Help With Reviewing a Meh Guest!

Hi there, I was hoping for some insight on how to review a very average, not great but also not horrible guest. I’m doing this more in order to help out potential future hosts so I wanted to hear input on how to address it!

The guests were a married couple and a 7 month old baby. I’m happy to go into more detail if needed, but they were not communicative, did not seem particularly friendly, left a LOT of trash for three days (willing to let this one go but figured I would mention it here). The biggest thing however is that they were exceptionally loud. I understand a family with an infant is going to be chaotic and noisy, but the baby was hardly the source of the noise. Just a lot of cabinets/drawers slamming loudly, chairs scraping across the tile floor loudly, talking loudly, etc. Guests are well informed before booking that we live upstairs, and all other guests up until now have seemingly been mindful of this (even with babies). The noise ended at a decent hour but started as early as 5:30 every morning.

Again, it wasn’t anything super serious and the noise (while annoying) wasn’t bad enough to warrant us sending them a message during their stay, however I’m unsure of how to review these guests. Other than the trash they left the place in decent shape.

I don’t want to come off as a nit-picky host which I know can be a bad look also. However, it feels like a lie saying “they were great guests and I would host again!”. That also doesn’t feel helpful to other hosts.

Thoughts?? Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

But it’s bad enough to warrant bringing it up in a review after their stay? It seems a bit unfair to not have said something when you had the chance.


Do you publish quiet hours? If you do, do you reiterate them to guests during the house tour? Noise is a very important issue for me because our complex is tiny and noise travels very easily. If I had guests who were making a noise at 5.30am I’d be straight there knocking on the door.

Yes, I’m up at that time but most people aren’t. My neighbours certainly aren’t. So I’d definitely want to know about noise issues and 5.30 am seems to be thoughtless of them to me.

That being said, Brian has a very valid point. So many times hosts here have been venting about a bad review they received and say ‘if only the guests had told me when I was here, I’d have done something about it’ and it works both ways.

As hosts, we want to know if there’s a problem because we don’t want any issues to be mentioned in the review.

So moving forward, it would be a good idea to mention any issues directly to the guest rather than wait until the review. If they are told and still make a noise then by all means give them hell in the review. On the other side of the coin your fellow hosts, well me at least, want to know about noise problems.


Is this a shared room type listing? Or a private unit? I would only mention something in the review if the first. Also mention shared space, otherwise you could make it seem like they were getting noise complaints from neighbors.

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Some people are just loud. I have a neighbor across the road like that- she’ll be sitting outside talking on the phone, yelling into the phone like it’s tin can and string technology and I can hear the entire side of her conversation. Yells across the yard to her son, bangs things around, slams doors. She’s not a bad person at all, she’s just loud.
I agree with the others here that you ought to have said something to them after the first loud morning- just because people know you live upstairs doesn’t mean they are aware of how the sound travels. Some homes are quite sound-proof from one area to the other, some not at all.


“Guests were nice enough, and clean enough, but a bit too noisy in the early morning hours. We didn’t have published quiet hours (until now); but loud talking, noisy footsteps, loud conversations and cabinet door slamming that starts at 5:30 AM is a bit much when we live upstairs!”

5:30 cabinet slamming and general noise? I sure would have mentioned it to them on the spot: “We live upstairs, and your slamming around at 5:30 is not very conducive to our getting a good night’s sleep. Please keep things quiet until 8.”


I get this issue from an occasional guest (I live below) and really the only thing I hear is heavy walking. I mention this in the listing but there are just some guests that can’t walk quietly. I just remind myself that I’m making money to cover my mortgage. I don’t mention it in my reviews.


I know it’s annoying especially if you’re a light sleeper but if you mention that they were noisy with cabinets, doors, etc, potential guests reading the review might see it as picky. They might think twice about booking your place. I would just let it go.


I wouldn’t let it go. That’s because noise is a big thing for me and I’m going to assume that it is for some other hosts too. And especially during quiet hours. I would truly want to know.

Like plenty of other hosts, I use IB so don’t go though all that palaver of reading reviews and then deciding to accept or decline. However, if I read something I don’t like in the review I can say during the house tour “I saw that you stayed with Lauren recently and she gave you a good review and said that you were noisy early in the morning. Of course, you probably didn’t realise that the sound travelled. But please do me a favour and be as quiet as you can because sound travels so much here and we don’t want to trouble the neighbours. Thanks so much! Now, what a lovely baby he is, how old is he…” Blah blah blah.

So please mention it. It doesn’t have to be a ‘bad’ review. Just honest.


Thanks everyone for your help. It’s a tough line to walk. We advertise our space as private (it is and more often than not we don’t even meet our guests in person), however we make it abundantly clear in the listing that we live upstairs. It seems as though all other guests so far have been very considerate of that.

I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t want to come off as an anal host that will nit-pick everything a guest does that’s slightly unsatisfactory, you know? And then risk getting a not-so-great review in return (still new to Airbnb so good reviews are important). And honestly, if they had been friendly and were responsive to my messages, the noise definitely would have bothered me less. Sometimes it’s hard to remove yourself from what could be your own bias if that makes sense.

