House not cleaned / ready for check in

I’m an AirBNB host and I’ve just started staying in AirBNB Apartments and homes. Until today the experience was great.

We arrived and found the house wasn’t cleaned after the last check out. Beds not made, rubbish still in the bathroom, kitchen and living room.

It’s really disappointing for this to be your first experience of the property. And then it took 30 minutes for the host to respond - during which time you start to wonder if you’ve been conned.

Apparently the normal cleaner is out of contact, and she clearly didn’t clean today. So the co-host came to meet us at a nearby cafe and she is now cleaning the house for us.

We first arrived at 3pm.
It is now 5pm, and I guess it will be ready by 5:30pm.

We travelled to this location for a sporting event (endurance swimming race), and we had expected to be able to relax and perhaps even do some light training. Instead we’ve had to sit around waiting for a couple of hours.

What would you suggest is reasonable for host to offer us, to compensate the inconvenience?

Bearing in mind it is a big sporting event here - so the rate is already inflated 30% due to the busy weekend.


Hi Tammy and welcome to the forum.

That was certainly not a good way to start your stay! Given you are a host yourself, if you found yourself in that situation, what do you think would be fair compensation for your guests?

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That’s what I’ve been thinking about too.

If it was a problem with my apartment, I would offer a special experience - either send them to a nearby restaurant for lunch or drinks, and maybe even a massage (we are in Thailand, so it’s only $10 USD for a 1 hour massage).

When the toilet in my guest bathroom was blocked a couple of months ago, I offered 30% discount on the rate for the days they were affected, paid for the guest’s lunch, and bought them pastries. Eventually we realised it was a bigger plumbing problem than we anticipated - so we agreed for the guest to check out early and find another place to stay- so I gave them a lift to the new accommodation.

It’s inconvenient when things happen that are outside of your control (you’re staying in someone’s home or holiday home - it’s not a note. But part of me thinks that the host (or co-host) should check that the property is ready in advance. However it’s not always practical - as hosts we often have other jobs to attend to.

We are now checked in at 5:30pm (after 2.5 hours wait). The house is lovely. Everything is clean and as we expected. I can almost overlook the problem, except that it sort of ruined our first afternoon of our stay here.

Other thoughts?

Edit for above, meant to say not a “hotel”

Hi Tammy, and welcome.

Sorry about the problem. This is what happens when you have remote hosts who aren’t in the know, and co-hosts who aren’t on top of things. So three people share the blame.

Your idea of a 30% discount fits with what my partner just suggested.

I personally would return the cleaning fee, if there is one. If not, then send a refund for one night. It’s a big inconvenience for guests and now the cohost is rushing around and the place still might not be as clean as it should be.


Making sure the rental is clean and ready for check in is the host’s number one job. I can’t imagine not making sure that’s taken care of unless I had a true emergency, so it’s a serious problem. OTOH, it was somewhat taken care of promptly. If I had that kind of rental refund of cleaning fee is a good idea, maybe refund of half day rate. I’d also send something as a “thank you” for your patience. I had a guy who had trouble with the lock (batteries dead) I was here, got him in and then replaced batteries while he was out (with his permission) and I gave him a bottle of wine. He was inconvenienced for 10 minutes.

Also I would mention this in the review, I don’t care what they do to make up for it.

30-50% of that day’s fee sounds reasonable.

And I would mention it in review. That’s a pretty big miss. It’s not just the 2.5 hours in the café, it’s that initial anxiety that you’ve walked into a scam and concern it’ll be resolved quickly.

This constitutes a “travel issue” under the Guest Refund policy, so if what the host offers isn’t satisfactory, you could escalate through Air.

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Is this one of those issues that has to be reported in the first 24 hours? I think I’ve learned that you need to inform Airbnb and/or needs to be documented on the app ASAP.

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You’re right. Good catch. I thought the issue just needed to be brought to the attention of the host w/in 24 hours, but you need to involve Airbnb, too.

Tammy, I’d give Air a call to document the issue so you can call on them if you’re unable to resolve it with the host. I’d be clear w/ them that I don’t need their help at this time, just documenting. (assuming you’d rather handle it directly w/ host)

I would not ask for anything.
Money does not make up for the 2.5 missing hours. You were inconvenienced.
If a massage only costs $10 then you can afford to buy your own massage and why bother using it as host punishment?
I think mentioning it in the review, if you feel that bringing it to everyone’s attention, is appropriate, is the correct course of action.
The co-host should have had an established check and balance system in place, which was missing, but probably will be fixed after this. I am not defending the host or the co-host. A dirty place is unacceptable, but nothing will alter the fact that it was dirty upon your arrival.
And the co-host, thankfully, was responsive enough to dig in and get it cleaned as swiftly as possible.
Not even a hotel always gets you into a room ontime. This was a failure for sure.


You are a host yourself, so you should be able to answer this question. Unless you do your cleaning yourself, you know that you, as a host, are only as good as your cleaner. Obviously you didn’t call the customer service and asked for all of your money back and then check into a hotel if you really wanted to relax, so you were able to put up with a few hours of waiting. Some of the money back, perhaps the cleaning fee, something like that. It depends how long you stay and how much you paid for the place.


So we’ve decided to let it go. It was just 2.5 hours of inconvenience. They seem like nice people, and the house is great now that we’re in it.

It’s just one of those things that happens, and we not in the mood to push for refund, and waste any more time on it.

Since we’re in Thailand, we asked them to bring us some special Thai desserts tomorrow (“mango and sticky rice”).

I guess it’s this host’s lucky day. Although I will make sure to comment about it the review, so I’m sure they won’t make this mistake twice.

I guess I should also report it to AirBNB, just in case.


I would assume that the 30% higher rate due to lower inventory because of the sporting event is also why the cleaning crew didn’t show.

I personally wouldn’t ask for anything as long as I could leave my luggage and use that time for dinner/drinks/sightseeing/etc.

I would definitely put it in the review, and also note how it was taken care of (which I think was quick, professional, apologetic, etc.). It might be a wake-up call to the host that somebody should be always be checking to make sure the listing is ready before check-in, but if the host has multiple listings, what you experienced might just be the result of a priority call.


Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and advice. The host came round today with the special Thai dessert for us, as promised.

House is clean and comfy, so we are happy.