When guests steal/break smallish items

As per previous thread I started, I’m only new. Most guests have left the place perfect. I am learning I have to be quite attentive to my ‘stock’. Yesterday I noticed a bed side lamp was missing. My daughter is 100% it wasn’t there after the previous guests. In this case it could be from 2 or 3 bookings so I need to pay more attention to the standard items. The lamp was only $20 so I’m not concerned about this instance so much as the lesson learned.

The last ones broke a wine glass and put it in the rubbish which I happened to notice. I had met them as they were leaving (2 hours late!!) and they never mentioned it which is a shame. I would not have charged them but it helps me but not having to rely on my noticing it is one glass short and therefore not enough for the number of guests.

My question - if I did know it was a particular guest - what is the best approach?

Before review? Do you list this in their review? Get their confirmation they took it? Or just log it with the resolution centre?

How does everyone generally deal with this?

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I personally don’t charge for small items - I consider it the price of doing business. But our price is pretty high, too.

Don’t count on people telling you they’ve broken something. My housekeeper called me once and told me the guests there broke the stopper in the crystal decanter. It was on the floor in pieces at her feet, and the guests were walking right by her and not a single one said “Oh, we’re sorry! It slipped out of my hand last night when I went to put it back”. You’ll either need to do your own inventory between each guest and then open a case in the resolution center or just replace items when they go missing.


Others are replying so I’m sure my position is covered. :smiley:

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Something like a wine glass being broken is just cost of business. I’d buy a few extras to have on hand so no special trip to the store needs to be made if one breaks. A lamp going missing is different. If you have an entire house and you’re having trouble keeping track of things you may want to consider going with an inventory list.


If you don’t know what guest caused the damage I would not go hunting for a confession from a few guests. The guests that did not cause the damage may be offended.

One doesn’t need to zero in on the perpetrator, just the group or main contact who arranged the rental.

Wine glasses broken, a utensil missing…pshaw! Expendable and negligible. A missing lamp, picture, throw blanket, etc. = pilfering/stealing…needs to be addressed promptly and a claim pursued if significant.


OP said the lamp could have been taken by 2-3 bookings.

Thanks yes - too late to confront anyone now. I suspect a particular booking but done and dusted and not of great value - all adds up for expenses on that booking though. Cheers

I have a departure sheet which includes feedback, repairs, maintanence, guest suggestions, and also a place to tell me if they broke anything. Many guests tell me about wine glasses dropped etc. Like @PitonView we dont charge unless it is destructive and purposeful, or huge.


I know. I was referring to what was worth going after (in the future) and what is considered by most hosts as the cost of doing business.

I don’t mind replacing glasses, I just want them to tell me they have broken the,. Pretty rude not to.

Then I just go buy another Kmart or Target six pack! :rofl:


Brilliant! - thats something I will definitely implement

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I have many broken wine glasses and broken dishes. I believe only one guest mentioned to me and offered to pay. All the other guests just kept silent.
I only use cheap ones so it doesn’t cost much to replace. I see these as cost of doing business and I don’t bother to ask payment from guests. Though, I really appreciate the guest who mentioned this to me so I’m more prepared if there is back to back booking. Unfortunately, most guests don’t mention at all.
Usually for me, small damages cost from $1 to $50. I don’t ask payment if damage is less than 5% of booking value. There is one time a guest caused $100 damage, I let it go considering the booking was $6000+.

I think somebody stole my big container of cleaner and a refill bottle of conditioner. Super odd. I have my suspicions about which group but not 100% sure. Anyway I’m not even mad, just disappointed.

I expect a little breakage, and typically we’ve had guests apologize when it happens. But someone spilled water on one of the TV remotes in one of our units, and because nobody told us, it probably didn’t work for subsequent guests (though nobody mentioned anything). We just found that it didn’t work one day… It was annoying, but we have no way to know who did it even if we were going to say something. I am going to do the check-out sheet though. (Suggested in this thread).

I had a pair of oddball Canadian guests first complain about all the wind chimes I had hanging around the main house, not near her rental, made me take them all down… then wiped me out of every bottle of shampoo and bug spray in the room. While leaving wet towels hanging on the vintage furniture and then leaving a soul crushing review. Only time I have had someone outright steal.

I have had guests take wine openers. Maybe they took them on a picnic and didn’t bring them back. Not sure. Glasses, all the time.

A few breakages, losses, stains … they are just wear and tear and to be expected.

We havent had any losses as yet save a cheap placemat - the guest used it to cut food instead of the granite chopping board, naturally.

If you’ve expensive items you could use RFID tags to catch the culprits!

Or don’t have expensive items in your rental. Our rule of thumb is to have nothing that we can’t replace easily. We don’t always stick to our own rules but it tends to work.

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I’ve found coffee cups, plates, & wine glasses missing, TV remotes not working, towels missing, blinds broken, etc. and no one told me. Last week I found 4 acrylic glasses in the cupboard that were cracked & would leak (either dropped or put in the dishwasher) and that scroundrel “No Body” seems to be the culprit. I guess he is traveling the Airbnb circuit.