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Help! Apt reeks of cigarettes from guest, new one arrives today..?

Well had my first incident. A younger couple turned my apt into a party spot I guess and the place reeks of cigarettes. To make things worse I have a guest arriving at 3pm. Does anyone know if Airbnb has a phone to get some guidance on how to resolve? The resolution center wants a documented estimate that is impossible to kniw at the moment. Help!!

I have to add I find it utterly ridiculous I can’t find a phone number for Airbnb. My guest arrives soon and I have no idea what to do with my apartment smelling like this and a nurse being my next guest. Equallly disappointed with airbnb and my previous guest.

Hi @craigmatic,

Sympathies about your annoying guest. I just wanted to point out that posts on this forum are editable, so you could just add to / edit your previous post.

I found https://www.tripping.com/industry/rental-companies/airbnb-customer-service with a quick Google. This post says something about “the reservation confirmation email” having a local phone number.

@craigmatic - stay calm. I’m sure that someone posted here recently about a device that would do the job. You can rent them. I think it was @felixcat who mentioned it. I guess you already have the windows and doors open and fans blowing towards the outside. Call rental centers and ask if they have anything that will help.

When your guest arrives, apologise profusely. The open windows and fans will demonstrate to her that you are trying. (It wasn’t your fault, after all). If necessary, do you have a local coffee shop or somewhere she can wait until you’ve dealt with the issue? If so, give her a gift card to the place (Starbucks or whatever). If she’s a reasonable person, she’ll understand your problem. Be upbeat but apologetic - and be confident that you can solve the situation for her. At very worst, you can tell her that you’d understand if she wanted to stay elsewhere. If she does you’ll have lost money but retained your reputation as a caring host.

The device is an ozone generator.

You can offer to refund her cleaning. I would make a claim using an estimate from a steam cleaning service… or some other professional company. I’ve had this happen only it was a mosquito coil. For the life of me I could not get that smell out. One coil releases the same particulate matter as 175 cigarettes. And a plethora of toxins. The guest agreed to pay 100 of their deposit for the damage. I thought the next guest would be appalled but they didn’t even seem to notice and left a five star review!

Thank you so much for the helpful responses guys, esp you jaquo. Your ideas were extremely helpful! I was definitely panicked earlier (as if you couldn’t tell). Even though I’ve done flood/fire clean up for 5 yrs now I knew I had no time to do a full and proper cleaning for cigarette smoke. Thankfully the guest was more than understanding and I spent the last 3 hours cleaning the place top to bottom, cleaned all linens, used that baking soda powder for carpets and that seems to have done the trick, for now. Afraid once the windows have been closed for while it will come back… Gunna drop her off some candels later tonight.
After she leaves(shes staying somewhat long though, 4 nights) I will use an ozone machine from work and I’ve been wanting to paint so I’m going to do that too.
But the thing that kills me is I guess we as hosts are basically on our own when this happens? And we just have to eat the cost of all this? Until the resolution claim is complete anyway

Ps- funny you say that kona, this guest didn’t notice either! Lol


Don’t leave candles as that is asking for other problems, what has worked for me and has done wonders with Miso cooking smells and my recent cig incident. A cup of water in the microwave with a few drops of lavender oil and 1 1/2 mins to make the water boil. Open the microwave and let the steam do it’s thing.


I had recent guests who seemed to have a romantic evening with candles. They were lovely people but the candle wax dripped onto the sofa and I haven’t been able to remove it yet. I have had to point out to current guests that it is candle wax and nothing more!

HI there!

Do you have a security deposit? If so, I would make a claim against that ASAP. You should charge previous guests an extra cleaning fee, plus the money to rent the ozone machine, plus the money for a carpet cleaning service.

If you have a no-smoking rule, airbnb should back you up. I would say you are owed at least $500 USD for the smoke clean-up.

If you don’t already have one, impose a No Smoking rule for your listing. State something to the effect of “smoking will not be tolerated on the premises. Any odor or evidence of smoking will incur an automatic fee of XXX from the security deposit.”

The threat alone will make people behave.

We have a no smoking rule in the rental but smoking is fine outside. We have many cigar smoking guests (no idea why) but they have always respected the rules and smoked outside. We also have a nearby cigar bar to cater to them. We supply outdoor ashcans. So far, I’ve never had a problem with guests smoking in the apartment. Mind you, because I am a smoker I probably wouldn’t smell it :slight_smile:

I have written as my first rule, no smoking inside the apartment. No candles were given fyi lol. And yes I have a $200 security deposit. I immediately made a claim through the resolution center but the offending guest has gone silent. I initially received a whole bunch of sorry text messages about how they didn’t think the smell was bad, that it was only 1 cigarette, they even were dumb enough to tell me the smoker was a friend of theirs! (unauthorized guest) This is my first time making a claim and I didn’t realize I would need all this proof (receipts/estimates) and I’m worried I won’t be able to get anything in time once the 72 hr period since there is currently a guest staying at the apartment until Friday.

Tbh I was planning to re-paint the place soon and replace the wearing down carpet(stuff gets worn down fast with so many guests!) and wouldn’t mind using the security deposit to pay for it!

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