Is it worth it?

So I’ve been at this for a few months, and for the first time I’m considering putting in a claim with Airbnb. The item damaged was a washcloth and it’s maybe a 10$ item, so it’s not a huge deal monetarily but it’s the principle behind how it was damaged that’s bothering me. It seems as if they used it to clean dirt off of shoes or something similar. And then I found it next to the garbage as if they believed it was disposable. I’ve had guests dirty towels before but it was clear that it was from their intended use.

Also, I leave full sized toiletries in the room and one, that I bought the day of their arrival, is gone. Another 10$. Again I have things like coffee, tea, soda, advil packets, etc that I provide. With previous guests, considering their length of stay and not seeing them in the garbage I’m certain that they went in a backpack to use at a later date. Which has always irked me because I’m not a hotel, but I’ve left it alone…but who takes a whole bottle of shampoo in good conscience??

Anyway, those combined means I’m losing 30% of the total cost for their one night stay.

I have two questions, can I even put in a claim for both of those items? Particularly the toiletry because it’s not stated anywhere that you can’t leave with the whole bottle. And two, should I? Or just leave it alone and chalk it up to the cost of doing business?

Thanks for your input :slight_smile:

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Ooo boy.
I hear you as I was also appalled when cheapskate guests took off with my large shampoo bottles and my bug spray. ( and then had the nerve to leave a bad review.)

I also didn’t have signs that said “shampoo is the property of the apartment and may not be removed from the room.” I mean… do we really have to state that??

The items are kind of petty to make a claim on and you might want to not do it because your guests have to approve the claim …and if they have not reviewed you yet, they might write a bad review…which will cost you way more than shampoo and a washcloth.

I would wait until the last second (determined by the time stamp on the first review reminder they sent you) and slam them. The guests were discourteous with your property using towels to wipe their shoes and discarding them in the garbage and then stealing house supplies.

Don’t do the claim, do the bad review.


Pick your battles, a dishcloth is definitely a minor issue in my opinion. Guests will do this that annoys us, but sometimes its best to let it go. Pop a dispenser in your bathroom if you want to provide shampoo etc but drill it to your tiles or walls so it can’t be removed. I had a guys once who was with me to buy a house, he had a 1/2 a million in his account to buy a house outright. He used to rob our food at night and take toilet rolls from the bathrooms, some people are just plain odd, always makes for good stories with family or friends.

I would remove the medication immediately, regardless if it belonged to another guest or not, what is a guest had a reaction to it, whom would they guest try to blame for having medication available ( In ireland you have to tell the chemist what you need some over the counter medication for, not sure if US is the same )

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Ah but that’s because once he buys the house, he won’t have any money. He was planning for the (penniless) future! :innocent:

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That is what I would base the answer on. If you offer a really low cost and those missing items count for that much of your earnings I would be tempted to make a claim just to prove a point to someone who did both of these.

For our home we get ruined cloths where it was obvious they did something like washing their car with it, even though we leave cleaning rags… I don’t get it when people are so dense. We’ve also had items go missing, but it would be petty for me to claim something with the amount we charge.

What I would do, though, is to write to the guest privately and say that they must have unintentionally taken the large, full shampoo that you leave for guests to use while they stay with you, and would they like to reimburse you for the cost to replace it?

Then I’d still slam him in the review, because you shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing.


So much good advice!
I like @CanadianHost’s idea of putting in a request for the cost of the shampoo.
I can completely understand your frustration, as I’m a house share at a low price point.
Those $10 items really do add up, quickly.


I knew a multi-million dollar heiress who would save money on buying notepads by saving scrap paper and cutting them into squares. She owned a period estate in an unnamed country with antique pieces that were period to the house (1600s.) as well as a townhome in a tony area of the capital city.

I mean the notepad thing also had to do with recycling. So at least she had some awareness about that.


Your answer is better than mine. :star_struck:

I just like the idea of letting people know that they haven’t gotten away with something.

We have a few items that I WISH I could pinpoint to a particular group! There was a group from Hawaii that I’m pretty certain took a hand-turned wood bowl that I leave near the bathroom to put small items in, and they denied it. I let it go.

