Guests, power, water and great customer service. A weekend full of surprises!

I had a full house of six people at my next door rental who were in town for a wedding. Their reservation was Friday to Sunday (bunch of 20-somethings). They check in Friday, I give them the tour and leave them to their own devices. On Saturday morning I send them a text asking if everything was good to which they replied it was. Perfect!

At about 3:30pm Saturday afternoon I get a call from them – power’s out which means the water is out too which incidentally means no toilets either (I was in town when they called otherwise I would have known right away). Great. I call the power company and am told they expect to have it restored by 6:30pm and let the guest know apologizing profusely told them I have bottled water available for their use. Guest says no worries as they are heading to the wedding soon so they won’t even be there.

6:30pm rolls around and no power (I’m without power/water too). I call the power company again. Updated estimate for restoration is 8pm. Ugh, but again they are at the wedding so not so bad. I let the guest know and tell them I have battery powered lanterns that I will leave on the kitchen table.

I go into the house to pull out the lanterns and water and am confronted with the biggest craziest mess that I haven’t seen since my days in the Greek system (i.e. a frat house). Sink full of dishes, food on the floor, all the counters covered with food, alcohol bottles and garbage, half eaten plates in the dining room, clothes strew about like someone was running while peeling off items one at a time, chairs moved about and left randomly, garbage cans pulled out and full (one has been placed outside and I think someone has thrown up in it). An insane mess that was beyond belief.

The lanterns were stored in the laundry down the hall from the kitchen so I had to walk past the guest bath which was a disaster of towels and toiletries. I also went past the master bedroom which looked like it has been through a hurricane with the bed stripped down to the mattress pad and everything piled in the middle. There were bras and shoes and towels and feminine product wrappers strewn about and the blinds were askew. There was a dining room chair in the master bath and decorative pillows on the floor. I mean it was freaking crazy. In the laundry I found piles of towels and not the ones for showering but the less nice brown ones I keep in the laundry cupboard for wiping off the patio furniture and such.

Shaking my head and resisting the urge to pick up because I’m a neat freak I shove aside debris on the kitchen table and leave the lanterns and water then I go back to my house to sit in the dark and wait for the lights to come back on.

8pm rolls around and still no power. I call the power company again for an update. New estimate is 8am Sunday morning! OMG! I can’t have 6 people in a house with no toilets so I call Airbnb, ask them to refund the night and find my guests a new place to stay (there was power in the city proper). I send the guest a message with the new information and tell them Air will be contacting them. Air gets back to me that there is no place to move them and they want to stay. I hope for the best and brace myself for what I’ll find the next day when they leave.

The power finally came back on at midnight.

Sunday morning rolls around and I wait to hear from my guests that they are leaving. It’s been a trial and they’ve been partying at a wedding so I figure I’m not going to worry about when they check out because I don’t have anyone coming for a week. Around 11am I notice a family of deer standing on the front patio looking in the windows so I figure the guests must have left without saying anything. I head over and sure enough all the cars are gone. I knock on the door, no answer. I cautiously open the door ready for the nightmare mess I’d seen the night before but instead I step into an immaculate house. The counters are clean, the floor is clean, the beds are made, the garbage has been collected and placed in one bag, the recycling in another and the dishwasher is running! AMAZING! From frat house to open house clean! I was so surprised and tickled I giggled. Just goes to show you, you never know.

I gave them a glowing review and privately thanked them for their understanding and patience during the power outage. They haven’t reviewed me yet.

BTW - Once again Air CS was very helpful and understanding. Two for two with them so far.


Wow! It’s always nice when guests surprise you in a good way. I was bracing for the worst while reading that story…


I have experienced this mess a few times in our home(s) early on.
We have learned to try to never ever see the inside of the house when guests are present.
It is amazing delightful and astounding how some groups can clean it up before departure.
We have Never yet had major damage in either house, and we try to be selective about oru groups by being stern in our listing description.


I remember when something similar happened to me. It was lovely. I saw the guests’ car leave about half an hour before check out time. Because I live on site and like to get into the apartment as soon as guests leave, I went in. It looked as though a bomb had hit the place - it was awful.Stuff everywhere. Every surface grimy and dirty.

I went into the bedroom and there was stuff all over the place there too. Then I noticed a suitcase on the bed and a very expensive leather jacket. Then I saw that there were clothes in the wardrobe. There was an iPad by the bed…

That’s when I realised that they hadn’t left at all but probably just popped up to the shop or something. I skulked back home.

When they really did leave, the place was immaculate :slight_smile:


LOL!! I was in shock at the mess but was overwhelmed (felt horrible) having guests during a power/water outage so I just went home, opened a bottle of wine and hoped for the best. :yum:


I firmly believe that wine is an essential part of an Airbnb host’s kit. :wink:


First Aid or survival???


Oh wow. I was going to have nightmares after reading your story. When I have a family stay for a week with young children, I am always worried about how the place will be but they almost always make a good effort to clean up.

Whew! I was getting a sinking feeling reading your story, glad it turned out well!

I had a group that our caretaker went over to talk to because they had a question. He called me when he got back home telling me the house was a “wreck”. I bit my tongue (hard!) and said we would have to ride it out since there were no other issues that I could report them to ABB for.

The house was in great shape when they left, and certainly not worth all the worrying I had done the rest of that weekend!

I wish I could ignore his calls/texts and continue on like an ostrich sometimes :wink:

That’s a great story! Glad they left it clean as it would’ve been easy to expect the opposite.

I once mistook they dates and came back to my house 1 day early. ( I rent out the entire place and is out of the city whilst guests stay)
I come in from the back and walk through the place and there’s a huge MESS everywhere ! I sigh and grunt and curse out loud until I realized they still had all their stuff there and then I walked into the bedroom and woke them up!!
Sooo awful and embarrassing!
I must have apologized 20 times and left in shame, crying and laughing at the same time!
They took it so well and left the place in perfect condition! :sweat_smile:
And left a very positive review after they left the day after.


What a story!!! Something similar happened to me (except for the dishes and the food everywhere). The house was left super clean.

Haha, that is the best guest story I have ever heard.

Great story. I make every effort NOT to enter or look into our guest suites during a stay (of course there are always circumstances - such as your power outage - that warrant it, but these are rare). I know from being an Airbnb guest myself that having independence is important to me. Also, things can get messy fast - and that has no bearing at all on how I leave a unit on departure.

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My story is less dramatic but the moral is the same…
I had some one night guests - new airbnb users, no reviews, but their request came with a friendly message so I accepted. Then I sent the message asking how and when they were arriving and offering directions depending on their mode of transport - no answer. The day of their arrival they just messaged “about 2pm”. They got lost trying to find the house by GPS, they were walking with their cases, my house is on a hill and it was hot. They finally arrived and the one who had made the booking hardly spoke to me and didn’t smile once. She did say she hadn’t realised how far out of town my house was. (My listing of course makes it all very clear).
Naturally I thought she’d mark me down at the very least on location, but no. “We had a fabulous time in a lovely house in fantastic location with breathtaking views!”


Oh my gosh, I SO ENJOYED your colorful descriptions of everything! You had me on the edge of my seat in suspense, and when the deer showed up, I laughed out loud! You should be writing novels!


I was sweating it, reading every single word with increasing dread.

How in the h!! did they get it clean? Its simply unfathomable…