What to do about item guest claimed was left behind

Hi folks,

(Adding to this thread, instead of creating a new one. Is that proper procedure? It seems better to keep similar topics together, but I’m not sure about proper protocol. I did get a message saying it was an old thread, and whether I really wanted to bump it.)

I just heard back from guests (from Canada) who checked out yesterday, as follows, asking whether I’d had found an ipod in the room. “I forgot it on the bed or night stand maybe. If yes, would you be able to send it to me by courrier, and i would pay the fees for it.”

Sigh. They left early, around 8-9 am I think. I was in the room around 10.30-11 am, before my cleaning lady arrived, and didn’t notice anything (I was mostly checking for whether they had left the A/C on, surprisingly common, but they hadn’t) but then again I didn’t go around the room looking for small electronic devices. I recall that they had all the pillows and blankets in a pile on the bed. My cleaning person didn’t mention anything to me. And there are new guests in the room now.

Are we expected to check the room throughly after guests in case they left anything behind? And does that mean I should expect a bad review? Like I need it.

And does it sound ok if I just reply something like:

Dear xxx, I was in the apartment around 10.30 am after you had left, and before anyone else went in there, and didn’t see your Ipad. I’ve asked my cleaning person about this, and she didn’t see it either. Really sorry for your loss.

(I haven’t actually asked her yet, but I’ll post a reply after asking her. And she normally immediately shows me stuff that guests leave, but didn’t mention anything in this case. And this is the same morning that the hot water heater broke, so I was a little distracted.)

Additional question: would there be any point asking the current guests whether we could check the room? It’s probably pointless - it’s a small room, and even an Ipod would likely have been discovered in the course of cleaning.

@jaquo, suppose the guests check out early morning, say?

i wouldn’t worry about this too much. Just say,

Hi, guest,

The room was cleaned and turned over right after your check out and no iPod was discovered. Veyr sorry.

Don’t say, sorry for your loss. That sounds like someone died. :laughing:


@Faheem, I am onsite and we get up before the sun rises every day. :slight_smile:

So, and I know that this is unusual, but even if guests check out early, I am usually there soon after they’ve left. (Except in the instance of recent Russian guests who left at 3 am - that’s too early even for me!)

On the evening before checkout, I always send the guests message via the platform. This includes ‘thank you for staying with us’. ‘let me know if I can help your checkout go smoothly’. ‘have a great journey home’ and (significantly) ‘please make sure that you check the apartment for your belongings so that you don’t leave anything behind’.

This has worked well for me. I’ve never found anything valuable left behind (what a shame!)

Getting into the rental as soon as the guests have left is important to me. I check that they haven’t left any food or spills that can attract bugs. If guests haven’t taken out the trash I do so for the same reason. . I check the bedding and towels so that I can treat any stains. I swill out the shower and flush the loo and turn the AC to an acceptable level.

This quick check only takes a few minutes. But I realise that not everyone is onsite so they can’t do this.

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Honestly, it’s a good idea for exactly these reasons. I don’t always do it myself but then I clean the room myself so I will find any lost items. I assume you trust your cleaning staff completely? Sorry but it has to be asked.

Unless the guests check out insanely early either my husband or I am up when they leave. We like to make coffee for them and say goodbye. As soon as they leave the guest room and bathroom we run in and check for left behind belongings. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve run outside to catch them and give them back their stuff. We’ve also had to mail back guests’ possessions several times (thankfully always in the U.S.). We also ask when they are leaving if they’ve remembered to return our house key as many put it on their key ring and forget to return it.


There is no rule or anything, but I think it’s best to start new threads most of the time. This thread already ran it’s course. So I don’t see any reason to resurrect it just because your situation relates to the topic of “item left behind.” - as a newbie I would prefer to read several threads on the topic vs. one long, long, long, long, thread that keeps getting added to.


As another poster said, I think it was @konacoconutz, just say you didn’t find it when cleaning the room.

If I were you I’d leave out anything to do with your cleaning lady, unless your guests were very aware that you have one. I think that just opens up a possible can of worms, where your guests can then insinuate that your cleaning lady must have taken the item.

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I don’t get it…if you’re up at 9-ish, what’s wrong with a 10:30 app’t.?

If you were in the neighborhood, I’d be happy to do your hair. I’ve been cutting the hub’s hair for years. There’s not a whole lot left anymore but hey, that’s not my fault. I practiced on the dog for 10 yrs. (shaggy white cock-a-poo) and I’m real good around the ears.

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" It’s really cutting things close." {Yup, I caught the pun!]

That sounds like good advice in general. Too late in this particular case, as I’ve already replied to this guest. But I’ll keep it in mind. Thanks.

And neither my listing or my guidebook mentions that someone else cleans the space, but I don’t make a secret of it either. In fact, it’s my favorite reason, if pressed, for not letting guests stay excessively late. I.e. you can’t stay past 1 pm, because the cleaning person has to clean the room before she leaves for the day. Plus, anyone who knows anything about how things work in a place like India would know that I’m not cleaning the room and bathroom myself. Plus the cleaning lady (and others) are quite visible in the late morning and early afternoon when they are here.