Guests tried to enter the wrong house

I was thinking the same thing. I would consider selling the house.



It wouldn’t even have to be going to the wrong door. A guest could come home after a few drinks, a little unsteady on their feet, and step a few feet into the neighbor’s yard. Which is all a guy like that would need to claim he was protecting his property or family, a la “Stand Your Ground”.

1 Like

Same, @muddy , except that this was a few years ago and I was a grownup. I was exhausted from travel (like many guests…) and had arrived late in the evening to stay with my daughter. I had been to that apartment once before. The door from the hall was wide open, so I knocked and stepped in. Called out. A man who, even masked by shaving cream was clearly not my son-in-law, appeared from the bathroom. It was then that I realized everything was flipped – the bay window was on the left, not the right, for instance. I was standing in the middle of the next apartment over. I apologized in English and French (it was Montreal) and he said something like, “No worries; it happens”.
I wish this was everyone’s “oops, wrong place” experience.


My house is so distinctive, high up, 16 red steps, no one would confuse it with anything within miles.


I live in a retirement community. The number of elderly people who always carry guns is rather scary. I only have to open the local paper to see that elderly couples are awfully good at escalating things. There are those sweet older couples, and those off the charts irritable old people.


They no longer have a license to drive because of their poor vision, but can carry a gun and shoot a delivery man they mistake for a home invader? Scary stuff.

So glad my hang-outs are Mexico and Canada, where private citizens packing guns around everywhere is not allowed. Despite what people read about Mexico and cartel shootings, while innocent people can occasionally be caught in the crossfire, Mexicans don’t shoot someone because they took their parking space or a stranger appeared at their door.

Actually, there’s a cultural norm in Mexico that unless you are a good friend or family member, you never open someone’s front gate or go up their walkway and walk up to their door. You stand outside the gate and call out. Even delivery guys sit outside and honk rather than walk into your property, unless you’ve already arranged for them to leave your package somewhere inside the gate.

1 Like

Was alcohol :beer: involved lol

1 Like

I can’t even start to imagine this. I can say it would never happen here (North Wales, UK). First no culture of guns in most homes and secondly, if you went to the wrong house here, you would simply be re-directed. I too live alone Muddy and all my neighbours are 2 fields away from me but I would never be frightened to open my door.


Same here in Devon (Blackdown Hills).
Deliveries (plenty as we have been developing a garden cottage), and some delivery men confused as only house names on our road, and some do ask for help to find an address.
Plus other assorted people walking up our long driveway.

No guns here- I do not know anyone who owns a gun!

And those with guns cannot get military weapons either. We have never felt afraid or threatened here. People are calm and usually friendly and kind when we are out walking the dog.
But this is rural England …


That I am not afraid of strangers coming to my gate or door saved my neighbors a lot of grief when a carload of people came around looking for an Airbnb they had rented. When they showed it to me on their phone, I realized it was my neighbor’s place, who had rented out their place on a long term lease when they had to leave the country. The “tenant”, who had said she was renting it for herself, had turned around and listed it on Airbnb when she went out of town for a week… I notified my neighbors, they told the “tenant” to get her ass back there and boot out the Airbnbers. Turned out this girl and her friends were doing this all over town- renting out nice big places with pools, living there themselves occasionally, and listing on Airbnb, unbeknowst to the owners. So busted.


Omg ! I didn’t even realise that this was a thing ! But of course logically i can see that it can happen. Such luck that it was you who they asked!
Out of curiosity, I’m not interested in sparking off a debate about customer service, please can you let me know if your neighbour get it sorted out with Airbnb? Were there any problems getting rid of the original renters and getting them to cancel people they’d booked ?
I’m in Cambridge UK and am pondering whether to sell/ long term rent, my house would be perfect for short term rentals and it would be helpful to have as much info as possible. And how to ever avoid this happening to me :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I feel for everybody involved. A scared home owner that was feeling invaded. (Who knows why but in the scanario it seems to be true.) A neighbor that projects a protective perspective with very bad advice. An Airbnb guest that is expecting to enter a property that probably isn’t being met by the host. Door is unlocked so the guest goes in. The result is a shocked guest when the “host” is hostile to their entry. The homeowner has no clue why someone has entered their home and is scared and defensive. The Airbnb host has done everything right and has followed a remote access protocol that might have worked for years. Who is at fault isn’t the issue. The potential consequence is terrible from many perspectives. A call to the police would be in order by the scared homeowner. The police arrive on the scene in minutes. The guest is rattled and still confused as to what went wrong. They are sitting in their car when the police arrive. The police would enter the homeowners house and the homeowner would tell the police that they have just had a home invasion that scared them to death by the couple sitting in the car. The police would now be obligated to investigate the situation as a home invasion. The older couple would probably tell the officer what happened. The officer would very likely have to sort this out at the station. The Airbnb host may be oblivious to what just transpired. The hosts first understanding may be from a police officers call. The neighborhood now realizes that it could have happened to them.

