Guests left flat in a mess?

We have a new listing, the second couple who booked the flat left quite a mess. I have made a claim through airbnb for additional cleaning and replacement of sheets and towels cost. Does anyone have an example of an “additional comment” to make on our listing to let potential untidy guests know that if they leave the flat in a mess we will charge??? I totally am aware that we may not get any reimbursement but, I just couldn’t let them get away Scott free!!

What did they do to the linens?

The sheets and towels were covered with blood, red wine and fake tan.

So there’s “damage” and there’s “leaving the place a mess” and I deal with them differently:

Damage is covered by your deposit and (maybe!) the host guarantee - already covered in Air policies. I don’t think there’s a special phrase that helps prevent damage. Most of it is accidental (which I usually call a cost of doing business when it comes to linens). When it’s neglectful (like your guests!) - I just don’t think there’s a thing in the world you could’ve said to transform them from Pig Pen into Miss Manners. You just claim for damage and move on.

So far as “leaving the place a mess” I DO think it’s helpful to put your hourly cleaning cost in your house rules. Mine say that I’ll charge “$35/hr for cleaning if it takes more than 3 hours (it usually takes 2)”. That gives me a quantifiable charge if someone causes a bunch of extra work that wasn’t damage (like if I have to spend 2 hours vacuuming glitter out of the couch and rug).

I hope you get better guests in the future!


How about something like

‘We provide you a clean, tidy place to stay. Replacement of damaged linens and other listing property will be billed to the departing guest.’


Thank you! I like that


I agree. I can understand accidental damage but this as you say is just “pig pen” guests.

Thank you. It’s important here we know all the gory details. So we can, errmmm, offer appropriate advice.

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I would not add this language if you are a new host. It could scare away people that you are overly prone to charging for damage. This warning is not found on most listings. If you have 500 good reviews feel free, but i don;t think it does any good .


I have to agree with @Brandt. Shit (literally) happens. A mess is something we should, reluctantly, expect. True, we should heave a sigh of relief every time guests leave the place in perfect condition, but realistically we know that there will always be a messy guest at some time. It’s part and parcel of the business and our prices should allow for plenty of cleaning time, minor repairs etc.

I’ve had just about every fluid, bodily and otherwise, on the bedding and towels. My current linens are over three years old. Yes, sometimes they need a lot of soaking, laundering and even scrubbing. But I, and this is just me I realise, don’t see blood, red wine and fake tan as being ‘damages’.

This is a great business to be in and we have to take a little bit of rough along with the smooth - it’s the exception, not the rule.


Yeah, you might want to roll with this one. It wasn’t intentionally negligent. The trick is to figure out how to get rid of the stains, and this forum can probably get the spots out of a leopard!


Please do note it in the review. @KenH, he’s the best at this :slight_smile:

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Please treat our home with love, respect and care and leave her as you’d hope I’d leave your home. That means clean and tidy (with the dishwasher put on and rubbish disposed of in bins), or an extra cleaning charge may apply.

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I consider towels to be part of the cost of business unless the damage is excessive. I’m not the Hilton. I had one set of renters ruin all the towels provided. I don’t know what the hell they were using, but there were orange blotches on every single towel. Acne cream? Fake tan? I dunno, but they certainly knew they did it and said nothing. I charged them a flat fee although it was less than the replacement of the towels.

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If you went through the trouble to charge them then why didn’t you ATLEAST charge the replacement cost, if not also a fee for your time and expenses to do so?

We just found out through our next guests that the previous guests (blood, wine & fake tan) did in fact brake a very sturdy bed frame!!!

The most important thing a new host can do is get a lot of 5 star reviews. I would focus on the positive in your reviews until you have a good 25 under your belt. Also, your guests are most likely on vacation and it’s common to find wine or beer bottles overflowing in the trash can. As for the sheets, we tell the guest to just leave everything on the bed - and then when you strip the bed, you can identify any stains to treat them early before washing. Good luck in your adventure!