Thanks for all discussions on how to leave a bad review

The worst guests I have ever had comprising 6 adults and 5 children left yesterday with a new group (of 10 people and 3 dogs) arriving the same day. I have been reading posts on this forum for a while and was finally able to put into practice so many of the suggestions made over time by other host here - thank you all!

Here is what I wrote

I cannot recommend L or any of her group to other hosts. Every room was left dirty in some way, the kitchen particularly bad with a very dirty stove and the remains of an egg meal left in the sink. My few house rules were not followed. I allow smoking outside provided cigarette butts are collected and disposed of: there was evidence that L’s group smoked inside the house, and I had over 20 butts to collect from the decking area. The whole house stank of smoke
I ask that beds are stripped, linen and towels to be placed in bags provided - this is good practice since Covid appeared, and it has allowed me to give guests a later check out. No beds were stripped, and one bed was so wet with urine that the mattress had to be taken away. I empathise with children or adults who wet the bed, but surely it would be common decency to inform the host so that they could arrange a new mattress? Especially as L knew that I had other guests arriving the same day
I request that landfill, mixed recycling, glass and food waste all be put in separate bins as our council will not take away any mixed rubbish. L’s group did not separate anything so I had to do it all by hand.
The upper bathroom was flooded which caused water to drip through the celling into the bathroom below. Again, this wasn’t mentioned at all by L

The temptation to go on and on and on was almost overwhelming but heeding the advice of other hosts here, I resisted. In case you are wondering I decided not to go through airbnb reimbursement, the people appeared quite wealthy so it would probably have meant little to them.

I know you all often advise leaving a bad review to the last minute to prevent a pre-emptive strike, but I had the impression they were off to stay in another airbnb property so I wanted to forewarn the next host and who knows they might behave better? Also, I don’t think she’ll leave me a bad review as she already sent a cheerful text about having a lovely time and that they’d like to come back…

Thanks for the opportunity to vent!


Glad the forum was helpful, but my suggestion would be, if there’s a next time (and I hope there is not), to be more concise, for example:

“I cannot recommend L or her group. They left a mess, including a wet ceiling from splashing water on the floor above, stained mattress, and cigarette butts all over the deck. They did not follow house rules on linens and trash disposal.”


I agree with @dpfromva 's remarks. Remember that your review is for other hosts only.

Let us know exactly, but succinctly, the issues with the guest that would concern future hosts.


I’m sorry you had these crummy guests, but the review is far too long as it is, even though you think you were brief. @dpfromva’s version would have been better.

This may be a silly question, but do you provide a receptacle for cig butts outside and ashtrays? If not, but allow outside smoking, I’m not sure how you would expect the butts to properly disposed of.


Thanks all, you are correct of course, still too long but you should have seen my drafts! Yes true, I must search for a robust outside ashtray…however all smokers I know put their cigarette ends in little tins and then into the bin…I suppose some smokers just don’t see the ends as litter

2 freestanding ashtrays for front and back gardens now on their way…

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I don’t know any smokers who aren’t aware that cigarette butts are litter- you just had piggish guests who didn’t care- evidenced by the way they left the entire place.

The safest thing you can provide as an ashtray and place to leave the butts is a large container filled with sand. It could be as simple as a galvinized pail, or use something more attractive like a clay pot with some plastic or aluminum foil in the bottom under the sand to cover the drain hole.

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You have plenty of time to write and re-write a review. I always sit on a bad review for a day or so.

Also, the next host is probably not going to check to see what the past host says if they are already booked for that Airbnb. I do check reviews but never after they are already booked (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea.)

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That’s true. I rarely do because the trips tend to be booked last minute. But I sometimes do, especially for guests with no prior reviews who say they are on a road trip. And like the OP I don’t play the wait two weeks game. If a guest was a poor one I want it on their record right away. They could have several more stays and say they never had a problem with a host or a bad review. Then the new host victim is questioning themselves.


Yes definitely should have re edited a few more times! However, felt enormous relief once it was done and sent…just in case some other poor host already having qualms about the horrible lot

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I used to allow smoking outdoors. After finding butts in the grass in my backyard more than once, I considered adding a sand bucket, but instead changed the rules to “no smoking anywhere on the property.”

Some smokers couldn’t be trusted. If the weather was bad, I’d find, or smell, evidence that they smoked indoors near a window or under the vent fan in the bathroom.


And it’s such a horrible smell! When we ran a charity shop for a youth club in South London we only had to get a whiff of smoke from a bag and it all went in the rags so it couldn’t stink the whole shop out

I kept thinking about rewriting the review, I genuinely hadn’t realised that I could still edit it after sending as long as the guest hadn’t done theirs - I have now cut it down to 4 short sentences, I feel SO much better!


That’s why I wait a day or two after I’ve written a bad review to re-edit.

I too (aver 6 years) hadn’t realized that you can edit a review if less than 14 days and the guest hasn’t written a review yet so thanks for sharing.

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Oh poor you having such terrible guests. I agree with the shorter version. I would also get some plastic mattress protectors for your beds. Unfortunately, accidents and none accidents happen, you need some protection on your beds. I hope you get better guests in future. I wouldn’t fancy the next guests either….3 dogs. Gosh, you’re keen.

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I am so very sorry that you went through this. Did you engage black magic to get ready for the next guests?

A couple of suggestions.

. Bullet point your review. Pick what’s most important

. Pace the time from one guest to the next. The second guest may be sensitive to smoke. And with people this piggy, there may be some surprises yet.

. Stripping beds? Your call. But it sounds a bit much at this end.

. That’s a big crew to be in there with nobody watching. Someone should be there every day. Otherwise the mice will play.

My thoughts.

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I too am sorry that you had such terrible guests. I would mention the urine because a “stain” can be many things.

I also hope that you have them the big thumbs down so that they can’t IB in the future!

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Mention of specific bodily fluids can be grounds for review removal, so it’s faar better to just say "stains. And there is no need to publicly embarrass a guest like that.

The reason why I ask for beds to be stripped is that we have 25 people spaces for guests in our rambling house. I didn’t used to ask for beds to be stripped but then would have to have a bed inspection to see which ones had been slept in. …unpleasant! I previously tried asking people to turn beds back so it was obvious which had been slept in but almost nobody did that. Then when Covid appeared it seemed like a good idea to get people to strip their beds out of concern for my cleaners really, and up until now all have complied.

That’s a big crew to be in there with nobody watching?? It’s a whole house letting


I have no concern about embarrassing those guests, they were awful