Unusual Problems Lately with Rentals?

So this is Christmas…my past 2 rentals over Christmas have had issues. The first arrived 12/23…with 9 people and our maximum occupancy is 6. When questioned he had a “story”. We let him stay and pay more money…left a terrible review. They checked out on 12/27…next guest arrived just as the cleaners left…her reservation said there were 6…12 showed up. Airbnb stepped in and we requested she pair down to 6 as per her agreement. She left and now wants a full refund. Her father has been sending threatening texts…What is going on? I can’t figure out if people are all dishonest or can’t read…because it looks like a huge cabin, they don’t think we will care? Is this becoming the norm? Is this just our problem…anyone else have this problem?

Direct them to Airbnb, that’s what you pay the service fee for, to let them deal with this stuff. As regards the father, simply block him, and any subsequent number either he or the guest tries to contact you with.



I see in your profile that you said “you thought hosting would be easy, but it’s not.” Oh boy, people are going to jump all over that. Hosts here love to wag their finger at folks like you. So now that we have that out of the way and I hope you are thick skinned, hopefully some of our members will be helpful. LOL.

For one thing, guests who are planning to do something they shouldn’t seem to target new hosts, or hosts they think are new. You say this is your second time hosting, was that on Airbnb? Do you have existing

The other thing is that you are a remote host, so they also think “what are you going to do about it?” when they misbehave. So I’d suggest making sure the wording is strong in your listing about enforcing the guest count. Also, when they book, in your first message to them, be friendly and welcoming but also make sure they know they must book for the right number of guests and exceeding your limits results in immediate cancelation.

To answer your question: it does seem there are more problems lately. A lot of folks are using Airbnb rentals as a pandemic safer alternative to hotels or staying with family and they need to be trained to use it properly.


I require the full name, address and age (and fully vaccinated) of every guest. The booking guest’s profile picture must be on their account. (You won’t know until they are booked) and then I require the same info for all other guests and a selfie. I say that I might require government ID and proof of vaccination upon arrival. (I never do this but…)

This is clearly written in the first few lines of my house rules and until provided I do not provide check in info. Having to do this seems to stop most (not all) from trying to sneak folks in.

As for the extra guests, that’s a hard no for me. As for the refund, that’s also a hard no, the guest chose to break your rules and then the entire group left.

Also, do you have cameras at the door so that you can verify who is coming in. Make sure that folks know that you have cameras.

Basically, I agree with everything KKC said - guests are leaning how to scam the system. And new hosts are a target.


People seem to be reading less and less each year. I think many are working off their phones and won’t open more than a few screens. It is important to keep a record of messages in the Airbnb thread. However, I repeat a few important facts in a confirmation text as well and then direct them to read their ENTIRE message on AIrbnb.


So our first try as host was a cabin close to our neighbors in the mountains. Unfortunately we had a Karen living right behind us who called the police on our guests if they sat on the porch talking at night (or early in the evening). It was too stressful, so we sold it…bought a much larger cabin on 5 acres. We learned our lessons, so we thought. We have cameras that is why I know how many showed up. I just changed my listing to strongly word only 6 guests. Mostly I am shocked by this…I would never do it and I have a large family…I book the correct amounts. I guess I just wanted validation I am not alone…

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There are hosts here who successful host cabins in the mountains and they live hours away. Do you have a local co-host. One very successful member here has a neighbor who helps manage their place rather than resenting it. Maybe @LCL will see this and chime in.


How do you vet your guests before accepting booking? Do you remind guests in advance that only those who have booked can stay and get them to confirm they have understood this house rule.

With the current guest booking just remind them you would have been happy to host them for the number of guests on the booking and that it was both their choice to bring double the number booked and then to leave rather than stay with the number that had booked. Why are you communicating with the father. Just confirm all correspondence should be via Airbnb and block him. Report threatening texts to Airbnb.

Guest has no right to a refund if you told them they could stay for the number booked.

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If the texts are actually threatening. I would forward that to Airbnb. It could get the guest kicked off the platform, and that’s a good thing.


Excellent advice. Depending on what the father is saying, I might text back that this line of communication has not only been reported to Airbnb, but your local police as well.

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I’m sorry this happened to you. It’s a common issue. I blocked my calendar for December to avoid partying guests and large family gatherings.

As for the father harrassing you, I agree with others, you should block him.


I had a father send “threatening texts” once – actually he sent them through his own Airbnb account (distinct from his college-age daughter’s account). NO violent threats (he was safely an ocean away) – but lots of bullying and insults.

The back story was that daughter had – against our advice – booked a “10% discount but no refunds under any circumstances” rate. Then (early COVID, pre-vaccination) the Canadian government imposed a requirement that everyone landing at a Canadian airport had to isolate at a government-designated hotel for a few days at a cost of $2,500.

Daughter had no budget for this extra expense, so she had to cancel the trip entirely. She begged us for a refund, and we explained that –while we had no obligation to provide one we would voluntarily refund her if and when we were paid for some or all of her cancelled nights by another guest – as a voluntary goodwill gesture to her and to Airbnb customers in general.

Daughter reluctantly understood this was as good as it was going to get, but all of a sudden – out of nowhere – her father starts berating us. And berating us. And berating! us – some of it quite nasty!

Here’s what we did:

  1. We contacted Airbnb and told them we were getting abusive messages through their channel from a member who was complaining about someone else’s issues. We never heard from Dad again – I’m guessing he got a bit of a spanking.
  2. We waited until we had a confirmed reservation that would cover off about 75% of the fees the daughter forfeited when she cancelled, and then told her that our original offer was based on goodwill, and that goodwill had vanished when her father repeatedly sent us abusive messages after we had made the goodwill, voluntary offer. We said she could restore our goodwill (and the goodwill partial refund) if she acknowledged that what her father had done was unwarranted “bullying,” and distanced herself from that bullying by renouncing his intervention.

She did all we asked with virtually no delay, and – once the fees for the “replacement guest” were safely in our bank account – we asked Airbnb to issue her a partial refund, which they did. (Airbnb reversed the refund out of our next payment because we had been paid back when she cancelled.)

I suspect that this was not the first time in her life that this 20-year-old had to mop up after Dad’s “bull in a china shop” inappropriate aggression.