Guests tried to enter the wrong house

Here’s a cautionary tale that still has me shaking when I think about what could have happened.

Our guests this weekend (two older couples) got confused and went to the house two doors down. The door was either ajar (guests’ story) or they tried to break in (neighbor’s story) and were confronted by a dog (which they kicked - neighbor’s story) and my very young female neighbor (20s). Everyone agrees there was much swearing and anger and fear and tears. The guests apologized profusely, but the neighbor was too upset and scared. She pointed out the correct house and they left.

I didn’t find out about it until I went over to clean. The neighbor in between our two houses was furious. The young neighbor went to him sobbing after the guests left. He’s a vet with guns and said if the guests had tried to get in his house, he would have shot them.

I am thanking God that no one was hurt.

Here’s what I am doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again: I am changing my “day of arrival” message to prominently show the bright blue door with the house numbers and the bright blue mailbox with the house name and address AND the garage door with the house name and number. I will emphasize to the guests to make sure they are at the correct location and reiterate the house numbers. I checked and double checked the GPS link and it is correct.

The guests aren’t clear as to why they were so mistaken. I think it was just a lack of thinking. They had an idea of their head as to what the house looked like and saw one similar and didn’t give it enough thought.

Needless to say, the neighborhood is in an uproar. They didn’t like the idea of an AirBnb in the first place and this episode now makes them all feel threatened.

It was a rough day yesterday.


I’m really sorry to read this and you’re right, it’s terrifying all around given media attention to people being shot for being on the wrong porch, yard or driveway, never mind attempted entry into a home.

So between 4 people they can’t make sure they are going to the correct home? This is also quite disturbing to me. But I think it’s way outside the norm so try as much as possible to remain calm and realize it’s very unlikely to happen again.

Does your Airbnb have a digital entry code and also cameras? Since you don’t live on site maybe these would help you monitor and give you some peace of mind going forward.


Yes, both a Ring camera and a digital entry code. It was just so obviously not the house.

But thanks for your reassurance. It’s easy when something like this happens to think it is the norm and not an outlier.

I also don’t understand how the confusion happened, which is frustrating. If I don’t know where the problem lies, I can’t fix it. She was a five-star guest with LOTS of ratings, so she was no newbie.


I’m so sorry to hear that this happened and imagine it to be traumatic for all involved. Thankfully, the worse didn’t happen. It is, after all, the U.S. I assume.

I am assuming that in the Airbnb app on your phone that you entered the check-in instructions, with pictures. I think you can add up to four or so.

Then in your pre-check-in messages be sure to highlight that the guest can go to the check-in part of the app and see the pictures.

Your idea of showing the picture of the door is brilliant! I’m going to do that as well. Thank you.


Your ‘vet’ neighbor who is ready to shoot someone is a pathetic ‘maga’. Who would shoot a vacationing group of older folks who come to the wrong house? Pathetic - but scary.


Or almost anyone? More people need to give thought to how shooting people ruins the shooter’s life too and less thought about how quickly they can reach for their guns.

One problem you can work on is your standing in the neighborhood. A neighbor whose reaction to any outsider approaching his home is to get his gun, means that every guest you have is in danger. Even a guest who has checked in and then returns later, after dark and goes to the wrong door is in danger. Any person who thinks as he does and says it out loud seems unstable to me.


Quite a few years ago, a renter went to the wrong house. Didn’t read the description, didn’t read any of my posts, just showed up and scared the homeowner alot. Idiots. They had lots of excuses tho. Idiots. Did I say IDIOTS??


I continue to be amazed how many people glide thru life without bothering to pay attention to the details. I send a picture of our place (it is purple) and the door code yet more often than not, they get it wrong.

I find it odd the guests would engage the young lady and her dog, I would have left immediately and reached out to the host.


