Minor stuff guests did without asking - would any of these bother you?

Hello everyone,

Here is a short list of things guests did which struck me as less-than-optimal.

  1. Group A: Run washing machine morning after arrival without asking.

Background: youngish, friendly couple from Australia. Arrived late night/early morning. When giving them the walkthrough, I pointed to the washing machine and said “washing machine”. They seem to have thought that was a green light to go ahead and use it. I discovered it running later that morning, around 9ish. I wrote in my guest guide.

There is a washing machine (Bosch, front-loading, 7 Kg)
available for guest use. We are currently charging \rupee~50 per
load. Detergent is included. However, we ask that you let us do the
actual loading of clothes. Once clothes have been washed, we have a
drying line we can put it on.

which they presumably didn’t read.

(Sidebar: Of the four groups to use the washing machine, only one group paid for it. Of the three groups whose review I have read, they were also the only ones to give me 4 stars. I’m not sure if this means anything, but it’s a bit ironical.)

After I discovered the washing machine running, I told them they should have asked me first. The male guest said he was sorry, and we left it at that.

They actually seemed like nice people, and I’m inclined to not mention it. And I’ll try to make a point of telling people to ask me first before using. I’m just paranoid about damage. (Oh, and they left some underwear behind on the line.)

  1. Group B: Moved the plastic table on the upstairs terrace to the balcony garden, and then had breakfast there. That was actually a reasonable thing to do, because it was blazing hot upstairs that day, and I don’t have any cover set up, but I would have liked to have been asked. They were also nice people (German), and they gave me a great review. I didn’t mention it in their review.

  2. Group C: Order takeout to be delivered without asking. This one is probably not a big deal. Just wondered if anyone thought it was worth caring about. Again, I’d like to be asked. (Maybe I’m overly fussy). This was a young Indian couple.

  3. Group C: Planned to smoke on upstairs terrace without asking. The guest came asking for matches. I said there was no smoking in the room, to which he responded that he would smoke on the terrace. I didn’t have any matches, and told him to ask our cook, who didn’t have any either, I think.

I probably won’t mention (3) or (4) in C’s review either. I don’t want to be either a nitpicker or a pushover, so I’m trying to steer a middle course. But a bit of sanity checking never hurts.

So, in summary, would any of these bother you? And if they did, would you mention them in a review? I’m not ambitious enough to try to set up a poll.

This confuses me… why can’t people do their own washing? Is it a special machine? Who wants someone else to do it? Especially underwear and things! And most people do a load of washing after traveling so I don’t think that’s abnormal.

If your worried about damage it would be covered if something happened. Don’t know how u can damage a washing machine though.

Also do your rules say no smoking? I would change it if you don’t want smoking.

And I think you need to stop expecting guests to ask you to do things. No one is going to, I I used to be paranoid of people moving things and doing things I wouldn’t have ever thought of doing but you just have to get over it! Otherwise you’ll be annoyed all the time haha :sweat_smile:

If they don’t read, which appears to be normal, then they don’t know. You pointed to the washing machine which implies they have access.
Is there “please don’t move the furniture” and “no take away food to be ordered to our address” and
"no smoking on or in the premises" in your unread house rules?
People are just doing what they do when they are staying somewhere…not in the rules, hard to police!

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  1. Did they pay? Do you have a note on the washing machine to remind them that if they want clothes washed, they shouldn’t do it themselves but given them to you (they should put their own clothes on the line). You can put a lock on the washing machine and ensure you collect payment before the wash.

  2. As long as they put it back I wouldn’t mention anything

  3. No

  4. Decide whether your outside places are smoking or non smoking. If they are no smoking put up signs as well as having in your house rules.

Quite a few hosts don’t let guests use washing machines because they can damage them @Cocoanouk. It also means they can use the machines at inconvenient times for the hosts.

People are using to hotels and laundrettes doing their washing including their smalls.

Hi @Cocoanouk,

Washing machine damage is definitely possible. And I might be paranoid, but better safe than sorry. The Amazon reviews did say there something screwy about the interior drum coating, and that it was extra scratchable, so to be careful what you put in it. But it still looked like the best bet from the options available.

We have someone who handles the washing for us, and I tell everyone else to leave it alone. And washing machine damage is covered? By who? If you mean Airbnb, I’d say it’s very unwise to assume that.

And no, it’s not a special machine. Just a regular front loader.

I would have thought the same thing.

If they moved outside furniture to a different location outside, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I wouldn’t have asked either. Why would you expect them to?

If there is no smoking in the room, but you allow smoking elsewhere, I don’t know why you think they would need to ask in order to smoke on the terrace.

