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Seeking Forum's Advice, please


We repainted a cabin this morning and guests are coming tomorrow sometime after check-in, 2pm

A storm has moved in and there is a potential it will not be dry, or too smelly, by the time they arrive.

I may be able to relocate them for a night to a neighbour’s rental, after which they’d move back to us.

Is it better to:

  1. Cancel their reservation outright in fairness to them?
  2. Ask Air to relocate them, and if so for 1 night or both nights?
  3. Try to relocate them myself

It may be dry and odourless by tomorrow afternoon, but the painter isn’t sure.

Thank you!

Even if it was Zero VOC paint, I personally would not want to stay in a cabin that was painted only 24 hrs prior to my staying there. Unless it’s just a very small area that was painted, that’s a lot of fumes. Is your neighbor’s rental on AirBNB too and is it as nice as what’s available? It’s probably more straightforward to just cancel and let AirBNB re-house them for both nights.

I would email the guests explaining the situation and offer them the options of keeping the reservation, relocation or having you cancel. Personally, I get headaches from paint fumes and would not want to stay. Others wouldn’t mind at all. No matter the outcome, I’d offer some perk for the inconvenience.


I agree on the fume thing. We’ve gone as eco-friendly as possible but, it’s paint.

The place we’d relocate them to is on the other side of our property. The house with kitchen (we don’t have a kitchen) is gorgeous, way nicer than ours. It just doesn’t have as large of a view and the path the beach isn’t as close to it as ours. In fact, it’s almost double the price for one night.

The owner is a friend of mine. She’ll give it to me for the same price the guests are paying for our cabin.

Also, I could just message the guest about the situation and let her decide?


I would give the guest options. It will make them feel more in control of the situation and less likely to lash out.


oh, if it’s an upgrade, then I’d definitely contact them, explain what’s going on and give them the option, showing them the new listing, etc. The review gets a little complicated but you can just ask them to not leave one.

@chicagohost - it is an airbnb listing and a gorgeous one, but the upgrade would be cash I give to my friend, so I’m not sure Air would like me not going through the machinations, so I’m reticent to send her the link. Anyone know a way around that?

Okay, update:

The guest is not responding. I have only 2 more hours left to secure the upgraded listing or I lose it.


This is getting weirder and weirder…

The guests definitely cannot stay in the cabina the first night - but with all the breezes they’ll be fine for their 2nd and last night.

I clicked on the guest’s profile to see if I could find other contact info (phone going direct to voicemail) and noticed she had one more review than she had the first time I looked. So I tried to contact that host, who has a 2 night minimum and only one night open from now until … forever.

If my friend’s place wasn’t a massive upgrade, I would have already cancelled. 1.5 hours left to secure the upgrade or not…

Is this upgraded place all within a short walking distance to your rental?

Do you plan to just give your friend the equivalent of what you receive for a night? Or do you have to book his place at a much higher rate?

I know you mentioned something about the view not being as nice…but view from where? Indoors? - will they likely be spending much time inside?

Are you aware of the penalties if you cancel and do not qualify for Air’s extenuating circumstances? Do you think you would qualify?

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@cabinhost. Thanks for your speedy reply. In response:

  1. The upgraded place is about 150 metres from our cabin - on its own private property (i.e. no host on site).

  2. The view is spectacular, just slightly less spectacular than ours ; Here we see the ocean from three sides of the house.

  3. I don’t know the penalties nor whether I’d qualify.

Here’s our listing, and my friend’s listing:

Mine: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12757381?sug=50

Hers: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3415295?sug=50

I personally never know why people book ours for $25 less per night when they can have hers. Must be my engaging personality! :wink:

You should review this page and click on all the links, as I do not know if their penalties have changed. https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/166/cancel-a-reservation-as-a-host

They also list the extenuating circumstances. But often times if you cancel then Airbnb leaves a review on your listing saying “Host cancelled 1 day before arrival” - not sure if you get a freebie cancellation or not. But if I read something like that then I would not take my chances booking with that host, as I would think they would cancel my reservation the day before.

If you do not qualify for extenuating circumstances, then I would maybe go ahead and reserve the other place - that way guests can choose which place they want to stay it. Or just let them stay at both places for the 1st night. Any other options than you must reserve in almost an hour’s time??

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No other option than to let them no asap. It’s the least I owe them and I never wouldn’t have gotten this deal if the owner (who lives in Spain), hadn’t spent numerous nights on our deck imbibing heavily :wink:

I’ve decide. They will spend their first night in the better place, I’ll even carry their luggage. I will only be 150 m further away than usual. The pictures don’t do that place justice - it’s all local hardwoods and architecturally spending.

If I get in trouble or this blows up in my face? Well, lesson learned. But I know if it was me I would LOVE to stay in the other place.

And if they prefer to stay in your place, even with the paint, YOU can stay in that cabin. :slight_smile:


It’s done. And we have a strict cancellation policy, so I won’t be out of pocket if they somehow don’t show.

Plus, our Honeymoon gift basket will look far better in her house, than mine.

The worst that will happen is that you earn zero money for the reservation.

Let’s say the guests show up and they are not easy going at all. They refuse to take the upgraded place blah blah blah.

Then I suppose they can report to Air that the place is not as advertised (due to paint fumes). Then Air can refund their money and try to relocate them. I guess if they technically “don’t stay” then they can’t leave a negative review.

Scenario 2: Guests aren’t easy going but they will only accept the upgraded place if they get a one night stay refund. That would mean you refund them one night, and you also have to pay your “friend” for the 1st night. You make no money, and guest still complains in the review. But at least you don’t have a “host cancelled this reservation” on your listing. That can really bring all future bookings to a standstill.

I am not even 100% sure of everything I am saying…and I am sure other hosts more familiar with cancellation processes (and ability for guest to leave a review) - they can chime in.

Hopefully your guests go with the flow. And if you present it as “hey…it’s your lucky day” maybe they will be very happy.

Or sublease it for cash? :wink:

I have stayed in that cabin. It’s awesome!

My thoughts exactly!

“Welcome to Sloth Club, I have a very special wedding present for you”

That way, I can their special gift basket and gorge myself on organic chocolate all night! :wink:

Thanks for all your help. I wasn’t too concerned about it until I found I couldn’t contact the guest.

Unless these folks are total jerks (and they’re newlyweds so their likely still on their best behaviour around each other… potentially), they should be very happy with our amazing solution to the problem. I’ll keep you posted. They arrive tomorrow

I would only present this “gift” as a “thank you for being flexible” if/when they check into your place on the second day. Or maybe give them wine on the first day…everybody likes wine. Then save the sloth key chain, post card, and chocolate bar for the second day. That’s just me.

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Good thinking. Your ideas are always good ones. Know how do I “knight” you for being helpful. Someone did it me…

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