Hey folks! I have been renting my place for about 2 years (i do it when i am traveling so i am usually not here) and never had any issues…until now. As an die-hard couchsurfer (which is what i do when i am not traveling) I sometimes have too much trust in people and their common sense. Now i guess it was time to get burnt…
So here’s a summary of the story: I get one reservation before i leave for the trip. I forget to deactivate my automatic booking option so I also get another one while i am traveling (I had this situation before, but since not always i have a neighbour to check after one group i would rather avoid having a second one while i am away). However, i needed money so i decided to go for it.
I tell my first group to read carefully the house guidelines, since i will be traveling and maybe not have phone access all the time. Indeed, my battery is off and, after a few hours, i open it and see two messages:
- They ask for the towels - which, as written in the house guidelines, were not included. I do have some extra (older) towels which i keep clean just in case, so i wrote them about that.
- This is the more serious issue: apparently they found the plastic packaging for a condom lying somewhere on a shelf that i forgot to check (the shelf is very high up above the bed, one needs to stand to see what is on it). Anyways, I feel obviously bad and embarassed for the whole thing, so I apologize and I tell them that they will get some of the money back for this.
After this, i don’t get any reply. I try to call them, and their phone is off. I start stressing since my other guests will arrive the next day at 12:30. I check what is written on their booking as check-out time and it is 11, so that sounds reasonable (another lesson I’ve learned now is to actually set a check-out time instead of leaving it flexible…). However, I have a negative feeling about the whole thing , especially since i cannot get a hold of them. Next day in the morning i write them on airbnt that, since they didn’t answer, i will send a neighbour to make sure that they know the other guests are coming after 12.
I don’t take any cleaning fee, and the rule I have is “leave the place as you found it”. I thought about this originally just as a protection for situations when previous guests leave a mess - then the next ones don’t have to clean. However, so far I had really tidy guests, and since i always leave the place really clean for them, I never had any issues. Another lesson learned, I guess.
So no answer yet. My neighbour went there a bit after 11 (since that was their written check-out time), and they were still there, in the kitchen. They didn’t invite him in and he felt uncomfortable to ask that, so he just told that others will come at 12:30, so they should clean the place and leave before that. This is the same infomration I have wrote them in the messages. After that, they send me a text on airbnb that he came and that they will be done by 12, and that they will leave the place in order. Good - i thought.
However, the next guests find a mess. Trash is not thrown (that is specified in house rules), toilet is not flushed, toenails on the floor, dirty dishes. So now, I’m thinking , the others don’t really deserve any refunding (I was thinking to even take out a cleaning fee from their deposit but given that i also did a mistake by not checking that shelf maybe it is a bit harsh), but the girls that came after definetely should get some money back. I talked with them personally and i apologized and mentioned the refund - didn’t decide yet how much.
Bottom line, I called Airbnb and they were totally useless. They said that it is entirely up to me so they cannot suggest anything. What would you guys do in this situation?
I have a 4.5 out of 5 stars (getting lower ratings always for the fact that the appartment is not in the city center, although it is clearly written in the info), so never had any terrible review. So far, i didn’t get any review from the 2 groups, but they still have about 10 days left.
What would you do if you were me? I do have evidence of the messiness and all that happened through the airbnb e-mails (and photos as well), but not sure if that is enough to remove a negative review. At the same time, it is also my mistake to have two groups without checking the state of the appartment after the first ones left - although my neighbour could have done that if they would have checked out at 11 as they said…
This is my listing in case you’re curious:
Thanks in advance!!