This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
Had a situation this week with a group from Malaysia. The one who booked is actually an AirBnB host himself and has excellent reviews both as a host and as a guest. Booking for 7 PAX. Excellent communication. Very prompt. Went in to turn over the house and discovered some items were missing - clearly had been stolen. Checked camera footage of the car park and could see them putting it into the car, along with a few other issues of disprespecting the property but nothing major. Bit of sleuthing work and I found out where they were moving onto and contacted the next host to give them the heads up. I emailed the guest stating my disappointment with actions and had advised the next host and they were expecting the items to left there at the end of the next stay. Prompt apologetic reply but also stating he was not actually with the party. He was in Malaysia. He contacted the group who said they accidentally put the items in their bag - very sorry etc etc would leave it with next host. Entirely bulls&*t excuse especially when confession good for the soul lol
So my questions to the forum :
ONE _ How do I review this? They left it tidy, HE communicated promptly and really well. I’ve advised his he needs to clarify to the host that he is not the actual party attending. Obviously a theft can’t be ignored but how do I fairly review this?
TWO - What would you do as the next host? I spoke with the next host and advised him it wasn’t the actual booker showing up and what had happened. Would he be prepared to ask for the items back. He said yes, but then no in case I was wrong in my assessment it was stolen. Totally fair enough. He has been very helpful in getting the items returned to me (they left them at his place) and is a very experienced host. Got me thinking, what would you do if you were advised the guests you are about to host were not bad in terms of treatment of the property but not great in terms of petty theft? They apparently have left me a big apology note with the returned items - possibly to prevent me leaving a terrible review for the booking host.
Second time I have had items taken in the first month of trading. The comment was made ‘you’re basically a motel room now so you have to expect this kind of thing’ and yet I would NEVER steal items from a motel room…especially as they are often bolted down hahaha.
My first thought is that third party bookings are a violation of Airbnb’s TOS and a host should not be doing this. I would definitely be detailing all of this in the review. I don’t want these kinds of people on Airbnb.
Does it mitigate it if it’s his father in the travelling party?
I often book accommodation for my husband on my profile account however I 100% always state that in the message to the potential host giving them the opportunity to decline the booking.
If a grown man’s father is a thief it doesn’t mitigate anything, it makes it worse. LOL.
I don’t like this third party booking situation at all. If he was upfront that’s one thing but he wasn’t. If there is an emergency you don’t even know who is in your house or how to contact them directly. And if he wants to take the responsibility of the booking then he should also take the consequence when his friends and family decide to steal. I don’t want these people in my house.
In your review, I would forget mentioning how tidy the (thieving) guests left the place. Their neatness might have been a ruse to get you to overlook the theft. You were lucky the primary organizer for these guests was prompt in communicating…but he was the son so no brownie points there. You were just lucky.
The theft cannot be ignored or “fairly” reviewed. It is what is is…the guests blatantly and intentionally stole your property and it was caught on camera. Don’t pull any punches in your review.
You ask: “What would you do as the next host?” In your case, the next host initially agreed to assist you by asking the thieves for the items but then changed his mind because he basically didn’t want to get involved. He didn’t know you and didn’t want to be put in an accusatory position with his guests. Why would you think the next host would (or should) support you when it was your problem? If you were the next host, wouldn’t you also have found it risky to do what the first host asked you?
You are very fortunate that it ended well with no loss to you. It’s not often the case. Just curious, since this is the second time you have had items taken, what sort of items are they?
@limetree - what kind of items were taken? Are they items that could easily be mistaken for their own property? For instance, we provide reading glasses, sunglasses, umbrellas, snorkel gears. etc - all stuff that one or more guest might have brought. If that’s the case, there is a chance the “theft” was accidental.
But if it was a TV or lamps or your desktop computer, then it’s theft, pure and simple. I’d want to know about that!
Hi Sandy, as I said I believed the next host was totally fair enough in their hesitation - that’s what got me thinking about what I would and wouldn’t do if asked by another host. He was fantastic and in the end confronting them wasn’t required die to the original booker telling his father to get it dealt with.
First theft was a bedside lamp (I’m not sure if they broke it and thought should hide it and hope we didn’t notice, or if they actually stole it - still a net loss. Second theft was a blanket from on of the bed - possibly wanted it to have in the car for comfort or warmth otherwise can’t imagine why you would steal it and have to cart in your luggage. Also a few small kitchen items of little consequence.
I did also get a smart tv stolen the day we were expecting our first guests but that was one of our locals sadly. Blessing in disguise was it got us sharpened up on general security.
Interestingly there almost was an emergency. The area they went on to was to include a hike on a mountain and they got disorientated and it became dark and cold and as the new host was expecting them and they hadn’t arrived we were able to contact the son to get the fathers number in case we had to call search and rescue. Luckily they showed up around this time cold and hungry - but yes - highlights that as well for bookings that aren’t for the person.
The host/guest lied to you and didn’t tell you it was a third party booking though did he.
It is irrelevant as to whether it was his father.
Leave an honest review, mark him down for communication, give the booking a thumbs down, say he made a third party booking and that items were stolen from your property and that you had to track down this guest to ask for them to be removed. Only at this point did he admit it was a third party booking.
And if your husband is a regular traveller get him to set up his own profile
‘XX booked for another party and did not stay in our accommodation. When the party left, several items were missing from our rental’.
That’s all. The fact that it’s a third party booking would put other hosts off. Whether they left the place clean or dirty is immaterial. They shouldn’t have been there in the first place and you are reviewing the person who booked and not the people who actually stayed.
Personally I wouldn’t use the word ‘stolen’ as there could be a small chance that the items were genuinely taken in error.
If I were the next host, I would see this as being an issue between you and your guests, not me. However, I would be grateful to know that this is a third party booking. I’d probably accept them but read them the riot act on arrival.
No, you’re not a motel and whoever told you that was pretty daft. But you will get things stolen - or they’ll be broken or damaged. Usually these will be minor items (glasses, towels, lamps etc.) but more expensive items will need replacing due to wear and tear and you’ll have to expect this. I’m pretty lenient with guests who cause damage accidentally. But check that you’re insured for short term rentals and check which items are covered.
Damage I can deal with even when it’s standing in an outdoor chair and ripping the fabric or breaking a glass. Theft of any item thats not a consumable I fund loathsome and unnecessary. I accept they take all the toilet paper and paper towels and guest soaps and food items. But lamps and blankets, towels etc. No no no
I believe that you said that you are in your first month? Ah yes,
Note that people will only take items if they are there. Sounds simplistic I know but no-one could steal toilet paper, paper towels, guest soaps or food items from us because the temptation isn’t there. All that’s available for guests are the items they need during their stay.
You find it loathsome that guests will steal things but the fact is that they can and do. Fact. There are many things in this world that I find loathsome but that doesn’t stop them happening!