If you showed the guests the washing machine, it is reasonable for them to assume they can use it. You said yourself that moving the plastic table was a reasonable thing to do. To be honest, I don’t know why you expect guests to ask you if they can order takeout or smoke in a designated area. I think it sounds like all the guests did reasonable things that did not violate any of your rules, so I would mention any of it in reviews.

None of these things would bother me.

The guests were just doing what people do in their everyday life, including when they are away from home. I don’t see using a washing machine, moving furniture, ordering food or smoking outside as being anything remotely out of the ordinary.

Oh, quite.

Nothing about furniture or take away food. No smoking is mentioned in the listing (it just says “No smoking” in a couple of places), but not the guest guide. I suppose I could/should add it to the guest guide. And would something more than “no smoking” be worth writing in the listing? I’m ok with people smoking on the upstairs terrace, but I’m not sure I want to encourage it, or smokers. Have I mentioned I’m paranoid about fire?

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People not remembering every special rule every BnB on their trip has, is totally normal to me. When you said “washing machine”, you could have easily added the full explanation. To prevent this from happening in the future, at least put a clear note above the washing machine, and do not mention it in your welcome tour.
Isn’t there a laundry close by, where you can direct people to? That way you never have to worry.

I would have just asked to move it back, before they were leaving your place. I don’t see a problem with it.

Unless your rules explicitly prohibit food in their room or use of the dining room, it wouldn’t bother me and I don’t think they should have asked.

Most smokers think it’s ok to smoke outside. Asking would have been nice, but I don’t see any reason to mention it in a review. If people can only smoke in a designated spot or on the street, you will have to make this clear to them.

No, it wouldn’t bother me enough to mention it in the public or private review.

Faheem, if you’ll forgive me, I have a feeling that the problem is not the guests’ expectations, but your own . I sympathise with you on this, because I also have things that I’d prefer guests not to do, but I don’t explicitly forbid/allow, as I don’t want to be over-prescriptive or have a million rules. There are other hosts on here who are very clear about what they will or won’t accept, and I’ve learnt from them the importance of making up my own mind first and stating my boundaries, rather than expecting guests to be able to read my mind!

For instance, I’m a pretty relaxed host on the whole but something I have to be firm about is parking on our road. It looks as if you can park anywhere, but people living further up the hill get very annoyed when they round the bend and a strange car is in their way! I used to let it go, but a neighbour complained to me and I now say “Park between trees x and y” and if it’s not correctly parked they have to move it!

Otherwise, I try to think what the guests might want to do and make it as easy as possible for them to do it without annoying me! So … takeaway food exists, so I recommend services I know are good and tell them where to get the delivery person to call so I don’t have to answer the door.

I think one thing that has helped me is having been a guest myself several times as well as hosting, which has given me a real insight as to what my own guests might want to do … but, as you know, it’s a learning curve for all of us and I think one of the things that helps me most is recalling that well-known motto: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”


Hi @Helsi,

No, they didn’t pay for using the washing machine. But I’m less bothered by that than possible damage to the machine. I suppose I could put a note - something like: GUESTS: PLEASE CHECK WITH HOST BEFORE USING MACHINE.

Actually, the washing line is part of the problem. It’s where we put our clothes too, and there is a significant possibility that guest clothes will get mixed up with our own, and this has indeed happened. I plan to get a drying rack the guests can use. A lock on the washing machine? I’m not sure that’s practical, but thank you for the suggestion. I’m not sure how one would lock a washing machine, and one would have to keep locking and unlocking it. I’m also not really bothered about payment - it’s more of a deterrent to an excessive number of washes.

None of those bother me enough to comment on. Not everyone reads the guest guide thoroughly so if you definitely don’t want people using the washing machine themselves then mention that on the walk through. I ask guests to return any furniture they move to where it came from but I figure sometimes they forget because they don’t see the place the way I do. I have been amused watching the terrace furniture move around over Summer and tried to work out what the guests were hoping to achieve. More sun for some, less for others. If you don’t allow smoking inside but do allow smoking on the terrace then that should be in your rules so your guests shouldn’t have to ask. As far as takeout goes I can’t see why that is your business really unless the delivery person is coming on to your property. Again, if it bothers you, put it in the rules or mention it during the walk through.

Non of it would bother except that they didn’t pay for laundry. Butvtheu probbalynsont read the rules as usual.

I think you should remove the washing machine as an amenity. It seems like its to much of a hassle for you & your guests.

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Kirsty, I’m inclined to agree. We offer our guests use of the washer and dryer but very few actually do so. I don’t know about Mumbai (obviously) but here, people aren’t really inclined to do their laundry.

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