Help with handling a demanding guest


We’re totally new to AirBnB. Our very first guest booked for six weeks. Great … we thought. But while he’s very kind and sweet, he has made a whole number of what I think are unreasonable requests. I’m wondering what experienced hosts think and what advice you might have on how to handle the situation.

So, he is renting a separate, self-catering cottage on our property. Here are the things he requested so far:

  • He asked for quite a bit of assistance setting up the the internet, though he now seems to have figured it out, but he still sends messages saying things like “Internet seems slow”, “Oh, now it seems okay”, “It’s slow on one website, but youtube seems okay”, etc. It works fine for us, so I think the problems relate to him own device.
  • international plug adapter
  • trampoline (he asked if by chance we had one he could lend, so he wasn’t demanding one, but still this is a weird request, right?)
  • a musical instrument please - I lent him my son’s guitar, he said he’d prefer a keyboard but it would do!
  • a grinder to grind seeds please (I said no, he bought one himself)
  • to attend to a small problem with the toilet cistern (which we did and which he assisted with which was fine)
  • to please give him a lift into town
  • to buy him some bottled water on our way home (we provide a water filter if he doesn’t like tap water)
  • to pick up some stuff at the pharmacy for him please
  • then another lift into town (said he’d find his own way home, but then a couple of hours phoned us, said he was stranded so we had to go fetch him too)
  • next day, wants a lift AGAIN (I said no as politely as possible, he seemed cool with that)
  • decided he doesn’t like sleeping on a bed, would prefer some kind of firm cushion to put on floor - gave him a camping mattress and advice about where to purchase cushions.
  • An old sheet to drape over an uncurtained decorative window - the listing photos quite clearly shows this window to be uncurtained. It’s a decorative, circular window.

Those are his requests for Week 1 of a six week stay.

I have a full-time job and a really busy month coming up and I just can’t handle receiving like five requests a day, including for lifts into and back from town! Nowhere in our listing does it suggest we provide transport and he had indicated that he would hire a car.

Advice please! I don’t want our first review to be a bad one, but I cannot attend to these non-stop requests!


1 Like

I agree that the requests are out of line. I’d say you need to tell him something along these lines, “I work full time elsewhere. This is a a self catering cottage for rent, I’m sorry it doesn’t meet your needs. Would you like me to call Airbnb and see if they can help you find a more suitable accommodation?” If he is sweet and kind he will get the hint and figure it out on his own. If he is not sweet and kind he will move to a different place and perhaps give you a poor review and then you’ll know. Remember reviews go both ways and I would not want to host his guest.


Oh dear. I think you really need to go through some of the older posts on here; you’ll find plenty with good advice on dealing with demanding guests from seasoned hosts. My first thought was that I would never accept a booking of six weeks for just such reasons, nor do Airbnb support hosts with bookings over 28 days I believe.

The longest booking I have had was for 4 weeks in our B&B. She was lovely but demanding, and not house trained. I needed to be quite blunt about several issues with her. I would suggest taking the bull by the horns, sit down to speak to him about what you can and cannot do for him, given the constraints of your job and other pressures. This doesn’t have to be confrontational, just what the reality is for you and the need to set clear boundaries with him. You are a provider of accommodation with your own life to get on with; you are not a taxi or courier service. If he needs transport, offer him info on car hire of a real taxi/Uber service.

If he doesn’t like it, he (not you…) can cancel and find somewhere else that is a better fit. Don’t worry about the review he leaves, it’s not worth it. I think Newbies should stick to short term guests in order to garner a good few reviews under their belt.

Good luck!


They do, we just advise not going longer than 28 or so due to tenancy laws. But those vary depending or state or country.


So I put that poor Australian women through the rigmarole of two separate bookings for nought…

Thanks for the great advice. I’m trying to be polite but firm with his requests and am hoping he gets the idea and develops some independence.

I’ve also changed my listing so that guests cannot stay for longer than two weeks. I think that’s best for now to avoid this kind of situation.


It really doesn’t work like this. Guests who are demanding generally don’t KNOW that they are being demanding and won’t “magically” get it. It is up to you, as the host, to be clear about what you can and can not offer. And, to make that work, you have to be willing to give up the income.


I’m totally willing to give up the income, actually, but I do have some sympathy for the guest who is clearly lonely and not in great health so I will ask him to leave only as a last resort. However, when I say I’m being firm, I mean I’m being clear about what I can (and cannot) provide. E.g. he just asked me again for a lift to the car hire place (yay!, he’s getting a car) and I said that I can’t provide lifts but gave him the details of a car hire place that will bring the car to him.

Anyway, thanks for the confirmation that these requests are not reasonable and that I cannot be expected to put up with them. As a new host, it wasn’t totally clear to me what is normal.


or a blimmin’ taxi!

Interested to learn that my post wasn’t quite 20 characters.

When I am asked for a ride I say: I charge for rides . It’s 10$ to ( where you want to go). I stayed in many Airbnbs and many hosts charge for rides .
All other requests: musical instruments … sorry I don’t have one… or if i had one and wanted to lend it I would.

I have all
Kinds of adapters so for me would be no problem.
If bed hurts his back and I had sleeping bed by all means let him sleep on a floor.

