Reviewing an overly demanding guest

I’ve tried that. The blatant disregard this year has me fed up.

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I can imagine. Guests who ignore any reasonable approach the host tries are just jerks.


@casailinglady What are the reasons guests book with you?

I feel that I just lucked out in deciding to list a home-share in an area where almost all guests come on holiday. As I only listed because a friend who was a host encouraged me to, and I had a guest room sitting empty most of the year, without considering anything more than that, a few years of reading hosting forums ( which I was unaware of before I listed and for a couple years after that) has led me to the conclusion that where a listing is located and why guests book there is a huge factor in getting unproblematic or PITA guests.

Basically everyone books here for a beach vacation in a tropical climate. So they are in “relax and have fun” mode. If they have come from a place blanketed in snow, they are instantly happy to be able to peel off the layers and get into shorts, tanktops and summer frocks. The town is full of tons of places to eat, from nice, upscale (but casual) restaurants, to taco stands and women trudging up and down the beach with their cooler full of tamales. If guests aren’t on a strict budget, they can book a whale watching tour, a diving or surf lesson, a bird watching hike. Or they can enjoy the beach or people watch for free.

So none of them just hang around the house all day. For sure some get beached-out and might spend a whole day at home, reading, writing, or doing some artwork, or taking a walk around my countryside neighborhood, but they aren’t treating my home as their new home.

There is also a difference between domestic vacationers and travelers. I get a lot of travelers as guests. By travelers I mean the kind of people who have gone many places in the world, usually on a budget, not the new digital nomad types who want to travel to places that will make stunning backdrops in their youtube videos or instagram channels and require reliable wifi, comfortable computer chairs, microwaves, etc.

Real travelers go diverse places because they are interested in new experiences, diverse cultures, broadening their horizons. They are more interested in hiking the Himalayas and sitting on the floor of a mud hut sharing a meal of unfamiliar food with a local family than being able to find a latte or having a hot shower every day. They make great guests because they are adaptable to all sorts of circumstances and have respect for other people’s ways.

It seems to me that guests who are just going to another area of their own country, even if the landscape and climate are different, are still within their own culture- they can still find a Starbucks, a grocery store where all the products are familiar, there aren’t any language barriers, so they aren’t challenged to behave or think any differently than they normally do, or accept that things may not be what they are accustomed to. If they are from a first world country, they expect endless quantities of hot water, unlimited high speed wifi, a reliable cell signal, and if they wear their street shoes indoors, or eat in bed at home, they don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to do those things in your home, either.

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So true! Almost all our guests are from the US and St Lucia is not as advanced as the US. We leave our guests food for dinner and breakfast, but we had a guest that demanded a pizza be delivered to him the first night instead. He became belligerent when I told him there are no pizza delivery services around.

Not a relevant question to my comments here. I get guests for lots of reasons - passing through, visiting friends and family (weddings, funerals, grandchildren), work, looking for local real estate, etc.

The disrespect of the home and HR is the issue.

It is exactly a relevant question, IMO, to my observations, and your answer speaks to what I was talking about.

All of the reasons you gave that guests book with you mean they are guests who are simply going to another area within their own country, which is what I was getting at- they tend to be more likely to act like they can behave however they want in your home, which results in being disrespectful, as opposed to guests who are world travelers.

There isn’t anything you can do about this- your home is where it is and you get guests who want to book your accommodation for the reasons they do.

I was just musing on why some hosts get pain in the butt guests and some don’t, because the hosts who don’t do not have some magical powers that attract only nice guests- there are other underlying reasons which have nothing to do with the host, the accommodation they provide, or the approach they take with their guests.


I get guests from all over the world and if you’ve read any of my posts for the last IDK how many years on this forum, you’d know that. Especially if you read anything about the guests and the fact that it doesn’t matter the reasons for their visits or where they’re from - they’ve sucked.

Up until recently my guests have been 97% fantastic. This run of entitlement - from Germans, Canadians, Americans, and French has been horrific. And it’s over.

Now that ABB has made so many changes, I’ve delisted for the foreseeable.

Wow. I’m so surprised at this – not just entitled – but disrespectful behavior by this recent run of guests. I couldn’t imagine someone ignoring a Host, especially when they’re caught in the act.

I’m sorry that this happened to you.

Part of me wants to say “Don’t give up! It’s got to be like flipping a coin and getting ten heads in a row. This will stop.”

But maybe a short breather makes sense.

I hope you’re able to start renting your place soon. When you do, I hope your HR are in place so that when you catch them in the act you are authorized to video and audio record them doing so and to immediately cancel without refund and escort them out of your home immediately with your camera in hand to video and audio record them. If they resist call 911, to whom you can show the rules. And please take that authority and do it – walk them out right then and there. Oh, and get the time stamp free app on your phone. Be sure to video their room (and the rest of your home) immediately before the rental in case they take any retaliatory action.

