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Need help crafting review that won't get me sued

Hello fellow hosts,

I need some help wording a review. In the past, when I have had a less than stellar guest, I have simply stated “better suited to a hotel” and left it at that. The guest who checked out today stole as much as she could fit into her big shopping bag on wheels, so being better suited to a hotel won’t do anything to warn other hosts. (Yes, she does also belong on the private bad guest list, and I’m happy to add her!)

Among items stolen were towels, washcloths, toiletries and a Victoria’s Secret bathrobe.

I did just call Airbnb but they suggested calling the police, getting a police report, then opening a resolution etc etc. I have no interest in all that, I don’t want to be compensated as I believe it was my own fault for not checking the room with her before she left. My only concern is warning other hosts that this woman is a thief.

Here’s what I’ve got so far: SS stayed with us for two nights. It was a troubled stay with a lack of communication from the outset. When SS finally arrived well after midnight, she was disrespectful and loud, and had no luggage. I was so uneasy about her, and a previous bad review, that I chose to sleep on the couch with one eye open. Next day she stayed in her room until 4:30 pm, going out then to meet her friends. I saw from the deck that the bedroom window was open, so let myself in to close it. I found the big tabletop fan plugged in and going full belt. (I did close the window and put the fan back in the closet). She arrived back after midnight, with an oversized empty plastic shopping bag on wheels. This morning, after failing to successfully negotiate a late checkout, she left. I did notice that her shopping bag was overfilled, but she said she had bought presents for her children. She left the guest room in a dreadful state, with lipstick on the pillow covers, hand cream and lipstick on the sheets and quilt. The carpet was wet in places, and she had thrown garbage on the floor. The little garbage basket was overflowing with old make-up, papers, sunglasses and empty lotion bottles. All the towels appeared to have been piled on the floor, but when I picked them up to put in the laundry, I noticed there were only two, not six. Only one washcloth remained. A white Victoria’s Secret bathrobe was gone. Silly things were taken from the bathroom, like soap and toilet paper. S is not a good candidate for staying in anyone’s private home. Communication -0/5, Cleanliness -0/5, Observance of House Rules -0/5

If I were you; I would report all this to Airbnb. As she lied to you and stole your stuff; I believe that her account will be cancelled.

Regarding the review; I think you’re pretty safe as long as you are truthful. Also, remember that anyone who uses Airbnb in the U.S. has given up their right to a class action lawsuit (which would be against Airbnb, not individual hosts anyway). I can’t imagine the attorney who would take on a case against an individual host over a negative review. As the financial loss would be negligible, what is there for the plaintiff to win?

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Too much detail IMHO. By all means be truthful and direct but keep it brief. And also, you should report it to the police even its only to help her next victim.

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I don’t think a low class thief who steals soap and toilet paper is going to retain an attorney for defamation. I wouldn’t mention the part about how you went in the room. But all the other details are perfect.

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I’m sorry this happened to you. Do you really think someone who resorts to stealing toilet paper has the resources to hire a lawyer? Your review sounds fine to me but it won’t appear until she reviews you, which she probably won’t do. So she has 14 days to go victimize other hosts. I do wish you’d file a police report and open a case. It is not your fault you were victimized. I can understand not going through the room before she left, that would be awkward, walking around, picking up the towels off the floor and counting them. As far as future stays I wouldn’t leave 6 towels for 1 person for two nights. And if you buy another robe get a $25 IKEA one.

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Mainly for brevity I would cut the parts about lack of luggage, going out with friends, the fan and you entering her room during the stay. If you say “Such and such items were missing after she left,” rather than “SS stole them” I think that leaves you less open to a lawsuit. I would put that at the beginning so it doesn’t get buried.

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I am sorry this guest violated you. If you are willing to share - did she say why she was visting your area? And she was only carrying a purse…no luggage or duffel bag, or anything?

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Good point! Yes, I am so hesitant to file a report on this, feels like a waste of police time, but as ABB will not take any action, I see no alternative.

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Honestly, they won’t do anything and it doesn’t take much of their time to enter the data. They’ve hired people to do just that. Perhaps it will help them if she moves on to commit a more serious theft. But hopefully ABB will close her account now.

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Thanks xx Yes, she claimed to be visiting friends. When I asked about luggage, she said she had checked it on Amtrak and they lost it. I knew this was a whopper as Amtrak don’t check bags on the NE corridor, but didn’t call her on it. Yep, purse only.

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Fabulous, thanks! I will do that.

I think it’s understandable that Airbnb won’t take action against a guest who is accused of stealing if the host won’t file a police report. It’s not a stretch to imagine that a host who just didn’t like a guest might tell Airbnb that the guest stole from them.

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She was probably out shoplifting (new sunglasses among other things) and having cocktails. She probably walked the tab at the restaurant or bar.

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Ellen, sadly Airbnb say there is nothing they can do. Maybe after I go down to file the police report they will have a reason to close her account.

Haha! Quite possibly!

I will go down later to file the report, thanks.

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If you wish add her profile to our private thread. I will add you if you are interested. Our list is growing far too fast, but it is an important one!

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Thank you, you’re right!

Definitely, her name deserves to be there.

You’re in. Check for a notification and post that kook!

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