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What do you tell someone with high maintenance reviews

Hey there-
Curious what you tell someone who sends an inquiry (we have instant book on) with reviews that make them seem like a high maintenance/pain in the ass. Also leaves long very nit picky reviews. We’re proud of our historic cottage and go above and beyond- but this is not someone personally I want to host either.

Do you tell them we’re not a good fit or mention the review in question?

Here’s a recent one from this month:

I don’t want to block the dates because I want to book ‘em soon!

“Jason I’ll have to decline your request. Looking at your reviews, both those you’ve left and those hosts have given you, I’m sure my historic cottage will leave you disappointed. Thanks for considering us and good luck.” And I’d still block a day or two in his timeframe, at least temporarily. If he replies in any kind of aggressive or argumenative way I’d flag the reply and see if I could block him. I’d also thank the gods he didn’t IB. I wonder why not?


Personally, I’d talk to the guest. I’d make sure that they understood what the apartment is like and what to expect. I’d point out the review above and ask him what the situation was. (Hosts can be inaccurate in reviews too).

If he doesn’t like the fact that you’ve brought up the subject then he won’t want to stay with you anyway.


Perfect, thank you! I don’t think he can IB if one (or probably more LOL) people say they wouldn’t host again. He sent an inquiry that asked a question about what type of air conditioner we have so I answered and hope he doesn’t then want to book haha


Jaquo has a good approach too. She tends to like a challenge, lol. But she’s also hosting for a living, I’m not and I have enough hassles with the dog biz. I feel that there’s another guest around the corner who won’t be a PITA.

Can you raise your price for those days? LOL.


“…:removing every single fire (smoke) detector…”

this is not bad guest behavior, this is something else.

OP mentioned multiple high maintenance reviews.

I’m in the decline camp, no explanation and move forward


TBH, if a guest did that in our premises they’d be on the pavement, with booking cancelled due to guest misconduct. If they were an Airbnb guest, I’d probably have to jump through hoops, but the end result would be the same.

Any action by a guest that puts not only themselves, but my family also, at risk is something I would not tolerate. We have three hundred years old timber beams in many parts of the building and given our climate, they’d go up like a rocket. This is why we have smoke and heat detectors throughout the building, mainly in the older sections.

I’d decline purely on that basis.



I wouldn’t know this until after the guest checked out.

What kind of system do you use that monitors if they are connected? Is it a wi-fi based system?

I must have misread, I was under the impression the host was aware of it.

Ears. They all give off a screech that would wake the dead and, with the central patio, it amplifies them to the level I’m sure they can be heard at the end of the street! Our ceilings are all of a height that tall stepladders are needed to reach them (some 4m high), so unless the guests bring stilts, they can’t be tampered with.

Ideally, I want them all hard wired and interlinked, the same as our LTR properties in Scotland (it’s the law there), but for now they are all independent. They use a dedicated radio frequency for the linking function.

We have these ones in our LTR’s, but they’re not cheap. We’d be looking at around €2,500 in total for this place.


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I had this happen with a couple that wanted to book for 2 weeks (my max). Aside from the fact that he “oil paints for relaxation” (not in my house!), 1 of the 2 reviews was less than great and his reply to it was also a flag. When asked what happened, he went off on me and I suggested he find other accommodation.

Bullet dodged.


This depends on your IB settings:

Tell him the a/c is currently having issues and you’re waiting for it to be repaired so the place is currently not available. That should scare him away. LOL


You can’t IB if you have negative reviews. @KKC

That is dependent on Host Settings. It is not an absolute. By default Air allows anyone to IB. A host would need to manually choose to exclude new guests, etc.

Someone IB’d my place and she had negative reviews. I’ve posted about her here multiple times. So I don’t care what Airbnb’s website said, if she can do it, anyone can do it. I don’t recall what my settings were are the time, maybe I didn’t have host recommendations ticked at that time.

I’d be tempted to day that given the reviews you might be better suited to a hotel and decline. I’ve had a couple of occasions where I’ve gotten a bad instant book and said that I had to unexpected ly use the space for family and was just about to block the date. So I decline and then block the nights. Hate to lose the revenue but who needs the hassle.


A good predictor of out-of-the-blue 4 stars I’d say, even just with long but not necessarily nit picky reviews. A guest that overly gushes on and on about a small fraction of their stays, especially recent ones, and has reviewed many stays overall may run you the risk of coming in with an overly elevated bar for bagging their top rating, conveniently forgetting that 4 and below are varying levels of bad, and not “great but not the very best” in BNB speak.

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I agree with any of the tactics suggested here, if many/most of the guest’s reviews are truly picky in a negative way, and there are no positive ones. Some guests like to write detailed reviews as a kind of travel columnist fantasy.

A word of possible context about the smoke detector complaint. Family and I were staying in an Airbnb once, and a smoke detector started up that infernal beeping that they do when the battery is running low. It’s almost impossible to figure out where that sound is coming from. Of course we messaged the (remote) host and no answer.

My BIL and I were wandering around this 3 story townhouse at 2 a.m. in our jammies desperately trying to find and disable the thing. It was tucked behind a kitchen soffit and we had to do acrobatic climbing on the counter to disable it.

Your picky would-be guest may have been serially trying to shut down a beeping alarm until they found the right one.


For sure! Maybe I’m just a more easy going guest, but I wouldn’t expect compensation for a beeping smoke detector :woman_shrugging:t2:


I wouldn’t have expected money, but I would have been unhappy. It’s the host’s responsibility to change all smoke detector batteries on a strict schedule. As long as the detectors work properly, they shouldn’t have to beep to get a battery change. I would have mentioned it in the review.

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