A hostile long term guest

Level 1
Tucson, AZ

A hostile long term guest

Hello community! 


I currently am hosting a guest who is making my home life pretty miserable. I had a bad gut feeling when she first requested but it was a long term stay and she had a horse in her pic...I decided to accept. After I accepted her request, I saw a very negative review from her last long term stay host. 

She has framed every interaction from quietly closing her door when she was loudly talking on her phone to me as "slamming the door", and letting her know that i didn't want to invade her privacy, to "scolding" her. 


Today when my cleaning person, who I've had for four years, and is now a dear friend of the family, arrived to clean, she confronted her at the door and told her that she thought I had mental issues. My dear friend was super uncomfortable and will not come back unless she's gone. 


I have contacted airbnb support three times today. I was advised to send her a message and alter her stay. The rep told me to check back if she didn't respond. She has not responded but I received  a message from airbnb, stating that I could get repercussions for cancelling. I asked her to review the history. I haven't heard back from my guest or airbnb.  


This is the very first time I've had this uncomfortable situation and I'd be so grateful to hear any advice. I asked her to leave tomorrow. Any legal advice. Seems like she won't  leave.

5 Replies 5
Level 10
Irvine, CA

Hi @Kara6 sorry to hear you are going through this. I have had some long-term guest that were problematic, and it makes it seem like every day is taking forever to pass.


A guest should never have an interaction with you or designated staff (house cleaners, etc) which results in that person refusing to return to the home because they were made to feel so uncomfortable. Additionally, while not a rule violation, it is not ok to discuss someone's perceived mental health status with a stranger. 


As far as canceling the reservation or altering it, I would move forward in doing so. As others have said, I think the confrontation with the cleaner will support these actions and not result in any penalties to you. Let Airbnb clearly know she is nonresponsive. Given her past review, it sounds like she tends to manipulate or misinterpret things, so make sure all communication attempts with her are done via the app in addition to in person. This will help support your case. 


Not to harp on this, but always vet your long termers. Communication is key, and a lot of the red flags will pop up in initial interactions. 

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



I don't know if there has been any progress on this or if you have heard back from Airbnb or from the guest?


This is a tricky one because, from what you have described, the guest isn't breaking any obvious house rules (unless there is something else you haven't mentioned?) so that might be why Airbnb is not being terribly helpful. I have had to call Airbnb twice in the past to ask them to tell a guest to leave and they were very proactive about it and backed me up completely. But, in both situations, the guest was in clear violation of my house rules. In order for them to act, they need to see this, i.e. the rules that are being broken are clearly stated on your listing, and the correspondence about this is on the Airbnb messaging system.


The most alarming thing you've mentioned is the confrontation with the cleaner, so I agree with @Clara116 that that is what you should focus on. Tell Airbnb that it is NOT okay for the guest to frighten your cleaning staff to the point that they refuse to come back. Tell them you have sent an alteration request but the guest is ignoring it and you need them to contact the guest, instruct her to leave and cancel the booking penalty free to you.


Also, while it's useless to say could've, would've, should've in hindsight, going forward, please do vet your guests more carefully, ESPECIALLY for long term stays, and never ignore you gut feeling (I have always ended up regretting it when I have). What, by the way, gave you that bad gut feeling in the first place? Also, what did the review from the other host say about her? Perhaps there is something in that review that could help back up your case with Airbnb.


I also don't understand the thing about the horse pic. Hosts cannot see a guest's profile photo before they accept the booking, so how were you able to see that?


In future, do make sure you read not only all of the guest's reviews and look at their star ratings, but also the reviews they have left for previous hosts, as that can sometimes be telling. I am far more likely to accept a guest that leaves lovely reviews than one who never bothers to or who is constantly nit-picking.


Make sure to have a proper conversation with them, e.g. if they have given no or limited information about themselves on their profile or in their message to you, then ask for it. Guests who are then non responsive, evasive or defensive, are usually a bad bet, or just not worth the risk. Ask them to confirm they have read, understand and agree to your house rules. If there is a red flag, pay attention to it. If you're unsure, ask more questions about whatever is making you feel uncomfortable.


I know that Airbnb only gives us 24 hours to make a decision, which doesn't help, especially when the guest doesn't respond quickly, but it's better to decline when in doubt than go through the pain of a long stay with a bad guest.

Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Kara6 This is a lesson for all host! TRUST your gut! You felt it before booking. And you now see that you made a mistake NOT finding out everything you could about the guest before saying YES to a long term stay. How long?? So another host warned other hosts and either it hadn't posted yet or you booked before doing ALL homework needed. Sounds like you have a guest that knows and likes the challenge as she is just repeating her usual behavior. There's this saying that I LOVE; When someone shows you who they are - BELIEVE THEM. 

Kara if this woman is showing any signs of aggressive behavior toward you or anyone in your house - and you feel threatened, afraid, fearful of your guest - that's what I'd go on - we just don't know how long the fuse is on some people. The fact she scared your housekeeper that refused to return until she is gone - THAT would be what I'd be pushing hard to get her Gone, NOW. 

How long is her stay? So sorry you are having this, but thanks for sharing for all of us - we ALL need to learn from it....don't trick ourselves by a photo - "the horse", you thought she has to be kind or such with a horse in the pic..........wrong - people use tricks to deceive others and its such a shame we have to be first mistrusting --- checking, then and only then go with things. 

keep us posted - I would stay away from her, keep communication limited and have someone around when she leaves - incase, she is aggressive, resentful or such. Also, if she gets very weird, don't hesitate to call the police - remember your safety is most important. Don't hesitate and please don't call Airbnb if in danger - the police are our protectors - Airbnb is a booking platform and I love Airbnb but in danger, fear, fire or anything else, I'm calling the local authorities, that's how things are suppose to be. I've seen where many hosts get confused and call Airbnb with an aggressive guest yelling at them and threatening them INSTEAD of the Police/Sheriff. Just want to make sure you understand - we / I everyone wants you safe, protected and free from anyone that is unstable. Keep us posted and all the best, Clara

Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Kara6 


I'm so sorry to hear about this.


I have escalated this within Airbnb to see if we can get you a resolution to this.


Please let us know if there's been any updates since you last posted.



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Level 10
Victoria, Australia

Kara it sounds like a difficult situation , but its never a good idea to use a horse instead of communicating and checking ID.   .... Its not important that you like your guests unless they are living with you, if they are only in your guest house then privacy may be pretty high on their agenda , If cleaning takes place regularly it may be as well to schedule it for when the guests is out . We all  meet some personalities with which we do not click ,unless she has broken your rules or Airbnbs I would simply keep out of her way ....all the best   H

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