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They snuck an extra guest in late at night...the jerks!


#1

This is the first time I’ve had someone blatantly lie and try to sneak a guest in. Not the brightest thing when reserving a listing with an on-site host and a (disclosed) security camera on the only exterior door!

I was really peeved that they thought I wouldn’t notice! I can see the stairs from my dining room - I can count to 5 AND I know what sound an air mattress pump makes! :angry:

In my check-in e-mail, sent the day before arrival I said “confirming for four adults, arriving Friday leaving Sunday” and she replied “that all sounds good”. At check-in only the booking guest came in, followed a few minutes later by two of her friends. I think she’d come to suss the situation out. I checked the security cam and they came home at 11:30 on Friday with 5 people, who stayed both nights. On camera they discussed the order they should enter the house with one girl saying “I’m not supposed to be here…”

Everything else with their stay was okay (they arrived about 40 mins later than expected, and were somewhat noisy after quiet hours, but that seems nit-picky) and they left the place in good shape.

I’d like to make sure my review doesn’t violate Airbnb’s content & that I’m not being too unfair in my assessment.
I’d appreciate any feedback you all could give:

Public review:

While they were a friendly group and left the place in good shape, Casey was dishonest in her communication and they snuck a fifth person in after check-in. Home sharing platforms only work with trust, so unfortunately I can’t recommend Casey or her friends to other hosts.
Cleanliness: 5, Communication: 3, House Rules: 3

Airhosts, is it okay to characterize her as “dishonest” in review?

Private feedback:

I was disappointed to see you snuck a fifth person into my house. I wish you’d asked because, while I think my space is most comfortable with a max of four, I’m able to grant exceptions for five. I could have modified your reservation to 5-people, provided an air mattress & linens (for a total charge of $30), and we’d both have been covered from an insurance and safety standpoint.

Once I’d seen the violation of my house rules, you left me the choice of asking you to leave on Saturday (in which case you’d have been without a space to stay or a refund) or to let it slide and leave it in review.

In four years of hosting and 150+ sets of guests, you’re the first who hasn’t been up front about bringing extra people and the second I’ve given a thumbs down to. Please be more honest with your hosts in the future.

Too much soap boxing? :laughing: Help me out; it’s pretty rare I have to leave a bad review.


#2

I think the review is fine. Thumbs down. You haven’t called her a liar, you simply describe the dishonest behaviour, so should be within guidelines. How annoying!


#3

Sounds just right to me! Calling a spade a spade is never wrong IMHO.


#4

There is something about this kind of dishonesty that rubs me all kinds of the wrong way. But I might not use the word “dishonest” in the public part of the review. I might not have even said “snuck”. I might say “brought a 5th undisclosed person. It is clear from audio on the Ring doorbell footage that they knew this was in violation of my house rules.” I just don’t want airbnb to remove the review if they complain.

I’d add a rule about an extra person fee. When you discover someone doing something like this you need to be able to message them and say “I can see and hear that you have a fifth person. I’m going to send a request for the payment now. Please accept the charges today or I will have to cancel tomorrow’s stay.”


#5

@K9KarmaCasa That’s a really good point. I’ll rephrase the public portion and I like the idea of bringing in the fact that I have video evidence.

I thought about addressing it when I noticed on Saturday (I heard them blowing up an air mattress, then checked the Ring) but I’d just buried my dog’s ashes and had a couple of gin & tonics…they’d just returned from one of the kayak pub crawls, so decided to let it be and deal with it in review.


#6

Very sorry to read this, my deepest condolences. Did you mention this before? Sorry if I missed or forgot.


#7

Thanks for your condolences. I feel a little embarrassed to have mentioned it, because she passed away a couple years ago. I finally got around to buying a tree to memorialize and bury her remains this weekend. So not recent, but still put me in a poor mood for dealing with less than honest guests.


#8

Though I have rules and try to emphasis them as much as possible I’ve come to the realization that if I’m going to rent out my house as an Airbnb I have to learn to let go and accept that not everyone is going to play nice or pay attention to my rules. It’s that or quit Air.

So bring on your dogs & infants. Pour Pro-active all over my linens. Wipe your nail polish on my towels. Smoke em if you got them. Turn on the AC and open all the doors and windows. Party on down. Just pay me my money, I’m tired of fighting you.


#9

Oh, no, don’t feel embarrassed. I have times where I think of a distant loss and get snot faced and have a few drinks and think “what if my guest comes to the door or has an emergency and I have to answer it?” LOL.


#10

Thanks for commiserating. It’s funny how grief can feel resolved and then sneak up on you!

Gosh, I’m glad I didn’t have to play stern house mother on Saturday - I wouldn’t have cut an imposing look with weepy eyes! :wink:


#11

Totally understandable on all counts. I think you’ve handled this in a very measured way.


#12

If you think it’s too much soap boxing then just take out the final paragraph of your private feedback. As far as the dishonest part…you never know what kind of crazy rep. you will get in case the guest calls them up whining about it. You could maybe change to “Casey snuck in a 5th guest, after confirming there would be four guests total.”

The rest all sounds good to me. So the 5th guest def. wasn’t a random friend they met on their pub crawl? It was really someone who traveled to your place riding in the same car?


#13

The fifth person was definitely part of their group. They all arrived in one minivan, with just the booking person initially coming in to meet me, followed by 2 more. One of the girls went back out and chatted with the friends they left in the van. After they settled things with me in the house, they piled back in the van, returning with all 5 entering the house Friday night. They went to their pub crawl on Saturday and all 5 stayed the second night.

