How to deal with first negative hosting experience

I know there are quite a few threads on this subject, but every situation is different, and its the first time I’ve had any reason to fault guests. So how should I - how would you? - approach dealing with the following…

I’ve been renting out a double room for several months with no problems of any kind and only just started also renting out a separate single room. Last night I had two unrelated bookings. Two teenage girls in the double room and a foreign male visitor in the single room here to see a football match. Their paths never crossed.

The girls were here for some music festival thing and went out in the early evening. 5.30/6am I wake to them tapping on the door knocker to get in, despite having a key. Turned out the male guest had gotten up for a smoke out front in the middle of the night and couldn’t figure out how to lock the door again when he came back in, so put the chain on…

But for that mistake I’d have never known it wasn’t the two girls coming in but just one of them and a young male who she said repeatedly was her brother. (If he was, where the hell did he come from as he clearly hadn’t driven up with them!). I was too perplexed by the mystery of the chain on the door to care.

So they went up…the other girl stayed out all night…and the obvious suspicion they’d each picked up a man was somewhat allayed by the fact there were no noises coming from the room to suggest he wasn’t just her brother. And I’d have said nothing anyway, despite my no unexpected guests house rule. It was 6am, my other guest was trying to sleep and no one wants to come across as a puritanical 1970s landlady. I figured, well I guess they booked for two and with the other girl staying out there are indeed only two people in the room.

The other girl - the one who’d actually done the booking - turned up by 9am and both girls, any time I passed them to make small talk, were perfectly lovely and sweet natured throughout. But the 3 of them were hanging round in the room all morning and early afternoon with no indication of when they were planning to leave. So I knocked on the door and lied that I had to get the room ready for the next guests (I have none).

I went into my own room expecting they’d call out to me when they were ready for the off…but instead after a while simply heard them leave without saying a word. I went into the room and found they’d left a big coat on the bed.

I tried ringing the girl who’d booked before they got too far to tell her they’d left it, but she didn’t pick up. Maybe she was driving…or maybe they were worried I was ringing about the dirty big blood (?) stain in the middle of the sheet or the dislodged and splintered wooden support slats under the bed. The sheet will have to be thrown out…I’ve tried washing it…and replaced.

So we have an unbooked unpaid for third guest, a destroyed sheet and damage to the bed itself. Plus the suspicion of deliberate subterfuge in (if the door hadn’t been chained) sneaking the “brother” in, and in leaving silently before I found what was amiss. I don’t know where I put the issue of the left behind jacket. Given how sweet and pleasant they were as people, and seemingly their first booking, I’m still hesitant to write a negative review…but then surely the point is to give a heads up to the next host? Given the delicate detail that in the absence of any evidence of an accident the blood may have been sexual or menstrual in nature its also difficult to draw attention to it either publically or privately.

So…if it was you…?

If it was me I wouldn’t let unbooked guests in. I know, chain, middle of the night, whatever. You have to control your own home. This time it’s some damage, next time it’s items stolen or whatever. If I were a paying guest and I found out my hosts let unknown people into the home I’d be livid.

As for blood, it happens, just cost of doing business. Broken supports are probably due to some brotherly lovemaking. I’d also mark that up to cost of doing business. This is your opportunity to get a good quality bed frame. As for the review, please review honestly and let fellow hosts know she brought an unregistered guest in to spend the night. If you don’t have a check out time, get one and enforce it. SMH.


@KKC that’s a very good point!


When was checkout time?

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As I’m home all day I keep everything as flexible as possible including check in and check out…but then again I wasn’t asked. I don’t include their hanging around all morning as a “violation” of rules but to paint the picture of how they left. It was however unusual as they’re the first people in the 4 months I’ve been doing it to neither ask me when it was ok to leave/stay til nor to simply go first thing. That’s to say they’re the first to give no thought to it at all, hence my impatience in the end to get them moving. If they’d said “is it ok if we stay till 4pm?” or whatever I’d have likely said no problem. I’d put this down to their age and inexperience on airbnb. (by the by I ought to start a separate thread on the uselessness of the review system for instant booking as at least half of the people who book with me are first timers and have no reviews to read! I always have to look them up on Facebook to get some sense of who they are!)

