How would other hosts handle this - bathroom backup issue

Hello! I look to this group for help for a guest of mine who went to another Airbnb and is being charged for a plumbing bill when the toilet backed up. This guest has stayed with me dozens of times so I know he is one of the best guests on my list! He wants to know if anyone has any words of wisdom on how to handle the resolution center. He has been given a $170.00 plumbing bill by the host.
Here is the short story: He used the toilet the first time upon arrival - no backup. He used it a second time later in the day and had to wipe (ahem) - it backed up. He turned off the water valve when he saw it was going to back up. Was not finished cleaning himself up so he used another bathroom - it backed up with just toilet paper in it.
Host is claiming he backed up both toilets due to too much toilet paper so he should pay for the plumber. What is his best way to win this with the Resolution center?
Thanks in advance!

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Is he in a different country or in an area where toilet paper is an issue?

Is he living alone in this new place or is anyone else sharing the bathroom with him?

Here in Los Angeles I can’t imagine a plumber coming to the house for less than $170.00.

I would advise your guest to tell his side of the story to Airbnb. We have had plumbers say that there was a lot of toilet paper in the pipes. It’s not from one or two times of someone going to the bathroom. It gets built up over time so no particular person can be blamed. As there were no warnings that the plumbing was sensitive and your guest didn’t use an unusual amount of toilet paper; I believe that Airbnb will side with him.

What has being larger in stature got to do with using more tissue paper ?

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It is a master bedroom (private room rather than stand alone place)
in California

If the host presented an invoice to the guest through resolution center, then I would call the plumber to find out first hand what his professional opinion is.

I would also ask the plumber if they are claiming the issue was due to the amount of toilet paper…then why won’t a regular plunger resolve that.

I have a plunger in my bathroom. It was not necessary to call a plumber. He should win this one.

@cabinhost- Also, the second bathroom was an en suite in which no one was using.
@Robert_Dudley - Exactly…I told him if he had put a toy in the toilet making it require a plumber then that would be understandable but maintenance of a home’s plumbing is not up to a guest.
@EllenN and @cabinhost

  • The host went on the Internet and made up a receipt to submit to the Resolution center. I am sure that in itself will cause her to be discredited in the eyes of Air besides the fact that the guest is usually innocent until proven guilty without a shadow of a doubt when it comes to this type of dispute. I thought receipts had to be verifiable on letterhead with addresses and phone numbers. Anyone know if I am right? I have only read of the process here on threads, thank God I have not gone through it!

A receipt for a repair doesn’t make a case for a particular person causing the problem. As I said, toilet paper tends to build up over time so it’s not reasonable to say that a specific guest caused the problem. Also, we have our toilet snaked at least once a year so that toilet paper won’t cause the toilet to back up.

I think the proof is the fact that he used two toilets and they both backed up. There was something in the main line causing the issue.

I have an old house and have had quite a few plumbing issues recently. I would never think to blame or charge the guest staying there at the time (unless they clearly flushed a toy or something crazy down the pipes). Rather, I generally give full or partial refunds for the inconvenience caused to their stay. It’s a drag, but part of the cost of doing business. I would recommend he fight the charge, it seems very unfair to me.


Right!!! That happened in my mom’s 55 year old house!

I agree! This host should be on the bad host list. She was threatening/intimidating him! This is a portion of what he is responding with to Air. He is looking for help with what to write,

"Threatening to take security deposit, bill for additional rooms and dates,
“threatening to sue for damages because she’s a Realtor and knows the Law;
threatening to call police because she’s went to Law school and knows the Law;
threatening to have me arrested for Breaking and Entering the 2nd bathroom;
the door to the 2nd bathroom off the kitchen was open. I did not break into
the 2nd bathroom off the kitchen, the door was open: how else would I know to enter?”

Maybe you all can help him with what is important to tell Air…here is all of his document he is crafting for Air.
Host has sent me a Plumber’s bill for $170 which is clearly invalid. There is
no vendor information whatsoever on the bill, only Host’s name & restatement of
Host’s false opinions. I reject the Invoice entirely, it doesn’t prove work was done,
doesn’t say to whom money was paid, lacking even a name or address or credentials
of the purported plumber making the statements. The Host’s so-called Plumbing
Invoice is a boilerplate template printed out, dubious and possibly fraudulent.

The Host has requested $170 reimbursement of a plumber’s bill necessary
to unclog her drains. This is absurd. My actions, including the use of the facilities
including the amount of toilet paper were completely appropriate, prudent and responsible,
I certainly didn’t intentionally cause drain backup, nor am I responsible for such
general or routine maintenance to fix Host’s poorly draining pipes which were
well-know to the Host before the incident.

A plumbing failure led host to Evict me at the end of my 1st day,
and calling police because she felt threatened for her safety…she said.
The truth is she was larger than I and intimidating enough to prevent me
from entering the kitchen and bath to collect my belongings on leaving.
Host prevented me from recovering my valuables by physical intimidation,
blocking the kitchen bathroom and front doors; this Host has behaved
and continues to behave like a Bully. I’m a somewhat frail senior approaching
60 years old, 5’5” , overweight; I don’t move too well, and I’m not very
athletic; I’m not intimidating. I believe AbnB should have zero tolerance
for the Host’s bullying, intimidation and harassment tactics, and lying.

								Continued next page...

