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Need help - Should I leave a negative review?

Hi All -
Newbie host here (I’ve been hosting for 3 months). So far, all of my guests have been gracious and friendly, followed my house rules, and have left my guest bedroom in the same condition they found it,.

I had two girls in their mid-20s stay 5 nights recently (they departed on Tuesday), and they’ve been my lease favorite guests so far, by a long shot. Despite issues with cleanliness, they were louder than any guests I’ve had and for the first time, made me question why I’m hosting, ha.

They didn’t follow the check-out instructions which stated they were to leave their dirty towels in the washer. They also left a plate of food on the dining room table and left the light turned on, which I discovered when I got home.

Here’s what I saw in the bedroom:

  • Makeup foundation hand prints all along the white door frame (I ended up scrubbing this with a towel)
  • Had to spot clean the carpet in several areas

Question 1: Is spot cleaning the carpet and removing foundation from the door frame just a normal part of cleaning, or is this something worth mentioning in a review? I can’t tell if I’ve just been spoiled with my previous guests which have left my guest room in pristine condition in the past.

Question 2: Would you leave a review about not following check out instructions and leaving food on the table with the light on? From what I’ve read on the board, some hosts wouldn’t consider this that big of a deal.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

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They’re doing it wrong

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If nothing was damaged and it is just cleaning, mark them down in that category and leave in their review that they were a bit loud and perhaps Airbnb is not a great match for them. FYI, I don’t rent to unrelated 20-somethings. Learned my lesson three times, which was enough.

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Upon their arrival, I found out they were in town for Seattle Hemp Fest. Double whammy.

Oh no! Search this site on hints on how to screen out those types. It is worth your time.


Not a huge deal but not 5 star either. People need to understand that leaving food on a counter or table leads to insects in the home. I put in my guest guide to turn off lights and if they don’t they are marked down a star on “rules.” As far as I’m concerned 5 stars is for near perfect and they weren’t. I might mention loudness in a review but not the rest. Damned by faint praise might be best in the case.

Magic eraser sponges are an absolute must have for hosts. Don’t use them on things that scratch easily (like auto clear coat) but those paired with microfiber cloths are my go to for wiping and polishing everything. It washes out very clean, especially under high pressure (like the garden hose) but when they get nasty or if I have to clean something nasty I just toss it because it was less than a dollar.


I use the Magic Erasers and also Bon Ami for all the luggage marks on my white painted trim and walls.

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In these cases, leave a polite, professional review that states the facts. Something like ‘While they were generally nice girls, other hosts should note that they were a bit careless with the state in which they left the room (list specifics) and tended to be on the loud side at late hours. Otherwise…(anything you can say positive).’

If you don’t have any positives, then don’t be shy about leaving a negative review. It’s what they’re for. i would be ticked if I saw all positive reviews on these guests and then they ended up treating my guest room the way you described.


Thanks for the rec! I was just wondering how I’d get out luggage marks. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip! And you’re exactly right - reviews are worthless if we aren’t going to be honest.
The girl who made the reservation had 1 review and it was a good one, but I’ll have be accurate in explaining the few issues I had so that other hosts can make a proper decision.

I like the words “they were not a good fit for my home…” and then say why.

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They don’t sound too bad to me (but I am definitely more lax with my guests than most hosts here).

I’ve been hosting since well before Airbnb started and there were no house rules that guests had to agree to and so forth in those days so maybe that’s why I’m more lenient. The food being left out is no big deal for me because I’m up in the rental checking before the guests have got to the end of the street. But that’s just the luck of the draw - I live steps away. This means that lights being left on are no problem.

The noise would bother me because I say several times in the listing how quiet our place is. If I have guests who are loud, it disturbs my neighbours so I have a word with the guests - they always pay attention and behave better.

The extra cleaning doesn’t sound too bad either. It’s all swings and roundabouts in the end.

Regarding the review, just be factual. As you can see from replies, some hosts will be thankful for the warning, others (like me) will think ‘that’s not to bad’ and would be guided by how much they need the booking :slight_smile:

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You MUST be truthful in reviews! These were NOT 5 Star guests and the purpose of reviews is to give HONEST feedback on hosts and guests. I would give the girls 3 Stars on House Rules and Cleanlyness and in remarks spell out their errors. Guests need to be trained and giving them 5 Stars CHEATS them out of a learning opportunity and puts future hosts AR risk!

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Can other hosts even see the star ratings for guest’s cleanliness, etc? What is the purpose of those ratings? It seems to me the most important part is what you type in the review because that is what other hosts will see.

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Oh, I’ll have to try the Bon Ami for luggage marks. Do you think it will strip the paint off the wall?

Not if it is good paint.

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We are also new hosts - since June/16 but have been booked solid through July and August. Compared to some of my experiences already, they sound imperfect but not fundamentally bad guests.

I remind myself constantly that not everyone shares my level of cleanliness and quiet consideration for other people. I remind myself also that my guests are on vacation and excited to be here, perhaps drink a bit more than usual, and don’t wish to spend always-precious vacation time doing housework.

Since hosts cannot see guest star-ratings anyway, I write a review about the positive things and use the “only your guests will see this feedback” field to talk about violations of house rules, etc. I’m getting more astute at seeing what other hosts did not mention in their reviews (e.g. if guests are clean and considerate and quiet, hosts say so!).

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