I have now had the experience twice in a row of renting to unpleasant jerks who, after reading their reviews complaining about things that are clearly mentioned in our listing, I went back and looked more closely at their profiles. Both have been members of airbnb for over a year with no references or reviews by other hosts. I think it’s a safe assumption that they’ve used airbnb before but hosts have been too polite to review them badly. I know I’ve been guilty in the past of simply not leaving a review for a less than stellar guest, but I realize now the reviews are tools for future hosts and I should worry more about that and less about being impolite. We need to know who we’re renting to, especially if we’re renting out our own homes and not just a rental property.
Please, fellow hosts, I encourage you to always leave an accurate review of guests so hosts know who they’re inviting into their homes.
I will no longer rent to people who don’t have multiple good reviews–not references, because you can usually find someone in your personal life to say something nice about you, whereas reviews from hosts will be more objective.