Why wont airbnb stand behind hosts?

I just had my first guests from hell. They made a lot of false complaints then wanted money discounted paid to them in cash. I offered a full refund thru airbnb so they could go elsewhere but they refused and stayed. They then trashed my home, purposely broke the hot tub, turned the air down to 50 leaving the front door wide open. Its amazing nothing was stolen as the house fronts a busy street. Airbnb refuses to take down their post listing all the false complaints saying people use them to fairly decide where to book. Fairly? How can they decide when its false? What do they recommend we as hosts do when blackmailed for money or a bad review - pay up? Yes I was able to state my case in response but that didn’t help my star rating from falling.

You should have got them cancelled. Unhappy guests are a burden, and it never ends well. Sorry you had such spiteful guests. Have you made a claim?

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How could I have cancelled them when they already checked in. They had been there 4 hours before they started complaining about how dirty it was. Even said the garbage wasn’t taken out and beds weren’t made! I haven’t submitted the claim yet as I still have to get an estimate on fixing the hit tub-if it can be fixed. They drained it then turned the motor on and temperature all the way up. I’m sure their 200 deposit wont cover it if the motor and control panel are shot…

You can in fact cancel a reservation after guests have arrived. Reasons include the guests breaking rules or you feeling uncomfortable. You need to communicate with Airbnb as soon as you start to have a problem, and document things e.g. take photos, communicate with the guest on the app so there is a trail etc…

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I agree cancelling would be the way to go, sounds unlikley they will agree to pay anything through the security depoist.

IF you had called Air immediately when they started making all the problems, and told the CS you wanted them out immediately – and why – then there would have been no further issues.


This is a very strange story. How can the guests claim that the beds weren’t made or that there was garbage in the place? When they were given the house tour, they would have complained there and then to the host or co-host if there had been such problems.

How can guests’ refuse and stay’? Just contacting Airbnb gives a host the right to get rid of troublesome guests but the host didn’t do that? Why weren’t they challenged about leaving the door open? It all sounds strange.

And importantly, why would guests do this? okay, I can sort of understand that some dumb people might think that if they complain about everything they will get their entire stay refunded but they’d have to be pretty stupid to think that. And then they ‘retaliate’ by leaving false complaints? How would these people justify taking the time and effort?


I am so sorry you had this experience with these dreadful vindictive childish guests. Maybe they were using a stolen card and trying to fraudulently get some cash. Let us know how your Air claim goes. This one might be of interest to media it’s so extreme.

I didn’t know you could cancel once they check in. Good to know though. I have self check in since I live an hour away so there is no walk thru your. I didn’t realize at first that they were trying to scam some money by their complaints and thought possibly someone had broken in and used the house the night before. The guests who had checked out 2 days before them were so clean they had pulled all the linens and taken out the trash so I knew it wasn’t the maids bad job. Why would someone take the time to file bad review if false? Because they are kids with nothing better to do.

Gosh that’s awful! Sorry that you had that experience. It’s these types of experiences that make me really question what the future of hosting is going to be like if Airbnb doesn’t support their hosts and always side with guests.

It’s important to fully familiarise yourself with Airbnb policies before you start to host. Most of this could have been easily prevented as other have explained above. As you’re an absent hosts, your co-host should do the house tour. It’s important for many reasons but one is to ensure that the guests are happy with the accommodation. (I always leave lights on, TV, fans on etc. for the house tour so host and guests know that everything works).

Wasn’t the house checked out by your co-host on the morning of arrival? Even if there’s no house tour, the property still needs to be checked just before the guests arrive.

When you say they are kids, you do realise that Airbnb won’t rent to kids? No-one under 18 is permitted to have an account. Many hosts specify age limits in their listing. I don’t mind younger guests but many hosts require over 21, over 25 or even over 30.

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The house was checked the night before. Since no one was in it I agreed to let them check in at 6 am when they planned on arriving so they could get the most out of their vacation. I really did not nor do I still think it should have needed checked again only 12 hours after it was cleaned and checked once. When I say kids they were over 18. Just young and what I consider kids.

@Nichrocks, it seems that you have to take some responsibility here for not taking charge of these guests, Not that I’m saying that they weren’t horrible guests - they were - but it seems that you haven’t familiarised yourself with how Airbnb works and how to protect yourself.

That’s the first thing that you need to do - know where you stand if you have unsatisfactory guests. You presumably made the wise choice of having cameras outside your home as you know (and therefore have it on film as evidence) that they a) deliberately broke the hot tub and b) left the door open after turning the AC right down. That’s very much in your favour as you can prove that these guests were up to no good.

You also need to plan things better with your co-host. After the cleaners have been in I assume that she/he goes in to prepare the place? I know it might seem like an extra expense for you but he/she should do this just before check in time and be there when the guests arrive to do the house tour. If you have to pay the co-host for the time it takes to do the house tour it can definitely be worth it. Be sure too that you have good STR insurance to cover you in the event of damage.

Make sure that you have an age limit in your listing if you believe that these guests’ behaviour was due to them being kids. Make sure that your house rules are explicit. And remember that giving guests free-of-charge time in your property (6 am until check in time) isn’t a good idea.

These guests came with one purpose, and that is to trash your home, blame you for it, and make you pay for it.

These incidents are not common,so it’s not always easy for a host to know what to do. i have yet to see protocol for when the do-do is hitting the fan with barn animals.