I am sharing this because my wife and I could have easily fallen into this terrible scenario. We have been hosting for years. When we travel we like to stay at Airbnbs. We had a family gathering at an Airbnb in Montgomery Alabama. The host was not onsite and some of the communication with us was through a co-host. We were given an address with no additional instructions. There were two ways to enter this condo community. We came in from the south. Every condo seemed to look the same and two condos used a common driveway. Address numbers were not visible on the street mailboxes. Some condos had street numbers on the outside but at night they were very difficult to see. Exterior night lighting was probably not permitted.

We went around the block and missed it again. We sent a message through Airbnb app asking for help from the host. Nothing came back. On the third try we decided not to go around the block so we turned around in a driveway. As we were now going the other direction each mailbox had a house number on it. The numbers were only on one side and relatively small. The headlights showed us the way and we were able to find the right condo. The message from the host came after we got through the smart door lock and he was notified. He called a couple of minutes later and asked how we liked the condo. He did not get the message we sent from the car through the app.

My wife and I even dicussed knocking on a door to ask for directions. It was after after 9:00 pm and we both agreed that would not be a good idea.

We could have easily gone up the driveway that served two condos and walked into the wrong condo.

The biggest point I am making is this situation is not about firearms. It is about people that aren’t involved in the Airbnb transaction, hosts that are following their routine procedures and no one being right or wrong. Cascading risks can elevate many situations into situations that have long term impact.

1 Like

In aviation, my former occupation, we have the concept of the infamous “accident chain” and the connecting links that ultimately lead to an aircraft accident. If at any point leading up to the accident a link is broken by a sound decision, the accident is prevented. The rules, regulations, checklists, etc, all are designed to break the links of the chain. In circumstances not as regimented as aviation, the accident chain can be short, with few opportunities to prevent a problem. In rare instances we sometimes find a dreaded single point of failure, which leads to the situation where even if everything else goes right, a single misstep upsets the whole thing. Like entering a complex through the exit driveway, or turning left to go around the loop clockwise, and not seeing the address signs. If the exit or one-way nature of the loop was not well-posted or lit, it’s easy to do. Here I see two single points of failure! If there would have been better signage, OR just better instructions from the host (be sure to turn right when entering the complex), you would have had no trouble at all.

1 Like


“Hello we are here!”

“Hello, who are you?”

“We are the guests!”

“LOL ok you are at the wrong house…”

“Lol oops sorry.”

1 Like

I realize it might not be something that some older folks would think to do, not having grown up with all the helpful apps available now, but entering the address in Google maps will lead one right to the correct address, from whatever point the user happens to be.

It even shows you where the traffic is bottled up or flowing smoothly, in case there’s an alternate route you could take.
And street view will show you the house itself. (altho some areas that are off the beaten track don’t show up on street view)

I know for a fact that many of my younger guests do just that, as my house is hard to find.

It might be a good idea for hosts to suggest that to guests, especially if one’s place isn’t really easy to find, and drop a pin on Google maps with the name of your listing.

I agree with everything you just said. I was a medical device incident investgator for years. The first question would be…“did you follow the proper process”. Invariably the response would be yes. The digging would then begin. I have had two emergencies flying. Root cause analysis can be scary. Like in the Airbnb example, who would have thought signage on one side of a mailbox could have been the cascade start. The real world example of the couple going to the wrong door could happen to any of us.