Reviews and protecting future hosts

First of all, I’m unclear with this wording on airbnb regarding reivews:
"Reviews are only posted after:

  1. Both parties have submitted their reviews, or
  2. The 14-day period has ended—whichever comes first."
    So does that mean, if the guest writes a review and I don’t, theirs gets posted in any case? or vice versa? I always assumed a review was only posted if both parties wrote reviews. Is this correct? This is a critical piece of information. I need to protect future hosts from this guest, and I suspect she wrote a negative review, but if I convey my cautionary tale, I fear retribution…

Being the trusting sole I am, I agreed to host someone who had a bad review based on the guest’s demand for a refund from airbnb having submitted photos of dirt behind the toilet. The host seemed perhaps overly defensive. I should have listened…
Despite accommodating a request for an early check-in (3 hrs), the guest was very unresponsive, ignored critical parking info annoying my neighours, left LOTS of garbage and ignored instructions about recycling, stripping beds, and had a baby they didn’t include (not a problem but I like to convey info about safety and equipment I have available.) NOT a great experience and unprecedented in my 10 years of hosting.

To cut to the chase, I learned she lodged a complaint with airbnb about a “messy fridge” for which she apparently sent photos, and they refunded her $220. So between my spidey sense and the apparent pattern of scamming airbnb and hosts, I DEFINITELY MUST warn hosts. But frankly, it was all so creepy I am fearful for my safety if I “out” her in the review. So…if she’s written a review and IF that review is NOT posted if I don’t post one, and I emphatically lobby airbnb to not allow her to book on the platform, then that is a safer path for me. I am of course in touch with Superhost support but I’m gathering as much info as I can in the meantime as I want to figure out my strategy asap. Thanks for your input.

All reviews are published regardless of whether both parties leave a review. You can’t avoid a bad review by failing to leave a review for the guest.

However, if you don’t get a notification that the guest has already left a review, you can wait until just before the 14 day review window closes to submit your review, in hopes that they won’t then have time to submit a review when prompted by getting a notification that the host has left a review.

I fail to see what is “creepy” about this guest experience or what you fear about your safety. She was a terrible guest, but she isn’t going to come back and burn your house down over a bad review.

Please leave an honest review to warn other hosts. And in the future, there is no need to give guests with bad reviews a second chance. They aren’t your friends or family. Some hosts will ask a guest about a bad review, if they only have one, because there are often 2 sides to a story, and the guests have been fine. But never just ignore past bad reviews, hoping for the best.


Did you report the guest? I have been in this business for a long time and I have never come across a guest harming a host or the host’s property as retaliation for a bad honest review.

Please help us to understand more about the problems you had with this guest. What was ‘creepy’? As the guest is described so far, she seems to be far-from perfect but not scary or creepy. Can you tell us more?


I don’t understand why you would be worried about safety. Is she local? Do you live on site and you’re afraid she will come all the way back to assault you? Vandalize your property? I’ve given poor reviews to local guests and explicitly said in the review I wouldn’t host them again and I don’t fear for my safety.

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Hosting this guest was an experience like no other. Their exceptional ability to disregard instructions and be unresponsive truly made for a memorable stay. From their unfounded complaints about a “messy fridge” to their talent for exploiting the system, this guest is in a league of their own.

I must say, I wouldn’t wish this guest upon any other host. Their behavior raises serious concerns about their integrity and respect for the Airbnb community. If you enjoy surprises, headaches, and the thrill of dealing with questionable guests, then by all means, invite this individual into your home.

However, for those who value their peace of mind and a harmonious hosting experience, I strongly advise against hosting this guest. Proceed at your own risk, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.


I don’t understand how you’ve been a host for 10 years and don’t know how the review system works. you NEED to call out this behavior, so the next host doesn’t get scammed, cos clearly this guest knows how to complain about something minor and get a refund.


Wow, I missed that in my initial reading. That’s dismazing.


well, some hosts only do 12 bookings a year, where I can do that one week… so # of years in the biz has some weight, but # of turnovers/hostings is another metric. Also I can’t know, but has the review process changed over the years?

They changed to the double blind system around the time I started hosting in May 2014? Maybe after? It seems like I was a host when they made the switch, or maybe I just read about it here? Still, when one prefaces their statements with “I’ve been a host for 10 years…,” that implies they are knowledgeable.

It is certainly true that someone could host a long time and have very little experience though. Also if someone hosts often but on different platforms and direct bookings, they might forget specifics of one platforms policy vs another.


