Request to pay via Zelle

We are relatively new to hosting - have had one horrible experience and the rest pretty uneventful. Asking advice on this:
Guest reserved for one adult. Long story, short…he brought two dogs and another guest. Neither a tremendous issue (we allow up to 4 adults and 2 pets), BUT he did not pay the fee for the pet ($50) that he knew about via our messages with him. We did a money request and now he’s saying he wants to pay via Zelle instead of Airbnb. Is this sketchy? Okay?
Thanks in advance for helping a newbie out!

Tell him it has to be through Airbnb because you don’t have a Zelle account (and he knows that). He’s trying to get away without paying the extra fee.


As a concept, Zelle is fine. I use it all the time. BUT for anything Air related, tell the Guest they MUST go through AirBnb… “…the company handles all my finances for hosting.”


Take @KenH 's advice and keep it on AirBnB and take it through the resolution center. AirBnB does not charge you their 3% fee for transactions processed through the resolution center, so there’s absolutely no incentive for you to accept Zelle for this.


Thank you. Getting the sense that this is passive-aggressive on the guest’s part, but this is helpful info for sure.

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I allow guests to pay the pet fee via any method as long as I get payment before the stay or on arrival.

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Unfortunately he did not pay it ahead of time and showed up with the dogs. He was there for only one night so I’m tempted to just cut bait and give a so so review

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He never intended to pay, that’s why he tried to get you to agree to off-platform payment.

I’d have to ask why you allowed him to stay when he showed up with 2 dogs and an extra guest. That’s when you needed to have him accept the payment or tell him they had to leave.

I get it, you’re newish hosts, but you can’t let guests walk all over you.

A so-so review? After he refused to pay the pet fee and brought an extra person? You need be honest in your review about this guest’s behavior. He’s a cheat and a liar (Mind you, I’m not suggesting to use those words). If you don’t review and rate honestly, these awful guests just keep getting passed around, pulling the same s**t on other hosts.

I would also report him to Airbnb.


Fair. Don’t disagree

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As far as I know, Zelle pays directly into the recipient’s bank. The person receiving the money doesn’t need a Zelle account. The person sending the money doesn’t get to know the recipient’s bank details so it’s pretty safe to use.

I would have agreed to him paying by Zelle because the guest isn’t really Airbnb’s customer any more, he’s mine.

However I agree that as a general rule, because you are new, it’s a good idea to keep everything on the Airbnb platform before and during the stay for now.

Oh and @muddy’s review advice is spot on - hosts and guests need to always write honest reviews. :slight_smile:


Tell us how you really feel.

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That could be okay when dealing with a guest who has honorable intentions, but this guy ignored the host’s messages about the pet fee and had no intention of paying. So it seems better to me to request the fee through Airbnb, so even though he isn’t going to pay, there is a history there of him refusing to pay what he owes.

And of course it’s not likely to be able to extract money from a guest like this once they have stayed and left.
Better when they arrive to say, “Oh, well, the pet fee has to be paid upfront so let me just put in a request right now for you to accept and then you can get settled in”.
If they refuse, they can turn around and leave.
Same for if they arrive with more guests than booked for.


Just got the airbnb resolution message that they are looking at it. This is all such helpful advice…I am really appreciative!

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This is such good advice. Thank you!

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In that case, I’d go through the resolution center. Also make sure to note the issue come review time.


I collect most of my pet fee’s via Venmo and sometimes cash. I charge per pet per day and I got tired of checking to see if guest paid on platform. For the last 2ish years when I get a reservation including a pet I reply:

Great, you can pay the pet fee when you get here I will leave a note in the cabin how to pay.

I will never look back, this works very well for me.



I don’t see any problem accepting a Zelle payment. Of course I prefer payment through the platform before the start of the stay, but I’ve collected pet fees through Zelle, PayPal, etc. without a problem.

As mentioned, you should have insisted on the payment before they arrived; but in the absence of that, accept the Zelle offer.


If this particular guest had any intention of paying the pet fee, he would have accepted it when it was presented to him on the platform. He suggested Zelle because he had no intention of paying, but didn’t want his behavior to be noted on the platform.

I agree there is nothing wrong with accepting payments off-platform for additional services, extending dates, or fees for anything else if the host feels okay about it, and if the guest is an honest person with honorable intentions. But that wasn’t the case here- this guest was simply trying to pull a fast one.

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Maybe. But I’ve had guests not respond for days, and I just assume they are busy rather than assume they are avoiding me :smirk:.

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The guest probably knew you were a recent host and was trying to pull a fast one on you.