Is this my learning curve or my guests?

I gave my first thumbs down, poor review and I am feeling haunted by it. Guest was a first time Air and we went back and forth for awhile before I accepted his reservation. I stressed the differences between hotel stays and air stays and asked him to thoroughly read the house rules before we went forward.

During his stay, there weren’t any issues other than leaving the portable AC unit running while away. (I rent an attached casita with a kitchenette.) In the house rules as well as the check-out instructions, I request that guests wash all used plates, silver, glassware and put trash in the containers provided, basically leaving the casita as they found it. I also request that all appliances are turned off upon departure.

The first ding was when the guest messaged me close to check-out telling me he would be late doing so as he was 30 minutes away having breakfast. This was poor planning on his part and he just assumed a late check-out was no problem.

The other dings are cleanliness related. There was several items of trash that never made it to the trach containers, half eaten food in the fridge, used tissues in the nightstand drawer, all used plates, silver and glassware that still had food and drink products on them. Water on the floor, house manual taken apart, dings in the closet door and 3 appliances left on. The grand finale was disgusting bodily fluid stains on the sheets. Brownish in color and lots of it. I expect my guests to frolick, but somehow my last 50 couples have found ways to not leave the sheets in such a state.

My review outlined some of these issues with the conclusion that although he struck me as a nice man, he wasn’t understanding the differences between an Air rental and a hotel stay. He glowing reviewed me, 5 stars all the way and left very kind private feedback. Upon reading my review, he lashed out, refuting all items and adding that I dress in black at night and hang out in the backyard, lol. Yes, he made himself look bad.

If you are still with me, thank you, I do appreciate it! What is haunting me is knowing people perceive time and cleanliness issues differently and although I felt disrespected, it probably wasn’t his intent. Leaving him a poor review has left me grappling with various negative feelings, guilt, anger, regret. I feel it’s just not worth it and next time I may not review. Was this my learning curve or his? Thank you for your input.


Usually when I review people I try to look at the whole picture. We’ve had groups of people who were very friendly but were disrespectful of our home and damaged things. We gave them negative reviews and a thumbs down and didn’t feel bad about it. If the guests were really bad and damaged things and broke rules, they deserve a bad review. Maybe that will teach him to respect the space that he is in if he uses Airbnb again. Don’t feel bad, you are warning other hosts about his behavior.


@JaneB - I admit to being curious at how your review is worded since you are “haunted” by it. (yikes!)

Did your guest really suggest that you “dress in black at night and hang out in the backyard”? (Call me dense but I don’t know what that means.)

I think what that means is that I am spying on the guests? Yes, it is bizarre. Here is the review exchange:

Matt strikes me as a nice man that doesn’t understand the difference between staying in a shared home vs a hotel room. Several items that should have made it to the trash can were left out, used tissues in nightstand drawer, dirty glassware, silver, appliances left on…all items that are addressed in the house rules and check-out instructions. Sheets were heavily stained and he told me, rather than ask me, that he would be checking out late.

Matt’s review of Jane:
The pictures are beautiful yet they don’t do the place justice. Do yourself a favor and book it. :slight_smile:

Matt Response from Matt:
Jane seems like a nice person, until you meet her. * No trash was left out, the room was thoroughly scanned before leaving. * It’s difficult to “thoroughly” clean dishes in a bathroom sink. * Sheets do get stained. Heavily? No. They were not heavily stained. * Used tissues? Ok. That happened. * Adults inform other adults of their time issues; real adults say that it’s ok and then don’t say it’s not in a review. Other items of note: * Jane will be in the yard at odd hours dressed all in black. * Private casita and pool as advertised are therefore anything but. * Review of place is definitely true - it’s beautiful and decorated wonderfully but be aware that it’s not actually private.

Can you post the review you left him?

Please see above, thank you

Here is a link to my Air, all 5 star reviews, guests are very complimentary. If you care to peruse, you will see I am always complimentary in reviewing them. I feel I have been blessed with wonderful guests.

Sorry, our posts crossed in the ether. :upside_down_face:

Terrific place!

Thanks for the explanation – I could only come up with him alluding you were a bat or something.

As far as your review, the next time (let’s hope there isn’t one!), it’s probably wiser to be more general and generic and not go into so much detail for fear of coming across as being too picky. You can mention that the guest did not follow the House Rules about cleanliness and checkout procedures and that will clue in other hosts sufficiently. Save the nitty-gritty for your private message to the guest.


Also I believe the often suggested “leave your review at the last possible moment” technique would keep the guest from being able to comment on your review.

Sorry you are going through this!

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My suggestion in retrospect is that you were far too detailed and personal in your review. Remember that reviews are for us hosts, really, not the guest. The private part of the review is where you should have been more detailed and specific.

