Refund for guests leaving a few days early?

My Airbnb is near several excellent hospitals in the area, and I’ve had a few guests come from all over for specific procedures. The guests I have now booked 2 weeks for surgery for the husband. His surgery went very well, and it looks like he will be able to get his follow up and go home 4 days early. This has happened a couple of times before and leaves me in a real dilemma. These guests have been wonderful in every way. They have not asked me for a refund, and since they won’t know until the day of his follow up, they won’t know for sure when they can leave until the last minute. This gives me virtually no time to book another guest for the remaining days. I am a super host and usually very full. I depend on this income. At the same time, I feel badly that they would have to pay for days they don’t use. There is another guest coming immediately after they leave. I’ve been extra good to these guests, and have been helpful and accommodating. They have told me that they are very happy here, and that this has been an ideal arrangement for them. Wondering how to stay a good host and not sacrifice my income! Thanks

(That is, I have guests coming immediately after their scheduled check out date) This leaves me 3 open days mid-week.

Would you be able to fill the days on such short notice?

No, I probably wouldn’t be able to fill the spot on such short notice. I could tell them that I’ll relist and refund them anything that is booked for that time, but I’m pretty sure that won’t happen.

Sounds like a plan. Are you at least on a moderate cancellation policy?

I would not refund them. You have spent time and effort to accommodate them.

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I’m on a strict cancellation plan.

Thats the best way. I did it few times, rerented it and everyone was happy.

You have a business to run, and to stay in business especially if you depend on this income, is to have certain policy and stick to it. When i was in college taking business classes, our professor was telling us to treat your business like a new born baby. If you dont feed the baby, it will die. If you dont stick to the schedule, feeding, sleeping, walks in a fresh air, baby wont get proper care and its well being is jeopardised and so on.
Same with business. In a way its your baby. You created it and now are taking care of it. To refund means taking food away from it, and starve it. Business needs to florish to keep on going, otherwise it will starve and die.
ALSo, you are not responsible on whats happening in your guests lives. Its solely their responsibility. If in this case they thoght they need more days but in fact they did not, then its their loss but not yours


Thanks, Yana, that’s my thought. The last time this happened, we had a great relationship over 6 weeks until the guest was able to leave a week early after his treatment. I didn’t give him a refund, but wrote him a great review and told him he would get a discount if he wanted to stay again for his follow up. He didn’t leave a review, never heard from him again. Before that, I lowered the price for a few days to see if I could book it. I did get a short stay, but the guests complained the whole time. Cheapest I ever rented it, huge hassle, worst review, not worth it.

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Follow up. Thanks for the advice. I wrote them a note to say I couldn’t offer a refund but would try to list it for the midweek, and would also give them a discount if they had a return visit. They wrote back:

  • “You are too kind, and I’m also regretting leaving early! I’d be happy just to live here from now on. And you are so sweet to offer all that, but honestly we don’t expect anything back - we had budgeted for this and have NO wish to short you. This is your business and you do it beautifully.”

These are the kinds of guests we really appreciate!


You get more flies with honey than vinegar as they say. I hope you will get to see them again.


Wow! That’s beautiful!

I appreciate your heart, @saerah, and wanting to extend extra care to your guests who are going through a difficult time. I may be totally wrong, but I think they are probably so happy to be done with their procedure and to be recovering so well they are released early, that a refund may be the last thing on their mind.

You are obviously doing what you can to make a difficult situation better for them. You can keep the money with a clean conscience.


You see! That is the civilized thing to say. Hoping they are all that nice.

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Please let those guests every single ABB host loves them :slight_smile:


I feel quite weepy! What a lovely note and you are obviously a great and thoughtful host, Saerah!

I was trying to work out what I would think from the guest side if the same situation arose, and I don’t think I would expect a refund at all under these circumstances. As your guest said, I would have budgeted for the longer stay, so I wouldn’t actually be losing anything by leaving earlier. If you were able to get another booking for those days and give a partial refund that would be a bonus, but I certainly wouldn’t expect it.

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