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House left very vulnerable to theft

I have a group of young people staying. They said they were three, then admitted they were four (and agreed to pay for the extra person), but in fact they are five. Someone is sleeping on the couch, with my bedding which has been taken out of the cupboard and used without a cover. However, that’s not my biggest issue.

This evening I drove past (because I was feeling worried) and from the street I could see the double doors to the deck (easily accessible from the street) were wide open, one of the mattresses has been dragged outside and left there, with all the bedding. The mattress is very good quality, the duvet feather and pillows feather, and the bedding all percale cotton. None of this is cheap. There was no-one home, the alarm had not been set and the house was essentially open to anyone who scaled the fence, which is not that hard. It is a miracle I wasn’t robbed clean.

I have hosted a lot, and I have never, ever had anything like this. Thoughts on the response?

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I would probably have stayed and called Airbnb, in an attempt to end their stay!. They already have admitted to breaking Terms of Service by having extra guests. Even if your house rules do not specifically state "no mattresses to be taken outside’, this alone should be cause enough for concern to have the rental ended!

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Yeah, It is late Saturday night here (I am in Cape Town), I’m really worried about having them stay with so little care of the house and my stuff…I have messaged Airbnb. A call?

Here is a link to google search which provides the phone number:


Thanks. Much appreciated! They have just gotten in touch, let;'s see how they handle it!

That’s immediate violations eligible for cancellation. Hope you can get them out. The nerve of some guests!!! Glad you called Air (I would call, not just message)… This is an urgent situation!


I went back and took photos. the mattress cover is torn, the entire back of the house was also open. My bedroom reeks of dope there is a huge pile of ash and roaches and a cup of seeds…It no biggie to me personally, but I have a clear no smoking inside policy (which I discussed with them). Currently being escalated at Airbnb…I’m hoping to get them out ASAP.

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omg, how distressing

this could and should be a big claim. So sorry!!! Some guests are complete losers!

Were these guests not “vetted”? No reviews? No checks? What were you thinking? Sorry to hear about the fiasco. I would have called Air when they broke the ‘registered guests’ Terms of Service.

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It was an instant book…my error. I only accept people recommended by others on instant book, but won’t use it again. Having said that in about 40 sets of guests, this is my first nightmare!

I know I’ve said this before but I could never, ever imagine renting out properties that I can’t see from my own home.

No, it’s not your error. They are bad guests. There’s no sure way to know. You did the right thing because you drove by to check. You are doing the right thing because you’ve escalated with airbnb. Don’t let anyone on this forum shame you, please. My best-reviewed guests have been awful and I have had lots and lots of newbies who have been great. It’s a risk we are all taking, and it can happen to anyone, even those hosts who are confident in their abilities to screen guests.


Please keep us posted - we are concerned for you.

Urgh. No reply from Airbnb and I’m in South Africa, so sitting on the phone for ages is not an option. But I was in touch with the guest, who denies extra people staying (other than the one I did a payment alteration for immediately), which might be true as I am relying on neighbours reports. No other denials.

I’m actually a pretty experienced host and I almost always come back to find my house spotless. My home is a special place - it often comes up in blogs as one of the best places on airbnb in the city I live - and that is generally respected. I have had plenty of brand new guests booking (not through instant book) and all have been wonderful. (Someone has to do it!) The error here was not cancelling the instant book immediately when I had a funny feeling.

Please let us know what happens @annaversfeld - I would be calling in all my male friends for back up!

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What was the result?



Airbnb came to the party after I called. They were super responsive and helped me ask the guests to leave. The guests were totally accepting. They’re not malicious, just not exactly thoughtful. I allowed them to stay until tomorrow with the understanding the house would be left in a reasonable condition.

Thanks for the support and concern!

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This statement seems to blame the host. She was on IB. So how was vetting even possible? Even without IB, “vetting” is not really something that always helps or makes a difference. I once had “two quiet professionals from Portland looking for some sun” arrive at my house, invite total strangers over, get drunk and disorderly, party like a frat house, damage furnishings and leave a bad mess. Another was an “adventurous older couple from Alberta who love rural Hawaii” and said my place was perfect for them, then arrived and complained about the smallest things, like a teeny tinkling bamboo wind chime sounding like a “jackhammer” and in fact were irritated by all the wind chimes around the house (not in their rental area) asked me to take them down, and left a mess and wet towels on good furnishings, stole shampoo and bug spray from the room and said in feedback my place was tired, filthy and a ripoff, among other nasty, cruel comments that were nothing short of abusive.

So just how was I supposed to vet those nightmares? Both of which were four night stays?? Guests often suck up with their initial inquiry, hoping you’ll accept them. Most are good and honest… And were true to their word. But how can you really vet guests on a platform like Air?

Bottom line … You can’t.

As for WWYT (“What were you Thinking”)…As I recall, that line gained fame when David Letterman asked movie star Hugh Grant, busted for soliciting hookers, “What were you thinking?” That’s a case where a guy deserved to hear that line. Not a trusting host who, like all of us, expects responsible, respectful behavior from someone who books their private home.


bravo, my Kona friend!!


Thanks for the support. All sorted now. For the most part trust has been my friend, and while some wariness seems appropriate, to throw it out of the window entirely seems to be a very sad response!

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