Police takedown , how do I review.?

My listing has only been up since Dec 2019 but it does seem I have had some bad luck. If anyone has followed any of my posts , but this one Is a doozy and I am not sure what to do.
Last week I had a 2 night stay with a family of 4. I did not meet them as we are social distancing with all guests and she checked in and told me she loved The place. I give all my guests my phone to text me their arrival and departures and for any questions or problems they may have. The following day around 1030 am I text the guest to see if everything is ok. At 630 pm I get a response. The guest says her, her guys and 2 kids Had a bad night and did not sleep as they were awakened by the lights of 6 cop cars surrounding the place and yelling . I called her immediately. She says she was terrified the night before and she doesn’t know what was going on but there were cops everywhere.
They did look out the windows and allegedly saw police with their guns drawn and a policemen out front talking to one of the Neighbors. Naturally I am horrified and tell her how sorry I am and reassure her that our town is relatively safe and while our place is downtown and the downtown area is eclectic, We are super low crime.I offer to call the station and find out what happened . So I call the station and give them a brief on what the guest reported. Give them the address etc… nada. They say there is no documentation of anything going on anywhere that night anywhere in our town. A town of less than 20 k. I check in with a friend of mine who is the daughter of the previous sheriffs deputy and ask her if any other agency could be in the downtown area doing a bust and the local department not know about it ie Dea, immigration etc…She says no. They all have To go thru local police. So I text her back and tell her I could get no information on what happened. So she sends me a 10 second video Her son made obviously From the inside of our house that shows flashing lights and someone out front details were all blurred. So Text her back and tell her yeah that does look like lights and I will get back with her if I find anything out. I give her my sincerest apologies Etc… So the next morning she checks out early at 830 am . I think to myself that that is a bad sign. I finally get ahold of the neighbor who owns the adjacent duplex. He tells me what happened. Apparently a guy who lives down the street got drunk and disorderly, someone called the police on him he ran when they got there and he ended up in the duplex neighbors yard where they cuffed him and held him for an hour. My neighbor says no guns were drawn that he could see, but it’s bad enough…My neighbor says that he had already talked to my guests the morning after so she already knew what had transpired but had not told me that. Do not know why she was not forthcoming. So I sent my guest —now post visit— told her what I had found out—even though she apparently already knew and thanked her for being so gracious about it etc… She sent 2 texts Post stay asking how long it would take to get her deposit and Vrbo it takes 14 days and I had to screen shot her her own reservation info where it says just that to reassure her That I was not keeping her deposit as she seemed to think I would keep her deposit Over this which obviously was not her fault nor mine and I would never do that.Here is where I need advice. I have not sent her review in.It has been a week. She can not review me inútil I review her. Depending on what she writes this could look very bad for my place and it could kill my bookings thru no fault on my part. What should I do? Should I have handled it differently?

Of course the guest can review you without you reviewing her. I don’t know where hosts get this erroneous idea about reviews.

All reviews are published no matter whether both parties submit a review or not- If only one party submits a review, it will be published 14 days after check-out. If both parties submit a review, they get published as soon as both are submitted. You can’t dodge a bad review by not reviewing yourself.

Did the guest leave the place clean? Did they communicate well during the booking process and after? If I were in your shoes, I would just review as normal, and if it’s going to be a good review (they were good guests), I would message the guest to say you are planning to leave her a good review and that you would really appreciate it, if she leaves a review, that she reviews the listing and your hosting only, rather than mention the incident, as that was an unfortunate one-off event, rather than something that would ever happen again, like having loud neighbors.

If she does mention it in the review, other than to say there was an unfortunate event, having nothing to do with your listing, and that you were very responsive (in other words, making you look like a good host), you can always leave a response to the review, making it clear that this was just one of those things that no one can anticipate, and that your neighborhood is actually quite safe.

What is there to discuss? She was likely shook-up by the disturbance. She checked out a few hours early (Is that even unusual?). She didn’t ask anything from you as far as I can tell.

