a cigar or something else and that as it was sitting beside a candle that was still lit it could have burnt our house up…WTF I am naïve should I report this abnb? Can they do anything about it!

Did you provide the candle? If you provide them you’re assuming the risk.

What is AirBnB supposed to do about a candle left burning that could have, but did not, burn the house down? They’re just a payment processor/matchmaker.

Just report it to all of us in the review you give the guest. Please! :slight_smile:


I did not provide the candle.
There is a question asking report this guest!

What would reasons be to report a guest or is that just BS thing that abnb has to make you feel more in control?


If a guest committed a crime or something I’d report them to try to get them off platform. Leaving a burning candle is boneheaded but is it grounds to get someone kicked off platform?

I have been a host for almost 8 years -
when i first started I asked the following of large groups
once a message was received to stay from a guest
1, i would check them out - reviews non etc
ask them if they had used airbnb before - if not other platforms with reviews
if they had non - I would explain that without reviews anywhere and such a big group I would up the deposit and say any diviation from the booking would result in deposit non refundable
2. ask them to list
how many people - thier names and ages
evidence of persons - ie passport - driving license
if like your situation they said extra people
I would then ask if they were planning to stay and if so for how many nights
then I would adjust price but still make a higher deposit
if they responded vaugely as happend with you
I would just add extra for whole stay

  • if I got a complaint back I would say
    your welcome to cancel at anytime and look for alternative places to stay
    and contact aibnb alterting them and pp the message to the guest
    its much harder for guests to wriggle a deal if airbnb are aware of the situation
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