What would you do? (guest, rules, and all things alike)

Hello everybody!
I have been a host for about a year, and this is my first post. I apologize in advance, this is going to be a long one, but I would appreciate your advice :slight_smile:
The space I rent is an apartment (above the garage, separate entrance), on 2.5 acres of very nice and peaceful rural setting. I try to be a good host (I am a superhost), provide my guests with comfortable, calm and relaxing experience, but I am rethinking if this is really for me.

Like most of you, I had some great guests, but also some not too great experiences.
I think my last group, however, takes the cake.

A group of 3 booked a place for 2 weeks. They are moving into the area and wanted a place to stay until they find permanent accommodations.
I do not offer washer and dryer in the listing, even though I do have a set in the apartment (in the closet). I put in the rules that guests can use it once a week (even though they are not offered in the listing at all) yet these people are doing laundry every day.
I allow pets but I ask for guests to disclose the type and number of the pets they are bringing. These guests brought two cats and never said a thing - it came up in a casual conversation (I offer self-check and do not greet my guests, they also arrived late at night).
Just before they were supposed to leave, they booked for additional 6 nights with a 2-day gap in between. On the day of their departure, I received a package for one of them (they did not ask if it’s ok to give the address for shipments). I took the package to them, and mentioned the check out is at 11 (it was 10:30 and they were all sleeping, no signs of being ready to leave).
A little bit later, one of the girls knocks on my door, saying how her Mom booked the additional stay but 2 days were not available and if they can stay - they will pay cash. ??? I had another guest coming so there was no chance. Obviously, they were not aware that their stay ended and thought they could just stay regardless of the unavailability…So they had to leave to return in 2 days.
I went to clean the apartment and oh boy what a mess! Left trash all over the place, stove nasty, bathroom abysmal, hair and paw prints all over the room where litter-box was. On top of everything, they left a cat tower and bunch of food items in the cupboards and fridge.
I wanted to cancel their stay but I felt sorry for them having to look for another place in a new state. So I did not cancel.
Now they are back for the 6 nights.

What is the best way to handle this from now on?
Should I say something about the mess they left? Ask them to make sure to leave the apartment as they found it? Not say anything, suck it up and be vetting the guests better from now on?

I am not a confrontational person so pointing at someone’s shortfalls causes a certain level of discomfort. I have a House Manual and House Rules clearly displayed and referred to in the listing and the Welcome letter, and in the check-in check-out list on the fridge, why are some guests completely ignoring them? I may be wrong, but I find this disrespectful.
Am I overreacting?

Thanks for reading - sorry this was so long. But it helped to vent :wink:


You need to be “confrontational” – whether you like it or not – with guests. The very FIRST time you found them doing something in violation of your house rules, you should have come down on them HARD – told them “one more violation and they will be evicted”.

You DO need to be firm, not wishy-washy in your listing descriptions – you either offer laundry access or you don’t (not don’t offer, but then allow use). If you aren’t standing over them they will use things any darn time they want. . You either allow pets or don’t (if you do, charge per pet or don’t complain about how many a guest brings).

You SHOULD have cancelled their second stay. You should also give them a totally negative, truthful review: “Cannot recommend these guests. They violated many house rules, communicated poorly, and left my listing a dirty mess.”

You DO need to confront them about the previously made mess, and tell them you will be there the morning they check out to make sure such a mess does not occur a second time, and that they will not be allowed to leave unless the listing is in a good clean condition.

The first “rule” of Air Hosting is “Guests Do Not Read”.


I agree with everything Ken said. Given the kind of rental you have you’ve been lucky to not have this kind of guest before but now you are learning some hard lessons.

You are not overreacting and whether they read your stuff or not is irrelevant. You had a chance to cancel their “extension.” You should have and you didn’t. Don’t “feel sorry” for them. Are you a social service agency or a business? They have violated so many rules it makes my head spin. Since they are still violating rules you are within your rights to have their reservation canceled now and that’s what I would do. You probably won’t do that but at the very least you need to write them through the Airbnb messaging system about all the rules violations so it’s in the record. Do you have instant book? If you have IB on you need to call Airbnb and have them blocked from extending again.

I hope you realize you are jeopardizing future bookings as well. What if they damage something? What if your next guest has severe cat allergies?


Rules are fine for people who both read and respect them.

You need to decide what you will do when they do not.


Thank you so very much guys. Your comments really helped!

You all are absolutely right. I should be firmer, and if these guests were not so young (in their early twenties) and moving across states I would not agree to their extended stay. But, the truth is, I am not a social service agency. They are very nice otherwise, quiet and respectful, but yes, it is my house after all. They did apologize for the cat tower so I’ll let them stay but this sure is a lesson learned. They cannot book again as I have the rest of April blocked, and according to one they found an apartment.

