Negative review, guest booking request - Accept/Decline/Ignore?

Hi All,

So have just received a booking request for 1 night stay on a Saturday in Feb. The guy says he is coming with 2 of his other friends to visit a uni friend that lives close to our apartment. All signs say they are coming to party and trash the place at the end of it all!

I cant see his picture ofcourse, however the 1 review he has is a negative review, the host said ‘I do not recommend. Damage to the apartment and violations of house rules.’ this is from April 2017.

He has requested a non-refundable booking…so obviously looking for a cheap stay. I have messaged him that he needs to confirm he has read the house rules regarding no parties/no loud music/no smoking. Have also said that he would have to pay the deposit of £100 upfront which will be returned to him, this is due to his negative review.

He hasn’t responded to anything but I am worried not accepting this booking or declining it will affect my response rate and what not.

What are the suggestions from experienced host on this request?

If you have seen a review saying the guest has damaged the apartment of a previous hosted and violated their house rules, why are you even considering them?

Simply decline the request.

You are not allowed to ask for a deposit outside of airbnb.


I am certainly not considering him but worried about what negative effect declining this booking would have on my listing.

I was suggesting to use the ‘Special offer’ system to add in the deposit into the total price and then refund this back to the guest after their stay, is that not allowed either?

If you weren’t considering him, then why write back asking him for a deposit and to confirm he has read the house rules?

Declining one booking will not affect you.

No you can’t ask for a guest deposit through a special offer. You can’t ask for one at all. You can only set it up through Airbnb.

It sounds like you are quite a new host. Do have a look at the Airbnb Help Centre. It covers the basics around how Airbnb works.


By the way your price looks way too cheap for that location and quality in London. You wouldn’t get a double room in youth hostel in London for that rate.

You can ask for a deposit using the extra services once someone is booked. Click request money from quest and then you send the money back if everything’s ok. Going through resolution centre every time takes too much of your time and you might not even get any money for damages.

If you put it on the total and send offer then airbnb will put more fees to the guest and you.

For extra services @Gem20 such as for a pet deposit, or extra amenities not against damages

Its the only way you actually have the money and can keep it without trouble. Its no different than a cash deposit and its a temporary solution until airbnb actually has a deposit function.

It seems that there were two choices here.

  1. Tell the guest that you weren’t prepared to host him due to his bad review. Guests need to know that their previous bad behaviour can come to back to bite them. Or…
  2. Host him anyway, after warning him severely that any breach of your house rules, or any damages, would have deep consequences for him.

I would have done the latter. I don’t understand why a host should go through the rigmarole of messaging him about reading the house rules or asking for a further deposit. Especially when the host has already seen that famous ‘red flag’. (A skill I have not developed even after many years).

However, it seems that the potential guest has moved on. And there’s absolutely no need to worry about the effect of declining. What possible effect could it have? The worst possible scenario, and it wouldn’t happen just for a simple decline, would be being kicked off the platform which - though inconvenient for a few days - wouldn’t be the end of the world.

I’m afraid that I’ve never understood why hosts won’t use instant book because they want to ‘vet’ their guests and then complain that there might be repercussions for declining. Surely they want this ‘vetting’ thing so that they can decline if they want to?


Hi @jaquo, I actually have instant book switched on, however my conditions include that the guest should be recommended by previous hosts, in this case the guest is not recommended hence why he has to send through a request instead of being able to instantly book.

I would have preferred to do the latter of your options too, hence why i messaged to make sure he has read the rules and somehow get the deposit upfront so I dont have to worry about resolution center after check out.

However as you mention rightly, I think the guest has moved on so just ignoring this request and letting it expire or declining it would not have a massive effect on my listing (hopefully)!

1 Like

You are very right here, I am a very new host, been hosting since the beginning of Dec so all these are new experiences!

I have set the deposit through the system, however I understand that this isn’t implemented by Air as well as it should be, as in its not a hold on the guest’s credit card.

And in terms of the pricing, I’ve been using smart pricing to guide my prices, however they seem even lower than my actual prices and secondly in January we have seen a surge of new listings in my area and these new listings are at ridiculously low rates…2 bed apartments at even lower rates than my 1 bed apartment!!!..But I am not reflecting these since I am hoping they would get some sense kicked in them and adjust their prices accordingly.

I am hoping to raise my prices soon, once I have a few more reviews.

Does Air let you charge for extra services before the stay has started? I dont think so as I booked and paid for some tickets for a guest before their arrival and I tried to request, however it said that the guest hasn’t check out so I can not request money yet.

Yes it does I do it all the time

1 Like

You should be able to do that through a special offer.

That’s requesting through the resolution center but I can’t recall if I used the resolution center or special offer when it was during a stay. Airbnb could make it easier to get money from guests.

I would advise that you quit doing things like this until you are an experienced host. If they had cancelled their booking how would you get paid. And if it’s not an airbnb service then why do that through airbnb. Just let them pay cash on arrival or use a payment service. But I’d advise you master Airbnb first.

I do agree on the part that I took a risk by booking something for them before taking the money. I was just being a helpful host by booking some tickets for them, they seemed like genuine people and paid promptly anyway.

However for guests after them I have started asking for them to send me funds for things like airport taxi bookings through paypal, so atleast I have the money first before I pay for anything on behalf of the guest.


Sorry @Gem20 I don’t think this is great advice. Airbnb make it clear hosts can’t collect a cash deposit.

And even if they didn’t, you would have to state clearly in your listing that you do in this in your house rules.

Anyway pretty academic as the OP has said he won’t accept the guest.

If a guest wants tickets they should book and pay for them, themselves.

These can be picked up at the ticket desk in most cases.

You are not a concierge service,

Ignore instant book or set a minimum rate say £100 a night and then proper increases per extra guest.

Airbnb makes it clear you can’t take a guest deposit outside of its website. That includes asking for a deposit once someone has booked.

Airbnb Help Centre

Can a security deposit be collected outside of the Airbnb website?

No. To make sure guest payments are protected and to ensure that hosts are properly compensated for reservation damages, we ask that all security deposits be handled through the Airbnb website. Payments outside of the Airbnb website, including security deposits, are a violation of our Terms of Service Can a security deposit be collected outside of the Airbnb website?


One Decline won’t even hurt Superhost Status, let alone your beginner standing.

Also – stop trying to “work” the system to get a Damage Deposit outside of the system. It’s just “wrong”.

When you click Decline, a series of questions from Air comes up. You want to say Decline because you are “uncomfortable with this guest”. Air then asks “Why?” and you reply that the guest only has on review which was extremely negative about his damaging another hosts property. Do not waffle. Do not change your mind. Do not offer anything special.


Thanks everyone, I have now declined that booking and mentioned as to why as per @KenH’s suggestion.


I accidentally let a request to book expire (thinking it was an inquiry, not a request to book) and received an email from Airbnb informing me that I was going to be dropped in the search results because of this infraction. And I was. They want their guests to get responses. Had the guest used the “contact host” link, I could have let it expire without a penalty. If it has a count-down clock on it, you’d better respond.