Regarding the “guns drawn”, police tend to point tasers at drunk and disorderly people that don’t have weapons but also don’t follow their orders. Tasers look a lot like guns from 100ft away at night.

Just recently, I read that hosts don’t provide a public written review for VRBO guests, they only get to provide a rating. Based on that, I’m not sure what you’re really asking. Would you want to contact the guest plead with her not to write a bad review? If she writes a negative review, can you also write a public response that is apologetic but also states facts that might counter anything that is over-stated/dramatized, etc.?


I was misinformed about the reviews and that clears it up. Thank you. Maybe after a weeks time she won’t be so shook up .

I understand that you’re new to this but you should try to remember that your guest chose your place. You didn’t force her to come to you. There’s no need at all for you to apologise for an unusual event that happened in your neighbourhood. You weren’t responsible for it.

Over the years I, like a lot of people who have been hosting for a long time, have had guests complain to me about things that were completely out of my control and it wouldn’t occur to me to apologise, be horrified and reassure them about the area. Pleasant and helpful yes, but not horrified and apologetic.

During your hosting career you’ll probably have plenty of things happen that inconvenience guests and very few of them will be your fault. It’s just another part of the job so it’s best to move on and forget about it. :slight_smile:


Don’t review her. Acoording to your post “I have not sent her review in.It has been a week. She can not review me inútil I review her.” that’s a good thing because chances are it’s not going to be a good review.

Too late !My husband agrees with you and he was right about not putting in a firepit. I listened to the other Two. I will let you all know how it comes out. Someone may need to sent me a tranq if she really blows me up. Lol

What are you talking about? Any guest who stays can leave a review that will be published regardless of whether the host submits a review. Please don’t post advice based on false notions.


You are correct. Hosts on VRBO cannot write reviews; we can only give stars (1-5). If someone writes me an unfavorable review, I am allowed the opportunity to publish a response under it.

The advice was based on what she said . “I have not sent her review in. It has been a week. She can not review me inútil I review her.” The booking was on another platform so based on what she said, I assumed their review system works differently than Airbnb.

Nowhere in the OP’s posts does she say that the booking was through another platform. I just rechecked. If I missed that, please quote where that is stated.

Read her post again. It’s towards the bottom when she talks about the text from guests requesting their deposit.

It’s on the bottom of her post “She sent 2 texts Post stay asking how long it would take to get her deposit and Vrbo it takes 14 days and I had to screen shot her…”.

She states it in the OP.

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Thanks- I’m certainly not infallible when it comes to reading. It was a long post without breaks, so I did manage to miss it- twice. I was looking for “This was a VRBO booking” somewhere.

Paragraphs for sale! Going cheap!





Paragraphs please so those using small phone screens and read your post.


There are events near or at our rentals that are unavoidable and can’t be covered in any length of notes or RA.
ie: a mountain lion likes to take down a deer on the next lot over, once in a while.
ie: PGE (Calif) last year did rolling black outs on electricity.
ie: PGE cut a water line last week, making the small town boil water for three days, right in the middle of a week’s stay for a family from So. Calif.
ie: the golf course without notice, closes for two days for sanding
and the biggest of all: Corona Virus shuts us down for months.


Thank you all for putting it in perspective. I reviewed her she has yet to review me back. I would
Much rather have no review than a bad one.
Will remember to do paragraphs sorry it was so
Lengthy.A saga!


Also, mountainhost, there is the option on VRBO to return a deposit at anytime – way before 14 days (which is the default max time VRBO holds the deposit). You may be further away from your rental (mine was connected to my house) but I wanted to let you know that you just press a button to return the deposit immediately and the guest is notified by email that you’ve done so. There’s no need to make a guest sweat it out if not necessary and a swift return of the deposit generates a lot of good will. I was surprised that some of my reviews mentioned that they received their deposit before they even got home so even though it’s only a couple hundred dollars, guests seem to appreciate it.