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Help needed! How to refuse a guest?


Yes! I always focus on the guest when I need to say no. Just expand a little on your “not a good match” issue.

“Thank you so much for your interest in our place. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be a good fit for your group because I’m afraid you might feel restricted and not fully enjoy your stay.”


It’s the host equivalent of “It’s not you, it’s me.” :slight_smile:


…This is going to hurt me more than it does you… :slight_smile:


Thank so much for all of this collective wisdom! I haven’t had time to reply to this fella yet today, but oddly enough I got another inquiry for the same time period. However… I’m not going to use any excuses, not even that one.

I’m going to put together something from the many great suggestions. @dcmooney I think your suggested straightforwardness is how I need to handle this. Because we cater to larger groups I, unfortunately, will have to state that we’ve had issues with groups of young men. Although we’re a golf haven in the green months they didn’t dwell on that as an activity, so I’m not able to use that in my reasons. I’ll also state that they won’t have the burden of having to keep a large group of young men quiet for the families in our neighborhood. I’ll end it off by saying that I hope they return in 5-10 years with their families.


Be very careful going there. I’m not sure you can say groups of young men without impunity.


I think that should be “with impunity”.


Lol yes Faheem good catch :wink:


Yes, I’m a little concerned about that - one of my original reasons for posting the question. I want to be straightforward but being honest about it might come back to bite me. I cannot really say that we don’t cater to large groups, though, as my listing clearly shows the number that we allow.


I thought I’d give an update on this thread so people that have offered input know the outcome…

The extended family group has confirmed their booking so I’m off the hook from this questionable rental… yeah!

I know I may get lambasted for this, but in the end I did chicken out and was not straightforward about declining them. I wanted to state the truth, but there were too many “if’s” in my mind (discrimination issues on just about every level) and I took to heart the warnings that y’all gave (thanks!).

Since it was about 5 weeks from the first inquiry to wanting to book I didn’t feel that I needed to rush into my response. Thankfully the other booking came in. He sounded quite disappointed and pushed back a little, as though it was his only option.

So I thought I’d try to help him find another place - possibly somewhere that there is a property manager on site. There were quite a few places available for a group of 12, so in my response, rather than pick one in particular, I mentioned that there are many places available, and wondered if there was a particular reason they wanted to book our place?

I haven’t heard back yet, but I strongly suspect it is so that they can bring in another few extra guests - there are far fewer places that will hold 16+ people. Unfortunately, this happens all too often where people will book for 10 guests, for example, but I can see that 15 beds were used and they didn’t pay the extra guest fees. If they don’t say anything at all, I’ll be even more certain this is the reason they’re pushing to rent ours.

So this worked out well for me this time, but still a conundrum on what to do if this happens again.


What I normal do to deter this type of young group party minded booking?

" Thanks for your inquiry. Just want to know what is the purpose of your trip? :). Birthday party? Wedding? Celebration? Friends catch up? Etc.

If they say birthday party or friend catch up. I will tell them
" Hopefully there won’t be any party at my house ? :slight_smile: Our neighbors are building manager or our neighbors very sensitive for noise they called police and me last time when my previous group had party. "

Then party booking guests disappeared.

Some people even admitted they plan to have party . I will tell them I can’t host party here . It won’t be a pleasant party if neighbors called police and you guys have to leave. I educate them "most of high raise building won’t suit their purpose, try other standalone house not too close to city and check with host first "

Once I had someone ask if I can host a bachelor’s party at my CBF luxury penthouse apartment. They are very honest said they will hire stripers too. I almost choked . Glad he asked me in front . So I told them no and advised them most airbnb won’t allow bachelor party especially with stripers lol, maybe try hotel. It was very funny


Hi @Crystalscholar. I actually do this, as well. My first response was to ask for more information about the nature of their visit, info about the guests, and I even say “please consider that our home is in a family neighborhood and the neighbors will complain if there is excess noise, or any noise past 10pm”.

Actually, in this case I also forwarded our rental policies and mentioned that there is an update (after reading a thread on here about reasons for not allowing smokers). The update being that we no longer allow any smoking on the premises, even outside, because our security cameras show that people are outside smoking at night and it might be disturbing our neighbors, and we want to avoid escorting people from the property for noise after 10pm.

That does normally put off people planning on having a party. And I suspect it’s the reason I didn’t hear from him for a month. Eventually he wrote back to say it’s a friends trip to just get away for the weekend, told me about them all and mentioned the activities they wanted to partake in… but it still just didn’t sit right with me.


stay out of it. Dont help. Done is done and over and out. Dont explain…dont be in such a tizzy to be honest. Say no, it is no, …move on.


Do you have a security camera on the doors so you see who is coming and going? Say only registered guests allowed, no unregistered visitors and make them pay. As soon as you see 16 people troop into the house you message them. Also if you disclose the camera maybe it will deter those who want to sneak in extra guests.


