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Help needed! How to refuse a guest?


I had a group contact me about a month ago asking questions about booking a long weekend in May. I just got an uneasy feeling about renting to them - 12 men in their late 20’s for a guys getaway (minimum age to rent is 25). Sounds like a stag weekend to me, and my rules clearly state that we do not permit stags or parties, we’re in a quiet family neighborhood. I was relieved that he didn’t reply…

… until now. He wrote again a couple of days ago saying he wanted to proceed with the booking. I wrote back, and this time sent him our Rental Policies and asked him to give me detailed information about the guests. (This actually came in through VRBO, but the same principals apply.)

He replied that he read through our policies and agrees to them all. On “paper” they look fine, but I’ve had too many bad experiences with groups of all young men, and (I’m sorry to say) I’ve definitely found that some young men of certain cultures think rules don’t apply to them. The last time I had this scenario they did over $1000 damage to the house.

So I’m looking for some feedback on how to say “no” to this group. My “spidey senses are tingling” and I just know I’d be fretting about this group for the next 5 months if they were to book.


What if you were honest and said you need a $100 per person damage deposit? Let’s face it that’s not that much per person and if I had a big house I’d probably have a deposit that high.

Or you just decline and don’t offer any explanation.


Maybe just say ‘sorry it’s no longer available’. And hit ‘not comfortable’.


"Dear Guest,

After discussing with my partner, I will unfortunately have to decline your inquiry. Our recent groups of all adults have caused disturbance issues with our neighbors. In order to maintain a good relationship with our neighbors, we have decided to only rent to family groups moving forward. I hope you are able to understand our situation, and let me know if I can help you find a better suited rental in the area."


Yes, our damage deposit works out to approximately that amount. While it’s really annoying to have to repair damage, the thing I’m most concerned about is disturbing our neighbors. If that much careless damage is done I can only imagine how noisy and drunk they must have been.


Something like this would be along the lines I was thinking… but does it sound plausible to say that we don’t rent to only adult groups?

And if I were to alter that to say we don’t rent to all-men or all young male groups I might be in danger of gender or age-related discrimination.


Why can’t you just tell him that he’s not a good fit or something?


I have heard of some people with large homes saying that they don’t rent to groups of unrelated adults, or they don’t rent to groups of male golfers. I am not sure how they note that policy in their listing though.

@KIKC - are you one who doesn’t rent to all male golf groups?


My first reply to every request is “we are in a quiet family neighborhood and it is very important that guests strictly observe the bylaws of no noise between 10pm and 8am. Please consider this when deciding if our home is a good fit.”

Now we’ve had three emails back & forth and he insists that they will be respectful of our rules. I’m wishing I had just refused from the beginning but quite a bit of information has now been exchanged.

A big indicator that concern me… first is that he waited for over a month to get back to me. I suspect he went looking for another whole-house rental and couldn’t either secure one or it wasn’t in his price range; so now he’s trying to book something knowing that things might get out of hand and suffer the consequences - at least he’ll get something. But I’m the one that suffers long-term.

I might have to bite the bullet and just say something like you’ve suggested. I was hoping to give a little more of an explanation.


I believe @georgygirlofairbnb might have experience with all male group issues and declining them.


One of the toughest parts of hosting is having the cojones to be honest and professional. This is an opportunity for you to grow as a person as well as a host. I struggle with it all the time - but we have to embrace it to become better at this job.

If you were in his shoes, and we are all in those shoes at some point in our lives, right? When we’ve goofed or offended but the people don’t have the kindness to be honest with us? Wouldn’t you just want to be told:

"I’m very uncomfortable renting to a large group of young men. I apologize for not being very clear immediately. I assumed when you read my strict rules you would choose to not book my home. I’ve had several bad experiences with groups of young men, and learned that large groups of young adult men = parties which means damage to my property and problems with my neighbors. The damage is expensive, yes, but worse, it is time consuming and can force me to cancel future bookings. No security deposit can cover me for the wear and tear on me as I run around having to get repairs made.

As such I’m not able to take the risk of renting to your group. I hope you find a great place and have a great weekend, and again apologize for not informing you promptly"

Don’t make up a story about renting only to families (and posts on here will prove that that is hardly fail-safe, or the dates, or whatever crap. We owe it to our guests to be upfront and honest.


That is correct. My place is not well suited for groups of male golfers. My place is not “resort managed” so they don’t get advanced tee times, free transportation and valet golf club service. With close to 1000 other rentals on the island their are plenty of places that would be better for them.


I would agree with most of that but I would definitely remove any reference to gender.

I would simply say ‘large groups’.


Thank you for your inquiry.
My brain went out to lunch during the holidays.
This property is not a good fit for the needs of your group.
I recommend that you book a resort managed property,
so that your group can get advanced tee times,
free transportation
and valet golf club service.
We strive to accept guests who are a good match so that we can maintain our 5 star ratings.
Thank you again.
Kind Regards -


oh, very smart, @Zandra


Curious if you have ever had push back from an all male group saying “oh but no problem…your place is perfect for us so we would like to go ahead and book anyway.”


Ask for $2,000 security deposit.


I dont say that I wont accept the group because you are male.
I just say we are not a good match, or based upon your questions your group will not be happy here, or something like that.
I usually also make a recommendation for a more suitable match - Ie: “resort managed”, “downtown in walking distance to restaurants”, “large beachfront on golf course”, etc.
I stress the reason is because I only want 5 star reviews, and prefer not to accept groups who I feel are not a good match.


$2000 wont cover the stress to the neighbors when they party it up, park in the wrong places, or pass out on the front porch.


Just today I refused a booking asking if they can bring their two dogs to our farm. In the past I would have asked more about the dogs and provide strict rules. We don’t list as pet friendly either. After six of our sheep were killed by local pet dogs recently I had no problem saying dogs are not allowed with no other explanation. I guess it comes with experience.