My guests broke rules by smoking cigs and marijuana in and outside my house

My guests were horrible. The first night they were there they had a party till 3am. We have a no party policy. They smoke cigarettes and marijuana because I can smell it bc I’m next door. I’m a new host. Didn’t know what to do. But 3am I messaged them to stop the noise. The next morning I message them about no parties and no smoking. They promised me they wouldn’t smoke. That same night I smelled more marijuana coming out of the unit. I then approached the guest bc he was outside. He denied it. I freaked out and said if you must smoke outside because I was worried about the smell that would stay in the house. The next day I tried to call Airbnb to get them to cancel the reservation but then my guests begged me to stay bc they had no where else to go and it’s rainy and cold. I did allow them to stay if they follow the rules. I did take a video of one guest smoking in my driveway as proof of Airbnb needed it. Note the guest is threatening me about having a lawyer come after me. They had already left the house and was wanting their “deposit” back when Airbnb doesn’t require a deposit. They thought there was. Since I was in touch with Airbnb I mentioned that I had proof of them smoking outside and I have proof of them smoking inside from their admitting they did smoke inside through our texts back and forth. But the thing that got me mad was Airbnb employee told the guest that I had proof in the form of a video of them smoking. So now the guest is saying I will hear from his lawyer and even gave me the name and number of his lawyer. Can someone please help with this matter. I was trying to protect my property. Was trying to provide evidence in case I needed to report this matter to Airbnb I’m the future. It was a terrible 7 days.

Can the guest really take legal action against me for taking a video of him smoking in my driveway? I was standing near the driveway as well.

They left the house very dirty and it still smells like marijuana.

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I couldn’t sleep all last night and all week due to the stress they put on me. I believe these guys go from Airbnb to Airbnb living with 6 guys and splitting the cost.

I don’t know where you’re located and I don’t the laws in other countries, but if you’re in the States then absolutely not. There is no expectation of privacy in a driveway so it’s perfectly legal to take photos or video of someone standing in a driveway. They won’t get anywhere with it.

I don’t understand why you didn’t tell them to leave the first night when they were having a party.


I also don’t understand why you didn’t boot them out the first night. It’s your property and one of the advantages of living onsite is that guests can’t get away with bad behavior. But you allowed them to. And it isn’t your concern that they have no where else to go, that’s their problem. They should have thought about that before they disrespected you and your property and ignored your rules.

Airbnb doesn’t have a swat team that arrives to boot out guests like this. That’s up to the host. If course, contact Airbnb to report it and tell them the booking needs to be cancelled, but don’t wait for Airbnb to “do something” while guests are actively trashing the place and breaking rules.

And it sounds like you need to vet guests better. If you have IB turned on, turn it off until you learn how to vet guests.


I agree with the others that, assuming U.S. laws apply, there is no expectation of privacy outside. Airbnb does require that outside video cameras be explicitly disclosed, so I am assuming that you made that disclosure (which is an Airbnb requirement not a U.S. law).

In future, I would recommend that you cancel the reservation immediately in coordination with Airbnb. You never know what they’re doing inside the house and once aware of such an egregious violation, it’s best to get them out. If necessary you can even call the police to assist you.

Best efforts at prevention are ideal. I recommend that you have an automated reply for all bookings that includes the following (I suggest additional paragraphs on other items that are not about rules, but the message for us begins this way):

We look forward to hosting you starting at 4 pm on short code start
[check-in date]short code end

; your check-out is at 10 am on short code start
[checkout date]short code end

. Your reservation is for short code start
[number of guests]short code end

and you understand that the home is suitable only for children age 12 and over. No animals. Maximum occupancy, whether overnight or not, is six. Property not for smokers; no parties or events. No third party bookings, meaning that the person making the booking must be staying overnight throughout the stay. Questions? Just ask!


I’m afraid to say that you’ll need to toughen up a bit if you’re going to be a successful host. (I don’t like it at all when people say things like that but sadly, it’s true in this case - tough love.)

You’re next door to your rental so you really have no excuse. Like @muddy, I don’t understand why you didn’t throw them out on that first night when they were partying.

And don’t worry about the lawyer thing, either. It’s easy for rubbish guests to make ludicrous threats.

In future, don’t message Airbnb when you have a problem - there’s nothing they can do. Airbnb expects you to be able to run your business yourself.

