Additional Guest - Additional charge or refuse?

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

Additional Guest - Additional charge or refuse?

Hi everyone! First time post, long time lurker here 🙂 Sorry for the long post! (Previous posts about additional guests were mainly on entire properties rather than a room in my case. Some background: I have a 2 bed 2 bathroom flat, and I Airbnb out the second bedroom and bathroom - here's my link just in case: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/44039080?source_impression_id=p3_1660306101_B3KjtcL%2FiC4vlPkA The flat is spacious and the room is a double but since I also live here, I personally feel comfortable with just the one guest, which is on the listing i.e. the number of guests is limited to one and there's no option to add to this, and no additional guest charges. 

 

I have one guest staying with me for a month, he has been here for almost 12 days so he is about a third of the way through his month long stay. He is a recent graduate, and while he is polite and pleasant, he is somewhat "undomesticated" and has not paid attention to the house rules (e.g. cleaning after oneself in the kitchen, not using the shared areas after 10pm etc) which I believe is down to inexperience rather than intentional. He is new to Airbnb.

 

However, he has just asked me if his ex-flatmate from uni can crash with him in his room for one night and that he is coming over this afternoon! I felt a bit under pressure so I reluctantly agreed, he then said it would actually be 2 nights over the weekend (instead of one night) and that they would be out for the majority of the day so I wouldn't even know that they are there. Then he said a different friend needed a place to crash next week for 3 nights. I explained to him that extra guests is explicitly mentioned in the House Rules, and that Airbnb would not cover me for any issues arising from unregistered guests. There are also additional costs incurred from extra guests, e.g. water, a bit of electricity, possibly use of the kitchen appliances. I'm also a bit concerned that once I say yes, he will ask again to have guests for the remaining 18 days of his stay. Also all the hotels in the area appear to be booked out. So I am not sure what to do. Options are:

1) Simply say no to any additional guests including the one today

2) Say ok to the one coming today but no to any further guests

3) Say yes to the guests he has mentioned AND

4) Charge them for the nights that additional guests are staying, or not?

5) If charging, how much would you charge them per additional guest per night?

 

Your advice would be much appreciated! 

 

Thanks all! 

83 Replies 83
Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

Thanks again for all the helpful advice. I have submitted my review (I omitted the cannabis mention - good catch about the review policy!). As I expected, I received my first negative review as a host. I feel a bit sad but also it was sort of funny reading his review as he was basically complaining about all the things that were in the house rules if he had bothered to read them. I really only have 11 rules and they're not crazy, I wouldn't consider myself a Rules Sargeant lol. In short, he complained that he couldn't have his random friend stay over for multiple nights, that he had to check out at the specified check out time, and that the fridge smelled badly (which was his own food!), that he couldn't use the shared space anytime he wanted, etc. And that this was his worst airbnb experience ever, even though his profile shows he only joined this month and he's got no reviews. Well, apart from my review now. Hopefully his review of my place says more about him/his sense of entitlement than it does about me.

 

How did you feel when you received your first negative review? Did it worry you that others may be put off? Did you respond to it at all?

 

This has been a useful learning point for sure! And thank you again for all the useful advice, honestly this would have been a lot more stressful without you! 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom


@Mita127 wrote:

 

 

How did you feel when you received your first negative review? Did it worry you that others may be put off? Did you respond to it at all?

 

 


My first negative review was from a girl who stayed with her friend for a few days over the Christmas period. These girls were a nightmare from the start. They had clearly not read the listing, e.g. they seemed astonished that I lived at the house or that I had cats. On the first night, they tampered with the heating controls, even though they had specifically been asked not to, and then claimed the curtains did it! 

