Guests showed up and started smoking - do I report it now?

A group of guests showed up yesterday to our non-smoking (number one house rule) home and promptly lit up cigarettes. I’m not there, but we have staff on the premises, so we have witnesses. Our housekeeper told them they can’t smoke in the house, and I promptly reminded them they cannot smoke in the house over the AirBnB messaging system, and told them where they could smoke (outside, about 50 feet from the house). The guest said they would only smoke in the designated area from now on.

Should I do anything else right now? I would rather cancel on them and give them all the unused nights back than have them smoke in our home. (We are on the strict cancellation policy). My house rules also said that we have the right to evict you if you smoke. I don’t do that first thing, but will do it if they continue to violate the rule.

When I check the AirBnB cancellation policy, it says that a complaint from either party needs to be entered within 24 hours of check in. Should I complain to AirBnB but say I’m not ready to kick them out just yet? I do have our messages on the system. Will that be enough?

I’m hoping they do what they promised, but I don’t want to lose my rights in case they don’t just because I didn’t follow the right process.

1 Like

I would cancel them and not refund. They broke your house rules, report to Airbnb. Smoke is very hard to get rid of and do you want nasty cigarette butts left on the property even 50 feet away?


I think you would be better off listing a fine for smoking in the house rules in addition to eviction. I doubt you will be able to cancel the reservation and keep the money. I don’t see Airbnb going for this.

Eviction seems only necessary if they continue to smoke after being told not to.


My housekeeper told them immediately to stop it and I reinforced it within a couple of hours. The rent is over $400 a night and they have five more nights, so $2000 is a big penalty for the first infraction.

I agree, but do I have to report this within the first 24 hours to be able to cancel (even with refund) later if they continue to smoke?

Unfortunately people who are addicted to cigarettes have a hard time controlling their habit. I still feel that they booked your place and there should be some kind of penalty for their behavior. Can you re book with another guest? BTW if you smoke in a non smoking hotel they charge a penalty for extra cleaning and it can be very expensive. I’ve seen fines of 300-500 dollars posted in the room.


I’ve read AirBnB won’t support a general fine for smoking - that you have to open a claim and provide receipts. So I don’t even bother posting a fine -I figure I don’t get the money anyway.

I’d report it. There is no downside to reporting it now.


Seriously?! Who does that these days?? Non-smoking rooms is the standard. Plus, they must state they’ve read your rules before completing the booking, and your #1 rule is No Smoking!

Imagine your housekeeper wasn’t there. It would have been a disaster to get rid of the smell of smoke after 4 days of them smoking indoors… sheesh!

I’d call Air so there is a record of this - also ask about that smoking fee/fine because there are many intangibles (non-receipt-able items) related to having to “claim your house back” after smokers have been there.

Then, mention it in your review!


The standard in other countries isn’t the same as in the US and Canada. When I’m somewhere that smoking is allowed (e.g., a brewery with an outdoor space) I’m still surprised to see how many young people are still smoking, even here.


This is a matter I was very worried about in the early days, but such a thing has never happened to me.

Despite it being mentioned in the rules, we all know many guests don’t read them. Do you have No-Smoking signs inside the house?

I don’t but in the loo I have a note which tells them where to go (outside) to smoke. I think offering the alternative is crucial to ensuring greater compliance.


Report it to AirBnb – NOW! Always report anything that goes wrong, immediately to AirBnB – even before you tell us about it!!

If guests violated your rule once, they’ll do it again, and “I forgot” won’t get the aroma out of your house…

You might consider changing the name of your listing to something like “Beautiful Non-Smoking Home In The Country”. Potential guest may not read anything else, but there’s a good chance they’ll read THAT!


For my own benefit, what is the advantage of reporting something to Airbnb immediately? My strategy has always been to wait until checkout and dump the info at that point so I have the complete picture of the stay. Assuming it is not so egregious that you want them gone.

Brandt - that was exactly my point. I don’t want to kick them out for a single mistake (as much as smoking sets my teeth on edge), as long as everything else is OK.

I wanted to call AirBnB this afternoon but got busy at my day job and just could not spare the time. My housekeeper says they are being good and not smoking in the house. (We do have round-the-clock staff, so it will be tough for them to cheat without my people knowing it and stopping it.)

I have the guest’s acknowledgement that they will smoke outside only, and the date stamp is about 1 hour after check in. So as long as they don’t smoke inside again, I won’t make a “stink” (pun intended!) about it.

1 Like

What is the point of the call? Still don;t understand

Brandt - Agreed. That’s exactly why I asked the question .

And though I agree calling can’t hurt, as KenH mentioned, I did not hear anyone say they were denied compensation because they did not call during the first 24 hours. I certainly would called AirBnB last night if they had more people than they paid for.

@Brandt and @PitonView, if nothing else, the call can get Airbnb on your side should you need or decide to boot the guest. You report the rule violation and show that you are being benevolent by letting them stay. This may garner you points with Air if you ultimately have an issue. You may also get a case manager early on who can follow the story. The case manager may even call the guests on your behalf and give them a warning!


@SuiteInSeattle -
Very good point. But I do have the documentation already that I reminded them and did not kick them out right away.

I’m mostly counting on my 6’3" tall, 220-pound male weightlifter groundskeeper to keep them honest…

1 Like

I would just be worried about the character flaw and mentality of someone who would light up in a beautiful vacation home. What else will they do if they can’t even exhibit the most elementary of manners?

The call to Air was wise andjustified and serves to provide documentation if it is needed for any damage claim down the line.


You are contradicting yourself here. You say you want to cancel now but then state you will only do so if they violate the rule. Not sure what advice you are wanting as such.