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Please help with this STRANGE situation!

OH MY! I have been a host for a little over a year and I have never had THIS one.

Guest checks out and contacts me to say, “I left some important papers in the dresser drawer, can you keep them for me for a few weeks?” YES you read that correctly. Immediately I thought to myself no way, I will Fedex them to her or something similar.

GET READY FOR THIS: I have my cleaning crew enter the property to look for these left documents. THERE IS A LARGE, HEAVY, LOCKED SAFE weighing in at least 70 lbs. left behind in the home.

I immediately contact the guest and she says, ‘yep those are my papers’. I have been holding this safe now for a couple of weeks and going back and forth trying to arrange a pick-up time for her and my cleaning folks. Must have sent at least 15 emails thus far and have had to ask my cleaning folks to HOLD this item.

I feel STUCK and I want to now charge for my troubles, AND I feel obligated to also pay my cleaning folks extra for this hassle.

What would YOU DO? Would you charge? How much?

Thank you!

BTW we have a blanket policy that if things get left behind we do not mail, ship, or hold them for you. This is in our rules. However, this one situation has been tough.


1 Like

For all you know, that safe is full of drugs, weapons or who knows what. If they were such important papers, why hasn’t she retreived them? And why did she say they were in the desk drawer when they were in a safe left behind the house? Who brings a 70 pound safe to an Airbnb rental? Tell her she either picks it up in the next 12 hours or you are turning it over to the police. And then do that.

I once read a post where an upcoming guest had asked the host if he could have a couple of boxes shipped so they would be there for his arrival. She said okay, but gave her business address, not the house address. Two huge wooden crates arrived, and she had a spidey sense that something was fishy. She opened them and they were full of guns and ammunition. She called Airbnb, who showed no concern, so she phoned the FBI, who were quite interested, sent someone over, who confiscated them. Turned out the “guest” was an illegal arms dealer.


I don’t have a lot of sympathy for remote hosts that have to push non-cleaning tasks onto their cleaning crew, which it looks like you are doing, and is probably the biggest hinderance to getting this situation resolved. You need to fix this by getting a real local co-host.

You say that you’ve been “going back and forth” for a couple of weeks, but don’t mention the actual outcome. What did the guest say?

Not knowing anything else, I would just turn the safe over to local authorities and tell the guest that fact. I know that in the state where I previously lived (Missouri), a safe turned over to the local sheriff would need to be opened in the presence of a deputy. The deputy would look for anything illegal such as drugs, and they would photograph and catalog the contents. They would also check the serial numbers on anything they found, including firearms and cash.


Safe…? What safe….? I haven’t seen any safe….! :eyes:


…and the following day they suspended her listing for “invading the guests privacy”.

Only joking. Oh wait, no I’m not!




We need a little more info about your interaction with the guest. I would remind the guest of your policy then turn it over to the local authorities. You may well be hiding something for the guest. Get all your communication with the guest documented and tell Airbnb even though you might not get any helpful response. I would be a lot more concerned about getting it off my property than charging for it.


I would treat it like a sweater, have the guest email me a prepaid UPS label, box it up and send it back. If they did not agree/send pre paid label I would get out my angle grinder and see what’s inside.



Sounds like a reasonable plan to me.

The fact there is a safe at all is just bizarre.


According to that host’s account, Airbnb suddenly became extremely concerned and caring after being contacted by the FBI to demand the name and other information about this “guest” (surprise surprise).

They were probably shitting bricks about this becoming a big news story. If they had suspended her listing, that would have been a really bad look.


Does anyone think that replying “I did not find any papers” and then when asked if they found a SAFE they also replied ‘sorry, no’ would have worked here?


I don’t think I can lift 70 pounds any longer.

I can’t wait to hear what the resolution is.


Brian, pipe down…YUCK…we are all together here to support one another. It is not necessary to get so harsh until you know the facts. We live next door to our rental, but are out of town for the holidays.

Thank you to all for your thoughts and suggestions.

So appreciate this often friendly and warm place…



I wouldn’t not have been as accommodating. Something is fishy. You do not forget a safe. My spider senses say that there is something illegal in that safe.

  1. If the messages were not in the airbnb app, send a message to the guest documenting everything that has happened.

  2. Write Airbnb and let them know you are calling the police and then call the police and explain.

  3. If there is something illegal in that safe, and you mail it, you could be in legal jeopardy.

Normally, I ask the guest if they want their item back, then send them a payment request and a little more for my trouble. I give them a date I need to have payment by and I mail with a way to track. UPS is much better at tracking than priority mail. Certified mail by the USPS is useless.


I think taking it to the police is the right answer.


Exactly. No papers were found in the drawer, and the safe was left outside.(Why?) Anyone could have come along and stolen it.


Great story, responses and advice. I, too, wait to hear about the resolution!


Reminder: this is not a support group.


There is also the possibility that this is one of those mentally ill guests. “Yep, those are my papers”, as the response to telling her that a 70 pound safe was found left behind in the house, with no explanation given, when she had originally said they were left in a desk drawer, sounds pretty deranged to me.


Why not?
If someone feels supported or enlightened by others’ advice I consider that valuable and positive. We could all use some positive vibes, especially these days.


Sure, that’s great. There’s no rule against being supportive. But people should not consider it a support group, because it’s not one. Sometimes hosts will be told an unpleasant truth. Some hosts are open to that, some are not. If someone finds someone else disagreeing with their point of view intolerable, then this is probably not the place for them.

Brian made a statement and Fooey told him in a very rude manner that he was wrong. Oh well, they both made their statement and neither one is a violation of forum rules. Also neither Brian or Fooey was warm, friendly or supportive.

If this forum were to become an echo chamber of hosts telling one another they are right without regard to the situation, it’s not doing anyone any good.

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