When it’s done privately it allows them to save face - going through a third party makes them defensive.

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At that price point I’d buy cheaper washcloths! At any price point I’d get cheaper washcloths. They should be anywhere from 50 cents to $2 each. Next I wouldn’t supply extras like Advil or soda.

I wouldn’t make a claim or confront them but I would mention it in the review.

What is the point of leaving full-size toiletries in the room? If a consumable is in a room they consider it theirs. You couldn’t use an opened one for another guest anyway. If you must have full bottles of shampoo, leave them in the bathroom where guests will understand they are for common use and hopefully not take them. I have the mini-bottles and the odd one gets used or disappears but no big deal. I probably got them from a hotel! Oh, and if you do leave full bottles of shampoo in the bathroom, buy flip-tops and tear of the top of the top. Let’s see them get that leaky bottle in their luggage.

Never provide medications. Someone will be allergic to every medication and guess who will get the blame. Very dangerous.


What about a first aid kit?

I missed the bit where OP said these were left in the guest’s room. Very valid points by @CountyBB - of course, any such toiletries left in the room can be interpreted as being given to the guests.
Anything left for consumption in the bathroom make more sense when placed in the bathroom.

And the leaky bottle suggestion is a great idea too. If so inclined, I wonder if one could pour the shampoo out to containers like an olive-oil jar. Maybe that’s taking it a bit far.

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I’ve had guests steal loads of small stuff and one expensive tech item (I have never bothered to claim as thiefs don’t usually admit guilt IMHO) but wierdly no toiletries and my are high end as I share the bathroom so I’m happy :blush: I do :heart:️ your idea about breaking the tops off though.

The real shifty back packer types (no offence but all my stolen stuff has been from these groups) will just squeeze the shampoo into little take away bottles they have. At least I’m making it harder :slight_smile:


First, I am new on this site and had forgotten that many of us are not living onsite. I can’t imagine not being in the same house as my guests, that is scary. Most of the problems some of you have just don’t happen when the host is in the next room. In 3.5 years I have had a couple of minor items broken, and the only thing I have noticed being stolen was… nightlights (really)… Nightlights must be fascinating…

I put a little box of toiletries (about 6" X 6") in each room consisting of a mini shampoo, conditioner, liquid shower soap, mini bar of soap, a nail file, some Q-tips, some bandaids, a panty liner, a cheap comb, and earplugs, and whatever else I can think of at the moment. I consider these things theirs since they are in the room. Usually they don’t get used at all or maybe a Q-tip might go. Occasionally the whole thing gets dumped into a suitcase, but that is very rare.

To answer your question about the medical kit, as a nurse I have a giant one. I don’t let guests have access to any ointments, creams, pills, or medications of every kind. Occasionally I will hand out a plain Tylenol or Advil after grilling the guest on allergies etc., but prefer not to. "Have you had Advil before? is a good question. So, if you are not living with the guest, a well-stocked medical kit is a good idea but as I said without medications of any kind.

I agree with most that this will probably come down to the review…meaning leaving a neutral/negative one. I mostly don’t want to scare guests off with a negative review feeling that they may be nickle and dimed if I find something that I’m not happy with.

I leave toiletries in the room because I also live in the house and all toiletries in the bathroom are mine. And this is really just an issue of lack of storage space…I don’t have the capability of separating mine from shared unless I leave it in the guestrooms. I’ve had 50+ guests who have understood that full sized means “use while you’re here”, there’s really no excuse based on common sense and basic manners for it leaving the house in someone’s bag. Individual sized toiletries would be even more cost prohibitive than what I already provide.

As for Ibuprofen, there’s a reason why Airbnb is 18+ to book. Anything that goes in your mouth is your responsibility. Every packet is clearly marked with warnings about possible interactions. And if you can’t read it, don’t eat it!

P.S the day I wrote this post, another guest broke a picture frame…also purchased very recently. When it rains it pours :slight_smile: Did they offer to replace it…nope!

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