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When the guests love it but you don't love the guest

Have left a guest a critical but honest review and they leave you a glowing one? I just experienced this and I weirdly feel so guilty!

But this guest was definitely lacking in following the house rules and communication so I thought I should write a fair review. House rules say to leave the space as you found it, wipe up food spills or crumbs, etc. There was grease and stains everywhere, crumbs all over the bed…and even a very gross and large semen stains on the sheets and covers. In the private note I went into further detail about why we gave him low stars on cleanliness and communication, but I still feel bad for some reason. I mean we provide 3 sets of towels per guest and ample paper products!

But I wish that for our nightmare guest others had left honest reviews, she only had one that was very good but having 4-5 would give hosts a better idea of who they are potentially dealing with


@Kate_Barry I think it’s a natural human reaction to feel bad if you say something negative about someone only to find out they have said nice things about you. But the purpose of reviews is to be honest, so future hosts or guests have something to go on. Try to keep in mind that you aren’t saying this is a bad person, you are just reviewing their suitability as a guest.
Thank you for leaving an honest review.


I TOTALLY get how you feel. I admit I have a people-pleasing problem :slight_smile:

Here’s a bit of an opposite scenario we went through after this weekend - two gals I would guess in their early 20’s stayed in our private apartment. Super sweet and VERY communicative. I’ve yet to have a guest communicate so well. We live in Colorado and have gotten lots of snow over the past week. These girls drove in from Texas and didn’t seem to ever have experienced driving in snow.

I felt this almost motherly need to look out for them (and granted, they did ask for my help a lot). We helped them make sure they could clear the snow off their car, gave them lots of winter weather advice, and even let them park in our carport (which we would NEVER EVER usually do). I really appreciated her communication and she was so sweet that I was happy to help!

Then I left her the kindest review. I felt confident that it was a mutually great experience and somewhat expected her to leave a great review also.

She did leave us 5 stars in all categories (granted, probably most important), but all she said in the written review was “the place was smaller than expected”. Nothing about how much we went out of the way to help her and her friend out or how we were available around the clock to answer her many MANY questions.

So I guess it can go both ways. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from this column is to take nothing personal. It’s likely you won’t see that guest again, and regardless of how much they liked their stay at your place, they can’t leave it in bad shape :woman_shrugging:t3: Good for you for the honest review!


I’ve written about it before, but I had a similar situation with a guest who had only 5 star reviews and had left me a great review, 5 stars, plus messages and texts saying how great the stay was and that “they’d be back”.

I wrote a review because I didn’t want them to return, and CS advised that they only way I could block them was to first write a review.

After reading my review, the guest retaliated by:

  1. notifying AirBNB that they felt discriminated against
  2. writing comments (following my review) with lies and non-explanations.

Re #2 - I would expect the comments show up on their profile under the review that you gave them, correct?

Correct - it is not seen in my reviews, and (as I’ve mentioned in a different topic) it reflects badly on him, so he essentially made a not so good review, worse.


Thank you for clarifying. This is what I expected then, and so it only hurts him.

We generally have great guests. Over NYE we had a family of 6 adults For 3 nights. The primary joined ABB in 2015 with no reviews. They moved major furniture and left 1.5 loads of dishes (in addition to a full load unwashed in the dishwasher) and all of their trash.

Our city does not recycle, but most of our guests come from major cities, so we give them a recycling bag in case they want to cart recyclables home with them. The left all of their bottles (dozens) lined up on the counter.

They cooked something greasy then opened the windows leaving grease on the windows. My cleaner was appalled at the condition of the house - me, not so much.

We took photos and then I took a step back and reread my check out instructions. I tell them to tidy the kitchen and load the dishwasher, but don’t run the dishwasher. If they’ve used a partial trash bag to leave it in the kitchen (my cleaners will use it, then take out the trash. All in all, it was about another 40 minutes of cleaning and not worth my efforts or ill will to try recoup $15. I don’t know if they misread the instructions and thought they weren’t supposed to run the dishwasher or take out the trash during a three day stay.

I left them a 4 for cleanliness and a 4 for following house rules since I don’t think any of it was malicious. I wrote in the public review (about 15 min from the close of the review window) that they left several loads of dishes and moved furniture without placing it back to its original location.