I thought allowing pets would be a nice thing since I had a hard time finding hotels to accept my pets when I was moving. But, I realized not all pet owners are as considerate as I am, so I am inclined to remove this from my listing. Same with washer and dryer. They came with the apartment when I bought my house, an old set, the dryer broke. Guests were still asking me where is the laundry detergent even though I put a note on the dryer. I actually replaced the dryer so these guests can have a way to wash something (since they are staying longer), but I did not expect the laundry service happening up there :slight_smile:

Sometimes, this hosting thing feels like herding cats :wink:

Thanks again for your comments.

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Speaking of cats…you might allow dogs but not cats. So many more people have severe cat allergies than severe dog allergies.

I encourage you to continue to allow pets. I allow pets but with a pet fee. Mine is $12 per pet per day but in practice charge less than that if they have multiple pets or are staying multiple days. It’s not built in, you have to use the “request money” which goes to the resolution center which is so separate it won’t show up on the reservation request. So then they don’t see it and you have to direct them to check their email. You can also send a special offer for the fee but then they are charged airbnb fees in that. On top of that if there is extra damage or cleaning you can request that. I had a guest whose dog had a runny poop accident on the carpet and she paid right away the $55 for professional carpet cleaning. It’s a good way to distinguish your listing and make a little bit more money. I’d say for every dog I spend at least an extra 15 minutes cleaning but at $48 an hour I’ll take it. Buy sticky rollers for hair and provide an old blanket or sheet for the dog to help keep dog hair off things.

I’d also encourage you to keep the washer and dryer as amenities but take some steps to make sure it’s not taken advantage of. For example: put a lock on the door if it’s lockable. Look into if you can put the washer on a smart outlet that you can control with your phone. The dryer is on it’s own circuit. Go turn off the circuit breaker and turn it on when the guest needs the dryer. Do not provide detergent for anyone, ever.


Thank you so much @KKC.
I was thinking of locking up the closet where the washer and dryer are, but the doors are bi-folding so I was able to found only one lock that would work (and that one looked pretty rickety to be honest, so if the guest pulls the door that lock would fall apart). I like the option to have a set in the apt so I do not have to carry the bedding and the towels to my house for washing. Turning off the power at the breaker is the best idea!
Most of my guests are 1-3 nights, so I guess lack of the washer/dryer amenity would not hurt them too much :slight_smile:
I edited the max stay at my property to 7 days - I feel (I may be wrong) that the guests that stay longer get a bit too comfortable and forget they are in somebody’s else’s house.
I would like to keep hosting pets - I don’t even mind cats (I have dogs and cats myself) but I understand the allergy issues. Thankfully, the apartment is all hardwood floors, leather sofa, mattress protectors. I do have a few area rugs - small I wash, the big one I steam. I do think I may be out of a bedding set where cats were, they tried to wash it but as I took it out of the washer there was still lots of hair on it.

Lessons learned.

You can always list as an amenity but just make clear to the guests that use is limited.

I know what you mean. I have mostly one night guests and when I get longer stays it just seems like they are always in the room and I’m trying to keep the dogs quiet. It just doesn’t work well for me. But I do “allow” stays of up to 28 days if someone were to try to book far enough ahead.

I totally agree. The longer the stay, usually the more there are problems. I even find this to be true with friends and family. We limit stays to seven days as well and most of our stays are one to three nights which works great for us.

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Such good advice given by our veterans here. I’m sure you will have less trouble from here on out.

I’m a substitute teacher, and I learned early on when teaching elementary rooms. If you don’t set your expectations at the start of the day you will have the day from hell. You can’t go back at 1pm and beg the kids to behave. You’ve lost control at that point. These kids may be young but are not dumb. They know how to find the weakness in most subs and roll them hard. I don’t get rolled with kids anymore and I don’t get rolled with guests.


Thank you everybody :slight_smile:

@konacoconutz, you are absolutely right - kids are not dumb, and my guests here are an example. There was no real repercussions for their actions (I did not cancel their booking nor sent them packing) so they are probably not even thinking they are doing something wrong. I should have been firmer, but it is what is is now.

I know that (almost) nobody reads manuals, ULAs and other small print nowadays. I do not necessarily read the rules in the hotel.
I do, however, believe there is a vast difference between staying in the hotel and staying in somebody’s home. At least, guests should show enough respect to the host as to read and abide by the house rules. I know I am dreaming here :slight_smile:

Some lessons are learned the hard way.

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Yes, that’s the key. It’s almost too late now. You’ve accepted their behavior.

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I have the same 7 day limit. That way if you get a guest you don’t like, you don’t have to put up with them for too long (or vise-versa). Little things people can let go for a while build up over time.

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I do not limit, just do not give discounts which has the same effect, for whatever reason there seems more issue for the ones that stay longer.

Exactly! This is my first group of guests staying this long (I think the longest booking prior to this was 4 days) and it s just too long. Sticking to the short-term guests from now on, it seems to be working better for me.

I agree with you guys, I should have said something immediately.

I have little basket with soap, shampoo as stuff with a welcome letter that contains wireless information. Contemplating removing the wireless password from the letter and putting it in the House rules, haha :slight_smile:
But, then they will ask what is the password and nick me on the reviews, no (“we could not find the password for wifi”)?
We cannot win :wink:

Confrontations don’t have to involve quarrels. In fact, if you can make a list of your updated requirements on their second trip and put it on platform prior to their arrival, it will probably be respected.

