[It's escalated; cops involved.] Guests breaking the rules; how do I ask them leave and cancel their stay?

Hello all. I am pretty new to hosting with AirBnb (been a landlord for 12 years), and have come across our first problematic guests. We had guests check in to our whole-house listing yesterday. House rules are no pets and no smoking. I live down the street, and have to pass our AirBnb house any time I go in or out of the neighborhood. Today I drove by and saw a dog in the yard. Later, I saw a different dog on the deck, up on its hind legs and scratching on the door. Another time I drove by, I saw one guest smoking. So I want them to leave, but don’t want to cancel on my end. How do I word a message to them? I won’t be bringing up the smoking, because I have no proof and they will probably deny it, but I have pics of the dogs. They are booked for 29 days, so I can’t just wait this out.

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Contact Airbnb customer service right now and send them the pictures of the dogs and tell them you want them out. Also mention the smoking as you saw it with your own eyes. The customer service agent might want you to keep them on the property but don’t let them push you into that. You don’t want to wait and let this go on as it will not get better.


Thanks for the reply. AirBnb told us to try to resolve it ourselves. Can we insist they (AirBnb) cancel the reservation, or do we have to message the guests first?

Maybe stop by and tell them to get rid of the dogs. Is there a kennel near by you could recommend?

Would you accept the dogs if they paid an additional fee? If so, then it’s a different story, let them know you are aware of the dogs and if they agree to $XXX in additional fees, they can stay. If not, remind them it’s against house rules. Let them know, firmly and politely, they can either cancel the reservation or find a place to home the dogs while they stay in your house (offer them an option if you know one). Keep the wording professional but stick up for yourself. Make sure it’s all in the message system as documentation. If they don’t comply, then go back to customer service. @JamJerrupSunset often says, “your house, your rules.”


What did AirBnB mean by settle it yourself? They might want you to message the guest and tell the guest to cancel. I’d call again and insist the CS agent cancel the reservation due to a violation of house rules.


I would contact them on the app and tell them they have 2 hours to leave, then call CS and insist they back you up on this. There is nothing to settle, your property is no dogs no smoking and they are doing both.

Good luck


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What is your rule on smoking? Do you specifically prohibit anywhere on the property? If so, they are breaking a house rule, and smoke smell is really hard to get out of a house.

If you just say “no smoking”, smokers will assume it’s OK outside.

SEND THE GUESTS a message through the system. Tell them that you know they are violating at least two major house rules – dogs and smoking – and you want them gone in two hours. Tell them to contact Airbnb for a more suitable lodging.

CALL AIR IMMEDIATELY. Tell them you want Air to Cancel these guests for violations of house rules – dogs and smoking. If you get any run - around keep asking to speak to the next level of supervisor until you get satisfaction.


Here’s another question. What is YOUR preferred outcome? Do you want them out? Warned? Shine it all on?

We as hosts are asked to assess our own comfort level. Personally, breaking 2 major rules would give rise to more uneasiness about how my property is being treated. But it’s your call.

BTW I disagree with offering a separate rate for pets. You don’t want them, pure and simple.


We were going through the proper steps, contact Air, message guests, contact Air…
but then we saw this posted on Facebook about our current guests:

“I will never support this company. The owner rented a vacation rental home from us for a month and it is totally trashed and many items are damaged. We have a no smoking policy in it. There are ashes all over it, burn spots on three tables, burns in the area rugs, ashes in a bed, hardwood floor damaged from water spill, moldy food lying around, trash and food in dresser drawers, Cigarette butts all over the place, questionable items and debris that had to be reported to police, broken and missing decorative items. The list just goes on. It is totally mind boggling and shocking. Over 200 photos were taken of this damage. My wife and I have worked very hard to make this house a nice and welcoming place to stay and it is our income. We are going to have to shut it down for at least a month to clean it up, repair and replace items, and attempt to get the very strange odor out of it. We will lose income because of this. In my opinion, any company that does business like this does not have the ethical ability to treat their customers well.”

