Prepared for 4 guests brought 8 then punished

So this guest booked for 1 person, officially, and mentioned bringing a sister and daughter. So we prepared for 4 people. Person then gave me a bad review because they could hardly fit the extra 7 people they brought (8 total people)! We allow 10 people when booking but when we are aware of more than 6 adults we offer an extra queen in the basement because we recognize people might not want to sleep on the couch that is listed as extra bedding or in the 2 sets of bunk beds. I contacted Air bnb about the unregistered guests and their only response was to charge them extra. I’m not sure what I would charge them for since we do allow up to 10. I could have prepared it had we known but I’m not sure what my next step should be.

You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game. If you have a rule that says clearly that the number of guests must be stated in advance and that people violating the rule are subject to extra charges or immediate cancellation then you can enforce that with rule breakers.

Your next step in this particular case is nothing. You apparently already reviewed them. But your next step in general should be to read as much as you can on this forum about how Airbnb works.

When someone shows up with 8 after booking for 1 you just let them in. You roll over and do nothing? It’s your home, take control. Airbnb has no way to control guests remotely.

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We didn’t know until they reviewed us that they had 8. They were upset we didn’t prepare for 8. That was one of the reasons they mentioned it being a sub par stay. We would NOT have let them in had we known.

I’m sorry this happened to you but not monitoring your rental is a key part of the business. If you aren’t going to be there to check them in and or watch them, for goodness sake put a camera at the door. You’re lucky something much worse hasn’t happened.


You can’t do anything. You say that your place can sleep ten people but the guest only brought eight. If the number is a problem for you then a) don’t say that it sleeps ten and b) simply don’t let them in. There’s nothing that Airbnb can do as it’s your responsibility to make sure things run smoothly with guests at your end.

Ten people sounds like a crush anyway if you’re expecting them to sleep on bunk beds and the sofa. You might want to reconsider your maximum.

Definitely remind your guests to update their reservation with the exact number of guests. It’s Airbnb policy to have the correct guest count on the reservation and I remind the guests of that as well. I do this one week before check-in. About 10% of guests update their reservations.

Respond to their review stating the facts so future bookers reading the review and your response can see how important it is to register guests accordingly. It will be a teachable moment.

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Thanks I did that. I’m just feeling like an idiot and wondering if I had any options after the fact.

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When they mentioned bringing a sister and a daughter, you should have immediately messaged the guest and said “I see you booked for 1 but have mentioned additional people. We need an accurate guest count for insurance purposes and to prepare the rental properly. Please update the reservation to the correct number of guests.” Or have her tell you how many and you could put through a change request. Then if she didn’t respond I would tell them I was going to have to cancel the reservation if it wasn’t updated to the correct number of guests. Actually if my place slept 10 and only one person booked I would immediately nicely question the guest count.


This has reminded me @kthayes24 , does your insurance policy cover ten people in your basement? And assuming that you’re in an area where STRs need to be licensed, does your license allow for so many? In some areas, the minimum area per person is 100 sq st and I’m wondering if your basement is 1000 sq ft or over?

Don’t feel like an idiot for learning something new. You just got better at what you do because of this experience. :cowboy_hat_face:


@LoneStar, what a really, really nice thing to point out to the OP. It can be quite rough when you end up feeling that everyone is telling you what you did wrong, even demoralising.

Spot on!


I don’t see where it said that ALL guests stay in the basement, only that when there are a lot of guests there’s a queen bed available in the basement. As well, a 1000+ sq ft basement is very easy to achieve under a mid to large size ranch home.

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As others have said, it’s very important to get an accurate guest count. Next time you’ll know to clarify the guest count when someone mentions extras.

We confirm bookings with a message: “We’re happy to confirm your group of X people arriving Y date after 3pm and departing Z date by 11am. Please make sure your guest count is accurate as only registered guests are allowed on the property.”

In the welcome e-mail sent 2 days before arrival we reiterate the same along with “Please let us know if there are any changes to your guest count or list.”

House rules require a first/last name for each guest. Only these guest allowed on property, enforced by a video doorbell.

This is how you protect your property and set proper expectations for guests.

You might look into adding a per person charge if people are booking for more than 4 guests (or whatever causes more work opening additional rooms).

Hang in there - there’s a lot to learn as a new host!

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You’re right. Thank you for pointing it out :slight_smile: