Most Crazy Cancelation Request I've Ever Had!

The guest messaged me and asked me to call him. I did, no answer. He called me back a few later and said he has a serious issue and need to cancel his reservation for the 17th and since he booked it 2 days ago he’s asking if I can give him a full 100% refund.

I asked him to email me because I was busy and we’ll take it from there. Well, he did message me saying his girlfriend fell from the roof of his building and passed away this morning!

Holy crap, I never had anything even close to it. I told him to cancel and have Airbnb call me to authorize the full refund over the phone.

I feel bad for the guy! Just wanted to share with you guys.

Be safe.


Oh my. How awful for him.


Yes it is awful…I can’t imagine. Food for thought: should he cancel under extenuating circumstances policy. If she was a live-in girl friend she may be a common-law wife.

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Gosh, that’s sad. Life can change in an instant.

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Common law wife is a total myth in the UK and a non existent legal entity. What is the case in the states?

Huh? What does that mean? (I’ve never heard of this before)

Yes exactly there’s no such thing as a common law wife, if you cohabit you have no legal rights.

In the US it depends on what state you live in. Common law marriage has been abolished in many states at this point, but there are a handful that still recognize it, such as Rhode Island, Idaho and So. Carolina.


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To build on what @Chloe posted:

“… Recognition by jurisdiction. Common-law marriages can be contracted in the District of Columbia and in nine states: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.”

To complicate things a bit more, it is becoming more common for couples to get married in a Church so they are married “in the eyes of God,” and construct legal documents to mimic some of the aspects of being legally married. This type of marriage is not considered common-law. It is usually done to preserve a survivor benefit.

I must be missing something. If @Oded is giving a full refund why does it matter if common law marriages exist anywhere in the United States?

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A common law marriage occurs when a couple co-habitates for a period of time. The rules by state can vary. In South Carolina, I think the rules are share a domicile for >5 years and have a contract in common like joint bank account, both names on a lease, or joint credit card. Then you are considered common law legally married.

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You are correct - full refund so common law doesn’t matter. I just pointed out that although the guest reported girlfriend, the sad, awful situation may also qualify as extenuating circumstance so a full refund would have been inevitable whether the host gave it or not.

The common law topic took on a life of it’s own.

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Ah. My guess is that Airbnb would have granted EC anyway regardless of the nature of the relationship.

Most unusual reason for a ‘No Show’:
Elderly guest hailing from Australia touring the world fell ill on the first leg of the flight from Belize to El Salvador and then died in the hospital there.

In the UK the legal side is included in a church. It sounds more haphazard than I imagined in the states. I thought it was the land of prenups etc.

This is a joke? Sorry sometimes I’m uncertain about British humour.


In the dog boarding business we sometimes have dogs die in our care or their owners die. One host in a group I’m in relayed recently that an elderly Keeshond was left in her care with the reason that the owner was going out of town for cancer treatment. Instead the owner went out of town and committed suicide. Now the host is left to re-home the dog. As sad as all that is it has made me think about the possiblility of someone passing away or killing themselves in my Airbnb room.

It’s just an extreme contrast: no legality in the church and ‘common law’ marriages versus prenups and personal law suits. We’re more in the middle.

In Canada, you have all the same rights as a married couple after 2 years. In other provinces, it is 3 years or 1 year if you have a child together. My condolences to the guy who lost his gf. How devastating.