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OK, so this couple in their 70s booked me instantly. They came at 3PM when I was at work, so we exchanged messaged if everything was OK and such. The husband has the ABB profile and he booked me for 4 nights. One review, 5*. Upon arriving at home in the evening, they complained about the “horrible traffic” and how they couldn’t get out of the driveway because the traffic was coming with 50 miles per hour. Parathesis here, the fact that I live on a very busy road is disclosed in my listing, if they didn’t read, it’s not my problem.
I was very surprised and I told them that in my 20 years of living here I never had to wait more than 30 sec to get in and out the driveway. The wife was vehement that this is not possible! I told them that the busy street is in the listing and I offered to let them find something else and reimburse them.
They decided to stay.
Then the fun begun. The wife was sick. She coughed like every few minutes, so bad, like spitting her lungs out. I tried to ignore because they came for a funeral the next day, but i couldn’t sleep a wink. the next day i woke up before them, like 5 am an went to the gym.
In the evening I came home at 10 pm, hoping they would be in bed but no, the guy was waiting for me in the kitchen and commented that i work so late. Meanwhile his wife upstairs was coughing her lungs out.
So I went to bed and again I couldn’t sleep. I woke up this morning and again left at 5 am avoiding them and i got so angry that these people make me uncomfortable in my own house and that they shouldn’t be coming to people’s home when they are so sick, that I sent them a message asking them to leave and called ABB CS to tell them I want them out.
I mean they are going to give me a bad review no matter what after they complained about the parking. How should I review them? To me they are totally mad to be staying in people’s houses when the wife is so sick. Even with the funeral. I just recovered from flu last week and I don’t want to start again. I also don’t want my guests coming tomorrow to catch it. I feel like disinfecting everything they touched, the bathroom, the kitchen and washing the bed sheets with the highest temperature possible. Anybody been through this? What should I say in the review?
This is a tough one. The guests aren’t doing anything obviously wrong. Complaining because they are sad (funeral) and sick. On first glance you canceling on them kind of makes you look bad. We always say stick to the facts so “Guest was sick and coughing so persistently and loudly I couldn’t sleep. Guests in this circumstance should not book home share accomodations. Based on this stay I can’t recommend.”
I feel a little sorry for this older couple, in town for a relative’s funeral and not feeling well, being asked to leave your home.
Did you have any problems with them - were they messy or otherwise bad guests? It sounds like your only complaints were that they were worried about the traffic and the wife was sick, neither of which I would mention in a review.
well, I debated in my head, trying to be very sympathetic with their plight. I know some of you will criticize me for not putting up with them but ultimately this is my home and I think that nobody has the right to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home.
I know that when someone dies and the funeral is in the cold season the immune system of the surviving relatives goes down and it’s very probable to get sick. It happened to me at several funerals. But… with all the respect for the dead I have respect for the living too… When I’m sick I don’t go to work and I don’t accept guests in my own house. As I said I had the flu 2 weeks ago and for one week I canceled my guests. I told them I was sick and if they kept the reservation they would get it too. They canceled. So perhaps the wife is grieving (because it’s her relative) but the husband should have known better and booked a hotel instead. So I hold him accountable for this.
I beg to differ KenH, but as I said, I expected some people to criticize me.
It’s NOT my job to make them happy and it’s not their job to make me happy.
Both host and guest have a duty to respect each other. I am there to offer them a clean and welcoming environment. They are supposed to follow the rules and be nice.
If the wife was so sick and they imposed their sickness on me I am not cool no matter what your circumstances are. I might get sick with what she has tomorrow and that wont be cool at all.
If you had a guest who would make you sick coughing in your house, would you be OK? I don’t think so.
I explained the case manager that they have a funeral so they will try to find something else for them. I also explained the case manager that in my opinion they shouldn’t stay in any Airbnb. This is not respectful of them. I mean, who knows, maybe the host has small children or an elderly in her home. Wouldn’t they get sick? Of course they would.
I’m also curious whether you get a “host canceled this reservation” on your account review thread. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to take a chance booking with a host that cancels guests in the middle of their stay for so little cause.
