House rule broken - need help aprs review

Second time this guest has stayed. Brought food into their room (House rule says no food in room) every night and the next morning threw the containers, bag etc out in the kitchen trash. Five nights.

It’s a big deal for us because the room smelled of curry when the guest checked out. It’s taken 3 passes of Ozone machine over the last 24 hours. Thankfully, no guests checking in until Saturday.

However, outside of this my guest was great. The place was spotless.

3 stars for “House Rules”. Considering not mentioning the issue in the review, or minimizing the issue, since I think the guest will be ‘good’ next time they come. And privately telling the guest about the issue.


Not sure of the significance of above statement. Is it that you found the evidence? Or that some of it should have been in recycling?

Why do you think this?

Without knowing why you think the guest will be ‘good’ next time, I think the principle of honest reviews says that you should mention it in your review.

In your private note you can explain something like “You were a great guest except you ate in your room, which is against house rules. That’s the rule because it’s SO HARD to get rid of the smell of food in the bedrooms for the next guests, plus there’s the probability of insects/vermin with even the smallest crumbs especially over a five night stay. I hope you would respect this rule and all house rules in any short-term rental you make.”


Perhaps you should ask the guest, since you otherwise seem to consider him fine, and anticipate him booking again, why he isn’t eating in the kitchen. Perhaps he just likes eating privately with no one else around (as I understand it, you have a few private room listings with shared bathroom and kitchen?), or maybe there’s some other reasonable explanation for this behavior.

I’m not suggesting that it’s okay for him to continue to break your rule, but maybe giving him an opportunity to explain, seeing as how he is otherwise fine, and telling him you can understand, but that it isn’t okay and why, would turn the situation around amenably.

If a good repeat guest hears that you had to run the ozone machine 3 times and that even if you yourself don’t find the smell of curry offensive, you can’t rent the room out to the following guest if it smells of food, I should hope they would respect your rule going forward.

BTW, I don’t know if it’s true, but I read that guests can now see the star ratings they are given.


FYI all, in addition to bags of refuse suddenly appearing when the guest left for work in the am, there was food debris in the room. Also, the guest in the adjacent room mentioned food smells and an open door showing dirty plates and utensils. Just mentioning this since of course I would not ‘assume’ things like this.

Regarding asking the guest ‘why’ they broke a house rule: There is no reason for why they broke a house rule 4x in a 5 day stay. And I’m not interested in hearing from someone who thinks that rules should not apply to them. However, I do like the honest response saying how I had to deal with the problem and how it affects other guests.


Yes, I totally understand that you aren’t interested in why a guest continued to ignore a rule- I wouldn’t be interested either. My suggestion was only in the realm of psychological tactic to give a guest the opportunity to “be heard”, as it can make people more open to changing their behavior. Maybe someone somewhere told him he chews too loudly and it made him self-conscious, who knows. But a simple “not allowed if you want future bookings accepted” is also just fine.

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I don’t host guests who break house rules again. I had locals, a young couple who probably live at home with parents, stay. The main problem was smoking weed in the room. I dealt with it by leaving an honest review, reducing stars and saying I wouldn’t recommend them to other hosts.

Unless you are desperate for business, why host them again? They are just taking a room a guest who doesn’t eat in the room could have.


Yes, of course you’re right. If I click not to host again, will that extend over my three listings?

I would think so since the rating attaches to the guest, not to you. But I don’t know since I’ve never had more than one listing. If he were to be able to book again then you’ll have to have the discussion about not eating in the room with them.

@Rolf, do guests in your house have a designated place to eat?

Do they share that with potentially other guests or with you?

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It’s true. Now when you’re writing a review and doing the star ratings there’s a note that says they will be shared with the guest.

This is fairly distant anecdotal evidence but about three years ago it didn’t work for me. I did a “would not host again” on a guest and they then booked one of my other listings about a month later. Urgh.


There is an area for them to eat; it is a common space in my kitchen. Besides, the no eating in the rooms house rule, in addition to be a house rule they are required to agree to, in order to book, is explained in my description, welcome message, and welcome letter left on the bed that there is space in the kitchen to eat. It is extremely clear and yes, they have a place to eat. most of my guests are business people and come in at different times of the night. I rarely see them together in the common area.


Guests being able to see the star ratings given will hopefully eliminate the type of rating/review behavior where hosts leave some “nice” written review but give the guest low ratings to warn other hosts, because guests couldn’t see how they were rated.

Of course it might lead to more hosts being chicken to accurately rate a poor guest, which would be unfortunate.


Since you’ve already tried to inform guests about not eating in their room, then I guess you’d have to resort to signage on each guest room’s door. “No Eating in Guest Room. Eating Area in Kitchen.”

Something like that.

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It is there =on their bed on a plaque saying ‘read me first’ in their bedrooms. See above for other locations for this in my airbnb.

This was deliberate. Second stay.

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Review honestly. Please specify the house rule they broke as ‘guest broke house rules’ is meaningless to other hosts unless we know what the transgressions were.

I don’t think it’s wise to say it was deliberate in a review (because you can’t prove it?) but saying that this was the second stay and the second time they ate in the room is fine.

I wouldn’t want to host this guest a third time. And I’d say so.


[quote=“jaquo, post:15, topic:55712”] I
don’t think it’s wise to say it was deliberate in a review (because you can’t prove it?)

Attributing motives to guest behavior in a review, is definitely a really bad idea. For starters, we may in fact be wrong about the motive, why a guest broke rules is immaterial (and if there was a good reason that the guest explained to a host, there is no need to mention it in a review- for instance if the guest had explained they were sorry about the muddy footprints on the carpet, but their child had just cut themselves really badly outside, and there was no time to remove their shoes while rushing the child into the bathroom to wash and sterilize the injury) and it could get the review pulled.

I think Rolf was just letting us know it was deliberate, though, not necessarily planning to word the review as such.


Even though guests don’t often read, I’d explain – maybe you do already – why you have this rule (e.g., because even small crumbs attract insects or worse, because smell of food in rooms might disturb future guests).

I’d consider – maybe reject – a nice decal from Etsy to to put on bedroom doors that says in script ‘no food please.’

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Okay, speaking of being willing to host again, I see that Airbnb has done something new: it used to ask “Would you host again?” and just now when I reviewed the guest who checked out today, there’s a new question: “Would you recommend X to other hosts?” – but it doesn’t ask me if I would host again!

So does anyone know how one would avoid having a guest return? Would we have to somehow block them? Because with IB I can’t see any certain way to prevent a bad guest from returning, although it could be that it would have given me that option if I hadn’t given this guest 5 star ratings across the board.

I also noticed this change. I’m just saying no I wouldn’t recommend them and then also stating in the review if I think it’s something that would be fine with another host. For example I had a guest who smoked weed in the room. They might be fine in a weed legal state with a host who allows smoking on the property. So I basically stated that in the review.

I’m not going to use a lot of bandwidth on something that’s unlikely to happen. If you make it clear in the review that you don’t want to host them, why would they book with you? And on the 1:100 chance they do, deal with it then.

I would block them to make sure that they cannot book again if I didn’t want them to book again. Why not?