Guests Cancelling Because they want the Condo to Themselves

I’ve been hosting on Airbnb for a few months now and I seem to regularly have guests cancelling because they thought they were booking the entire condo and didn’t realise that they wouldn’t be alone.

The place is listed as a private room and not the entire home. Most people realise this, but there are always a few people who don’t look properly and assume that they will have the place to themselves. As my listing is set up correctly, Airbnb always side with me and refuse to fund them

I love these guests as my strict cancellation policy means that I get paid without the expense of hosting guests.

I am just wondering if this is a common occurrence on Airbnb for other hosts.

Guests don’t read? Yes.
People think they get a whole place to themselves when all that’s offered is a room? Yes
Hosts get paid for doing nothing? That doesn’t seem so common. Many people have posted here that they are frustrated that people get full refunds despite their strict cancellation policy. So you should enjoy it while you can.


Maybe you should change your photo to one who shows their room and mention it again in the caption.

Unless you enjoy the empty house and the money coming in :wink:


Well the listing I have the most cancellations for is the listing that specifies in the description that it is a sofa in a common space.

People seem to to just look at the price (it’s set to the lowest price Airbnb allow) and book the room.

Yesterday I had a guy turn up asking to look at the rooms upstairs. I was fine with showing him the bathroom and the guest room (our guests upstairs had not checked in at this point). He then asked me if he would be sleeping in the guest room and I told him that he wouldn’t because the room was already booked and he had only paid for the sofa.

The guy then insisted on seeing the master bedroom. I told him that he could not see the room as it belonged to my partner and me and was off limit to guests. This didn’t stop him from opening the door and asking me if we would give up our bedroom and sleep on the sofa in his place.

He then insisted that, as he didn’t want to sleep on the sofa, I should cancel the listing. I politely informed him that I would have to pay for the cancellation and that, as he wa the one who wanted to cancel, he would have to cancel the booking himself. I am expecting a poor review in response to this.

We now have another group who have rented the sofa and airbed in the living room. Again, they expected the entire condo to themselves despite paying less than £10 for a night. This lot told me they were arriving at 12:30, then kept sending me texts every half hour that they were running late but would be there in 30 minutes. They ended up arriving at 17:30, preventing me from being able to go out for lunch until now.

They are expecting a refund, which they will not be getting, and are currently waiting in the condo for me to return. They have no chance of getting any of their money back.

They have now been here for over an hour and are refusing to leave until I refund them in cash. I told them that if they want a refund, they will have to go through Airbnb. They will not do this as to quote them ‘Airbnb will not refund the money’.

They have resorted to threats, telling me that they know where I live and will be back if I do not refund them. They are also threatening to report me to Airbnb. The second they leave, I will be the one reporting them.

I finally managed to get rid of them two hours after they checked in. I called Airbnb to report the situation to them. Airbnb have decided that, in order to diffuse the situation, they will be refunding them in full, but still paying me.

Sounds more like a couch surfing set up.

I was hoping that would be the outcome. Sounds like everyone had to deal with some stress over this.
Perhaps you should reword your listing in a way that explains in the first sentence there will be no privacy.

Good idea. A picture from just outside the living room from a hallway that shows its in an open area of the house.

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The picture actually already shows that the room is in a common space. I feature what is very clearly the front door leading into the room, as well as stairs leading upstairs. The listing fully explains that all the guests are getting is a sofa in a living room while there are bedrooms upstairs. Furthermore, it is quite frankly ridiculous for anybody to expect an entire apartment to themselves when they are paying less than £10 a night.

It is a cheap sofa space that is rented out whenever the guest room is booked.

This guest is continuing to be a nightmare. On top of the full refund Airbnb are giving her, she has now filled out a request of £20 on Airbnb for her taxi fare as she considers me to have wasted her time.

