Should I refund?

I hosted a family of 4 people yesterday, and they will check out tomorrow. The guests checked in at 3pm yesterday and complained to me about the cleaningness at 11pm. They said the floor was covered with hair and the bathrooms and the kitchen were not cleaned. I saw from the camera that my cleaner cleaned the apartment for 3 hours yesterday, and she has worked for me for half of year.

After receiving the complaint, I contacted my cleaner immediately. She said the apartment was a bit messy when she arrived, but she sweared she cleaned everywhere.

Then I asked the guests if our cleaner could come to clean it. She said she already cleaned the apartment in order to feel safe to have shower and sleep. She also said she had photos for evidence, but she refused to show me.

Should I refund them in this situation? I felt if they really found the room not clean, they could raise the concern to me when they check-in. And I could ask the cleaner to come immediately and see if their complaint was true. Considering that they complained at 11pm, what I could do was very limited.

I am also worrying about her bad review. I am superhost, and it is really hard to maintain the status.

Absolutely not.

  1. You have video evidence that your cleaner cleaned before their arrival

  2. Your long term cleaner confirmed it

  3. The guests didn’t notify you for 8 hours, believe me if it was a mess they would have notified you immediately

  4. They refused to let the cleaner come back

  5. They refused to show you evidence

  6. They will leave you a bad review regardless most likely

To be honest being a Superhost isn’t such a big thing and you are extremely unlikely to lose your status through one bad review.

If you have consistently good reviews one less complimentary one is not really going to affect you as people will see it for what it is.

And you can make it clear from any response that you have video evidence that the cleaner went it and did the same great job she normally does and your guests refused to let you come in and resolve the situation/show any evidence it was unclean.

In your situation I would also flag this with Airbnb directly in case there is a complaint. And definitely summarise your conversation through Airbnb messaging including you have video evidence of the cleaner cleaning the listing and their refusal to let her come back or show evidence of what they claimed.


You have video evidence from INSIDE your rental???

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No, it was an outside door camera. I saw from the camera the cleaner came at 12 and left at 3. And the guests checked in at 3:30.

It sounds like a scam to stay for free, to me.

  • They waited 8 hours to complain at nearly midnight, when they knew you probably wouldn’t come right over to see the “mess”.
  • They said they cleaned it “to feel safe” – what???
  • They won’t let the cleaner in.
  • They won’t show you their “evidence” photos (which I could fake by combing my hair, dropping it one the floor, and taking a picture, also)

Tell them you take no one’s word for anything, and demand that they show you their so-called photos. Let them take it up with AirBnb if they want, but DO NOT REFUND THEM.

Call Air (you’re a Superhost, you have fast access) and tell them what you’ve written here, and tell them you will NOT refund someone who is trying to cheat you.

Stop worrying about Superhost Status; it’s not really worth much more than a cup of tea.




Thanks for the advice. I will not refund the guests. It seems they want me to offer free nights, though they did not write it directly in their complaint.


Do let us know how you get on.

And don’t forgot to summarise all discussions on Airbnb and not correspond outside of their messaging system.

Airbnb asked me to negotiate with the guests first… The guests now did not reply me anymore. Since they will stay for two nights, let’s see what they will do after check out.

In that case Airbnb will decide.

The reason I say just correspond through Airbnb is not for your guest but so that Airbnb can see any discussions.

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Is there anyway for Airbnb to help on this issue? I feel what they can do on scammers is limited if the guests do not say the sentence like “I need a free night otherwise I will give you a bad review.”

Communicate through the platform and check in with them today. Just a hi I want to make sure you slept well… etc. Like @Helsi said. keep it on the platform.

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The best way to find out is to call Airbnb and discuss.

We haven’t seen correspondence between you and the guest and you and Airbnb so can’t comment.

They shouldn’t based on what you have said…but who knows.

I tend to agree with the others.

  1. Document all your communication and gather as much evidence as possible. Talk to your cleaner and get specifics on what she or he did. Write down the cleaner’s response to the guest accusations.

  2. Do not refund. At most, waive the cleaning fees if you have one. This will allow you to show your goodwill in your response to their bad review if they leave one. In your response, also mention the fact that your trusted cleaner spent 3 hours cleaning, denied their specific claims of uncleanliness and quote your guest’s demand for a refund.

  3. I am also skeptical about the value of Superhost status. I have been a Superhost, lost it, got it back again. Throughout it all, I never noticed any change in booking patterns. It sucks to lose it, but don’t lose any sleep over it.


Here is the latest reply from the guests:

" I will leave this place cleaner than I found it and for that you should be ashamed and embarrassed, not defensive and full of justifications or excuses. And look into a new cleaner. If she says she cleaned “everywhere”, she’s a liar or a poor cleaner. You seem disinclined to make amends so I will take this up with airbnb."

I guess the amendment she mentions is refund?

I never give refunds. Well actually I’ve never really had anybody ask for a refund. But then I control this business tightly in that I do most of the cleaning and if somebody else does it I always do a walk-through to make sure every single hair is out of that place and if I happen to find a hair in the sink there is hell to pay! I know my place like the back of my hand and there’s no way anyone can accuse me of not having a super clean room because I’m usually the one doing the work or inspecting it .I also do not host more than two people as I find most of the complaints I read about have to do with large parties.


@Helsi @KenH

I just received a half refund request from the guest after they checked out for 11 days. She said, “I should request full refund, but half will settle me.” I reported the guest to Air when she shouted at my British Black cleaner “you are a liar! Go back to your country,” but Air said “this is the first time for the guest to be redflagged. We cannot simply remove her account.”

The review period will end after 3 days, and the refund request will also end after 3 days. I guess if I do not refund her in 3 days, she will leave me a bad review.

What we can and Air can do to such guests is very limited.


Both @Helsi and @KenH KenH (and many others) have adamantly stated that you should not refund…and here you are still considering a refund for fear of a “bad review”. For Pete’s sake, no wonder monster guests are proliferating.


No I will not refund her. My point is: even if she is a scammer, Air cannot remove her account. I will leave her a bad review so that other hosts will not accept her.


By the way how the guest meet your cleaner?