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Odd issue that’s not really an issue, but


So, had some guests over the weekend. Had a day in between cleanings so wasn’t terribly concerned about timing. Went into the apartment (it’s the self-contained unit below where we live in our two-flat) the evening they had left (Monday night) to ready it for my cleaning helper to arrive the following (Tuesday) morning to get it ready for Tuesday afternoon’s guest… Tuesday morning comes and my helper tells me at 9am that there is a big backpack, toiletry kit, and vest by the couch. Now, I was only there to strip beds and wash laundry, but I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if there was “stuff” in the apartment, as previous guest had left it pretty immaculate. Anyway, helper puts said stuff in the hall outside the apartment.

So I ask the previous guest if maybe they’d left anything behind, and I’m kind of weirded out by it, thinking I’m going insane because how would I not have noticed this. I text previous guest in the morning and she says she’ll get back to me when the kids are home, because maybe it’s theirs. Later she texts that no, the bags aren’t her kids’. Meanwhile, I get back home and the stuff is no longer there.

So, come to find out, it can only be my current guest’s, because who else’s could it be? But dropping your stuff inside the apartment at 9am after you’ve already asked for early check in and I said I would tell you when it was available? And then I did at noon? I’m baffled at how to address this.

I just feel like I have to say something but what? I was weirded out all day.


I should also say that I KNOW it’s an issue, but HOW do I say, hey, just because you have a code for the keypad, it is super uncool to just do what you did. But in a nice way.

I seriously have nothing but long distance divorce kid hand-offs lately and it’s weird. But this is the first time for this type of thing.


Say it just like that : What you did was REALLY NOT NICE. Just because you have the keycode does NOT mean you can just waltz in here well before your check-in time and just drop things off. This is MY home, NOT YOURS.

Definitely mention the event in the Public part of the review. “Not sure I can recommend Guest. He took far too much advantage of an early check-in and dropped his things off at 9AM – before the cleaner even arrived to straighten up from the previous guests.”


I feel like I should give him a chance to explain first though. He is here til Friday so any advice? It’s just weird. We don’t see our guests much because it’s their own place, even though we obviously could were we both coming and going out the front door at the same time.


I guess it’s too late now, but next time, perhaps you could hide it in a closet? This would force the guest to fess up that they checked in super early in order to retrieve it… You could respond along the lines of: “oh, I figured it must have been left behind by the previous guest, as it was in the apartment prior to your check in time, so I put it “somewhere safe” so that it wouldn’t be interfere with the cleaning” :stuck_out_tongue:


The guest HAD a chance to explain BEFORE they took it upon themselves to check in hours before the agreed time. Why didn’t they message you to ask, or even apologise after the event of leaving their bags? How the hell did they know for sure there was no previous guest who could have been very disturbed and would have given you a terrible review as a result? Why did you give the code so far in advance? You could message the code at check in time.
If you’re not going to cancel this guest then make sure you give an honest factual review and thumbs down. Make sure they don’t check out late and remind them of any other important rules.


Next time have your cleaner hide it somewhere behind a locked door. So the guest will have to ask you for it, and openly admit to you they went in early.


You could even send them a money request via the resolution centre for the extra time.
Now I always specifically say if I offer early check in that I am offering it free of charge, to emphasise the fact I could charge if I wanted to and that I am already doing the guest a big favour.


There’s a lot to be said about not providing the key code until check in time


Seems a bit pointless, because you know he’s just going to shrug and say, semi-apologetically “Oh, sorry, I thought it would be ok since you’d given me the code.”

If he’s young enough to take it, and you think he was just being thoughtless, you could make it into a little lesson for the future, i.e. it’s not really acceptable behaviour, and although you, being the kind, understanding host you are will let it go this once, there are other hosts who will NOT be so kind and he could be ejected from his acommodation for Unlawful Access (or some similarly serous sounding infraction).

If he then acts suitably chastened you could give him milk and cookies.