I would have reviewed him something like this: First time Airbnb user was nice enough, but did not follow the house rules regarding check-out time, food and trash left behind and clean up.


Lack of remorse from Matt, denying most things on the charge sheet, even tried to rewrite history.
It’s what is known as the ‘reverse ferret’.


Wow, it 's gorgeous! I want to stay there!

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I’m laughing at the idea of a host in dark clothes, scoping out the backyard like a private eye. :crazy_face:

I’ve felt similarly after leaving a bad or lukewarm review when the guest left a glowing one. It can make me feel petty or mean, even when worded unemotionally and professionally, as yours was. He didn’t like being called out, so you got an emotional response.

Some things you took issue with I wouldn’t have mentioned in public review, but each host needs to find their own line. I usually go easier on new Airbnb users and will leave private feedback along with stars removed. It sounds like a litany of small issues with this particular guest. While I can see why you reviewed him as you did, most of these would’ve been private feedback items for me. My review might say something like “As a new Airbnb user, X wasn’t as familiar with the culture of cleanliness and courtesy most Airbnb guests exhibit. With feedback taken to heart, I think X will do fine in future stays.”

I get peeved about guests not putting things in garbage, as we ask in the checkout instructions. Leaving tissues and garbage strewn about feels disrespectful, so I get it. I’ve found some people don’t like throwing away “perfectly good leftovers”, which get left in the fridge. If it adds more than 15 minutes to our cleaning time I’d consider putting it in the review (private or public), but most of the time this kind of minor negligence isn’t enough to make me unhappy with the stay. If I still like their money enough to have them back, I don’t mention it.

Unless it’s truly negligent, I consider stains, dings, and small broken items to be the cost of doing business. I wouldn’t mention sex-stained sheets in public review.

Even my best guests sometimes forget to turn off all the appliances (they fail at the Keurig a lot), so unless it’s a safety issue I wouldn’t take them to task.

I do think your guest has a point about washing dishes in the bathroom sink. I have what sounds like a similar setup (suite attached to home) and what’s worked well for me is to provide a dish pan in which guests can load their dirty dishes. They leave these in a spot for me to wash up during their stay, or leave them in the suite for me to do between guests. There’s a certain “gross” factor knowing the prior guests washed your dishes in the bathroom sink. From both a hygiene and guest satisfaction standpoint, I think it would be worthwhile to change this.


I’d say move on. I agree with not being so specific in the review but OTOH I don’t read your review and say to myself that I would avoid renting from you. Hardly anyone will see his comment on your review of him, it won’t affect your bookings.

Since you only have a bathroom sink maybe you shouldn’t expect them to clean dishes. Provide disposable ones or give them a place to leave them outside and you can wash and bring new ones. I don’t see anything weird or difficult about washing dishes in a bathroom sink but apparently some people do so you have to deal with it.

Another approach is to assume the Matts of the world will be one of 25 or 50 and don’t change anything.

You’ve nothing to feel haunted about, your place is lovely and your reviews reflect it.

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I absolutely love your place and just saved it to my favorites. As far as your review - try to let get go of those guilty feelings and remember all your great feelings from interacting with other guests. I know it can be hard to let go but a glass of wine and laughter with friends and family helps!!

Maybe he meant that she’s an old bat? :slight_smile:

This wasn’t a great guest but neither was he terrible. The host allowed him to dictate check out time? That shows an inattentive host to me rather than a bad guest. I’ve had guests ‘tell’ me what time they are checking out and I have corrected them. Some of the other issues aren’t what a great guest would have dome but nothing too bad.

I also think that feeling ‘haunted’ and ‘grappling with various negative feelings, guilt, anger, regret’ aren’t feelings that belong in a business relationship.

Was the guest really expected to wash dishes and so on in the bathroom sink? That’s a bit gross.

My unit also doesn’t have a kitchen nor do I offer kitchen access in the main house. I had to put in my listing that babies needing bottles washed and food prepped would not be a good fit in my listing since doing so in the bathroom is not sanitary for baby, or good for my plumbing.

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I know that my hygiene standards aren’t everyone’s hygiene standards but I find it gross when people wash non- face or hands in the bathroom sink or wash their hands in the kitchen sink.

@jaquo - “Maybe he meant that she’s an old bat?”

I doubt it ~ Judging from her listing photo, she is definitely not bat-like, old or otherwise. :wink:

“I find it gross when people wash non- face or hands in the bathroom sink or wash their hands in the kitchen sink.”

Oh-oh…then I’m out of the running. I can’t tell you how many times a day I wash my hands in the kitchen sink…all through my cooking prep, that’s for sure. Also, I always think the dish detergent is stronger than the bathroom liquid hand soap.