Reviewing a shady guest - to disclose details or not?

Someone named Curtis recently booked 4 nights with me. When he booked, he mentioned he wanted to find a place for his daughter and niece who were in town for a family birthday party. Awesome - we love families.

On the video camera I observed three 20-something girls check-in without Curtis. We don’t normally allow the person who booked to not stay, but I let this slide (shame on me).

Shortly after check-in, I smelled pot smoke in the entryway area. I called Curtis and told him we don’t allow this, and asked them to instead smoke outside. He was pleasant and accommodating enough and the girls did what I asked.

Over the next few days I noticed abnormal behavior:

  • The girls spent the entire day, every day in the apartment.
  • The girls would leave to “go out” at 2am-3am, dressed in the most scantily-clad clothing one might imagine. They’d return around 8am-9am each morning.
  • During the day, they’d go out to the sidewalk and smoke pot. They’d do this literally every other hour or so, and still scantily-clad (albeit less “dolled up”).
  • I had a brief conversation with one of the girls outside, asking where they were from, why they’re in town, etc. She mentioned “Curtis always has business and we always go with him.”
  • When they checked-out (11am on a Friday), two cars came by to pick them up. Curtis was one of the drivers, and I can’t imagine him being old enough to be one of their fathers.

They left the place super messy. Nothing the cleaner couldn’t handle, but it was clear they (disrespectfully, in my view) made zero effort to take care of our apartment.

In inclined to tell all in my review and also report Curtis’ profile. I can only guess what the girls do (hookers? something else that’s shady?), but I’m especially pissed about being mislead that Curtis booked for “his family.”

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Sounds like Curtis was their pimp. At least they were not using your space with their Johns. I don’t think you can mention that on the review because of privacy issues. You can say that they disrespected your home and left the place dirty. I would give them a one star for all categories and click on “would not host again.”


Absolutely, I don’t want “Curtis” to ever book with me or any other host.
“I would not host Curtis again. While he told me he was booking for 2 family members, 3 apparently unrelated women used the place to go out all night on what business I do not know and don’t want to imagine, used recreational drugs in the entryway despite rules and notice of our security camera, and left a mess behind.”


I agree with @Ritz3. Simply say that it was a third party booking and that the guests left the place in poor shape.


I would add " Party people who had to be asked not to smoke on the premises, which they complied with. The person who booked did not show up with the three girls until collecting them on departure."

Factual and gives the gist without breaking any rules. I think…


I like Joan’s review. What my guests do off premises is not relevant. How they dress is not relevant.


Wow - that is a wild story. Thank goodness it is “just some mess” and no damage. Agree with @Ritz3 regarding review, etc.

I would avoid any mention of names or 3rd party. Short and to the point seems best. Just enough for a future host to know to steer clear. In theory, Curtis can get it pulled (3rd party), but he may not be aware of this.

Stick to the facts:

  • More people stayed than booked
  • Smoked in the house when the listing states no smoking
  • Left the place a mess

I wouldn’t mention that it is a 3rd party booking since you allowed it.

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Sex workers, for sure. I had a guest who came with her pimp. She booked the cottage for she and her “fiancee”, and all of her interactions were positive/profile was fine.

Once they showed up, it was glaringly obvious something was off. For one thing, here in Savannah, it’s pretty unusual for a woman to be out and about in a completely see-through top. Ha. And it was at 4:00 in the afternoon.

They were here for 4 nights, and the pattern was the same: went out really late, came home around 8:00 a.m. or a little earlier. We were lucky – the place was left relatively clean, but they had a really loud argument on the morning of checkout, which made it really plain what their relationship really was.

She seemed very nice. He was a complete jerk, though.

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Savannah is such a great town. All those lovely garden areas throughout the old downtown area.

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It probably doesn’t apply to Savannah but here I’ve had guests go out late and come back early. That’s for the casinos though as locally they’re open 24 hours. And if they have a big win, they always give me huge tips. :slight_smile:


Need advice- guest booked thru IB had 5 (5star) reviews and what a mess. Booking was for 5 guests. They arrived a day late but that was ok. Around 10:00PM - (blink video system) another 8 young men showed up and went inside. I suspected party since I previously saw a couple of cases of beer going in so I called the guest who said they were just picking him up and they were going out. 1-1/2 hrs. later they left then returned at 3:30a.m. Then at 6:15a.m I overheard them saying the police had been called and one of the guests saying-“they are funny like that”. No one was wearing a mask or social distancing and I presume where ever they went social distancing was not practiced. Anyhow my next guest arrives in 3 days and my concern is for their health- should I cancel their reservation? BTW when I checked the background on the guests- one had 40 priors, and another one had 34. I cannot wait until 11:00 am and they are out! The cameras showed this a.m. that an additional care joined their group and spent the night.

To be frank, the fact they didn’t appear to practise social distancing or wear masks is actually irrelevant. You should treat guests who do practise social distancing and do wear masks the exact same those who don’t.

Just because they had masks on at check in doesn’t mean they have them on when they are out and about, or that they practise social distancing.

Essentially, treat all guests as though they are two legged petri dishes full of Covid.

Absolutely not, and your primary concern should be for your health, seriously. Anyone who is travelling just now, and using hotels, STR’s etc is taking a risk; with some it’s a calculated risk, with others they probably simply don’t give a feck.

Follow the guidelines and protocols for safe cleaning, i.e. let it ventilate for 24hrs and then use PPE when you do go in.

During July and August, every booking we had came from regions that are considered to be “hotspots” within mainland Spain (Madrid & Barcelona), and we were essentially booked out for those two months.

We set a buffer day between bookings, and added to our check out instructions that guests should open all windows and internal doors before leaving. Other than a cursory check (using PPE) after 3hrs, we didn’t then go in until 24hrs after check out time (still using PPE). So far, all is good.

As regards the other stuff, hammer them in their review and move on. Not all guests are like that, as I’m sure you know.



Is pot legal in your area? If not legal, you should mention what type of smoking

If they were enjoying a blunt on my porch, my retiree neighbors would either toddle over and toke too or call the police. After the police arrive the story would ballon into “the guests dealing” . Illegal in my area so not worth the risk.


Thank you for the reply- BTW-I do treat all guests the same but I did not visualize them as petri dishes.

I have a heightened sensitivity of safety protocols due to my niece being taken to the hospital yesterday due to covid in South Carolina.

In the meantime I have removed the IB and will have conversations with potential guests to gain better control over who is renting. Not a guarantee but I do have a means to do a preliminary background check. The current guest I had a bad feeling about from the beginning- he only listed his guests names the day of the reservation although I had requested them earlier.

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I live in New York, so not yet legal in my area.

All the best to her, hopefully a short stay.


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I’m struggling with this one to be honest. I’d love to overlook it, but with the girls frequently smoking outside and making their presence known, it looks bad on myself and my family to the neighbors.

I’m certain other hosts wouldn’t want this, and this alone could be a dealbreaker.


I don’t understand this point - how could a mention of a 3rd-party booking make it eligible to be removed?

Sometimes it isn’t what you say but how to say it. It may be helpful to give the Airbnb Review policy a quick read