How did they find it in the hall? Or was it just out in the open? I definitely would just tell them the unit hadn’t been cleaned yet. I would be nice about it at this point because I always worry about retaliatory reviews, and then depending on how the rest of the stay goes I would decide whether to mention it publicly or privately. I never give the code out until the place is actually ready because I worry about this happening.


I also use an electronic lock. I have learned never to give our the door code anytime in advance of the actual check in time. And yes, I have had several guests, berate me, repeatedly wanting and then demanding the door code well in advance. Even after I have explained that the prior guests are still here. They get quite pushy. Then I very curtly, explain that " if I used keys you would not have the key until you physically arrived on my property, would you?"
I also never allow them to leave a car here in advance of booking time. As my grandfather used to say, “You give people an inch, they take a mile.”
Happy Hosting!


Good one! I wonder how many folks specifically look for self check in so they can arrive early or stay late?


A camera pointed at the door would give you the information about when they put the stuff in. But it is a moot point, I would not bring it up until the review. I always change the code to the last 4 of incoming guest phone number and text it when I am ready to. Often times it is an hour or so early, but its on my terms not theirs.



We were hesitant to allow self check-in but it was necessary in order to attract more guests traveling for business. We purchased a lock box but not the kind that works through Bluetooth. It requires manual setting. We use the last four digit of each guest’s phone number as their code. Our message tells them that the lockbox will be programmed at 2:59 p.m. to accommodate check in at 3. They don’t know that we are doing it manually and may do it at 10 in the morning or noon - Whatever suits us. It does prevent them from showing up early though.
Every self check-in has gone very smoothly and we are glad we made the leap to Work listing. We do live onsite.


I would change to a work listing but don’t want to change my cancellation policy to Moderate. Do you get many cancellations?


It’s a manual coded lock so I can’t change it online. And we work full-time so can’t do it right before they arrive. I like to message all the details the night before because that’s just how I do things. People like to know how to get in before they arrive. I know when I travel I get super itchy when I don’t have everything locked down beforehand. If someone I booked with refused to give me a code to get in until I’m standing in front of the door I would be peeved. But that’s just me, because I would never deign to check in early.

The ex-wife booked it for her ex-husband (to visit the kids) but listed them both as travelers on the reservation so my review would ultimately be for her. I’m thinking I’ll just kindly let her know she should let him makes his own reservations in the future and leave it at that, unfortunately.

Otherwise, the place was left in great shape, but the lack of communication at every turn (even through normal phone texting) was disconcerting.


Also, the code only gets you in the main door. There are separate keys waiting in the apartment door lock for the actual apartment. My cleaning helper (or I) usually takes the key out and locks the door while cleaning so that no one can come in during cleaning, just in case I’ve allowed early bag drop off in the hall. But this guy respected none of it.

It seems he also made off with the second key as well, which I’ve texted him about, and heard nothing back. Don’t worry; I’ve deleted his main door code.

I’m just baffled.


Speaking as a Airbnb guest, I had a host in England not send the code until we arrived. The problem was, we arrived and host didn’t respond to us so we ended up waiting at a pub until we heard back. I can’t remember why the host delayed their response, and it could have been a totally legit reason (sick, no signal, car accident, whatever) but it was definitely an inconvenience to us not to be able to access the house after our check in time.

There are pros and cons either way, that’s for sure. I hadn’t considered a guest just letting themselves in early when the previous guests might still be there! :open_mouth:


Exactly. That’s why I do how I do.

I figured I’d hear the same ol’ stuff…get a camera, don’t send the code early, change the lock right at check-in., etc. I’ve been at this for a while (5 years?!? Has it been that long?!) and just really wanted some advice on how other people would handle it after the fact. Don’t need the “why didn’t you’s”; I’m really just venting/asking for advice. It’s never happened in the past, and I’m not concerned about this happening again. My process works for me and my guests. If this happens again, I’ll change, but I think this was a one-off.

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