What is your proportion/percentage of problem guests?

While reading this forum (which looks like a nice place and a useful resource), I’ve seen a lot of discussion of problem guests. I imagine that the actual percentage is fairly tiny (we all like to complain), but what is the actual proportion/percentage of problem guests that you have hosted? Estimates based on the number of guests or the number of days stayed are both options. I.e. one approach would be to say out of 200 guests I hosted, 5 were problem guests. Or, out of 1000 days hosted, I had problem guests during 30 days. If you don’t want to give details about how many guests or how many days you have hosted, you could just give a percentage or proportion. Some mention of location and other relevant details would be useful. If you want to be specific about how they were problem guests, that’s also cool.

In any case, I hope the number is small.

To be honest @faheem, we have never had problem guests from Airbnb. (We only started listing there last December). The majority of our guests have been lovely people and the apartment has been left in great shape. Sure, on just one occasion we had guests who were ‘less than ideal’ but not what I would call a problem.

I think you’ll find that every host has a different idea about what a problem guest is. I don’t mind, for example, if the garbage isn’t taken out or if they haven’t put the dishes away. I don’t expect sheets to be spotless or try to claim for stains on bedding or anything like that. But other hosts do mind these things.

Some hosts might have seen my ‘less than ideal’ guests as being a problem because they arrived a few hours after they’d said, I suspect that they had an overnight (undisclosed) guest sleeping on the couch, the cooker needed quite a good clean after they’d left (lots of greasy frying had been done) and they checked out an hour and a half after check out time.

Only the last of these things bothered me because I had a back-to-back booking. The rest I just see as part and parcel of hosting.


Hi @jaquo,

Thanks for the perspective. :slightly_smiling:
Yes, subjectivity factors heavily into such an assessment.

Personally, some of the things that you listed would have bothered me.
Stained sheets don’t bother you? What about if they can’t easily be cleaned and have to be replaced? I wouldn’t be thrilled by a dirty cooker either, but that point is moot, since I don’t plan to allow cooking. There are just too many downsides.

Personally, I’d not be that bothered by a late arrival or delayed checkout time, but of course it’s different if you have a back-to-back booking.

Stained sheets don’t bother me, that’s true. However, the only stains I’ve had have been blood, either from ladies or from people with the inevitable mosquito bites. Or of course, the equally inevitable results of couples doing what comes naturally. I have white sheets and towels so bleach does the trick. Luckily I haven’t had to deal with anything gross!

Because our place is a separate apartment, I expect people to cook when they are here and I love it if the cooker is left in great condition but I don’t mind taking the extra twenty minutes to clean it if necessary. The reason being that even if it’s left in great condition, I clean it anyway just to make sure! It would be different if this was a shared house though as one guest leaving a dirty cooker would inconvenience other guests.

Like you, I’m not concerned about late arrivals because I simply leave them a hidden key. Late checkout is only a problem when I have other guests coming in on the same day (which is almost always during the busy season). But if I know that the next guests are arriving late, I’ll allow the current guests a more leisurely checkout. As long as I have four hours between guests, I’m OK.

I think that what does make a difference is that I live right opposite the rental (I can see its front door from where I sit here typing). I make sure that guests know that I’m on the premises in the listing and when they book. I imagine that the fact that they know that I’m here keeping an eye on them keeps the guests under control :slight_smile:


@jaquo I love that you are ‘spying’ on your guests! I would do the same thing! :joy:

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Hey, good for you! Big Brother Host is watching! :slight_smile:

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Hello Faheem!

I’ve had about 45 groups, and while there have been some irritations - mascara on a towel, an arrangement of beer bottles on the floor, loud talkers at breakfast or late at night, groups who crank the space heater - they have just been irritations. And yes, one person’s irritation is nothing to someone else.

And there’s always something that I like about the people. For the young people that left a tidy arrangement of been bottles on the floor of the room, they didn’t complain that my contractor showed up very early on their last morning, was drilling very loudly, and talking very loudly to his helper. So, there you have it.

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I began Dec 1st of last year and My first guest was very condescending in tone but actually helped me improve my listing for little things. The rest of the 40 guest so far have been good guest with just a few slight irritations. One guest went to the everglades and was bitten so bad that they put calamine lotion which stained the sheet a light pink. Another guest participate in a marathon and left the smell of tiger balm for at least 5 washings of the sheet and the room. One set of guest had the cultural breakfast of MIso noodles and that smell lingered all day.

The last ones where a bit messy and the entitled bunch so I kind of got bothered by them, but with all that I mentioned all of those guest left me excellent reviews all accept the first old biddy. So I take those sort of things as par for the course, but when I read glowing reviews the annoying factor goes away quickly.


Its not that we like to complain. I think hosts come to this site seeking advice on how to deal with difficult situations and keep continuing hosting instead of give up and stop hosting at all.

I had almost 200 guests, and may be 5-6 of them i would not never have back. The rest though some were not perfect were very nice.

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I’ve been hosting about four months, and have had about 25 parties stay with me. Only one was so bad I thought they should be kicked off AirBnB (they were my first guests too). I’ve given thumbs down to three other groups, one for stealing coffee, one for trying to hide stained linens, and one for not reading the description.

On Air, the guests seem to be pretty squared away.

On HA/VRBO, maybe 50% have had issues. This may be due to the fact that they usually stay weeks at a time as opposed to the 3-7 days of an Air guest.

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50%? That’s high. I wasn’t aware that Airbnb guests had any specific limitations on length of stay. Though I suppose a month tops is plenty, for someone you don’t know.

Yes, and in some areas, once a person has lived in your home for 30 days that are given tenant’s rights and it can be hard to get them out.

When I first was new to airbnb and didn’t know what I was doing regarding pricing, I had a quick booking for 2 months by a PhD student from Denmark. He got an amazing monthly discount on top of my cheap price. He was a wonderful, interesting, and kind person and we were glad to have him - however, I realized after awhile that I could have made a lot more $$$ renting it out short term.

Live and learn… host and learn, lol!


I just meant that problems inherently get more attention than when things go right. People are less likely to post about guests who behaved wonderfully, as compared to those that behaved less than wonderfully.

5 or 6 out of 200 is a pretty good proportion, though I expect you put some effort into upfront vetting. One has got to have a filter.

After 2 years, 3/154 I do not care to see again; all 3 were control freaks that wasted the time to try to tell me how things were going to be, a futile attempt. All 3 I asked them if they wanted to cut their stay short and I would refund them immediately, all 3 didn’t take the offer and all 3 didn’t leave a review.

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By control freaks you mean people who were very demanding, I assume.

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My personal nightmare image of a problem guest is someone who comes in drunk in the middle of the night and decided to try some cooking, subsequently setting fire to the place. I’m deathly afraid of fire, so that probably colors my nightmares.

Anyway, the kinds of issues people seem to face in real life, based on this thread, are thankfully rather less apocalyptic than that. More in the realm of mildly annoying.

Thank you everyone for your feedback.

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I generally have a positive perception of Danes, and Denmark, though I don’t know any in real life. I’ve talked to them online, though. And academics are at least superficially civilized, well behaved people, regardless.

Demanding (not asking) for things that are either not normally included or insisting on a clear departure from the manner they are customarily done, I see as trying to gain control. Especially shown by the manner and tone in which they also adopted with everyone around them.

There isn’t a limit. It just seems the guests on the different sites fit different profiles as far as their travel. The folks I get through Airbnb generally have a defined purpose for their travel. We’re going to this function and want to stay a few days on either side for exploring the area.

On HA/VRBO, we have gotten mostly travelers without a defined purpose other than getting away for a while.