It’s horrible being put in this position @CanadianHost - but please remember that this is YOUR property and YOUR rules and you don’t actually owe anyone anything. What I do when I don’t feel happy accepting a booking is simply decline and say “I don’t feel you are a good fit for my listing. There are many places in this area which would better suit your needs, I’m happy to make recommendations. All the best!” Works every time…so far!


We put in a security camera just a month ago. It is an Arlo Pro. The first group after that clearly had many more than they registered for. I did write to her and ask how many people were in the house. They were having an early Christmas celebration / gift exchange and she told me the some of the guests would be leaving shortly.

Even when I didn’t have a camera I would sometimes mention our security camera just to deter groups that I wasn’t comfortable with.

My rules clearly state that all Visitors are considered guests and must be registered. It also states that the fee (fine) for an unregistered guest is higher than one that is registered. There were SO many issues with this group (my contact was nice but oh-so-ditsy) and I just didn’t want to continue to go around in circles so I let it go… but boy! was I glad to see them leave.


I don’t understand the problem with the group being all male:
I know:

  • Girls/women that party a lot harder than most of the guys I know.
  • Girls/women that take a lot less care.
  • Girls/women that are way dirtier.
  • Girls that lie a lot more about there intentions.
  • Guys that aren’t less pig because there wifes are around.
  • Families not that young anymore that still party like pigs.

I guess the problem is just renting to large groups. So don’t put it on an only-young-male group. For all you know it’s a bookclub, nerds playing videogames… If you rent to any kind of group they could even be filming a pornographic movie in your place. God knows what people do :sweat_smile: when they rent an entire house.

I guess the most important thing is to make them fully accountable for there actions and damages they may cause.
Damages = Pay all the bills of repairs and income lost, also a fine to cover your stress. A very good insurance contract?
Complaining neighbors = eviction by the police.

I haven’t got a clue if and how these two thing can be made reality, but I think you should think along these lines.

And for sure at first contact enquire what there exact intentions are.

Good luck!


@GutHend I’ve been doing this now for MANY years and things have shifted in the past 5-10 years. Sure, I don’t see what actually happens inside the house, but I can certainly speak into how we find the house and whether or not neighbors complain.

We do not allow either bachelor or bachelorette parties in our home - NO parties at all. Yes, some people will try to get away with things. in the past ~3 years (since changing wording significantly) I’ve had many female groups back out, admitting they cannot promise there won’t be late-night noise. Male groups will tell me they can keep it under control (they don’t).

Here is what my experience tells me:

  • The house is left better with women groups. The kitchen is left clean. There are no “extra” things to clean up. I’ve had no complaints from neighbors. They have followed our Check-out list. Yes, I have found indications that there were male strippers, which I don’t want in my home and I deal with much more strongly now, and also have installed a camera.
  • With guy groups I’ve found: damage and/or missing items. The kitchen needs to be cleaned. Having to clean up vomit and other disgusting “extra” things. Complaints from neighbors. Furniture and even mirrors moved.

So for me, at least, over many years my experience has been the opposite of what you’ve stated. I wonder… are you referring to acquaintances of yours, or are you speaking from experience of hosting guys vs girls groups? I cannot imagine that people are that different based on location.

Yes, I’ve had those all-male groups that are the nerdy type that I just sense will be okay. You can often tell how a group will be by their communication (but not always).


Hey CanadianHost, I didn’t want to imply that girls are worse, I just wanted to say that one never knows and that nobody should be declared guilty until proven otherwise. When I was in my late 20’s I could easily put together a group of very decent guys (all friends :slight_smile:) who would leave your property clean and tidy, while also being able to put together a group of girls (no friends of mine!) that would totally trash your place.

We just rent out two rooms in our apartment for a maximum of 4 people in total, so to be honest I can’t really relate to your “big group-party-people-dilema”. I was just thinking that me, being you, would probably feel uncomfortable with a large percentage of the groups presenting themselves.

If, with all the experience you already have, feel uncomfortable with them, just tell them or invent any other good reason to shush them away. Maybe your painter finally gave you the days he can paint your house and that is exactly that week “unfortunately”. :grin:

A very interesting question of course is: What legal basis do we have to refuse people to stay? Or are we able to refuse anyone we dis-like…

Another question: What was your problem with the stripper? Wasn’t he registered or don’t you want strippers in your place?


Yes, that’s the problem with just being able to honestly say why you are declining.

By the way, it’s also obvious that there have been both male AND female strippers (cards left behind - duh - stripper underwear packaging in the garbage, feathers on the floor and worse).

But, truthfully, this is also our family vacation home and this goes against our values. I do not want these activities taking place in our home. I feel icky coming into our home knowing that has been how it was used. I also think the neighbours would gasp if they saw someone walking up to the house knowing what their intent was.

… but that is likely another topic. I’m just answering your question, not trying to sidetrack the thread.


Any group of 12 would make me uncomfortable!