Help Needed Please....Two Questions

Two problems: My husband and I disagree on leaving a bad review for someone who booked for 4 guests: 20, 20, 24 and 50. We accepted the booking because he said a 50 year old would be there. No 50 year old showed up. I saw them arrive on cameras and leave with only 3. Review time ends in a couple of hours.

Secondly: This weekend a family booked for 4, when I asked she added that she has 3 children and 2 adults. The children are 10, 8, and 3. Our setup is a bunch of stairs and no childproofing and a hot tub and fire pit. Each floor has a bedroom. I am worried about the 3 year old and expressed that to the guests. We say we are not equipped for children. Her response was she wasn’t worried. I accepted her, but should I change the wording on my listing to say no children under a certain age?

We live in Louisiana and our cabin is in NC. We look at cameras only to insure how many arrive and leave.

Any insights would help. CC

Was it a third party booking? Sounds like the 50 year old made the reservation. I would give them a negative review, especially if they left the place a mess.

As for the second scenario, I would change the wording.


I never quite understand when a host asks if they should leave a “bad” review, yet only mention one thing the guest did that wasn’t okay. Try not to think of reviews as “good” or “bad”- they are meant to be honest. So you should write about both the negatives and the positives. In the first case, the guest appears to have lied to you, so I would mark them down on communication, but of course if they left the place clean and followed house rules, you would speak favorably to that.

In the second case, the only thing you can change regarding ages of children is to check that it is unsuitable for children under 12. Does your listing state that? Is that what you mean by “We say we are not equipped for children?” If you do, why did you accept this booking?
You can mention in your listing info about the possible hazards for young children, but there is no place to say that you don’t accept children under 5, for instance.

If you want to be able to accept children under 12, (doing otherwise would effectively eliminate families from your bookings) then what you have done, letting the guests know about the concerns for little ones seems like a good thing to do. Some parents might be inattentive, but certainly not all are. I have a 3 year old granddaughter, and her mom would never take her eye off her in a strange situation where there could be hazards that aren’t present at home. And as far as the stairs go, 3 year olds don’t generally fall down stairs, and plenty of guests with children have stairs at home, too- my granddaughter’s been going up and down stairs on her own since she was 2, as did all of my own kids. If the stairs are too steep for them , they usually go down on their bum, a step at a time. The ages I’d be concerned about with stairs are toddlers 1-2 and a half years old who may not be that steady on their feet yet.


If you are going to limit rentals to certain ages you need to state this clearly in the listing. In terms of someone booking for 4 and bringing 3, I don’t see a problem with that unless you feel they lied to get around a stated policy. Was there any other problem with their stay? If not I don’t see how a “bad” review is justified. Maybe I don’t understand since I don’t engage in age discrimination at my rental.

Same with the second booking. Set rules and follow them. If you don’t want to allow children then state that clearly, follow up with guests and don’t let them book if they have an age you don’t accept.


I say in my listing not suitable for under 12s as I have a pond in my garden and an open fire in my dining room.

Has the second set of guests exceeded your maximum limit - if so that would be grounds for doing a penalty free host cancellation. If not and they booked for four but have five staying then they need to amend the booking.

In the first scenario when you realised the 50 year old guest wasn’t staying, what did the booking guest say when you asked them about it.?

I just had this happen to me. My listing clearly states that it’s not suitable for children under 12. (Stairs, tv not bolted to walls, pond, cleaning chemicals on lower shelves.)

I ask certain questions when a guest books so it usually becomes obvious if there are kids and/or third-party booking . This time the guest actually disclosed a child. When I ask how old she said almost 2. That would have meant the child would stay free. I might have agreed if the child was 10 or 11 but heck no.

Instead of declining, I ask them nicely if they could withdraw their request since it is in my listing and that their request doesn’t meet my requirements. They agreed and cancelled the request. This way the decline doesn’t go against me. I almost never decline so it wouldn’t have been a big deal but I saw no reason to have to take a hit for something that was clearly disclosed in my list.

There are settings in the listing that you can check off for no infants and no children under 12. In addition to these, I also have it mentioned in my listing and it’s because it’s not childproof.

In regards to first review, I’m on the fence. If it was a third party booking, based on the questions ask when I get a booking it would have become apparent and usually I just ask that one of the other’s creates an account and I’ll help them transfer the booking. I just had an amazing couple who were 19 years old and I just had a horrible guest who was 80. It’s possible that the 50 year old has a problem and wasn’t able to come. (Doubt it but…) I would have addressed the issue when I saw it on the camera and asked. You don’t really know what happened.