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Sneaking in a guest

I have a tiny room off my carport that I originally had built so that I would have a place to stay when my main rooms were rented. But I ended up renting out that room as well. I undersell it in the description and make it clear that it is tiny with no amenities and really meant just to be a place to crash for the night and then the ability to use the bathroom that is part of the main house. It is described as being adamantly for one person only. The bed is smaller than a twin. The other day the guest arrived and I asked him where his car was and he told me that his GPS had him parking down the street. But I couldn’t see it anywhere. I showed him the room and he acted nervous. I went into my kitchen and then I just happened to walk into the living room and I see him with another guy who had towels in his hand and the guest was hurriedly pushing him along towards the bathroom. I said “oh who is this?” He said “oh can my friend shower here?” I said “no this is very inappropriate and I don’t like being put on the spot.” So he said again “so my friend can just shower here?” I said “no your friend needs to leave right now.” I asked if his friend was staying in the room with him and he said no and then I looked at the friend and I said where are you staying and he just remained silent. I said “the two of you need to go and I’m calling Airbnb.” The guest said “no I’m just gonna let my friend stay and I’ll go somewhere else.” (good luck with a last minute reservation in Santa Barbara on the 4th of July). I said “no you both need to leave and I’m calling Airbnb.” Later my neighbor told me he saw one of them waiting on the street until the other friend went and got him. Airbnb completely took my side and they had to leave and I got paid anyway.


You did an awesome job standing your ground and running your Airbnb. I wish more hosts had your confidence! 5 stars!


I can never get over people thinking they can sneak unregistered guests into shared accommodation.


and that neighbors don’t talk.


Especially mine. After the fires and mudslides we are much closer as a neighborhood and watch out for each other


I wonder when the day will come, because it will, that someone who thinks they can get away with shenanigans because we are remote gets snitched on by a pair of the dozens of nosy, small town, protective eyes on the place. It may be secluded, that doesn’t mean nobody’s minding our business there.


This past weekend I had a guest tell me she would be alone, staying for two days. The morning after the first night she said “by the way my friend’s daughter stayed last night and is staying tonight.” The room can accommodate two but I still didn’t like simply being told.


I can never get over the number of hosts who post on forums about guests bringing in unregistered pets and guests into their premises, who let said guests walk all over them and don’t ask Airbnb to cancel the booking/ask for fees for said additional guests/pets for fear of a ‘bad review’ :slight_smile:


It may feel repetitive, but I do think that reading the advice given on this forum gives many of us newcomers the confidence and knowledge to tackle these… challenges. I needed to msg a guest this weekend about a couple of additional overnighters who were picked up on the Ring cam. (2 people staying, but the house can sleep 5, with 2 in a sofa bed). We msg’d to double check that the booking was correct, and that extra guests were an additional cost – as detailed in house rules. The guest immediately came back, apologised and offered to pay the difference. I believe it was a genuine mistake and unless people read the whole listing, (and now I understand they don’t!), a friendly reminder is all that is required. So the extra guests got the extra towels/linens they needed. So, carry on throwing that advice out there - and thanks!


The room typically does have two guests so she would not have been charged extra and had she asked me, I would have said yes. They were very discreet guests otherwise. They were there for a horse show and I barely saw them, in fact I never saw the second guest at all. So I had no real reason to involve Airbnb. Having said that, I find it rude to simply tell me and not ask me. It is a shared bathroom and other guests will often ask me ahead of time how many people they will be sharing with or how many people will be in the home and giving an accurate answer does matter to me.

To your point, there are little things that happen daily that I shut my mouth about because of reviews. Just now I came in from my downstairs room and saw that the porch light was turned off. It is on for guests coming in late and for the one guest in the carport room to be able to see to come up the stairs at night and use the bathroom. The room that might get a tiny bit of light from it has blackout curtains so I don’t understand why those guests turned it off and they are staying another night and it will be a full house tonight. Do I say anything?

