New host - mom made reservation for her son

Hello, this is my first post and we have our first guest checking in this week! We have another booking for May-July where a mom contacted us for her son who is coming to do an internship for grad school. She has one review. We live in the unit above the airbnb unit and share common areas, and I have young kids. The mom said she feels our listing was honest and she feels good about her son staying there. As a mom myself, I don’t feel good about the actual person staying there being unverified and not knowing his name.

So I’d like to ask for the son to be added to the stay and to be verified. Is that appropriate to do? And logistically possible? Otherwise would this qualify as a reason to cancel the booking without penalty?

By the way we are set up for self-check-in (targeting business travelers) and since these first few bookings, have added house rules and requirement that all occupants be verified and registered on the booking. But that wasn’t the case for the first three bookings we took on. Thoughts on how to request the son’s information (from a safety perspective)?

I personally wouldn’t accept. A grad student is earning a professional degree and is too old to have his mother be making his travel arrangements.

Third party bookings are against the AirBnB TOS and though the CS agents will encourage you to accept them, Air won’t honor the host guarantee of third party bookings. At that point you’d be better off booking outside AirBnB and having the young man sign a short-term lease. In many US locations guests get tenants rights after 30 days and AirBnB won’t help you evict if you end up with a squatter on your hands.

If you decide to host him through AirBnB, he needs to make his own account.


I wouldn’t care. I also have self check in and rarely actually meet any guest in person. You are in the business or renting to strangers.

I also rent on Vrbo where you get very little info on guests. I see no variance in guest quality.

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Thanks for this – what about in the case where, as newbies, we accepted already? Is it possible to cancel through AirBnB? Or should i reach out to the mom first and tell her directly that we’ve learned AirBnB won’t allow the stay and he needs to make a profile and she can let us know who to look out for so we can accept when he comes through?

I’m not familiar with what third-parties are (unless you mean the mom?) here or CS agents, so I don’t think that applies to us. And I don’t want to manage too many different processes so right now it’s AirBnB or nothing :slight_smile:

Third party means anyone who is not the person who is staying. Why do you think this wouldn’t apply to this booking?

Do not cancel. Airbnb imposes penalties on hosts who do and guests will be reluctant to book with you. Do not ask the mother to cancel it is a long term booking and she too will face penalties. Also if you use instant book another guest could book a few days within the period in between the cancellation and the son booking and you will lose a long term booking.

Message the mother and say that Airbnb doesn’t accept third party bookings, so that if her son wants to stay he will need to set up his own account to make the booking. Tell her you will contact Airbnb about the best way to do this (if she agrees).

Call Airbnb and ask them the best way to transfer the booking, if your guest agrees to this. If she doesn’t then ask airbnb to cancel the booking as it is a third party booking.

It sounds as if you are not that familiar with the basics around how Airbnb works. Please read information around how Airbnb works on its Help Centre, Website and the guides and tutorials on its Community Centre. Read up on third party bookings, host and guest cancellations, Airbnb’s guarantee, house rules etc.

It’s all very well for @Brandt to say he accepts third party bookings. He is not a new host and is not looking at having a student stay below his home for three months.

What happens if the guest starts throwing parties, what if he brings guests into stay who haven’t booked or paid? What if he damages your property or doesn’t look after your place? Airbnb can say they don’t have to help you in these situations as it’s a third party booking.


In addition to what everyone said about not accepting bookings from anyone than the guest who is staying, I would be asking why in the world a mother is making a reservation for her grad student son. If he’s qualified enough to get into grad school, he should be able to make his own housing arrangements. It would make me wonder how capable he’d be to handle his own affairs and more importantly, keep your place nice, for 3 months. Maybe this is his first time living away from his parents and he’ll be relying on you for motherly guidance, cleaning, laundry, cooking etc.


Just reach out and ask them on this till the Son to make his own profile. He can then be added to the reservation as it stands.

