Hosting guest who lives in the area and no reviews despite 3 yr airbnb acct

Just had a booking inquiry from a single lady who lives in the area. We normally limit stays to 7 days but will consider longer if we feel comfortable but this guest did not give the purpose of visit, and had a bio more like a dating service with very little relevant to the visit. She looked great in the photo, in spite of it being very badly photoshopped! She described herself as a seasoned traveler who had stayed in many houses and was respectful of those houses. Sounds good, but as she had an account with airbnb for nearly 3 years, did not have a single review! Requested a discount but my gut feeling would be to decline even at full price.
Just wondered what other hosts would have made of this?

Decline, sounds dodgy. I automatically decline discount hagglers as well.


I agree. Why would someone from your own area need a place to stay?


Thank goodness I have instant book so I don’t have to think about it. (I have a room attached to my house. If I had an entire house in a different location I might have different standards.)

How long is the stay?

Ask for the purpose–Airbnb is not actively encouraging people to send a message any more, so they may not have bothered.

I get a ton of people booking for family coming to visit kids, grandkids, or parents and that may the case here. Some people don’t review in that case because it wasn’t the person staying.

Barring any of those situations, decline. :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh, I missed the part about discounts. That gives me pause.

Actually we were very curious about purpose, so I responded that there was no purpose stated (this was in our rules).
Had a response back that she wanted to play golf with friends at a golf course near to us and she did not want the commute of 30 min. Ok so, I got an answer, but there are 8x the number of courses within 15 min of where she claims to live.
Anyway, I’m trusting my gut feeling on this one. I may be wron,g but 14 days with a wrong guest is no fun! Easiest decline would be to refuse discount but she might agree to posted price as she seems pretty loaded, so I will decline…
Thanks all for your comments

I declined for reasons that 14 days was too long for us for a guest with lots of stays but no reviews. Resonse received was, “What reviews you want, I’ve never had this issue with Airbnb before”. This would infer that she had used Airbnb but no one gave her a review. Could this be because some people would rather not give a bad review so just do not give one?

Even though I’ve turned down $600, I am happy that I made the right decision, although I will never know for certain. We have turned down 3 requests out of 60 and our worst guest was the one where I had a bad feeling but ignored it. We only want happy guests and the money is secondary. Maybe that is why we have a 90% five star rating as we endeavor to match guests with what we can offer and that is why we ask for reasons for intended visit.


I have hosted a few local guests, and I do always ask them for the reason for their stay. One couple was moving to the US, but their Visa application was delayed and they were looking for a place to stay for a few days because they had already given up their apartment.

Another guest was also between apartments as the move in date to his new apartment had been pushed back when renovations were delayed.

Both of these guests were great. I just wanted to make the point that there are legitimate reasons for people to look for a place locally, so I don’t decline local guests immediately. I find the best indicator to be how forthcoming they are with the reason for their visit.


I have instant book so that doesn’t apply to my listing but I wanted to second the comment about local renters.

I had a young girl book and she was quite honest about “my boyfriend and I just want a night out” or something along those lines. She asked about what kind of tv hookups I had because they wanted to use the TV to watch something on a device. I was really dreading it. The girl arrived around 4 pm with a female friend which puzzled me. I thought well she didn’t want to tell me she’s gay. Checking the security cam footage I saw they went out awhile, came back with bags. The girl left around 10 pm, the guy arrived around 11pm. He went out twice to smoke around 1 am and 5 am. I thought “oh dear they were up all night they probably won’t check out on time.” They checked out about 10:30am.

I entered the room with trepedation. It was fine. A partial bottle of crappy wine. Two large empty beer cans. The bathroom trash had all kinds of makeup trash. I think they did facials. The room was clean and tidy and the sheets and towels unstained. I think I had two twenty somethings still living at home who just wanted to get away like they said. The dude probably didn’t get off work until late. They stayed up and drank and watched movies and then went home to sleep. I got (and gave) a 5 star review.


But… did they bring an extra person or did they book and pay for three? Not sure how this would be five star behavior? Or am I missing something?

This has got to be the number one thing new hosts must learn, and it sounds like you’re learning well, @RIGSBY. ALWAYS trust your gut. Of course, the vast majority of Airbnb stays are positive. But when something goes wrong, it can go REALLY wrong, and this is your home. You are right to be protective of it. Never forget that.

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I’ve hosted several local guests with legitimate reasons for short term housing as well, and they have been quite pleasant. Often it is people who are moving away from my city and have a gap between when their lease ends and work obligations. Right now I have someone who lets her mother stay in her apartment when she visits, and then she and her partner have a little getaway in another neighborhood. So far they’ve been great and I’m expecting the rest of their stay will go smoothly.

We’ve had folks from the area stay with us. Reason; because they were having work done on their home. We’ve had people who stay with us with no activity despite being on Airbnb for 1-2 years. I haven’t figured that one out but no bad experiences with either. We have had guests who said they used Airbnb before but no reviews. They went as a guest under someone else’s name. However, I’d decline that one too, based on requesting a discount alone. You could always message her and ask for an explanation while saying no discounts.

@Natalie. Thank you for mentioning that Airbnb isn’t encouraging guests to send a message. My last two reservations requests were unusually short with none of the usual correspondence. Now I understand why I had to ask them for information.

After I had rejected the guest in question my listing placement went from # 2 to #6 (ok, I can live with that!). Thing is, do airbnb routinely drop hosts down a notch after they decline a booking request, or is that coincidence?
I just had another booking request for ten days from a guest with no reviews but had been a member for a while. I responded asking for reasons for visit and received a response that he was exhibiting at an art festival and had other people running the stall but needed a place for making product and storing inventory and would need extra space set aside and that they would need full use of kitchen facilities for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wrote back telling them it was ok and that I would make another room available for the business part. They then had the nerve to write back asking for a discount! That to me was the real red flag BUT this time I approved the booking at the listed rate. Airbnb gave then 24 hours to accept, but (thankfully) I heard nothing. I checked our listing placement and found it had gone down one notch anyway, even though I had approved! Even if they come back with a full price offer I will reject the booking as it seems that they will still be expecting even more and will not be happy, but so much for our placement ratings. BTW we have been on Superhost status for at least two years, so why would air bnb lower our placement and put newer inferior listings above ours?

Had something similar, too and fro messaging and then once sorted wanted a discount, just approved and moved on, I use IB so pretty meaningless approving but keeps the system happy.

You were right to decline, but my advice is never give a reason when you decline. You don’t have to. Just decline.

If you must say something say, “We are unable to host you. Best of luck with your travels.” Ignore any follow-up dialogue. The more you say, the more that could potentially be used against you in some crazy context.

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