Guests from close to hell?

After being a long-time reader of this forum, now is my turn to complain a rant.
I am hosting a lower income property, and I do have a bullet-style list of house rules with fines attached for every violation ( and it normally works).

Last week, I had a last minute booking, there were 6 guests on the reservation. I asked the guest to provide me with full names of all guests and confirm that everyone in their party have read and agreed to house rules. She did so.

They arrive an hour before allowed check-in time without asking permission. Gladly, the place was already cleaned and prepared. Next thing I know, she starts messaging me saying that the code I gave her doesn’t work. Then, she sends me the pic of the door, and, on that picture, the door displays the address, and it is not the address on her reservation. She punched the code into a wrong door many times and blocked that lock. Gladly, other guests were not at home at the time this lady tried to break in.

I am watching the CCTV making sure that she was able to get in, and suddenly see that instead of 1 car, there are 4 cars on the parking lot, and people start getting out of, and I start counting, and I count 13-14 people with all these people bringing in their luggage, some appliances, beach gear…

After she ignored my message asking to verify her how many people were at the listing, I called Airbnb. All the calls, sending the shots from the camera and such took a few hours. I had to cancel their reservation because 6 is max occupancy there. The guest tried to say that there were 11 people, and they were there temporarily and would not stay overnight. It would be great, but I saw amount of stuff they brought for 2 nights.

They left few hours later close to the end of the day.

When cleaning lady got there in the morning, she found the gate wide open, the front door unlocked, ashes on the floor in the kitchen and living room (non-smoking rule), burned frying pan, kitchen sink plugged with burned rice, pile of trash.

Oh, and the guest asked for a full refund.

Of course, I requested money. Now waiting. And still ranting about – what the hell? How can it be?
I know that some hosts have it a lot worse, there was no serious damage other than the pan. But how can people create such a mess within few hours? How do they have the nerve to lie, cheat, mess up my house, leave my house fully opened to theft and robbery, and then ask for their money back?

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I am sorry you had such a horribly experience, and you are right, no refund. They checked-in, brought unregistered guests and variously broke your house rules.

I don’t host remotely, so my experiences of guests, including those who present problems, is different, but some thoughts that came to mind.

Is it possible to upgrade your property so it’s not “low income”? You might attract a better kind of guest if you can.

I found your statement about the bullet list of rules and fines quite off putting; not somewhere I’d book if these are phrased quite challengingly. This made me think that perhaps these guests DID find these challenging, and thought they’d have a laugh at your expense? Just a paranoid thought!!

What terrible people! You were very wise to have cameras and be able to monitor. I can only imagine the damage they would have done had they stayed.

Good job getting rid of them. Some people are just bad.


Whole house listings often have the biggest problems. People think that because the host is not there watching them that they can do anything they want and leave a huge mess because no one is there to ask them to clean it. So sorry that happened to you but glad you stood up for yourself and cancelled them.


not always if the whole house is properly run.
I have 2 houses…one I am on site and the other is a few blocks away.
I have the same problems and issues at each location.
I have read on here regarding on site owners also having guests come with too many people.
It is just the lousy guests…because if owner has a whole house, and guest knows there are cameras and host sets parameters clearly, then the result is the same.

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Yes not always but it’s a lot easier to control the situation if you are there on site and can see what people are doing in your listing. We have thwarted parties and immediately confronted people bringing undisclosed children multiple times. Funniest excuse we’ve ever gotten is that the two smallest children ‘count as one person’ and the extra older lady ‘is just a babysitter for our kids’.


With extreme Politeness, and not intending to be argumentative,
I completely disagree with you.
A good owner can handle it just as immediately, and I feel it is important that our community is aware that good owners of full houses, are just as hands on and reactive, as good owners of guests on site.
Thank you.


My cleaner lives across the road. A booking for 3 turned into a stay for 6. I meet, greet and tour my guests and when they leave I see them off. This group I gently warned that I would know if extras stayed.
My cleaner warned me of the extra 3 and when I arrived I asked for the extra payment.
They said they didn’t stay, only visited.
I told them I knew they never left.
Then they said it they didn’t use anything and I asked if they levitated.
They then said the extras stayed at a hostel… hmmm … no hostels here.
They paid up and I asked why they wanted to steal from me? This was my living…that made them blush! Anyway, took a long time to balance out that nasty vindictive review.


Good on you for being assertive.

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They managed to do a lot of damage in a few short hours. I hope they are not refunded.

Do you have a rule against guests having visitors? I do because that helps with the “he’s just visiting” response to my guests trying to sneak in extras.

Was the other coded door a different unit on your property, or some random neighbor with a keypad?

Guests who pay damages should not be able to review.
Guests who pay damages should not be able to review.
Guests who pay damages should not be able to review.
Guests who pay damages should not be able to review.
Guests who pay damages should not be able to review.

This is one of the stupidest things about airbnb. If a guest breaks house rules/gets cancelled for doing so/damages property, then they should have their review reviewed ($31b company!!) or just lose that privilege altogether as punishment for causing problems.

100% of our reviews that have a negative slant have been retaliatory. Every single one either disregarded the rules or damaged the property. 100%. ugh


They truly sound like the guests from hell. If they caused that much damage in 1 afternoon, imagine what they could have achieved with a longer stay. I hope you are able to keep all the money.

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So sorry—those people were awful. It sounds like the trash, damage & open door were payback for kicking them out. Shame on them. You know shame on whomever in their lives taught them to use and abuse someone was acceptable.

Sadly there is an attitude with some renters that the owner can afford to take a hit on their earnings. For example, an acquaintance actually said to me, “Why do you worry if they steal the TV? You’ve got money. After all I can’t afford a rental condo at the beach!” Actually, I can’t afford it either, unless I collect rent to pay its mortgage & bills.


Is that allowed? A “no visitor” rule?

Yes it is allowed. 20

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Often hosts can’t have unregistered guests in their listings (or even anywhere on their property) because it can void an insurance claim. Pretty grave. We’ve had guests balk stating “how is it dangerous for x or x to visit me?” …totally not getting the point.

Also recently discovered that hosts’ house rules are [one of the few things] on guests’ reservation confirmation page, so anyone breaking a host’s rules has definitely seen them, even if they were missed on the description page.

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That’s a good point. It must be annoying to read loads of replies saying ‘well, if you lived nearer it wouldn’t be a problem’. Remote hosts who are conscientious, always alert to guest queries and have a trusted local troubleshooter on hand for emergencies can and do manage problem situations swiftly and successfully.


I do not accept reservations within 4 days of arrival. I also have a minimum stay of 4 days (out of season) and 7 days (in season). I think that cuts down on incidents like this.

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