My personal opinion is that their noise level, while not alarmingly bad, could perhaps disturb other guests in a shared space or may disturb a noise-sensitive host if they live on the premises. It really depends on people’s levels of tolerance. I was really trying to determine if it was worth mentioning that in a review to warn other hosts at the risk of me coming off as a picky host.

It might be worth considering that the fact that you don’t meet your guests could be part of the problem. I’m not saying that it is but my experience is that guests are ‘better’ when they have a personal connection with their host, even if it is just a ten minute greet and house tour. Just food for thought.

As you’ve seen from the replies, there’s no right and no wrong but (even though our apartments are not shared spaces) I would want to know about noise issues, especially before dawn.

Yeah, I’m definitely re-considering our “self check-in” policy and attempting to meet our guests whenever possible. Although so far the majority of our guests have arrived after dark even though the check in time is 3pm.

With this guest specifically, I sent 4 messages prior to her checking in with detailed information, including specific info for guests with babies. I didn’t get a response back from any of it. I worry that I will come off as overbearing if I then was to ask for an ETA (also, I wouldn’t expect an answer if the guest wasn’t responding to anything else). And there’s always that debate that it may be frustrating for guests to have to do a meet and greet with the host if the place is advertised as “self check-in”.

Like you said, there’s not really a right or wrong answer to a lot of it, you just have to find what works best for you as a host. I think I will give them a decent review, but mention honestly that they were a bit noisy early in the morning and that it may possibly disturb people sharing the premises. Thanks!!

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Absolutely! Let me tell you about how our check in works and it might (or might not) help in some way). I let guests know that I will meet them to show them to the apartment. I tell them that the window for this is between 4 and 6 pm. (I vary it sometimes but that’s the usual.) I tell them that if they can give me an ETA I’ll watch out for them but if I miss them I’ll be at [location].

Not a bit overbearing or nit picky so far. :slight_smile:

If they will be arriving after 6 (again I vary it) then I’ll arrange self check in for them. Then I wait for them to let me know which they’ll need. Note that I haven’t given them the door code, they only get that when they’re here.

That way they can choose for themselves - as I am pretty sure that some people like to have self check in even if they could be earlier.

None of that is picky or overbearing and I am sure that the personal connection goes a long way. You can tell the guests all sorts of things you want them to know in a chatty and friendly way face to face.

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Ooooh I love that! Great idea :smiley: And you’re right, not overbearing at all since you essentially give them the opportunity to decide how they want to approach the situation. Thanks for sharing!

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I wouldn’t mention it, especially when it’s just their “moving around the house” noises.

I get what you mean about noise. I live below my Air listing, in a 110 year old house with creaky wooden floors. Some guests stay up until 1am and some wake up at 5am. Some people are aware of how their voices travel and others aren’t. All part of the game having strangers in our home.
I wouldn’t mention it in review unless I’d asked them to quiet down and they didn’t, or if it was unreasonably loud during posted quiet hours.


For anyone curious, this was the review I ended up leaving:

“____ and her family left the place in decent shape and were overall good guests. They were a bit loud, especially in early morning hours, however that was somewhat understandable considering they had an infant at the time of their stay with us. While we live upstairs from the listing, the space is separate and advertised as private. We would still recommend them to other hosts that can manage a little bit of extra noise.”

I still left them good marks but was still honest about the noise. I feel like it was fair!


I agree with the personal connection aspect, though I do think it can be flexible. I often don’t meet guests - schedules are chaotic, and guests often prefer a little privacy (I know I do).
BUT I do have a photo of myself and my dog in the listing photos, “The stoop is a great spot to have coffee and meet neighbors! The host and her dog live downstairs, but you may catch them on their way back from a walk.”
That way guests know I’m around, available, and I’m easily spotted on the street or backyard since my pup is often with me. I also offer a few things (wine, maple syrup) that my partner and I make, which is fun but also a “Hey there! We live here! We are real people! We won’t bother you but also please be kind!”

This looks great! I agree with above comments that it wouldn’t feel quite right to dock them on noise levels if you hadn’t reached out with a soft correction. BUT I also know that I myself can be shy about correcting guests - it’s their vacation, I don’t want to bother them, and I can handle it.
Your review is helpful - it’s clear but kind. I often will pull that tone in my own reviews, “Guests checked out late, but I believe this was a result of a late evening arrival and not disrespect or carelessness. We would absolutely recommend them and believe that they will be more thoughtful in the future!”

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I would let it go. It won’t happen often.

In this case, I would try to be understanding as the parents might be pretty sleep deprived. Trash is easily tossed out and the place in good shape.

However, you might reconsider allowing children under 2. We don’t allow infants, for this reason and several others.

This is perfect. I sometimes say things like that which indicate the potential for problematic behavior at a different sort of listing.

For example, “This guest’s dog whine and barks for the first 15 minutes when left alone. That wasn’t a problem at all here because I have many dogs but hosts for whom this would be an issue should be aware.” Also if that were left in a review and the guest had claimed the dog was a service dog it would be a red flag because the ESAs and service dogs are required by Airbnb to be with their owners at all times. I had a “support animal” here recently and saw a review from a month ago where the host said there were some issues when the dog was left alone. So I made sure to mention to the guests that “since it’s blah, blah blah” and they didn’t leave the dog here alone when they went out. Thank you to that honest review CA host!

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