Help I am a newbie and just had horrible guests

I have a high end house in the Hamptons, ny. we just had our second guest leave and they made a hole in the wall. I sent her a picture and a bill and she declined and sent a bill back to me claiming the house was full of bugs, the pool was filthy and there was no security system. in my welcome letter and house rules, I clearly state our house is in the country and there are critters here–even describing who and what they might see, deer, raccoons, turkeys, ants, ticks. i say we have bug control and let them know there are ant traps under the sink, just in case. further, I tell them we have pool service once a week, but that the pool is under the trees and as leaves do, they might fall if it is windy or rains. we leave a net and tell them it is theirs to use if the leaves that fall between weekly cleanings bother them. it clearly states we do not have a security system. so after I sent the bill, she sent one back for the same amount claiming bugs (though she left a sink full of watermelon pieces so clearly ant control is not her concern), the pool was filthy (I’m here now and about to go swimming) and that the house lacked a security system. further, we were in contact at least five or six times in her first few hours because there was an issue with her code and she didn’t say a word. I already called Airbnb and they’ve escalated this, but not a great welcome to Airbnb, particularly if ir is going to cost me 500 bucks on an 800 stay each time. btw, our first guests were just fine. I’m braced for a horrible review, but geez, shouldn’t this have happened after 20 guests, or 30, but the second time. advice?

That must be nice for you. Do you charge extra for the ants?

Also, can I sell you a paragraph, or two?

JF

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Ah, sorry you got a jerk guest right out of the gate!

Have your other guests left reviews yet? Do you have a decent number of future reservations booked? (I’m worried how a bad review could affect your listing’s success.)

Was this a hole in drywall? Do you have any idea what caused it? How big are you talking? I ask because $500 is steep for patching a hole. We get dings in the drywall from people hauling bags up the stairs. Airbnb will often chalk this up as “wear & tear”, considered a cost of doing business, unless the damage was caused by real neglect.

The tit-for-tat when you requested damages is BS. Reply professionally. Air’s CS people will probably read the correspondence, so lay out your argument there. I’d start with something like…

Dear guest,
Airbnb’s policies require you to raise any guest issue during your stay. We were in touch with you several times during your stay and at no time did you bring a single complaint to our attention. Your request for refund is unfounded and meant to derail the discussion about damage you caused to our property. So let’s set that aside.
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/544/what-is-airbnb-s-guest-refund-policy-for-homes

We gathered 3 quotes from licensed contractors to repair damage caused to the wall. (Go into detail about how big the hole was, that this was damage far beyond wear & tear, the steps required to fix it properly)

…basically lay out why this cost is justified.

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I had an incident where a guest did damage the bath overflow. I took pictures called ABB then had a guy come and fix it the next day and again I sent ABB the bill. When the plumber fixed it I send a message to the guest who, of course, said he didn’t do it.
I didn’t bitch about it, I said in a very professional manner this is broken and since it was working when you arrived it must be you who damaged it.
Then ABB sided with me and reimbursed me.
If you have pics and a bill of repairs they will most likely reimburse you.

I know it is horrible when someone damages your home, but, as I said, if you have pics and a bill, you are golden.

Yikes. I don’t think a single mention of his house being "high end’ really warranted that level of snark.

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Thank you. I was feeling a bit shaken; your kind words helped

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@jrnlmkr you have already received great advice on your claim and response to this horrible guest.

Can I suggest if you haven’t already that you install CCTV or similar if you are hosting remotely.

Can I also ask how you vet your guests - do you ask for photo ID? Do you ask why they chose your place and plans for their stay to help you understand if there is a good fit? Do you check their previous reviews?

This will help you ensure (in as much as you can) that guests are a good fit for your property.

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God, I hate that kind of tit for tat behavior.

Can you tell how the hole happened? Was it an accident, or negligence? Or did someone have a temper tantrum?

Remember, you get to leave a review, too. And she won’t get to see what you read before she writes hers, so there is no reason to hold back.

To make sure the review doesn’t get pulled, don’t mention there is an ongoing Airbnb case. Just say that they damaged your property and left food waste in the sink.

Snark, what a wonderful word.

High end, not in the tropics + ants kinda paints a mental picture to me.

Plus the wee lefty in me always grates when someone describes their place as “high end”, it has a ring of something about it…

JF

I’ve never been exactly sure what ‘high-end’ means. I’ve heard it said many times in the States but in so many different ways that it’s never been clear to me. However…

I’m also not quite sure what this means either. I’ve been hosting for many years and have never had bad guests. It’s not an invitable thing that’s going to happen to all hosts.

If you’re a remote host, what has your co-host had to say about this? Weren’t they (or you) contacted during the stay? If not then the guest has nothing to complain about as any issues should have been reported to the host or co-host at once so that they could be rectified. (Although it does sound in this instance that the guests weren’t expecting the place to be so rural - and therefore were unused to ants, ticks and so on).

The $500 seems like a lot of damage for no good reason if done deliberately. Any idea why the guests did this? It’s notoriously a long and stressful process to get money from guests via Airbnb - what does your insurance company say?

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It’s the Hamptons. This will book again in a New York minute. I suspect your pricing may even be a bit low for the area. Because these people don’t have a clue.

Whatever the outcome, a nice Ring system is a very good idea no matter what.

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One of the guests, several months ago, must have slammed the front door open as there was a hole in the drywall behind the door the size of a cell phone. While I wanted to charge the guest for the repair, I felt I should have had a door stopper or something behind the door to avoid damaging the wall. I covered the hole with a plastic circle I bought at Home Depot that is meant to protect walls from door knob damage…

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I think it was my 5th guest that did significant damage, including pushing two door knobs through walls and breaking the door stoppers that were supposed to prevent it.

The drywall damage was the least of the damage, though.

@JohnF Snark is a great word, isn’t it? Ranks right up there with lollygag, bloviate & kerfuffle.

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High end means we have a 4000 dollar European oven, grohe fixtures in both bathrooms, a sink that cost $5000, vintage Murano chandeliers.

Wow @jrnlmkr i’m not sure I would be listing that type of property, unless I took a substantial deposit on Airbnb and had a comprehensive home insurance policy for STR and even then I would hesitate.

I would also be making sure my place was of similar pricing to comparable listings and be vetting my guests before accepting a booking.

Have your read through the Airbnb guarantee and understood the many exemptions it has, including for expensive single items which are not covered by this policy.

You haven’t said yet how the guest damaged your wall - what happened exactly.

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Thank you - another good definition.

Do you feature these items in your listing? If so I can imagine that the guests might find it odd that these items were in the same property as one with ants, ticks, leaves in the pool etc.

As Helsi said, what was it that caused the damage to the wall? Was it deliberate?

Oh wow… i am sorry that you don’t have a high end house too, John. I guess you make up for that with your grammar.

I’d consider my place “low end” but I’m not going to marker it that way lol.

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Maybe I do have what some would describe as a “high end” house, but you don’t know that :slight_smile: on the other hand, maybe we host in an old shoebox, under a tree, next to a waste disposal plant, with hot and cold running ants.

Anyway, your sympathy is noted and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that you care.

JF

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