In the private notes I told her that because she was new to ABB, that I gave her the benefit of the doubt and didn’t rank her as harshly as another host might have. I also told her that she needed to read the checkout instructions and house rules more carefully and that other hosts would have charged her for additional cleaning. I explained that the cleaning fee I charge ($79) doesn’t cover the cost of my turnover and that I needed to bring in an extra person to move the furniture.

She did not leave a review for me and I marked that I would not host her again.

In three years, this was my first time leaving a negative comment on a guest.

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Thank you for doing so. Much appreciated as their potential future host.


I just love it when dodgy guests do this, and find it so funny, and yes, gratifying! I’ve only had two, that I didn’t find immediately but they had me snorting with laughter. One was probably two sides of A4 longer than her profile.

That’s a good way of leading into it, especially if someone is new to Airbnb. I think a lot of people assume it’s just like a hotel and they can trash it

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It’s hard to picture the extent of this. But, I’m thinking 4 stars overall and 4 for cleanliness.

I don’t see the validity of the biological stain being an issue. Almost all guests we have are very careful about this and seem to take reasonable precautions but in Woody Allen’s words:

“Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right.”


I posted about this on a thread about house rules and new guests just not understanding the difference between a hotel and an AirBnB of a private home.

Recently got a very good review from a not very good guest. Communication was terrible… “phone issues” supposedly. Condition of the house the worst my housekeep has encountered. They were “shocked” by the review and consider themselves excellent guests but it did not escalate…

Honestly you set off the fire alarm in my house and don’t answer your cell phone when I call you or the 1/2 dozen urgent texts, , of course the Fire department is going to come. Then without ever saying anything they send a text asking how to turn off the siren? You break furniture and hide it in the corner of the basement and don’t advise me?

I don’t feel badly about my review one bit and think other potential hosts need to know. Are these bad people? Did they destroy my house? Not at all but not the kind of guest I want in my home.

If it was purely a rental property that might be different but I live there too. I don’t know if Guests think about it that way or do they all assume it is just business? Should we tell them in the house rules? “THIS IS OUR HOME. WE WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY AND COMFORTABLE HERE BUT PLEASE REMEMBER WE LIVE HERE TOO SO KINDLY TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE PLACE. Thoughts?

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I doubt doing such will make (would have made) any difference. There are some people, like the guests you describe, who are oblivious and inconsiderate.
I don’t think you can change them. The only remedy is to try to avoid them, and your review will help other hosts do just that.

I have something very similar to this in my house rules, with the inclusion that there may be a maximum of six guests, including themselves. I ask guests to be respectful of our property, of our private spaces and those of other guests.

I included this after hosting a brother and sister, in their late twenties who in their different ways. were both terrible guests. Intrusive, rude, entitled and careless. It seems to work.

@Riverhouse. Mine is a FT STR, we don’t live there. I’ve thought about saying something like “please treat our home as you would your own” - however, I’m afraid that’s not always a high standard :slightly_smiling_face:.

I do have all of my house rules printed in a welcome guide left next to a welcome basket on the island. I think some people are just clueless and no matter how much we do, they just don’t have respect for other’s property.

The morning of guest arrivals I send them the entry door lock code along with more detailed directions and a warning or two about some tricky spots to watch out for. I also remind them to review the house manual and that it is a non smoking property and to take good care of everything, and of course to call me if there is anything I can do.

Except for one family all have been great about it.

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You are quite right there. A lot of hosts seem to think that the guests are showing total disrespect by not cleaning up after themselves, but there are a lot of people who pretty much never do a decent clean-up job, or take care not to damage things, even in their own homes. Some live in what most of us would consider squalor.


Maybe in Bold rather than in capital letters or guests will think you are shouting at them. Which is probably what you feel like doing!

The only guest I gave a negative review did this, too. Guest had a good history of 5-star reviews and gave me a glowing review. I gave an honest review. Guest replied with a long-winded and passive-aggressive ‘apology’, throwing his traveling companions under the bus for most of the problems.

I know for a fact it wasn’t a 3rd party booking, because I have Dear Blacklisted Guest making obscene gestures on my game cam pics. Didn’t get those until long after the review period ended or I’d have mentioned that in my lousy review, too! However, if you were to read it, you’d think it was a 3rd party booking and he wasn’t there when the things were done. As if that is going to make all of you feel good about accepting his future reservation request! LMAO Bless his slovenly, vulgar little heart.

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