Naturally you will be charging for the extra cleaning costs, an estimation of your utility bills (washer dryer), and if you choose, an extra charge for the cats,

I’ve unplugged the washer/dryer in the past, but you may be able to disable the fuse to the washing machine.

There’s some tidy, positive ways of building your expectations into your rules, too. I fund very high compliance when these expectations are stated.


Hi everybody, me again :slight_smile:

My young guests departed yesterday. As some you you know, they booked 14 days, 2 day gap and came back for 6 additional days. The gap was because I had another booking, and they left because I blocked my calendar so they can not extend their stay (they don’t have a place so they went to another airbnb as far as I know).

Now I am thinking about leaving a review. I am inclined to steal Ken’s suggestion of "Cannot recommend these guests. They violated many house rules, communicated poorly, and left my listing a dirty mess.”
Is that enough or should I go into details (I’d rather not, honestly).

As a host, would you like to hear more? Here are a few things:

  • They overused washer and dryer - washed stuff every day - to the point that I tripped the breaker (yes I did and I feel guilty about it, but I did). Instead of letting me know immediately that the washer stopped working, they apparently tried to “fix it” - told me about it in passing 2 days later how they tried to drain the washer and whatnot. Did not offer any compensation (not that I would charge them anything, as the washer is not really broken.) Mind you, the washer are dryer are not offer as an amenity in my listing.

  • Left trash in the house (q-tips, teeth flossers, trash on the floor, more gross stuff I do not want to mention). Unwashed dishes in the sink, trash bags full, bathroom thrash can full

  • Floors a mess, lint from cat tower they brought with all over the place and stairs going out

  • Left wet laundry in the washer (yes, it smells moldy). Washed white towels with something red and now the white towels are nice pinkish but not evenly died haha.

  • Bathtub - do I need to mention that mess? Yuck. Also, they plugged it so it drains really slowly.

At least this time they turned the lights and fans off - on their first departure they left everything on (thankfully I live on the property so I am able to check after each guest, they are not the first).

As a potential guest, would you consider my listing if I left a negative detailed review for previous guest? Would it be a turn-off or would it help to know more than just a somewhat cryptic “messy guest”

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

I might just expand a bit only to make it sound a little bit more negative. Something like “violated house rules including bringing two cats they did not dislose and doing laundry daily.”

No. A brief honest review tells me you are a conscientious,truthful host. A long-winded unhinged review or response to review would be a turn off.

I hope it is clear in your rules about the laundry use and not vague. Did you stop them when they continued to use it. Why didn’t you go down and talk to them? Much better than tripping a breaker. If you don’t say something they will assume it’s okay to keep going!

Make sure if it is not set up that way already in the house rules, that they cannot leave a mess and must take their trash. That said, it’s still a horrible way to leave a home. Were they raised in a barn???

Please be harsh in the review. They deserve it. You don’t have to make it long winded, but do hit the highlights.

I can not recommend xx guests. In addition to constantly using the washer non stop (laundry is not an amenity] which eventually tripped my breaker, they attempted to “fix” the machine without telling me. They also left a massive mess, including loads of dirty dishes and trash; stained, mildewed and ruined linens and animal hair all over. It took hours of extra time to clean up after them. Thumbs down.

Thanks all :slight_smile:

My rules are pretty clear - strip the bedding, leave on the floor, leave towels on the bathroom floor. Wash the dishes, put back in cabinets. Turn off everything electric (lights, fans, heaters). Take trash out deposit in the bins next to the garage. Same is also listed on the check out list on the fridge. I think I will add “leave the apartment as you found it” too.

Washer/dryer not included in amenities in the listing.
I did add them to the house manual (folder available to the guests when they come to the apartment, not shared in the listing anywhere) as allowed usage for long-term guests only with 1 load per week (and laundromat suggestion for anything more than that). I have taken that out of the house manual since, as not to be vague. From now on, I will put a note “Not offered” or something on the washer and dryer so the future guests know.

@konacoconutz it literally took me 5 hours to clean the apartment after them the first time (and I am a fast and pretty efficient cleaner). I am fortifying myself to clean the apartment now :slight_smile:

I sent them messages via Airbnb, no response. The only one that really talked and told me about the washer was one of the girls. The other girl and her husband were just passing by avoiding any more than a greeting when they saw me outside (actually, I greeted them and they replied). I respect the guests’ privacy (that is what I offer in my listing) but I will say that the communication was lacking with this group. Not to mention a box of his socks that arrived at my address (yes, I opened it by mistake and apologized, I did not anticipate them using my address, did not even read the addressee).

I just think they are (no offense) little airheads that do not think and did not figure out that the stay in the Airbnb is not the same as staying in the hotel.
I am rid of them, grateful there is no damage, feel a lot of compassion for whoever hosts them now. Hopefully that next host will be firmer (yup, doormat is my middle name hahaha).

But the bad review they will get…

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