That’s an interesting proposition. I understand because I used to have guests in my part of the house and some made me uncomfortable so I changed how I was hosting. I just can’t imagine cancelling on someone in the middle of a stay who isn’t doing anything in violation of my rules. I would have sucked it up and gotten an airbnb of my own or a hotel to sleep in.
I agree with @KKC and @KenH. I don’t believe these guests have done anything wrong.
Keep in mind that people can have chronic coughs that have nothing to do with communicable disease.
I realize that you live in the home where these guests were staying. We share our home with guests, too. The coughing sounds would be annoying, but not sufficient for kicking the guests out or for giving them a bad review, in my opinion.
Maybe a white noise machine for your bedroom would help allay this type of problem in future.
Coughing doesn’t mean contagious. At worst, they weren’t courteous because of the noise.
This means different things to different people, so it’s hard to fault them for that, plus they’re more cautious drivers if auto insurance companies are to be believed.
You obviously made the decision you thought was right for your business and your emotional state, and it’s done. As for the review, just mention the constant coughing noise kept you up all night. Not sure about the parking. They complained but the impact on you is not clear other than maybe you think they didn’t read the listing.
You have a challenging situation in that you host guests in your home with little privacy / space. I don’t think I could do that. But by doing so, you have to accept your guests idiosyncrasies and personal situations.
I too would have been uncomfortable and fearful of getting sick. I think your initial approach to avoid them was best. However I think your frustration got the best of you and then directed at them. Remember they are the guests; it was you who opened your home up; it is you who they are paying.
Regarding the busy street, you did nothing wrong, other than not acknowledge that older peoples’ reflexes and senses are slower, as such they hopefully are more cautious. I’m sure this is why making a turn on a busy street would take longer for them, than it would for you.
Long before AirBNB, I used to enforce a “3 day rule” w/ my mother for when she would come stay in my home. Anything beyond that would need to be discussed / negotiated before hand. I did this because that was about the the length of time that I could bite my tongue and maintain my patience and civility. You might need to rethink your approach to hosting and/or limit the amount of time a guest can stay. That can always be adjusted for those repeat clients that you are familiar with.
BTW: your situation seems to be trending … You might have had your own “OK Boomer” experience
Funeral aside, I was thinking if I had a 40 year old coughing every 3 minutes would I have asked him to leave? Yes.
If I had an 18 year old with constant cough would I have asked him to leave? Yes.
So why should I allow a 70 year old cough all over my house? Just because he is older? Heck, no.
I also wondered what I would have done in their place. I would have booked a hotel.
I would not write anything about parking although that annoyed me a lot, when it’s the first thing you say to me when you first meet me and she was so vehement, like I was at fault for that traffic. But coughing… yes. Maybe it was chronic, God knows, I’m not a doctor, but by the sound of it, it was a cold or the flu. It’s the season. And I think it’s very disrespectful to show up at somebody’s house full of germs and coughing. I refuse dinner invitation and going out with friends when I am sick, just because i’m contagious even if I take meds and I might feel better.
I had older guests and I went along with them quite well. One 73 year old from UK; I offered him food because I was cooking and took him out to show him the city. Another one, I think he was 80, was really nice, we talked a lot and he made an impression on me with how young in spirit he was and how he was a mentor in his community.
I mean, I disclose that I live on a very busy street and I have a picture of the driveway. So if they didn’t look or didn’t read, it is their problem.
@HH_AZ, you are absolutely right. This is exactly how it happened. From now on I think I’ll be very cautious with old folks. Although my previous experiences with older guests were great. There are people and people. Some 80 years old might lose his sight or hearing but be very young in spirit, be very much engaged in the community and be optimistic. Others not so much. You can never tell.
You kicked guests out of your house in the middle of their reservation, because of assumptions. You assumed they were sick, you assumed they were contagious, and you assumed you would get sick because of them.
Well, @MaryJO I dont think you would have booked an Airbnb if you were sick, would you? Let me tell you a story: a woman in her 30s who was on probation at a company I worked a while ago, was not hired (aka not extended full time employment after the 3 initial months) because of her cough that made everyone cringe. Also she was unkempt and had a very unprofessional attire, more like a beggar. Programmers wear t-shirts and jeans and hoodies, but this particular young woman who was coughing so much, looked more like a homeless person, dirty and unkempt, with disheveled hair and always showed up at work carrying a cello. I know that programers are weird, but this one took the cake. She did accomplish what was asked of her but the management thought she would not fit in the group and they were right. I personally thought I would catch something from her and I avoided her like the plague.