Pick up thing for him: that’s a no! If it’s happened to be in a store where i went shopping then sure I can pick up His meds

But unfortunately you aren’t being polite but firm, you are letting him walk all over you

Just read your long list of what you let have him have just in Week One again :slight_smile:

International plug adapter - no you direct him to the shop that sells them
Trampoline - is he having a laugh?
A musical instrument please - no don’t lend your personal family instruments to guests
Giving him a lift into town - No. direct him to a cab service
To buy him some bottled water on our way home - no he picks this up in town if he refuses to drink the perfectly adequate tap water
To pick up some stuff at the pharmacy for him please - no again he can pick this up in town
Then another lift into town and having to fetch him - no you didn’t have to do either - he’s not your child - he’s an adult.
Next day, wants a lift AGAIN - the first time he asked you should have said you are not able to provide a taxi services but here are some people who do.And the next time. And the next time…
Decided he doesn’t like sleeping on a bed, would prefer some kind of firm cushion to put on floor - you shouldn’t have given him anything but said if the advertised sleeping arrangement didn’t work for him, he was welcome to find accommodation that better suited his needs
An old sheet to drape over an uncurtained decorative window - if this lets light in and prevents guests from sleeping I would have arranged for this to be covered.

Unfortunately guests like this never get the idea. They will always be needy.

I do hope you are keeping a record on Airbnb messaging in case of disputes or you need to ask him to leave.

I agree sit down and have a friendly chat, emphasise this is a self catering arrangement and that you won’t be able to provide lifts, get him items in town or items not advertised as being in the listing.

Make sure you follow this up in a message via Airbnb.

If it’s not already on your listing, do put in up front that you need a car.

I agree start by taking short term bookings. I find 10 days - 2 weeks is as much as I can handle as I share a home.


I feel like you’ve set a precedent (especially with the taxi-ing/picking stuff up) and now he’s taking advantage.
Just say no from now on!
If plain old ‘no’ doesn’t work for you, here are some phrases you could try:

‘Sorry I can’t give you a lift, I’m not going that way’
‘I can’t pick that up for you, I’m not going past that store’
‘My son needs his guitar back for school’
‘Here is the number for the local cab/hire car company’
‘Sorry to hear you’re struggling with the internet. It’s fine on our end, it must be your device’

Don’t reply to his messages immediately either. Finish what you’re doing and reply when you get time. You have a life that doesn’t revolve around him and he needs to learn you’re not at his beck and call. Hopefully it won’t be long before he gets the message

This guest needs to book at Mommybnb next time. :laughing::laughing::laughing::baby_bottle::baby_bottle::baby_bottle::baby_bottle:



Just curious why you weren’t curious that your guest was staying for six weeks…without transportation.

To retrieve your guitar from him, trade it with another musical instrument, a comb and wax paper (harmonica)… :grin:

Ask him if he still needs a grinder to grind seeds. Then give him two rocks.

(My mission is to solve problems.)


Our place is in a small town and we’re only ten minutes walk into town AND he indicated beforehand he’d be hiring a car. So that was why we weren’t curious about how he’d move around. But his health is poor (so ten minutes walk doesn’t seem doable for him) and I think he can’t afford to hire a car for the whole time period so when he got here he said he’d just hire one from time to time. It seems that in the gaps, he’s hoping we’ll give him rides, esp. as it’s not like it’s super far to take him into town and he says things like “If you’re going into town tomorrow morning, could I have a ride”. But still …

Anyway, I’m just going to be very firm from now on and see how it goes.

As for the rocks :rofl:


I wouldn’t even say that you aren’t going that way or past that store, then it will allow him to think of another place or store.

Just best to be firm. I know it’s hard now that he’s successfully walked all over you.

I give the analogy of the kindergarten class. As a sub who frequently teaches this age, you have to give them boundaries at the beginning of the day to set your expectations. If you don’t do it they will run amok and you will have the day from hell trying to control them.

So I would just have a talk with him. Mention that you can’t give any more rides or do any more extra favors. You are just touching base to make sure this cottage is a fit and you will be happy to work with Air to reaccomodate him.

In fact if it were me, I would call Air and ask them to cancel this one. You don’t need a big baby, you need a more self sufficient guest.

In the future, don’t take long term guests. You don’t want to get stuck with a klunker for that long. Not until you know what you’re doing.

Just my two cents.


I know I’m in the minority here, but with him being elderly and in too poor of health to walk far, I know that either my husband or myself would pick up those items for him but the difference would be that it would be at a time of our convenience and no more than once a day. For any other trips, though, he’d be asked to use Uber or a taxi.

I probably would have lent him my guitar, too, since it would be nice to have someone play it … I bought it with the intention of learning but just never got around to it.

I commend the OP for their kindness to a fellow human being.


“No” is the magic word. People don’t expect it but when used seem to respect it.

You are renting out an equipped space as advertised. Other than that your responsibility is finished. Yes, I do lend an international plug adapter as most my guests arrive from foreign countries unarmed and I know the feeling but that is as far as it goes. Can you imagine my adding a trampoline to their room? Give me a break.

If after saying no, if he insists, wouldn’t it be better if he called Airbnb to ask for a place that is equipped to provide his needs?

He can’t walk 10 minutes but he wants to jump on a trampoline? Odd


Tu, I see your point… but this goes beyond needy IMHO. It may be good to be kind but honestly… when does kindness translate into doormat? When does feeling sorry for a guest turn into resentment, and saying to yourself… man this dude is becoming a major PITA?

Many of us here are in the position of caring for aging parents, and this feels too much like that. If the guest is this helpless and needy, he should not be traveling at all.