How can a ‘homeowner’ be ‘scared’ when someone comes to their door? Color of skin, I suppose, or accented speech? Or just ‘maga’ stupidity…


It’s really alien to me, too. Terrified of someone coming to your door? Ready to shoot them? WTF is wrong with these people? How can you live your life so paranoid?
I’m a single woman who lives alone. I don’t even lock my doors and I’ve never been scared of a stranger appearing at my gate, even the tweaker who was going around my neighborhood a few years ago scoping out places to rob, with some BS story about how he needed money because his mother had died.
Honestly, I wouldn’t go to the US these days if you paid me to.
@Xanadu Can you put some kind of marker at the driveway? Like some little flag on a pole or something?


I just had a guest, POC, try to get in the wrong house late at night. They didn’t encounter anyone, but I was terrified at what might have been.

Frankly I would be hesitant to continue to do short term rentals or even continue living next to your trigger-happy neighbor. So sorry you are in that situation.

Per Benjamin Franklin, if you want to make a person better-disposed toward you, ask them for a favor or advice. “Sorry those confused elderly people caused a ruckus. I’m thinking of hanging a sign. Do you know where I could get one made around here?” Though that could backfire spectacularly if he takes it as carte-blanche to go all vigilante over your property.


Because the idiots INSISTED that this was the house that they rented. Yes, it used to be the one, but the owners of the Air/VRBO bought another one two years prior. Just cus these idiots rented the first one three years ago, didn’t mean that it was still available. The homeowner was not happy with their aggressive insistence on this matter.



Yeah, elderly couples coming to your door aggressively insisting that they are at the right house - of course, the next step would have been the elderly couple pulling out their weapons and killing the person inside. We all know how elderly couples escalate these things.

****not sarcasm:

Manchildren or folks who have ED issues should NEVER have weapons. Thier reasoning is impaired…

And ‘making the homeowner happy’ should never be needed when someone RINGS A DOORBELL


I believe @Rolf and @murphysranch have crossed stories here on which house was entered by which people. Before we have any more posts with ALL CAPS maybe everyone should slow down a bit and re-read.


…and anyone whose reaction to someone coming to their door is to try to kill them is the real danger. I stand by my comments…

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Oh well. You tried :joy:


Sometimes I just shut down (or recently tried the slow down option) a thread. Then I get messages about it. Luckily, I’m in a very important position with a lot of power and I’m on a power trip so I put up with it.



We have had guests go to the door of our long term tenants. Also there is an Airbnb next door and we occasionally get each other’s guests. Thank God no one seems inclined to shoot at random confused people in our neighborhood. My 65 year old parents once went to pick up my daughter at a home daycare and the childcare owner didn’t come to the door which was unlocked. They stepped inside to call out and she had a total fit that deteriorated to the point that I pulled my child out of her care and she sued me for not giving enough notice. You never know how people will react.


My Airbnb room entrance and that of my part of the home are two doors about 16 feet apart on two ends of a front porch. Friends of my Airbnb guests came over one morning and opened the front door and came in. I had my dogs and the guest dogs put away in my bedroom while I was on my hands and knees cleaning the grout on my hallway floor.

When I heard the front door open I started to get up and turn around to see who it was. My front door is often unlocked and my friends know to just come on it when I’m expecting them but I wasn’t expecting anyone. When I turned in a half crouch, hair askew with some old tshirt and tattered shorts I must have looked like some old crone from fiction. My exact words to them were “can I help you?” The female of the duo turned and literally hid her face behind her hand. The fellow said they were looking for my Airbnb guests. I directed them back to the porch and pointed to the door with the Airbnb logo on it.

It was funny to me but many people wouldn’t see it that way and frankly they should be glad I wasn’t the gun toting type, thinking people entering my home automatically deserve the death penalty. I have a brother in law and a good friend who would probably pull a gun on someone in that situation. Of course they always have their doors locked and they would never, ever, dream of doing Airbnb at their home.


Once when I was about 8 years old and we had recently moved to a new neighborhood, a suburban block where there were 3 styles of houses that all looked virtually alike, I was out riding my bike one day and got all excited about something I’d seen (can’t remember what) and raced into the open door of the house, all out of breath, to tell my parents. But there was a strange couple sitting on the couch who looked up at me, surprised. I was so mortified I just turned around and ran back out. It was a house 3 doors down that looked just like ours- I hadn’t paid attention to how far down the block I was.