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HORRIBLE guest experience. Should I file a complaint with the resolution centre?

Hello everyone,

So, first of all I am a very understanding host. I understand sometimes a plate may break, maybe you tore or stained a bed sheet, no problem! But my last guest literally did everything against common courtesy.

My boyfriend and I received a reservation 4hrs before their proposed check-in time. Her exact message was “Just looking for a quiet place to stay with my boyfriend for the night. It’s an urgent situation so please let me know if we can book your place tonight.”

I talked it over with my boyfriend, we agreed that if it was for 1 night it would not be a huge issue so we approved her booking request.

Within the time frame of 24hrs she managed to smoke cigarettes, cigars, and marijuana within our SHARED UNIT. Invited over 5 other guys to our unit for what they say was a “hang-out session” but the music blasting from my TV, dim lighting, and smell of pot states otherwise. They also managed to “spill” their makeshift ashtray all over the balcony when I told them to move it outside.

Anyway, I kindly asked them to leave and addressed the issue of the smell of marijuana and cigarettes (we also have a very large balcony BUT they still decided to smoke inside) and she simply said "It was not on the house rules."
As a matter of fact it was, VERY FIRST RULE ACTUALLY.

Like I said, I’m a very understanding host. I’ve never had to file a complaint with the resolution centre and I’m having very mixed feelings about this whole situation. Can I have the opinions of other hosts on how I should go about this?

Oh that sounds awful. I will be interested to see what others say as I have not experienced this.

Yes, complain and charge her! Get pics of the spilled ash tray and any other evidence of smoking. Do you have a rule against guests having more guests over?

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Hopefully you never have to experience this. It’s been super stressful on our end and it’s honestly put such a damper on us since it’s happened :frowning:

I don’t know, but when someone has an urgent situation and needs a room within 4 hours, it got my attention. Does not sound a normal situation. If they had of explained why it was urgent, fair enough. Would I have taken the booking? Probably though with some concern. Would definitely not have the friends over or the smoking. However my rules state this clearly.

Bottom line is if they break your rules, you have valid reasons for cancellation or asking them to leave. If the guest breaks rules which are not made clear at the outset, then you are stuck with them. Not saying this is the case here, but all hosts should review their rules from time to time.

Excessive adjectives in an inquiry alert you to danger.

so sorry, Sumshi - please do report them!!


I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience.
If you trawl through some of the hosting experience threads here, you’ll see that a lot of hosts have some internal rules that it might be of benefit to you to consider: Like not hosting people on short time frames, people who won’t fully verify, anyone local, etc.

In terms of these guests, the resolution center is usually used for monetary compensation claims, so unless you are trying to get money back from these guests to cover damage of some kind, the res center is a bit of a “toothless tiger”. The guests can and may refuse your claim, and at the 72 hour mark you can request that airbnb becomes involved.

The thing is, you will generally be assigned one case manager, and they don’t seem to be consistent in terms of what they allow, and what they do not. For example, while a case is in arbitration you are technically not allowed to mention it in your review. You can get around that by mentioning the contents of the complaint, just not the complaint itself, or that it is in arbitration.

In terms of smoking, I’ve heard tell of air coming down hard on it, or not. Sometimes they seem to have refused to compensate even with photographic evidence, in my case, it was a lie entirely, and despite my cleaning receipt and pictures, they would not remove the complaints about smoking the host left in my review- even though she did not bring it up when she made a resolution claim (that air ultimately dismissed for ridiculousness).

Additionally, if you are not a high volume host, your guests might gun for you in their review, and if your turnover is low it might sit at the top of the page for a while. So that is worth considering too.
Air refuses to edit reviews insomuch as they can, so whatever they say will stick around.
People can be very imaginative.

Air will not edit “if the individual believes what they say to be true” or along those lines, so basically there is no way to prove who is in the right and in the wrong. Of course, I have seen some conjecture as to how often you spend with air/host on air having some effect on favor, though it is not something I have experienced myself.

I am not saying don’t report them- just consider the outcomes of that first and if it will ultimately be worth it to you.

In my experience, Air tries to avoid pissing off hosts and guests as much as they can, and staying for the most part as neutral as they can- they need both parties to make money, after all.
That neutrality can be harmful in both directions.

I hope that helps a little, and I’m so sorry you had a bad experience!


@sumshi_roll I’m curious. Was the guest verified by Airbnb? Oh, and did she receive any guest reviews?

That’s another thing! She was verified through several things, I clearly remember she was verified through personal ID, Facebook, phone number and Linkedin BUT when the booking was completed her name on the reservation was “Trust Few”…

Hmm. So much for verification. But what about reviews? I’m hoping people have the sense to write bad reviews about nightmare guests (it’s a big part of why I’m using this site), but what I have been reading recently hasn’t filled me with confidence.

Nope. A lot of hosts don’t bother with writing negative reviews.

Well, that’s too bad. It’s an important part of the site’s value. I suppose they don’t to avoid unpleasantness. I hope when my turn comes I’ll do so.

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about this tough situation! Here is a recommendation which I have found helpful:

Since you already have a no-smoking rule, which was ignored by your rude guests- I recommend adding a very clear consequence for smoking. Something along the lines of

“Smoking will not be tolerated anywhere on the premises. If I find any evidence of smoking- ash trays, cigarette butts, or smoke smell, an automatic $300 fine will be deducted from your security deposit to pay for deep cleaning of the apartment”.

If you want to, you could add that something like “It is imperative that we maintain a clean, smoke-free environment to ensure the health and safety of our future guests” You can cite asthma or allergies or whatever.

Airbnb will back you up if you have this rule in writing.

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