New host - surprising event

Hello. I am new to ABNB but have been renting out to students and professionals on a long term basis for a while. I had a weird experience last night and this morning. The father (80’s) and son (50’s) arrived and were lovely to talk to. As I host in my home I greeted them, let them know about where to go for dinner and excused myself to go and prepare dinner. The next thing I know 5 locals arrived at the townhome. I thought they were only coming to greet my guests and leave. Nope, the settled in, discussed the house etc. Luckily they did not know that I know a little Spanish as the guests discussed “how much do you think this cost” , looked at the wine glasses closely and then asked me where I had purchased some of the items in my home. When the grandmother let my cat out (clearly disclosed to everyone that they are skittish the first day) I had to chase my cat around the grandmother who was still chatting away on her phone.

My renter got the hint I guess and had them all leave. This morning I woke up to find my renter on the living room coach and not in the room I had rented. I let thim know this am not to bring over guests and sent him a message reminding him of this fact and noting the rules that are available on the web site and that were printed out in his room for him to read. This guest has no prior reviews on ABNB and is brand new to the site. Anything I should be thinking about that I have not? I am kind of stuck on the coach situation as he took me completely by surprise as he just assumed that he could sleep there and was set up before I had a chance to indicate that he was making a big assumption.

No you are not stuck. Tell him to get his ass off the couch and use the bed he rented. If there are extra people there kick them out now.

Nobody can take advantage of you without your permission.



I agree with River Rock and have to comment that your monniker of Prof. Bossy Pants doesn’t fit the situation you are describing. :wink: It doesn’t have to be confrontational however. Just explain to him kindly what the listing says and what your expectations are. I would let him know that he can cancel and get a refund on his remaining stay if he is unable to abide by the expectations. Not everyone would do that but I would to get them out of my house.


Well, it depends on what your listing says. Did you write that the living is shared or not. If you did then yes, he has the right to sit on the couch. If you didn;t then remind him that the living is private and he has no business being there. But nicely, it is a learning curve for him too.
Also if you didn’t do this already, put a rule in your listing that guests are not allowed to bring people in your home without your prior permission (or ever).
You make the rules. Nobody has the right to make you uncomfortable.


Thank you for the quick response. The rules do state that no guests are allowed, but he indicated that he did not read them. The listing indicates that guests can use the living space, but it is silent on whether they can sleep on the couch or not. I did not think anyone would want to do that, but live and learn.

Thank you KKC. I am indeed a Professor and can be darn bossy. But as a new host I am still figuring this out. Part of the frustration is that the guests are here for graduation at the University where I work, and the relatives live here locally. Thus. my internal ProfessorBossyPants nature is somewhat turned down. I appreciate your perspective. I’ll talk to him tonight and just lay it out that if the family wants a reunion I can understand and I will gladly refund the remaining nights. Thanks for the advice.


Thanks for the advice. The extra folks have their own local home and so are not staying here. I appreciate the sentiment on the coach. I’ll let him know that he rented a room, and the right to access a living space, but not the right to sleep in the living space.


Oh, he was sleeping? Oh, my, that’s a no-no. I’d be pissed if someone did this in my own house! I thought he was merely sitting on the couch. Tell him if they want to celebrate they can go to the relatives’ house or to a restaurant. He just rented a bedroom to sleep in.


And it may be a learning opportunity for him as well. So many hosts come to this forum with such a confrontational attitude, or they think simply correcting a guest in any way is confrontational. Many live in fear of the bad review. A couple of us (@jaquo comes to mind but she doesn’t share a space) feel that just talking to the guest as a fellow adult in a firm but reasonable way is logical. I have found 4 words to be very powerful in my career. Those 4 words are “I need your help.” Not, “you must obey or else!” So telling the guest that there must be a misunderstanding and you’ll change the listing wording to make it clear but you can’t have non-paying guests in your home and you don’t want anyone sleeping in the common areas. Frame it as you need his help. It’s hard to look someone in the eye who is asking for help and say no. Use that to your advantage.


I really appreciate all of the great advice on this. His Dad is lovely - in his 80’s and a pleasure to speak with. The son is the one who booked and I think many of you are right that he does not understand how this all works. Also, his distant family that is very ESL may have just heard Airbnb and assumed that an entire place was rented out.

Thanks to all. I’m kicking him off of my coach tonight!


Do you have a budget listing? This is a bit hostel-y.

And if you didn’t allow airbnb without reviews, maybe avoided

Thank you. I did not think of that. I will have to check the settings. I appreciate all of the help for a newbie.

Call AirBnb and tell them that you’re uncomfortable with this guest. Have them relocated elsewhere.

+1 million

Our local variant is, “Can you do me a favor please?” (for strangers for ex. selling drugs out in front of your house that you must respectfully ask to move along.)

I love “I need your help” for guests.


It’s something I learned to do as a teacher, sadly, later in my career than I would have liked. It worked pretty well with students and fellow teachers. Not 100% effective of course but so much better than the authoritarian methods.


I would like to thank everyone for the help. Here’s the end of the story. I wrote to Son (versus Dad, who is a lovely and spritely 80 year old) and indicated that I wanted to reach out and summarize some of the rules since he had not had a chance to read them yet. I did not hear back, but it opened the door for a nice conversation when they returned home later in the day. It turns out that everyone in the party has come from Venezuela and it is their first time in the US. In addition, all of them have rented rooms at different places in the city, and as they compared notes, mine was the “best” and the most spacious. So, they all came here. We had a nice chat about how Airbnb works and what house rules mean. It concluded with them promising that future drop ins won’t happen. He seemed to understand and moved onto the couch sleeping situation before I was able to bring it up. I indicated that I wasn’t comfortable with it and felt he would be more comfortable upstairs in his own lovely bed.

I appreciate all of the advice and all sides of this situation. I also changed my filters so that no one can book without emailing me. It turns out that I was not only the “biggest and nicest” of the properties, I was the only one allowing instabooking.


Thank you SO much for that comment! Nope, I actually tried to go a little higher end. But I just started listing with Airbnb after listing with other sources and they recommended a lower rate, and 20% off for first bookings. I have since raised the rates.

1 Like

For the record I am a big fan of instant book (over 600 bookings/5 years) and on IB 4 of those 4 years.

Yay for happy endings.

Instant booking had nothing to do with your problem. There is no way in the world having it turned off would guarantee avoiding this type of problem. If people instant book and you find out they are not as they claim, you still have rights