The lessons for the future are learned.

I suppose my practical questions about this morning’s incidents is do I write to them with a request for additional payment? (given the lack of communication post booking I don’t fancy getting a reply) Or do I write a review referencing the problems? The hesitation there is the natural one of feeling odd publically criticizing guests who were personally nice and you were perfectly pleasant to to their faces. Secondly I’m very reluctant to say anything that could feel like publically “slut shaming” an 18 year old girl, if only by implication. Finally I could just shrug and write no review at all…but then what’s the point of the review system if you don’t tip other hosts off that there are issues to beware of?

Write a factual Public review – “Cannot recommend this guest. Guest violated House rules by bringing un-registered guest to spend the night; and then left the place a mess with sheets that had to be thrown away and broken bed slats.”

Mention the left behind coat in the Private part of the review – tll them it will cost $XX to have it returned (cost of sheet plus packing and shipping).

You need to post and enforce check-in and check-out times, regardless of whether you are home all day or not. These guests took major advantage of you


I wouldn’t mention broken bed slats. Bed frames should not break if people are sleeping and/or having sex on them.

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The bed slats - 3 were dislodged, one of them splintered - ie partially but not completely broken - I’d put down to the weight of three people, one of them somehat overweight, sitting or lying on a bed made for two. The only previous times they’ve come out was after an obese couple stayed.( I use the word factually). It’s not major damage, but part of the small catalogue of casual inconsiderate behaviours.

Bed slats should not break when three people (one slightly overweight) or an obese couple sleep or have sex on them. The slats should stand up to the number of people who can lie on the bed, like an elevator must be able to handle the weight of however many people can fit in it. If you have had previous problems with these bed slats, you were remiss in not replacing the bed frame.


I would write a factual review and make a claim for damages against their deposit.

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I had a hard time following this one, but I think a lot of this is a live-and-learn situation.

Don’t let guests walk all over you, and I would NOT worry about your acquiring a reputation as a 70s landlady.

For heaven sakes, this is YOUR HOME we are talking about.

Take charge here. I would have also thwarted any attempt to bring brothers or others over without telling you (also known as sneaking). If it were too late, then I would have filed a res center request for the extra person.

I would most definitely have FIRM check in and check out times. Why? Because you need to have a life and guests don’t get to run it.

I’m not sure the boarding house approach is practical. As someone else said, allowing unknown guests while you have different guests in different rooms is so unfair. You need to be responsible for the security of all guests.

My best advice here is


And you will avoid some really bad situations.

PS Of course they were nice. People like this have learned how to be charm8ng to get what they want from softies.


I don’t believe a damage claim would be successful. I’ve read many times that Airbnb views stained linens as wear and tear, not as damage. The original poster states that the bed slats were dislodged previously. This means that they knew of danger to their guests yet opted to not repair the bed frame. If they try to collect damages for the bed, the guest could say that the host owed them for having furniture that collapsed.

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I have just successfully made a claim for stained sheets from a guest.

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You can be flexible on check in time but should have a firm check out time. Please write an honest negative review for the sake of other hosts.

Instate a checkout time. You can be flexible with it, but if you do not have one you have no legit complaint about guests not leaving. As others have stated, you also have no legit about the bed frame. A bed you provide needs to be able to withstand whatever people normally do on beds. Bringing an unregistered guest home is also not necessarily a complaint-- depends on your house rules. If you were a hotel, guests would expect to be able to bring a friend back to their room. If you don’t want people to do this, it needs to be explicit in your rules. Re. sheets, with the same issue I just stated guests “left the place not particularly clean” in my review.


I was able to collect for a stained bed sheet recently.

As a host, I would want to know if a potential guest had brought in additional guests…because I would definitely not rent to them for that reason. Our homes are not hotels. They are personal spaces we are sharing with other people. Guests need to treat them as so. Be honest in your review or the same things will happen to the next person to host these guests.