I left this review. Thanks for your suggestions - I left “snuck” and “dishonest” out:

While they were a friendly group and left the place in good shape, Casey brought a 5th undisclosed person into my home after check-in. It is clear from audio on the Ring doorbell footage that they knew this was in violation of my house rules. Home sharing only works with mutual trust and respect, so unfortunately I can’t recommend Casey or her friends to other hosts.

She’d already left a 5* review. Bummer that they were so shady about the extra person because they were otherwise good guests.


#14

Hmm…if you have audio does that need to be disclosed in your listing…or is it already disclosed? Just double checking as I wouldn’t want the guest to claim she knew there was surveillance, but was not aware of audio.


#15

Good point.

I know I can’t link to products. Not sure about articles that deal with security issues but here it goes:

The use of security cameras, including nanny cams and Wi-Fi cameras, may also fall under federal and state wiretapping laws. But wait—wiretapping is audio, so why is that important for security cameras? Most newer Wi-Fi security cameras, including all three of our top picks, record both audio and video, which puts those devices under the governance of wiretapping laws.

Wiretapping laws vary somewhat from state to state. Federal wiretapping statutes allow audio recording if one of the two parties consents to the recording. This means that you, the recorder, may know, but the other party doesn’t need to. Some states, including California (where the above-described scenario occurred), require dual consent, which means everybody involved needs to be in the loop.
So does this mean you have to tell burglars that they may be recorded if they break into your house? Definitely not. A trespasser waives any expectation of privacy in your home. You can record that person, hand the recording over to the police, and use the recording in court.

Although you have the right to surveil intruders in your own home without their consent, today’s cameras introduce a new bugaboo: Many models, including the ones Wirecutter recommends, stay on and record 24 hours a day, not only when you’re away. This means that everyone in the house—your family, guests, employees, cable installers and furniture deliverers, any people who have permission to be in your house—will be recorded, and if that recording includes audio, and if you’re in a state that requires dual consent, you may want to warn them, or you could run afoul of wiretapping laws.

Recording conversations in all 50 states


#16

It’s okay to link to products as long as the information is helpful to forum members, and some will find it useful. I link the white noise machine I purchased on Amazon sometimes.

The main issue is mostly with those who join the forum solely to promote their own product, and they are not an active participant. Even then some of those are sometimes allowed to stay if it can be of real benefit to hosts.


#17

I’ve been a member here since … blimey … several years ago and it seems that one of the most common complaints hosts have is that of guests sneaking an extra person into the accommodation.

Therefore it seems that it’s a problem that causes hosts an inordinate amount of stress.

And it’s not only stress but also it’s time and general concern, plus worrying about what to write in the review. Yes, it’s sneaky but please let me know why it’s such a major topic of conversation and why it causes so much anguish.

I’ve had the same problem from time to time and haven’t worried about it if it’s a short stay. (Longer and I worry about our plumbing being able to cope). As these people have sneaked in I therefore haven’t supplied extra bedding, towels etc. Three people use the same amount of electricity for the AC, TV, fridge and kitchen appliances etc. Our water isn’t metered so extra showers and loo flushes cost no extra money to us.

When an extra guest is sneaked in the group is usually quieter than normal to hide their clandestine activities so that’s good too.

If the host has a) security cameras and b) an extra person charge then surely it’s easy enough to change the booking to reflect the additional cost.

Have I missed an important point? Let me know. :slight_smile:


#18

Here I pay for water and pay dearly, esp. in summer where we have tiered rates. Not only are two people likely to use twice as much water, it seems like (based on hot water heater running, I can’t hear the water in the shower) that they are taking very longgggg showers. Maybe they are even using the shower for play time as I posted elsewhere.

I’ve also noticed that in the summer couples use the window AC much more than single people do. I guess they generate more body heat? And while I don’t supply the extra towel, bottled water, instant coffee, etc. Whatever is supplied is more likely to be depleted. More TP and soap are used. And the stains on the sheets are more likely to appear with couples than with singles, though I have surprisingly few of those. Gosh, it’s twice the weight on my bed and mattress. I’m afraid the mattress is taking a beating. :wink:

I charge a small amount more for the reasons above. $5-$8 a night for the second person depending on how I’m playing around with my rates. That makes it 10-15% more for the extra person. When you trying to provide a budget level accommodation and especially being interested in making it affordable for the single traveler then it makes sense. If you have two or three or more beds, it makes sense. That said, above a certain price it makes sense to not charge more. My Costa Rica rental last year was $750 a night whether it was a couple or 14 people (their max)

The real rub for me is the dishonesty and disrespect. That’s why I never let it go on principle. The $5 isn’t even worth my time to get it. But my rules say book two if you have two.


#19

I’m so lucky that this isn’t an issue for us. Of course, hot showers mean that electricity is being used to heat the water but here in South Florida most people prefer a cool-ish shower anyway.

I’ve never noticed an increase in AC use but that may be because we are such a tourist location, and close to the beach, so most guests spend so much time away from the rental - enjoying the beach or exploring the area.

I SO understand this!


#20

Last summer I had combined electric/water bills of close to $300 a month. And summer is 6 months long. I can’t say what it would be with just me because that was 4 years ago and rates have gone up. But when you are only making $1000 a month it’s worth considering.


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