I actually did this - asked a potential guest about their bad review - and he went ballistic. I told him to remove his request to book and open my schedule as this wasn’t a good fit (aside from his desire to set up his oil painting equipment in my shared living areas 24/7).

Give this guest an honest review. Post yours either AFTER the guest has posted one OR at the very end of the 14 days so they can’t post one in retaliation.

I would want to know about this person, especially the infant who wasn’t listed in the booking. I don’t accept children at all and would have canceled her right away.

Don’t let your feelings enter into it. Creepy, etc., are feelings, not business.

Would NOT host. Guest disregarded parking instructions, house rules, brought an infant without disclosing that in the booking (thereby not using needed safety equipment), left lots of garbage, and was uncommunicative and demanded a refund for a dirty fridge that was spotless before her arrival.

Then give appropriate LOW stars.

And don’t host locals.


Yes, well there’s always the possibility of encountering nasty crazy people.

I would think most guests would appreciate a host asking "I’m a little concerned about a review you have saying XX, but I know there are usually two sides to a story, so would you like to tell me what happened there?

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Alright all…I wish I’d chosen my words a little more carefully. I host about 140 days a year … So how do I not know for SURE the review system? Partly because my understanding originally when I started was that reviews were only posted if both parties submitted them so I was checking to see the current regs. But more importantly, because I never had reason to. I have always had very positive things to say about guests, and with a 4.96 rating from 412 reviews, my guests seem to have positive things to say about their stay as well. And yes, I am perhaps too trusting. This is the first time it has backfired and the first time I’ve had to steel myself to write a bluntly honest warning to future hosts about a guest. One should never take that lightly. And thanks to your feedback I will now not hesitate. (And to answer other comments, yes, she does live in my area, and my safety issues came from being in the public eye and feeling more vulnerable as a result. I also thought, whoever would have so little regard for the trust put in them - and so unethical as to demand a refund is NOT a normal mentally healthy individual.)

But here is the very good news: Airbnb wrote this morning to relay that she and her manager went through the photos and complaints and my listing and determined there was nothing misleading - nothing that warranted the complaints or the refund, and they wanted to “make it right” by refunding me the amount they had refunded the guest. She went on to say they should have checked with me initially before issuing the refund.

So there you go - a good outcome and I will put on my big girl pants and tell it like it is so she can’t scam anyone else.

Thanks all~


I did actually ask that, and realized when the shit happened and I read through all our communication that I didn’t push for a response to that specific question. I did want to allow for the possibility that there was another side. Apparently, not in this case!

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@balivilla I think I should just copy and paste this! BRILLIANT!

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I use IB so don’t vet guests but if I see that they’ve had a bad review, I mention it to the guest a few minutes after arrival.

Because we’ve already had a five minute conversation and therefore a brief relationship, it’s easy to say 'oh, I saw that awful review you had from that place in Miami. What was all that about?"

If the review mentioned a specific transgression (noise, left the place a mess etc) I say ‘well I’m sure you know that you can’t do that here’ and go on to explain why.

This has never been a problem and these ‘problem guests’ have all been great - some becoming valuable repeats.


I’m sorry you had such a trashy guest! (Literally) But it’s actually reassuring to hear that this is the only person you’ve had who was like this out of 412 reviews. (Did you mean 7000 days, not 7000 guests?)

@Balivilla 's review is funny but I would stick with something less sarcastic, very factual and simple like @casailinglady suggested:

I might suggest just tweaking it to emphasise the fact that this guest is a scammer, by leading with the fact that they made a false complaint at the end of the stay about a dirty fridge at the end of the stay and requested a refund on that basis.

Also, after mentioning “disregarded parking instructions” you might add “upsetting our neighbours” because that’s the real problem there, isn’t it? Any future host, most of whom are very keen to maintain good relations with their neighbours, will see that as a nice big red flag.


That’s great! Very glad to hear that Abnb did the right thing and refund to you versus the guest. This guest was obviously trying to game the system with the refund request.

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Actually, I think she had already received the refund and suspect that they let that lie but made it right with me. I am VERY appreciative.

I tried to do the math in my head but it may have failed! So I deleted the number from my message. I was curious how that might translate into guests but the point is made! and BTW, I am definitely “outing” this guest - but taking some time to finesse it.

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I hope that’s just a bad choice of words. You are appreciative that AirBnB didn’t steal from you?

AirBnB refunds a guest $220 (US?) for a “messy refrigerator” without the guest notifying you first to give you a chance to fix it AND before AirBnB contacted you about it? They aren’t being generous - they should never have taken your money to give to the guest to begin with.