Sorry if I made you feel defensive. It was just a theory I had, not specific to you or your listing, which may not, in fact, be accurate or true across the board.
Just trying to figure out why some hosts get crap guests and some don’t, but it may just be luck of the draw.

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I think it must be just that, the [bad] luck of the draw.

I blame social media as part of the reason guests have gotten “Nigel-ized” - guests thinking they are clever and crafty, with plans to get free stays and discounts shared in places like Reddit.

I joined airbnb and started listing in 2011. “Back in the day” guests were humble and also were not thinking airbnb was ‘cheaper than a hotel’ as their reasoning for booking my home. As time passed, as airbnb decided that it was a ‘thing’ to make reviews and stars a flashpoint, we started to get guests who would go on the interwebs and say “I found a hair - how can I get a refund?”. As guests shared their craftiness, hosts began to do the same - hence the hosts and guests who have not read the TOS but freely advise others how to game the system.

I find higher pricing and a fearlessness about reviews and cancellations has made things work for us, altho we still get guests who review what they THINK should happen rather than WHAT happens (giving 4 stars for check in because they forgot the keycode and my practically instant response vis airbnbtext was still too slow).


Absolutely social media has played a part in the behavior of some guests. There are blogs all over the internet advising those who have no qualms about scamming a free stay how to do so.

I do believe, however, that the majority of guests are honorable and could read all the blogs out there like that and find them disgusting and the advice no different from advocating stealing money out of the host’s wallet. (at least I hope so, because the alternative is a bleak view of the human race)

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While I know that many hosts have found that raising their prices attracts a better quality of guests, and wards off scammers, there are often other factors at play.

I get guests who I would say are pretty much all in a middle-income bracket, regardless of whether they are international or domestic guests (poor people can’t afford to travel, rich people don’t book a private room home-share) Because the international guests have a lot of expenses involved in getting here- flights, taxis, car rentals, eating out until they arrive to somewhere they can cook, foreign currency exchange fees, wanting to purchase some local souveniers for friends and relatives, they may be budget-minded in their choice of accomodation, as opposed to guests who may drive a few hours to get to their destination, packing up the car with all the groceries they will need, etc, whose trip expenses may be lower.

I offer a budget-priced listing for my area and have never had a scammer, complainer, and just because guests chose my place over somewhere more expensive, a block from the beach with a pool and AC, doesn’t mean they are “cheap”. I’ve been impressed and appreciative of the generosity of so many of my guests- for instance, my most recent guest insisted on buying all the wine we shared almost every night of her 14 day booking, gifted me with a little bluetooth speaker she had brought along, and insisted on treating me to dinner at a nice restaurant her last night.

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Of course, you’re right. Generalizations – stereotyping really – is a trap to avoid. Like many things in life there are multiple independent variables.

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Haven’t had any problems with meat cleavers but had a discussion with a guest as he was leaving:
Me: Oh, wow, I hadn’t noticed that you had brought that large-ish lumberjack saw into the house with you.”
He says nothing so his girlfriend chimes in: “Oh yeah. He likes to bring his saw so he can have campfires. We just didn’t get around to it.”
This is in the American West, where we strictly forbid any open flames on our property. Plus, he’d be, like chopping down one of our trees in order to have his fire.
A meat cleaver seems easier in some ways.:wink:


Folks, there are so many of these I’m going to do it in batches. Thus:

Hi @NordlingHouse

Yes, I did post a review of the guest. Not much changed from the version I originally posted. I might post my final version when this thread quiets down.

Thank you for the welcome back, @Shanghai. I haven’t been out of Bombay since 2009! I’d like to go travelling too. But Things keep me here.

Yes, @Atlnative, I too think more context is important and useful.

Yes, I take the point @muddy. But I do try to make a point to review real problem guests. Fortunately I’ve had few of those so far - touch wood. I have in the past occasionally not reviewed guests who I didn’t much care for, but also didn’t do anything that one could really criticize. In this case there were no concrete negative things that I could say that wouldn’t sound petty or stupid or both. I.e. “the guest didn’t seem to want to have a conversation” would make me sound like a moron.

But I didn’t want to leave a positive review either.

Hi @dpfromva,

Breakfast hours are rarely an issue. Most guests don’t have breakfast, because it’s not early enough for them. Or they just want to go out. If it becomes one, I can add something. A/Cs have already been mentioned. I’m adding a characteristically verbose para about eating in the guest room to my listing house rules as follows. Comments are welcome, though I am sure that any comment will tell me to shorten it, though.

And at least here, there are always insect issues. There is no power on heaven or earth that can remove ants, cockroaches, or rats from a city like Bombay. It’s just a question of keeping things under control.