Read a lot of the posts here to get some insight into the way other hosts manage their rentals. We can come across as sarcastic or unsympathetic but most of us are just plain speakers.

Now that you’ve joined us, ask us any questions you might have. We’re all happy to help. Don’t take everyone’s advice (there are very new hosts and very experienced hosts here) but you’ll learn a lot, I promise.



I’m very new to Airbnb and honestly didn’t know the process or my rights as a host, and there were at least 6 people in there, it was late in the night, these guys are not friendly looking and honestly I was afraid. I called Airbnb the next day for assistance. Now I know they are not much help and it’s up to me to kick them out. Now I know.

Another question: should I be concern that they will leave me a bad review by making up things?

I really want to write an honest review about them but also concern.

During that week I was also concerned if I kicked them out they would retaliate and destroy my home that I had worked on for 2 years to get in rental ready.

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I do appreciate every reply. I know now!! Trust me next time it’s over!!! First night I’m booting them out !! No sympathy talk!!! I’m so glad to be on this forum for advice!! Give it to me hard I can take it.

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I agree with you that a Host should not rely on Airbnb when they have problem guests. But do you agree that where the Host decides, as others have recommended, to cancel the reservation and eject the guest, that it is best to advise Airbnb of the situation and your intended course of action?

I would think so since the guest will likely contact Airbnb and you want Airbnb ‘on your side’ and on the record when the guests contact them regarding any extraordinary actions you’re about to take.

To @Dscubasteve00 you want to make sure that somewhere in your rules you have a statement that violating rules on smoking, no parties or events, exceeding maximum occupancy (whether overnight or not) may result in immediate ejection from the property and cancelation of the stay with no refund. [My rules go on to state that in such a situation the Host and its agents may enter the property with a video and sound recording device.]


I screen all my guests. He said that there’s 6 people in my city to work from 7a-7p and only need a place to sleep. Obviously it was a lie. But I believed him. Another red flag was he didn’t have any ratings. I am learning. The hard way. Hard lesson.

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Well, everyone starts out with no ratings, both hosts and guests. If no one ever accepted a guest with no reviews or booked a new listing with no reviews yet, Airbnb would not exist.

No reviews yet isn’t a red flag, it’s just something to note and newbies may require more messaging to make sure they have read everything about your listing including the house rules and agree to comply with them.

And of course you should never put yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe. It’s understandable that confronting 6 guys on your own would feel intimidating. Make sure you have some friends, rellies or neighbors you can call on for backup, and don’t be afraid to call the police if you feel threatened.


Very good point. When I’ve had to get rid of guests, I’ve just summarised it in the messaging platform but calling is another option, as long as you can be sure that the person you speak to can be trusted to pay attention. :wink:

I know it can be scary sometimes but there will be the odd occasion in this business when you have to be brave and tough.

When people are doing wrong, they know they are. More often than not, this makes them sheepish. I tend to go into mum-mode (or depending on the ages of the guests, granny mode I suppose!) and tick them off as though they are small children.

Please, please do. You need to warn other hosts what they are like. Your review should be factual, honest and with no emotion. If you want to, you can post a draft review here so experienced hosts can critique it.

I have often heard hosts who worry about that but I have never ever known it happen.

Good to know - you’ll get great advice here. There are rarely hard and fast rules about how to host, everyone is different, but take what makes sense to you and ignore the rest.


Once they mess with you, they forfeit any right to compassionate treatment.


I understand this concern. So, that is why:

  1. You want to be sure that you’ve done everything reasonable to make sure that guests are aware of your rules (e.g., the confirmation message with some of the salient rules).

  2. You have rules in place that both deter bad behavior but also give you the remedies you need for egregious violations (e.g., ejection, cancelation without refund, entering the property with a recording device).

  3. That you apprise Airbnb of the situation and your intended course of action so that Airbnb is on your side before you go further. Whether your contact is by call or message on the platform (I prefer the message on the platform) you always want a succinct record on the platform of the facts, your intended course of action and ideally Airbnb’s agreement.