Series of events:

1st bathroom use & flush w/ seemingly no problem;
1st wipe and second flush, toilet overflow, I quickly thought to close
the toilet water intake to prevent serious flooding. I thought to
use the bathroom I saw thru its open door off the kitchen to
complete my 2nd wipe; when I flushed the second toilet a few minutes
later, that 2nd toilet also backed up and perhaps up to a few ounces of
water spilled over. I texted Host to quickly advise of trouble :

Feb 15, 2017 react-text: 429 /react-text
one flush of the toilet has flooded the bathroom floor.
a plumber is needed immediately.

The Host’s text replies:

react-text: 398 /react-text
That’s never happened before I’m just saying and I cannot afford a plumber did you put a lot of toilet paper inside the toilet by chance because that’s the only thing that would cause it to over flood
Feb 15, 2017 react-text: 405 /react-text

react-text: 422 /react-text
I’ve been doing this for a year and a half I am the one who clean that toilet in there was nothing wrong with that did you put a lot of toilet paper in? I cannot afford a plumber

this is not a hotel where I could call maintenance just like that I’m a single mother and I cannot afford a plumber please see what you could do in regards to that I have a strong feeling it has to do with possible extra toilet paper that you flush down again I’ve never had this issue before

Feb 15, 2017 react-text: 357 /react-text
react-text: 374 /react-text
I have no plumbing issues whatsoever in the entire house
Feb 15, 2017 react-text: 381 /react-text

							Continued next page...

1-Clearly, the Host was lying when texting the problem never had happened before.
Above, see Host texted me & was at least aware of a plumbing problem with toilet
paper, but, hadn’t previously described or warned me of an existing plumbing problem
or included restrictions on toilet paper use in the House Rules. Host’s recurring problems
needed attention. How could Host predict the cause if the problem never occurred before?

2-The Host responded to my text with immediate hostility followed by
verbal harassment and physical intimidation, and insistence that
the problem had ‘never occurred before.’ But, Host had also texted that
indeed a problem with respect to toilet paper was well-known to her.
How would the Host know of the toilet paper issue unless it HAD
happened before ? Host’s other reactions to my text message::

Threatening to take security deposit, bill for additional rooms and dates,
threatening to sue for damages because she’s a Realtor and knows the Law;
threatening to call police because she’s went to Law school and knows the Law;
threatening to have me arrested for Breaking and Entering the 2nd bathroom;
the door to the 2nd bathroom off the kitchen was open. I did not break into
the 2nd bathroom off the kitchen, the door was open: how else would I know to enter?

3-The Host replied to my text saying she could not afford plumbing services,
wasn’t responsible for any maintenance, and ordered me the Guest to
resolve any such maintenance issues. I declined to perform any
such maintenance on Host’s behalf. I was a Guest, not an employee.

I thought it strange for Host to state I was responsible at the time of the incident;
and insistence that I caused the plumbing issues. At the time I declined responsibility
for, or further action to repair the plumbing; the Host excalated the issue to bullying
tactic into a brouhaha ending with eviction.

The cause was unknown to me at that time other than the plumbing backed up;
the owner seemed irresponsible about her property. She didn’t ask about the
the condition of her property, just insisted it wasn’t her problem.

Guest should actually be refunded his stay. You have to have promised and basic amenities working!


Really too much information in these responses to Airbnb. While I get we are talking about plumbing I don’t want to know what happened in excruciating detail thanks!

That huge stream of consciousness reply can be pared down to a few sentences.


What are the reviews for this host?

She is def. cray cray! Physically blocking the guest from removing his belongings?

And her claims of knowing the law and calling the police because she is a realtor and also went to law school? What???

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Slightly off topic, but we had Air renters over Labor Day (Sept). One of the three toilets seemed to be having some problem for my husband (I call that toilet room, his “library”) after their departure Then a week or so later, another group of Air renters, who told me in pm that the toilet was draining very very slowly. btw: we have two plungers available for use, since toilets do back up sometimes. (13 yr old house)

After that group left, we had a plumber come in. He tried to snake the toilet, but there was something in the way. He could not budge it. Loss = $140 plumber fee… So we had to buy a new toilet (Lowes $225). Hubs installed it. Old toilet has been in the garage for months until last week when hubs smashed it open to see what the heck was in there, before we took it to the dump.

A toothbrush. A simple Colgate toothbrush. Who the hell flushes or accidentally flushes a toothbrush?

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The truth lies somewhere between the two stories.

Did he enter a second bathroom that he did not have permission to use ?

People can block toilets with too much toilet paper, or too much of something else.
I would ask for the contact details of the plumber and talk to them first and ascertain what work was required if any. A good ole plunger can work wonders, and very useful to have in your home.

I am not fully understanding the justification for evicting him, leaving aside accident damage but on what grounds was he removed and why in heavens name was the police called. You can still host something while having an on going issue , this part is not very clear

My brand new bathroom toilet backed up soon after it was finished. Luckily my nephew was staying there instead of a paying guest. The blockage was further down the line, near where they had opened up the sewer line to put the new connection. The plumber said they frequently get clean out jobs for new construction because things fall into the openings or even (!!!) workers stick things in the line that they shouldn’t like plastic water bottles or rags. The contractor reimbursed me for this job. If it happens again I would pay for it and would never ask a client to pay. I can’t imagine how I could prove any particular guest caused the the problem.