A word about cleanliness, particularly related to food. Please be aware that in semi-tropical climates, bugs, particularly ants, quickly gather if food or food residue is left out. While eating in the guest room is allowed, I ask that guests avoid eating in the bed, as it is hard to clean. If you need extra chairs or a small additional table, it can be provided. Also, if you do eat in the room, please do immediately clean up after yourselves. All surfaces should be cleaned properly so that no food residue is left behind, and also all food wrappers and disposable containers should be thrown out in the big kitchen bin under the sink. Bottom line - no food waste or residue should remain in the room longer than necessary.

Hi @fionajk42,

Now I’m curious about the complete list. Can you post a link to your House Rules?

Hi @HostAirbnbVRBO,

I’m not sure what you are saying here. Are you suggesting that I add a sentence to my house rules saying something like “No illegal activities”? I don’t even have a sentence about firearms or other weapons, though now I’m wondering if I should add one. For the record, illegal activities and weapons have never been an issue.

Perhaps something like

“No drugs, hazardous substances, weapons, or illegal activities. Consumption of alcohol is fine.”

? I see that I don’t even have something saying that alcohol is OK, which is not a given in India. Though guests, including Indians, do occasionally drink here. I don’t drink myself, except very occasionally, and invariably when someone else gives it to me. I’ve never in my life purchased alcohol for my own consumption, I doubt I
ever will. It seems like a waste of money.

I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. I know the guest ate chocolate in bed, for example, because he left chocolate stains in the sheets. And also he wrote me a message which said he did.

Hi @muddy,

Thanks for the tip. I’ll try to remember to try cinnamon the next time something like this happens.

Hi @PitonView and @NordlingHouse,

I’m puzzled by this eight second rule, if that is what it is. Presumably hosts spend more than eight seconds preparing for and interacting with guests. So surely it’s worth spending a bit of time checking if there might be a problem with said guest?

AFAIK, the average native English speaker can read a normal English paragraph at a glance. Though perhaps not the prose of Henry James. So I don’t see why this would be an issue. Personally, I read all the reviews for all the guests I’m hosting before I make the decision to host them, regardless of length. Though there are never many. Often there are none. And they are virtually never negative. And I too am a creature of modern times, with an attention span degraded by watching too many Youtube videos.

Also, my posts might be longish, but I hope they don’t ramble.

Yes, my thinking exactly. Though one should always read reviews, new hosts or not.

Anyway, if there is a decline in reading attention spans, I blame Twitter. It’s all Twitter’s fault. Let’s petition Musk to shut it down.

Well, you know what they say. The devil is in the details. Different people have different notions of respectful and clean. So how do you know what the host’s notion is, without the details?

That’s a good point. I’d not thought about it, but perhaps it would be a good idea to mention that in a review. I don’t specifically do so. Though I’m not sure it there is a polite or tactful way to say something like: “the guest didn’t really seem to want to talk to me.”

And also thanks for the welcome back @Rolf, @murphysranch.

As a home-share host, I get both guests who are sociable, who I end up sitting around and chatting with over coffee, or a glass of wine, and guests who are more private, who I barely see or have a conversation with. Both types are fine with me.

But if I had a guest who seemed to resent having to ever speak to the host, or even the host being present (I’ve never had a guest like this, but have read posts from other home-share hosts who have) I would say something like “Not suited to home-sharing” because a guest like that really shouldn’t be booking a home-share listing.

Yes, too verbose.

I don’t have any written info about this, but verbally tell guests when they arrive and I show them to their room that as this is the tropics where insect life is prolific, unless they want to share their room with an army of ants, or cockroaches, they should keep food and eating confined to the dining and kitchen area. That seems to do the trick most of the time. Rather than it being a “rule”, that they might be inclined to ignore, the vision of having cockroaches in their bedroom seems more likely to encourage compliance.

This is really long. Also, I don’t know what you mean when you say “All surfaces should be cleaned properly.” If there are crumbs on the floor, how does the guest remove them? Is there a dustpan and broom? A vacuum? You should spell this out.

How about:

Food Residue: In semi-tropical climates, bugs, particularly ants, quickly gather if food residue is left out. Eating in the guest room is allowed but not in bed, as it is impossible to get the crumbs/residue out. Immediately after eating please clear crumbs and wipe down the surfaces, put all food wrappers and disposable containers in the big kitchen bin under the sink. Clean the floor of any crumbs by . . .

Yes, I think your statement is pretty good, slight edit:

No illegal drugs, illegal activities, hazardous substances, firearms or other weapons.
Consumption of alcohol is fine.

I don’t know whether you permit smoking, and whether you distinguish whether smoking outside and inside is permitted. Some (probably few) Hosts don’t permit smokers on rationale that the smoke clings to their clothes and adheres to furniture.

While hosts in the US might feel they need to have wording regarding illegal activity, it really isn’t an issue at all for most hosts. No one flies to Mexico for a beach vacation and brings a gun with them, nor sets up a meth lab in their rental. And personally I couldn’t care less if they smoke pot or snort some lines of coke, if that’s their thing.
Keep in mind that this is an international forum when suggesting what hosts should do.

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