  4. In general, I would not make threats. That is, aside from the rules, I would not threaten that I could ask them to leave. It sounds like that’s what happened. Either you ask them to leave or not. Once you decide to ask them to leave, there is no debate on the issue. In my view backing down after having made a threat will give them the impression that you’re weak, that the threat was empty, that they have leverage. They might also be angry that they were threatened and now they are in a position to retaliate by causing some damage within the rental, especially damage that might not be immediately apparent

  5. That in the face of an egregious violation that you not act out of fear and once you’ve decided that the violation is egregious that you act decisively. That is, to go on to the property (with a companion witness) with your camera ready to video, insist the guests leave while you are standing there watching them and be willing to call the police if they should resist/stall.

Remember that these are guests not tenants. If they/police resist based on what they say are contract terms they are welcome to sue you for civili remedies. But as guests not tenants you can eject them (don’t say ‘evict’ as eviction is different) at any time and their remedy is through Airbnb and civil courts.

All this assumes U.S. law.

You need to ‘war game’ this out in your mind – or here at the forum – so that you have the rules and disclosures in place, have done the appropriate vetting, have thought through your plan, and have responses at the ready for any resistance you encounter.

Your planning will translate into rules and communications that deter bad behavior and if the bad behavior comes will translate into decisiveness and confidence that will encourage compliance to leave the property.

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So, I don’t know when you became aware of the noise and smoking. [Ring cameras can alert me with motion so on my property I would be aware that someone was outside (assuming that there was movement).]

I assume your rules include a quiet time and the no smoking/vaping and include marijuana.

Assume your quiet time began at 10 pm. You have a few options.

Your best option is a reminder on the platform at 10:15pm:

“Gentle reminder. Quiet time begins at 10 pm and ends at 8 am. Noise easily carries throughout the neighborhood. Please also remember our house rules: no smoking (of anything) inside or out; no parties/events. I hope you are enjoying your stay! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Please acknowledge that you’ve received this message.”

Suppose by 10:30 they have not gone inside but have acknowledged message. [If they have not acknowledged message I’d either text it to their phone or go out and nicely meet with them.]

You could yourself go outside and confront them. Another possibility that I’d prefer is you call the police and ask them to go there (but request no attribution). The guests won’t know if you called or if it was another neighbor. They will know that there are consequences and potentially serious ones. There will now be a record with the police in case you need to escalate.

My belief is that if you act immediately on important violations (violating the quiet time with outside noise and potentially disturbing neighbors is very important in my opinion) you might nip things in the bud. If not, you’ll have more on the record if you need to take the next step.

In this situation if I somehow did not become aware of the situation until 3 am I would have called the police. I would revisit my technology/procedures on why I was not aware until 3 am.

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How do you feel about Airbnb freezing my account because those guests said I didn’t have their consent to take pictures or videos of them. I only got a video of a guest smoking in my driveway bc I wanted evidence in case I needed it since I had a No Smoking Policy.

It seems to be the policy of Airbnb freezing/suspending an account when a guest alleges improper video recording. Another Host recently reported this same experience on the forum.

It’s an unfortunate policy when the video is taking pictures outside. This other Host said that the suspension was quickly lifted after Airbnb’s ‘investigation.’ I suggest contacting Airbnb on the platform with a message that says something like:

I understand that my guests [name, dates of stay] made a retaliatory allegation of improper video recording of them. Please note: 1) This recording was taken while they were outside, 2) The presence of the video cameras are disclosed in my listing. I have these cameras as a Host tool to deter/stop events/parties (Airbnb policy) and violations of House rules.

The cameras recorded the guests smoking (in violation of house rules) and engaging in a party until 3 am. Correspondence on the platform shows their admission to smoking, smoking marijuana and to these six guests engaging in outside party-type activity at 3 am in violation of house rules, city noise ordinance and Airbnb policy.

Please lift the suspension of my listing as soon as possible. I am attaching pictures of the locations of the outside cameras. There are no inside cameras or cameras pointing inside, and to my knowledge that was not alleged.

I suggest that Airbnb policy be NOT to suspend listings/Hosts when there is no allegation of cameras inside the property or pointing inside.

Please edit for accuracy in your situation.


Do you disclose your cameras and their locations in your listing info? I sure hope so. It is required and failure to do so can get you delisted.

If you do disclose them, you’ll be okay. You do not need a guest’s permission to be caught on your cameras.
It is standard procedure for Airbnb to suspend listings on reports of cameras. Once they check and see that they are disclosed in your listing info, you’ll be unsuspended.

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I don’t have cameras. It was my cellphone when I was standing outside talking to my roofer and the guest was also outside smoking.