Should I mention in the review that guests left without a formal checkout?

Hi folks,

This one is a trivial question, really. I had some guests for a 2 day visit. They left without doing the checkout procedure. Which isn’t really a big deal, admittedly, but it would certainly be non-ideal if everyone started doing that. The guest who booked called me after leaving and said they “needed to leave urgently”. They did leave behind my filled out suggestion form.

Basically it consists of them signing out in my guest book, them optionally giving me my filled out suggestion form, the guest keys, and me checking the room to make sure that they hadn’t left anything behind. Trivial, perhaps. But generally desirable. I know many hosts don’t bother with any of this.

The guests were fine in other respects. It’s only tangentially relevant, but because one of them had a flight delay, they only actually stayed one night, though the guest who booked did take the key from me during the scheduled check-in time, and I gave him a walkthrough.

Anyway, this checkout procedure isn’t part of my house rules, so I don’t plan to deduct any stars. Basically, I’m just wondering if I should mention it, and if so, what I should say. It’s possible it’s not worth mentioning. But if there is one thing that is clear about this forum is that everyone has a different take on things.

aaaah, don’t worry about it.


For me, it’s also not a big deal - unless I’m extra concerned that they may be leaving a mess etc., I don’t insist on my having to be home for guests (I Airbnb out rooms so we do share the house). I just message/ask them the day before about when their flight lit/remind them that check-out time is by 11 a.m. Often (because if they’re leaving on a week day, I’m at work at 11 a.m.) I’m not here to say good-bye but will message them about what to do with the key, hang wet towels etc. Then, when I get home and see that they’ve left the room in good shape, I’ll message them something like “Thanks so much for being a great guest and for leaving the room in perfect condition. I’m more than happy to give you 5 stars in all areas of my review”. But yeah, if it’s important to you and makes you feel better for them to do so, I’d maybe put it in the house rules.

1 Like

Hi @HappyHost,

Thank you for your comments. However, I’m not sure it makes sense to put it in my house rules. What do others think?

And from a more immediate perspective, should I mention this in my review or not? Thoughts?

I wouldn’t mention it in the review or include in my house rules.


Put this in your review? They checked out on time. They filled in your form. They notified you that they had left. Sounds pretty perfect to me.

No. I would not put this in your review. Nor would I make this a house rule.


Personal walkthough seems a little over the top IMO. Feels like mom checking if you actually cleaned your room like you were told to do.


You misread. I did a walkthrough for the guest when he arrived. Meaning, I showed him around.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. @Helsi and @smtucker. Yes, I’m also leaning towards not saying anything in the review. And I wasn’t planning to put it in the house rules anyway. It doesn’t make sense to demand this. But just leaving without prearrangement, I would hardly call perfect. But I suppose it doesn’t belong in a review, which should be about rules infractions and other serious stuff.

You say you check for lost items? Isn’t that at the end of stay?


I won’t even fill
Out your form😀.
People don’t pay attention to so many crucially important things like “don’t open windows with AC on” that I am
Not surprised that they did not follow your requirements.
Why you care if they left something behind, let them worry.
My guests just left and left behind 15 pairs of designer shoes. I notified them , gave them 30 days notice, didn’t get any answer and gave it away to friends and other guests with a rare size 12😂.

I had so many guests even after me asking them to let me know in advance like one day if they prolonging their stay. Left without a word that I really don’t even get upset anymore . I just make a mental note that another one did it again. I had a mother and daughter staying day by day. On a day 5 they found something obviously and left 5 hours after told me that they will stay another 4 days for sure.
So for me a guest who just leaves without a certain ethicet is very normal.

1 Like

Since it’s not mandatory, or in house rules, and because they followed all your procedures (other than the in-person element), I wouldn’t mention it in the review.

Things that make the rules are there to keep my home, guests, and myself safe and comfortable. Pre-arranging checkout with a host is an extra onerous task, so I’d urge you to really think about what problem you’re trying to solve/avoid. Please keep in mind that for many of us, leisure travel is our one chance to NOT be on a schedule.

As an example, I just got back from a trip to Colorado; I stayed at a spot in the mountains with a beautiful walk into town. It was nice to wake up when I liked and decide at leisure where I wanted to eat breakfast and whether I could fit a walk in before I left town. I was planning to leave well in advance of checkout, but pre-arranging an in-person checkout time with the host would have put my entire morning on a timetable- it would have been FAR less relaxing. So in my opinion, you’d need a very good reason to want in-person checkout, because the imposition on your guest is pretty high (and also not the norm)

Of course you get to host in a way that’s comfortable for you, so if you find in-person checkout very important, I’d add it as a house rule. This puts guests on notice that they need to factor this additional “must do” into their plans (or, for many, stay elsewhere) and provides good reason to mention it in the review if they don’t follow-through.


They did call and say they had to leave in a rush. You may not have been immediately available. They sound considerate and if anything IMO the phone call was an extra effort to be courteous.


I check if they have left anything behind in the room after checking out. And yes, of course it’s at the end of the stay.


Excellent points, and well expressed. I haven’t been doing this as long and often as some, but I think might be the only time someone just left without prior agreement. When people have left very early in the past I’ve sometimes dispensed with the formal checkout thing, though I like to do it if possible. It provides closure to the experience, gives the guest a chance to tell me their thoughts on the stay, and gives me chance to check on the room before they leave. And so far nobody I said - no thanks, we don’t want to do this. But maybe I’ve just been very lucky to far to have extremely polite guests.

Oh, and I should also mention that one approach that I’ve used when an in-person checkout at departure has been impractical, as, for example, when the guests are checking out a time I’m not able to be present, has been to simply do the checkout at an earlier time. But for some reason or another, I haven’t been doing that so much recently. And of course, it makes less sense for very short term guests.

Formal checkout?

Wow, a new one on me.


I wouldn’t mention it in the review because (as others have said) it.wasn t in the rules and you didn’t ask them to do so. I don’t even do a formal.check-out at a hotel (unless, of course I owe $, or.need to double check what I ll be changed etc.).

I would also consider if doing a formal check-out is useful for your guests or a hindrance?

As I already said, nobody has complained, either in person or in feedback. And if it not clear, I usually work around their schedules, not the other way around.

I don’t do it formally, but when guests leave I immediately check the guest room and the bathroom to see if they’ve left anything behind. You’d be surprised at how often I’m chasing them down the street to give them their belongings. Yesterday we mailed a pair of earrings to a guest who lives in France as we weren’t awake when she left.

1 Like

I would feel the same, a little over supervised.

This is what I understood it to mean. You checking the room prior to them leaving. As a guest that would make me feel too watched.

If it was in hour house rules for you to conduct a walk through prior to my leaving your premises I would not consider your accommodation.