I had to wait several hours until she arrived to be able to go out and eat because she kept sending me texts every half an hour that she was running late, but would be there in 30 minutes. This went on for five hours before she eventually showed up. When I finally was able to go out and eat, she called telling me that she wanted to cancel her booking and asked me to come back. I told her that I was eating and I would come back as soon as I was finished. She told me to stop eating and come back because she had things to do and didn’t want to wait 30 minutes for me.

The nerve of some people.


I’m really disappointed to say that Airbnb have changed their minds. She will be getting a full refund and I will not get a penny.

Looks like this story has been turned on it’s head.

Why don’t you send a saved message every time someone books a sofa along the lines of ’ just to clarify you realise you have booked a sofa etc…’ Might cut off this drama right at the pass.


I don’t think you should have the couch listed as a private room. I thinks there’s another option like “shared space”.


We had a member here who somewhat successfully rented out a sofabed in his living space for quite a while. Sadly he’s no longer a member so we can’t ask him to chime in with any tips.

Frankly there is no way I would deal with people in my living area and reservations and situations like the one just described for “less than £10” a day. @dabbers, you must be desperate for money.

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Dabbers, where are you located, may I ask. Seems there more demand than available rooms …

I doubt that! Lately they are being on the guest side ONLY. I find it quite disturbing to be honest. Any 2yo would say there’s no sense in refunding them their money. What about you? What about a potential other booking you lost for that day dealing with this? What about your time?

Too bad!

You rent a sofa in a common space? How is it a common space as I can hardly use it if another guest is using it as a bedroom? I would think this would also make the sofa very unhygienic. Does your local council and health department really allow you to do this? I’m sorry to offend but I just think this kinds of listings are dodgy


Describing the space and having it in the wrong category are two different things.
I have noticed Hostels with several bunks in a room saying "Shared Space"
Yours seems open to the rest of the household.
Perhaps you can get some advice from an AirBnB representative on how to properly list your accommodation to avoid this confusion and stress for all parties.

Also it really does suck that the guest was inconsiderate of your time and making you wait the best portion of a day for their arrival,

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Airbnb have now changed their decision again. I will receive the full payment and the guest will not get any kind of a refund. It seems that they previously made the decision to refund her in full without paying me as she made some false claims, which they didn’t ask me about at the time.

It’s not a case of being desperate for money. My area is very competitive on prices. Several people are listing entire apartments across the street for as little as £15 a night. I list the guest room for £20 a night then, whenever that’s booked, I rent the sofa/airbed downstairs for the minimum price Airbnb allow, which works out at around £8 a night. I can’t charge more than this or nobody will ever book it. I figure that small amount of money is better than nothing, but after this guest I am having second thoughts.

They told me they would send an e-mail, but didn’t bother. I later received a call where they went through a number of things with me, while checking a snapshot of my listing at the time the guest booked.

The guest was just been complaining about anything and everything until she found something that allowed Airbnb to side with her.

She complained to Airbnb that we didn’t have an aircon in the room.

She complained that she wasn’t provided with an entire apartment to herself as she believes Airbnb do not allow anybody other than guests to stay in the places they are listing.

She didn’t get anywhere with those as I have not listed an aircon as an amenity and the other claim is obviously nonsense.

Her other claims were that I refused to provide her with the WiFi password and would not allow her access to the pool. As I have listed WiFi and pool as amenities, Airbnb sided with her as they believed my listing to be inaccurate.

It’s hard to prove this either way, but I explained to Airbnb that I had provided her with the access card to the pool and would have provided her with the WiFi password if I had the chance, but I had to leave as soon as she checked in and I received a text informing me that she wanted to cancel shortly after leaving. At no point did she ask for the WiFi password.

The sofa has a sheet over it when guests sleep on it and of course the local council and health department allow people to sleep on sofas. Why would they not?

The guy who rented a sofa and demanded that me and my girlfriend surrendered our bedroom, after accessing our room when I specifically told him not to, has just left a review. Obviously it’s not going to be a good one.

Should I leave a review back warning other hosts that he has no respect for their personal space?

I’ve also just discovered that the group from last night decided to help themselves to food and drink from my fridge, then hid the packaging underneath the sofa.