My husband is currently on the phone with Air, to tell them to get them out NOW. Next step will be a police escort.

I will update later.


I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this situation.

I hope Airbnb was supportive in cancelling the reservation penalty-free.

In a situation like this it’s great to work with Airbnb insofar as they’re helpful, but you are the only advocate for your property. If Airbnb wants to play nicey-nice with guests who are in the process of damaging your house you’ll need to take action without a lot of concern for Airbnb’s wishes or penalties. I’d much rather lose SuperHost status or incur a cancellation penalty than risk another hour of bad guests doing damage in my house.


My husband went over there with the cops, said he was concerned about the condition of our property. Guest would not let them in. He came outside smoking a cigarette and said the the dogs are no big deal because we know about them. Cops said they can’t do anything.

Air says they’ll ask the guest to leave tomorrow.

I imagine my house will be completely trashed by then.

I wouldn’t leave them to do it in peace unless I was in fear of physical harm and if that’s the case now the cops do have reason to intervene. Nothing like this has ever happened to me and it’s hard to say what I’d actually do but I know what I’d feel like doing. The reservation would be cancelled and now they are trespassing so I’d call the police again. They don’t have tenant rights yet. The utilities would be cut off and I’d be on the property with friends. I would be taking pictures of every movement. Their cars would be blocked in until they loaded their things in it. I know you don’t want the house trashed but I think it’s too late for that. When you get them out, document everything and send the bills to Airbnb. I might even call the media, maybe they would be interested in an armed standoff at an Airbnb. LOL. Seriously furious for you. These people and Airbnb need to be named and shamed.


I’m so angry for you! Call Airbnb back and tell them to cancel immediately. This “we’ll ask them to leave tomorrow” is bullshit. I can’t believe they think you should allow them to stay overnight.

I don’t know the laws in your state, but in mine once the rental agreement is voided (cancelled by Airbnb on behalf of the guest or by you unilaterally) they don’t have a right to be on the property.

There’s also this section of Air’s TOS:

8.2.1 You understand that a confirmed booking of an Accommodation (“ Accommodation Booking ”) is a limited license granted to you by the Host to enter, occupy and use the Accommodation for the duration of your stay, during which time the Host (only where and to the extent permitted by applicable law) retains the right to re-enter the Accommodation, in accordance with your agreement with the Host.

Even without cancelling, you may still have a right to enter the property. I’ve heard of hosts rounding up their extended family, entering the house, removing doors from bathrooms, turning off water, heat…basically anything to make the “guests” as uncomfortable as humanly possible.


What a horrible situation, but the police are correct.

If Airbnb haven’t cancelled the booking, the guests are not trespassing and it is a civil matter that we hosts need to deal with.

I agree with the advice you have already received. Get on the phone to Airbnb again and say you fear for your property and the damage the guests will do now they know there booking is being cancelled.

I would go around there with some friends once Airbnb cancel the booking and say you will stay in the property while the guests pack up. Then if they are threatening or don’t leave you can then call the police.

I’m so sorry this is happening to you. The guest walking outside with a cigarette is classic. Classically BAD, that is. Yuck.

I had a defiant guest who would not leave at checkout time, and I ended up parking myself on the porch outside “his” door and sat on hold with Airbnb while they said they were trying to get in touch with him. I kept getting passed up the CS food chain until they finally talked him into leaving.

I didn’t see anyone above suggest contacting Airbnb CS via Twitter, but I’ve known it to cut through the bureaucracy in the past.


@atHomeinCary I’ve sent you a private message.

If the county/town/whatever your property is in has any dog licensing laws report that failure as well. Maybe the cops will do something then. Not likely because most places allow 30 days to get in compliance but at least worth a try, plus to start adding “charges.”

I find the various international responses by police to be really interesting and wonder what the various forces are told on how to deal with issues with Airbnb guests. My local guys have been wonderful, but I live in a small town.
Melbourne city has set up a focused flying squad to close down STR’s with party issues.
Other areas seems to be so sad too bad, you have a civil issue.