Yes, for your own sake. I have a card at the top of my fairly steep stairs, just by the light switch, it has a picture of a cartoon character falling down stairs. I tell guests that for insurances purposes, that light must remain on. The word ‘Insurance’ is the key!! They all leave it on!


I would give them a friendly reminder with a reason and thanks

In my listing, I installed a photo sensor on the porch light so that it turns on at dusk and off at dawn, and I removed the switch completely. The switch was in a 3-gang switch plate, so I Installed a decora filler in the hole. Total cost about $12 and 30 minutes of my time. I did this last year when I had month-to-month renters before I started hosting on Airbnb. Of course, the renters unscrewed the light bulb after that :roll_eyes:, but hopefully, you won’t have that problem with short term renters.

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Serious question: is this something AirBNB would do? If we caught a guest with extra guests and we contact AirBNB, will they cancel the reservation on our behalf? I honestly just assumed they’d have the same “you deal with it” attitude if this was tried.

It’s funny but I installed a bug lite with a photo sensor built in because I had lots of guests leaving the porch light on when they came in. Now that it’s summer that means there were sometimes hours of it being on. Now it seems that guests are turning off the switch and going out meaning the light doesn’t come on at dusk. I could put in a smart hub and a smart bulb but don’t feel like fooling with it.

If it is in your house rules (and your guests have confirmed that they have read and agreed to them) that any visitors to the property must be registered and paid for prior to check in, then yes, if your guests break the rules you can call Airbnb to have CS cancel their reservation and find them other accommodations.


It’s important to tell the guest so they don’t try to get away with it again. Some hosts charge for every guest over 1 person. I charge extra for every person after 2 people. It costs more for every guest that stays especially if they are using 2 beds & then also the extra towels that have to be washed as well as the extra utility expenses, water, hot water tank, etc., it also takes longer to clean & if you’re paying someone to clean that costs more. So it truly makes it very important that guests are truthful. When they are searching for a place to stay don’t forget right next to dates is # of people.

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No, they will give you your options. If your listing says only 1 person that’s it. When I did shared hosting I only allowed 2 people, we were sharing my 2 bedroom 1 bath home. Several times they would show up with a 3rd person & try to act surprised. I always called AIRBNB & you can do it with the guest on speakerphone. Sometimes I would offer to let the 3rd person stay for a hefty fee/fine. But AIRBNB will let you cancel the reservation & keep the $. I have done that a few times with AIRBNB’S blessing.


A word of caution here…you may not know who you’re dealing with here and challenging them on the spot may put you in an unsafe position. A similar situation happened with my last (and final) airbnb guests. Registered guest changed check in time 3 times in week prior to day of arrival, and on day of arrival calls at check in to say she can’t make it dup towedding rehearsal delays. She requests that I leave the key someplace for her and I declined. Then 30 minutes later she says she’ll be there in 1/2 hour. She arrives after check in and informs me that two more guests will be staying. I said the apartment was for 2 only but she and her guests paraded ahead and occupied apartment despite my objections. I notified airbnb immediately after they vacated. Airbnb supportive but I suspect she wasn’t banned from using airbnb again…nor will her 3+ friends because I don’t even have names of the unregistered. I’m not using airbnb again (too dangerous) but if I found myself in this position again, I’d notify airbnb and cancel the reservation and then I’d call the police and have them removed from the property because my property is posted, "No tresspassing ". But again, for safety reasons, I’d be very, very careful who you stood your ground with…they may be “nice” people but even nice people may not be nice when on drugs or under the influence.

Using Airbnb isn’t particularly dangerous. It doesn’t suit you that’s fine, but aside from your needs, it’s not dangerous. I’ve hosted about 700 people over the past 5 years, and I’ve never been in any danger. Statistically speaking you are in far greater danger from your neighbors, co-workers,relatives and (gasp) those with whom you share intimate relations.

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