@adrienne12, I don’t think you’re likely to get much sympathy for your actions from other hosts here.
We’re in the hospitality business. That means we accept people as they come. We’ve had neat guests and messy guests. Guests with clean hair and dirty hair. Guests who said they had colds or diarrhea, and guests who were apparently healthy. Guests who were depressed and needed an ear, and guests who seemed fine. Guests who wanted to put what looked like weeks of groceries in our fridge, and guests who never ate anything—that we could see. Quirky guests, crazy guests, and marvelously friendly guests.
We’ve had guests who told us amazingly personal things, guests who have asked us for relationship advice, guests who said (probably) unintentional unflattering things, guests who had arguments with each other, and on and on.
We’ve even had a guest or two who looked downright scary at the outset, but turned out to be a delight.
All kinds of guests. And they have all been good or even great guests.
I don’t think so but what I do know is that people often get sick while traveling. There’s stress, change of schedule, possibly less sleep, jet-lag and just the extra exposure to germs by flying or stopping at restaurants and gas stations, etc. Because of this, I would expect a certain percentage of guests to become sick during the trip, especially this time of year, so would not be surprised to have guests at my airbnb that are sick.
To toss travelers because they are sick seems somewhat cruel to me. I think there is something sacred about sheltering travelers. It’s not something we usually talk about but I do think it is still relevant to what we do as hosts. We do have to protect ourselves of course but I doubt this person’s coughing was any more danger to you then you running errands this time of year. And yes it’s a business but that doesn’t relieve us of ethical obligations that are outside of TOS. I’m sorry as I’m sure this sounds harsh and I’m really not coming down on you but I think your post has raised some interesting philosophical questions. And it’s interestng to me.
I feel for you as you’ve expressed your stress over this very well but I really think it’s just part of the business. Personally, I couldn’t do in-home rentals. My apartments are actually in the same house as me so I am sharing hallways, stairways, yard, etc and that is really already too much for me. So, while I think your feelings are valid, I think your action was unfortunate. I agree with
Additionally, the fact that they had a funeral is a big deal to me. I’ve been that person going to funerals too many times and it’s a strange state to be in. I would never expect guests to behave normally that are coming for a funeral. We do get people for funerals and some of them have been outright annoying but I just try to make them comfortable as I know they are likely not at their best. It even seems to me that it’s an expectation in society that funeral goers get some extra leeway and I think that’s an important part to hold onto of a society that is becoming less gentle all of the time.
And merely as a host, the fallout of their review and the issues with Airbnb don’t seem worth it for just a few days of someone coughing. I’m not sure that in the end that it will serve you best. But I do wish you the best and I applaud you for being so honest in your post.
Since we are analyzing this to death let me say that I had a cough 1.5 years ago in the spring. It was quite persistent. Since it was in the spring I thought that it was allergies. Turns out it’s a common side effect of a blood pressure med. They put me on a different med and the cough went away. If my Airbnb host had booted me over it I’d be livid.
And I’ll also say that just because you’re around sick people doesn’t mean you will get sick. I’ve worked in healthcare for 26 years and healthcare workers are not sick more often than people who don’t spend 6 days a week in a nursing home or hospital. I’ve had the flu only once and it was actually during a 6-month break from work. I would think guests should be more worried than hosts as guests don’t know for sure if you wipe down doorknobs or wash dishes well.
Absolutely. Coughing is a pretty common side effect of medications. It’s also a surprisingly common nervous-tic.
Bit harsh, because of the coughing.
I had 2 couples stay, parents, and son with wife. The mum would stay in, whilst the other 3 went out, because of her coughing and a-spluttering, sounded REALLY bad. I felt quite sorry for her, even tempted to go upstairs, ask if I could get her anything, poor woman.
The option of kicking out never crossed my mind, I was disappointed that her holiday at my home may have been ruined by her cough.
Same with noisy guests, laughing and enthusiastically shutting doors at ALL hours. I cringe, but then I remember they’ve paid me a couple of hundred quid.
All part of the game, innit?