The first call you make is to Airbnb. Document everything on platform and ream the guests there. Take a gazillion photos. Offer no money, Back your assertions up with your statements and photos. Personally i have no problem at all calling the police for unwelcome guests. And when review time comes, stay calm, stick to the facts, and rip their faces off. Expect nothing from the Host Guarantee.

When you have cleaned up and calmed down, wait a while and ask that their review be removed. These are stupid people. Their statements will probably be inflammatory and personal. Stay firm. Yes, it works.

Enough is enough.

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OH NO, Hell no never allow that kind of early check in without at least a half day extra payment. When they asked for that is when I would have responded like this:

Our check in is 4:00 early check in is available at 1:00 for a $50 fee

Or this: No I am sorry early check in is not available.


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Is it me or is this forum getting tougher and tougher on newer hosts who end up in a bad situation? You should have done this, you should have done that, you need to read the tos, you should be more assertive, I would never do that. Over a year ago, as a newer host, I posted about something stupid a guest did to my washer, and everyone was so sympathetic, even though they could have easily pointed out my failurs in allowing it to happen.Now I’m more experienced and know how to anticipate and short circuit problems better. I just reviewed Airbnb help topics and it’s not at all clear you can just cancel when uncomfortable with a guest. It says you may still be subject to penalties unless there are extenuating circumstances – which it defines only things such as illness, home damage that makes guests unable to use the home, natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. The IB unlimited cancel is couched as only before guests arrive – such as if they have bad reviews or say they are going to break rules. If I had one of these evil jerks as a guest early on I might not have done all the smartest things in the right order.
OK putting away my soapbox now. Truly love all the great advice here.


Thank you dpfromva for your compassion. I am fairly new at this as well and have had some issues with trying to navigate the system. It is pretty complex sometimes. I just had my first guest come into the space and immediately leave citing that I was misrepresenting my space and she was going to “report” me to Airbnb. I was shocked. I had nothing but raving reviews from everyone until this lady came in. I am a new Superhost. How would I get that status is I was misrepresenting? . This was yesterday and now I am afraid of this woman’s retaliation via review or whatever. I may just repeat what I told her in my private message back to her via the public platform: “I have not once had a single complaint about our place. My apologies that you were disappointed. I have no idea what you’re talking about that we are misrepresenting what we are offering. Every single person that I talk to has been wonderfully pleased and happy with their experience. I have had people literally gush over what a nice time they had there and how nice the accommodations were. You are certainly by yourself in your opinion. Airbnb also recognizes how well we are received by making this a “super host”. This status is reserved for people with positive feedback and positive customer satisfaction. I truly hope you find the accommodations you are looking for.” I also did not offer or give her any kind of refund. To give her some benefit, it was a very hot day, the hottest yet this year and this is a newly remodeled space so I am trying to figure out how to work the temperature cooling/heating best way possible. It did seem that the airconditioner wasn’t completely taking off all the heat, but it certainly wasn’t over hot it just wasn’t super cool. But still. She had every opportunity to get in touch with me and ask for assistance if she needed anything. Okay, phew… that was nice to get off my chest. :smile:


I agree that some established hosts on this forum are indeed very tough on new hosts that come here looking for advice on serious problems. At the least, the advice doled out is condescending and holier-than-thou. At worst, it borders on hostile.

Recently, I noticed a seasoned and respected forum member call out a new member for “disappearing”. The implication was the newbie was so embarrassed at discovering how stupid they’d been that they were ashamed to show their face. As it turns out, new members are only allowed to post X number of times on the day they join, which the poster explained the next day. Shouldn’t a moderator of this forum, who likes to give advice in the form of “Why didn’t you?”, at least know how the forum works? As well, apparently, this member was too embarrassed to issue a well deserved apology to the newbie.

Of course, new hosts would do well to become as familiar as they can with Airbnb and how it works, but often that is easier said than done. Airbnb’s website is convoluted and difficult to navigate, and much of the information is clear as mud; so much so that even Air’s CRS’s don’t understand it.

How about we show a little compassion for newbies. We were all there once. Honestly, how many of us can say that we read every single bit of information provided by Airbnb before we opened our doors, totally understood it all, and never encountered a situation we were not completely sure how to handle? Because the tone of much of the “well intentioned advice” I see here lately is more self righteous and less genuinely caring.

There is such a big difference between, “Why didn’t you XYZ”, and “Maybe you didn’t know, but you can XYZ”. The first callously implies you’re an idiot who should have known better and deserves whatever calamity has befallen you. The second shows some compassion for someone in a difficult situation, as well as a genuine desire to help, as opposed to an opportunity to belittle.


I hadn’t really noticed but you could be right. I forget just when this forum started but it’s been going for a good few years and many of the hosts here are very experienced. But we really do want to help new hosts.

Now, I’m speaking only for myself … I plead guilty to being impatient with new hosts when they ask questions that could easily be answered by searching this forum or exploring the Airbnb site before they even have their first guest. I admit that I sigh when i see a question that I’ve answered half a dozen times recently and to be honest, I just don’t have the time to keep answering the same questions over and over again.

This is just my attitude and I apologise for it. I’m busy with hosting and other things and I get grumpy :slight_smile:

But I’d really encourage new guests to search all the topics here. There’s so much useful information direct from experienced hosts - it’s truly the Airbnb Hosts’ University :slight_smile:


I read everything for a month before I put on my big girl panties and posted something. My most unusual guest was the working girl that I prevented from plying her trade. That one I didn’t find on the boards