Agree. If anything goes wrong, the student is not responsible and neither is Airbnb going to help.

  1. Have the son create an account.
  2. Write in your message to them that you authorize that the mother can cancel her booking without penalty and then have her son rebook.
  3. Have the mother call Airbnb and request the cancellation and explain that you have approved this in your notes.
  4. When Airbnb calls (ignore the call) and then they will review the notes, Air will cancel and if the son has set up the account then he can send a request to book or if you have IB and don’t require reviews have him IB.

Do not wait your time. They made the error. Airbnb will fix it. If the customer calls and says Airbnb won’t, tell them that they cost a new CS rep and didn’t know what they were doing and say that they have to call again. Explain that you can’t do it on your end.

Don’t wait your time. I get about 1 of these types of bookings a month.

Several times I’ve had third party bookings and simply explained to the guests (on the Airbnb platform) that the booking is against the Airbnb TOS. I’ve then explained that they should contact Airbnb.

On the majority of those occasions, they have done so and Airbnb has walked the guest (the person who is staying) through setting up their own account. The time is has taken me is the few seconds it takes to send a saved message. No problem.

By the way, you have probably heard the legal term ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’ meaning that not knowing the laws is not a valid defence in court. Well, the same sort of thing applies with Airbnb. Although you might come across sympathetic reps from time to time, you very well might not. Saying that you’re new and don’t know the rules won’t impress them. So be sure to study Airbnb’s TOS and the many threads here to learn all about this ‘amazing’ business :slight_smile:

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Possibly because his mother is bankrolling him! Both of our daughters are students and the bank of mum and dad has had to step in on more than one occasion.

That said, I’m not entirely sure what “grad school” is, and can’t be arsed googling it :slight_smile:


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Grad school is a term in the US, for school after your 4 year college degree.

Ah, now I see what third party means and yes this is that situation. OK. I will message her to have him make an account.

It also gives us a way to make sure the son has read the rules and not just the mom.

We also thought it strange that a mom would make a booking for a grad student but chalked it up to her paying the bill and the helicopter parenting of the 90s generation.

CS agent is the AirBnB customer service agent.

You are getting excellent advice on this thread.

I would personally call AirBnB and ask them to cancel. I get a 3rd party bookings about once every six weeks and I’ve never been able to get a guest to call and cancel. I just call or message AirBnB and ask them to do it. I have to insist. The CS agent will ask me to please make an exception, and I say no. AirBnB won’t cover any damages done by the guest if he is not on the reservation.

I’m a child of that generation and went to graduate school and even I was able to manage my own affairs by then. Graduate students often receive a stipend so mom may or may not be bankrolling him. Either way that she’s involved would make me not want to host.

Another problem for a new host taking a two or three month booking is the lack of reviews. You will get one good review (at best) from this booking. Assuming you are in the US in a city that is prime season for you. You should be booking in lots of guests and building your review count not squandering half your first summer on a single booking.


ah, that sounds the simplest solution! i’ll call today. KKC, really good point on taking a lot of shorter stays to get a number of reviews under our belt.

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If you wish to host a furnished room for a few months at a time, it is best to advertise on Craigslist, have a lease, and avoid AirBnB fees. Otherwise as @KCC advised, build your reviews with short-term listings. If you are in a city where summer is peak season, raise your summer prices. If you are getting inquiries for summer now your prices may be too low.

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What other countries call “Postgraduate”, Usually a diploma, Masters or PhD.

I have had a lot of of helicopter Moms booking for their sons. But it just took one to convince me. Never again.

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Thanks. I called AirBnB who advised me to ask the mom to call AirBnB to cancel. I did. Now the mom says, “Oh no! Can he create a profile and book your place?” I am thinking I’ll tell her sure, he is welcome to (just to get her to cancel)… and then leave it up to my settings and whether he indicates in his inquiry that he has read my house rules? And of course, whether anyone else books the place in that time. Does that sound like the right next step?


I would look to get out of this booking.