Preview the house - is this normal?

Hi, I am a new host and I had an unusual situation. A lady from California booked my house for 7 days. This amounts to 1200$ or so. She had a request: she wanted her sister who lives in the city to see the house first, although I have 25 pics online! I agreed. I met with her and her husband and they behaved like home buyers, opened cupboards, linen closet, dishwasher, oven, ran the toilet, inspected the grout in my kitchen, questioned if the tiles were vinyl or ceramic - at which point I felt bad, I was telling myself that these are picky, fussy people who will find something to complain about and give me a 1 star review. They left. I fell I should have not approved this whatsoever. I sent the sister in California - the original person who booked my place - a message she’s free to cancel. Anyone has experienced something like this? I truly am uncomfortable with these people. Anyone had a similar experience? What should I do? I would so like to cancel their reservation…

Yes, I’ve had this many times. Rarely has it ended up being a booking. It has taken up my time for no good reason. Note too that it is against Airbnb’s TOS. It’s a waste of time.


You can always deny requests like this, but I don’t think it is an indication of a bad guest based on a siblings actions.

I feel it’s an indication of a fussy guest who would give 1 star review if it rains while she is in town.


Is it after they have actually booked?

Doesn’t matter if someone has booked or not. NEVER allow someone “local” to check out your place for someone who lives away and wants to book with you. You’re leaving yourself open for home invasion, robbery, or just snoopy SOBs who have no business on you property!

Just tell them that it is against Airbnb policy to allow anyone to visit your property prior to actual booking, and that your personal rules never allow anyone who is not booked to even drive by the property.


Sounds like it was already booked. I’d probably allow it but it seems these people went way too far checking it out.

Yes she booked it before checking to be sure. I had a discussion with her. She said she had a bad experience with a house with cockroaches. I think it is a gimmick. Cockroaches appear at night. Any day visit won’t uncover them.

Around here, they are apparent all times of day. Ah, college housing. Don’t miss it even a little bit.

Another person who needs to stay at a hotel (without roaches)

What jaquo said. Next time, wait for the a guest who is decisive enough to book without a stupid viewing like you are running a show home.

They had ALREADY booked.

What’s happened, happened, and it’s part of the learning curve. From your description, I think the guest’s relatives have behaved with arrogant entitlement. I would indeed feel most uncomfortable with the sister coming to stay, particularly for seven days. People do get bored and start nit picking; even if she can only blame her relatives for a poor inspection! I feel like I have developed the hide of a rhinoceros in the last year, and really, really will not have people staying who have overstepped the mark in such a way. I don’t care that it’s the sister staying, not her relatives; it was rude, rude, rude. I would be calling Airbnb to ask for them to cancel the booking on the grounds you have given us. They will ask you to send the guest your reasons for doing so and I would be factually blunt.

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Totally understood. I’ll edit my post to read “next time”

I’m thinking… Hotels have reports of bed bugs, right? What she did is equivalent with a person asking the hotel to send the sister to check the room, you know, inspect the bed sheets, see if it was dusted, look under the bed, inspect the shower… Etc. How weird is that? Would hotels allow it. No.


Thanks Joan. I will call Airbnb to see if I can cancel. The way you described it is exactly how I feel. I communicated to the sister who booked me that I don’t feel comfortable with them staying at my house and I asked them to cancel. She tried to convince me that my decision is bad for my business if I reacted like this and that she has been on VRBO for 17 years and that I am not cut out for the hospitality industry because I don’t have thick skin.

I wouldn’t want this person either. That wasn’t my point. My only point was this was not a TOS violation since the booking had already occurred and then you allowed the inspection.

And yes, when I worked in hotels, we did allow inspections, after they gave us their credit card, of course.


I don’t necessarily find the whole notion of inspection to be so outrageous. Some people have bad experiences and they will indeed feel better in the case they get some assurance that the place is fine. The problem is the behaviour of those people who showed up. The guest might end up being just fine, but based on the experience, the chances for that are slim. But that’s the kind of lesson every host has to learn fo themselves. It is possible to have a guest asking for a discount, being denied one and still ending up being a good guest; it is possible to have a guest who asks for million favors and actually ends up being grateful for them; the problem is that it rarely happens. Same goes for this fussy kind of guest.

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Joan, I am happy to report that customer service cancelled this lady’s reservation. For once they sided with the host. Thank you for suggesting it. I wouldn’t have called them because I thought they always side with the guest. I am so relieved!


There are not enough words… Thankfully she has proven herself as appalling as her sister, and a bully. How dare she tell you what’s good/bad for your business.

Enjoy cancelling her, then move on. No one needs that kind of guest.