People Think They're Getting the Entire House

We often get people who think they’re renting our entire house when our listing is advertised as a private room and we even say that we are a couple in our twenties who live here. One person even saw the picture of our cat and still didn’t realize we live here! A couple groups have showed up angry when they realize the house isn’t vacant. Does this happen to anyone else? How do you handle it when it does?

Do you have a link to your listing? Might be easier to comment with that. Sometimes people have pictures of the entire house that confuses people, or possibly miss categorized by Airbnb.

Yep, get it all the time! Serves them right for not reading the listing or their booking!

Our listing is a private room with shared bathroom, no kitchen access, only photos of the bedroom shown and we still get on arrival “oh, where do you live?”

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Don’t show the entire house as the main picture. Guests don’t read - they only look at pictures and prices!


I have thought about that! It really does seem like no one reads. One group showed up angry claiming we didn’t tell them we lived there and also demanded that we lock our cat away because one of their kids (They also didn’t disclose how many kids they were bringing and didn’t want to pay the extra money) was allergic.

I agree with don’t show the house. Also under the title it says this


So someone who doesn’t filter for just “entire place” and puts in a multiple number of guests…you place pops up.

At, I must say, an unbelievably low price! I put in 4 adults and three children for an upcoming summer open date and it was under $70 with cleaning fee? You are asking for a heartache.


We did try pricing it higher for a while but it seemed like we weren’t getting any bookings. A lot of times people realize after they book before they come that we live here and cancel. One group was upset at first but we made their stay enjoyable so they were happy when they left and gave us a 5 star review. Thank you for the advice.

This is an absolute constant in my life, including two sets of guests this last weekend, and yes, it drives me nuts. I have two listings, one a double with private shower, the other a suite of two double and Jack and Jill bathroom. I have edited and edited and edited to try and make it clearer that this is OUR HOME but it makes no difference. My listing titles say Guest Suite in Rural B&B or Pretty Double Room + Private Shower in Rural B&B. My second photo is of The Head Housekeeper, aka Sophie Cat, to no avail. Some people do get angry, and I simply ask if they would like to leave. If they’ve already arrived, you still get paid for that night, and I don’t refund them for not reading the listing properly; it’s their problem My cancellation is moderate and I don’t take bookings for over 5 nights. Most people simply shrug and get on with fussing the cats or going to the pub.

I had one person arrive with her husbanc and her phone in her hand. She immediately showed me that her listing showed as the entire place. I asked them if they wanted to leave; she did, he didn’t; he lost. I immediately called Air; it was their mistake and they refunded me the full booking.

I’ve had the cat allergy bollox too. Please leave then, but no refund for not reading properly, including my pre-arrival messages. I also send explicit directions for finding us, as GPS have us in the wrong location, often getting calls from guests sitting outside the Military School with a security guard and gun…

I now ensure that I cover the following in any messages I send for any type of booking, be it IB, a request or an enquiry:-

“This may sound a bit pedantic, but we’ve experienced a few guests recently who had not read our details well, and therefore didn’t understand that we live here with our two cats. The cottage is our home, where we offer Bed & Breakfast for up to six guests. There may be other people staying here at the same time as you but there is plenty of space. We are in a rural location, with little public transport but there is a lovely country pub next door. Please feel free to cancel if we are not what you are looking for”. This works most of the time but not always, such as a group of three or more and the leader hasn’t told their fellow guests where they are staying in detail. I had one young women tell me this w/e that she hadn’t realised they were staying in our home, this, as she fussed one of the cats.


Make your main photo of the bedroom concerned, not the whole house. See if you can aim for couples or singles rather than groups - play with your prices to discourage groups.


You need separate listings for each room as well. If i rented this listing I would think I was getting 3 bedrooms.


They do get the three bedrooms. We are trying to advertise it as three private rooms in our house that we live in.

Split them up into 3 separate listings! No wonder they’ve been thinking they get the whole house! You do not want to attract groups, the dynamic is totally wrong for a group to stay with a couple. Attract couples and singles. You will find your influence as a host will increase in a good way.
I host two single rooms, I don’t get that much less money than a double and get loads less hassle from people on their own.


When we do get groups who understand that we live here it tends to go fine. We’ve had families and groups of college students stay who have been fine with it. They still get access to the living area, kitchen, and their bathroom is private. We have our own in our master bedroom. But thank you for the advice.

Oh, i was confused, never mind. You may want to think about it from a marketing standpoint though. I’m not an expert but think shared housing arrangement may be more demand in the singles and couples.

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don’t you think people would complain if they had to share one bathroom with 2 other groups of strangers?

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Possibly, but you would make it clear in the listing and it would be reflected in the price. Can you remodel and create more ensuites?
Otherwise it might work better for guests to share a bathroom with hosts, that way you can keep an eye on cleanliness. Then you could sell your room as an ensuite.

My household is 5 people, including a toddler, plus a cat. We rent out one private room and one shared room (our front porch in the warmer months when we don’t need to store our coats there). We have one bathroom for everyone, and we are booked pretty solid during the high season.

The whole point of the sharing economy is… sharing.

Not everyone is good at it, but we all need the practice. ;D


I don’t know why, but the link that is shown here on the forum shows “Houses for rent in Thonotosassa”. If I click on the link I don’t see it anymore. Possibly there’s something that causes confusion in that respect.

Also, all your pictures just shout entire house. I can see why people get confused.


Thanks for the reply. We are just showing what the guest have access to. So not quite sure how else to clarify that we live here.