 

I let a lot of things slide, but when they flooded the bathroom because they showered with the cubicle door left open and also left it in a disgusting state so that the other guest staying didn't want to use it, I had to say something. Even though I never asked her to pay for damages, the booking guest (other girl basically never spoke to me) became very hostile. She also kept sending me messages in the early hours of the morning complaining about things that were stated on the listing, which I asked her to stop doing. She basically told me that she could do what she pleased and that yes, she had read my house rules, but that didn't mean she had to remember them.

 

Well, she was stupid, quite frankly, because she wrote all of her nonsense (including some really bizarre excuses like that they hadn't even used the shower since they had checked in days before, or that there was another unknown person staying in the house who was causing the issues). Plus, she wrote stuff in her review (which was horrible of course) about my house rules being TEDIOUS. Yes, she put that in caps.

 

Anyway, of course I was not pleased to get my first bad review and low ratings, but I was expecting it and, by then, had quite a few lovely reviews, so I didn't stress too much about it. Fast forward a few months and I am on the phone with a CS rep talking about some technical issue. This was back in the day when CS was actually quite good.

 

He spotted this incongruous review/rating and asked me about it. I explained. He told me that perhaps he could get it removed. He read the correspondence and the review and my listing and concluded that the guest was talking nonsense, e.g. how could she give me 1* for communication when I had politely and swiftly responded to her every message. He also said it was not okay for her to challenge my rules in the review. So, it was removed and I got Superhost status at the next assessment.

 

Sadly, things have changed a lot since then and CS do not seem willing to remove reviews even when there is evidence in the message thread that the guest is lying. They will just tell you, "It doesn't violate the content policy," and that "It's the guest's experience."

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

@Huma0 

 

Oh gosh I can only imagine your horror at these guests! And the harrassment you experienced sounds awful. I'm glad it was removed, and absolutely the right thing to do. Did your review of the guest stay on her profile?

 

So I've had a bit of time to go through this review again just now, and I thought it was worth a shot at asking CS to remove it as I think it could be a violation of Airbnb's review policy... As you know, the review he left bizarrely (and stupidly) describes him breaking many of my house rules and then being upset that he wasn't allowed to bring additional unauthorised guests back to the apartment overnight. I told CS that this is clearly an admission of violation of Airbnb's own booking terms and conditions for Guests "You may not exceed the maximum number of allowed Guests".

 

Also the guest's review said he was upset at having to check out at the pre-agreed / advertised check out time of 11am. He states "my cab was only coming at 4 pm back to exeter. I had spent the next 5 hours in pouring rain rather than sitting in the room not causing any disturbances" so I'm not sure how either the rainy weather, or the cab that he arranged to come at 4pm was within my control. This goes against Airbnb's review policy around relevance i.e. Content about services not related to Airbnb (for example, an airline, rideshare, restaurant, etc.) 

 

I'm probably pushing it but I also told CS that his accusation of me of being "someone who hates having people in their house", goes against Airbnb's review policy of no profanity, name-calling, and assumptions about a person’s character or personality. Airbnb should be able to read our correspondence where I'd gone out of my way to accommodate him, such as allowing check-in around 2.5 hours earlier and offering him cooked meals. 

 

If CS don't do anything and it stays there, then that's also ok. At least I tried I suppose! 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 


@Mita127 wrote:

 

Did your review of the guest stay on her profile?

 

 


Yes, as far as I can remember. This was several years ago and I don't remember the guest's name now to check (plus her review is gone from my profile). I do remember that CS told me the guest would not be notified that her review had been removed, so it's highly likely that she had no idea.

 

It wasn't a fun experience, but it was the one that taught me that guests will lie about having read the listing/house rules. This guest insisted she had read the rules, "but that doesn't mean I need to remember them." 

 

When the guests checked in, one of my cats walked into the room and she said, "Oh you have a cat!" I said yes, I have three, as mentioned on the listing. "THREE!!!!" she exclaimed in astonishment. Later that night, after the guests turned off their radiators, she messaged me asking for an additional heater. I went up to the room to turn the radiators back on. This is when she said, again astonished, "Oh. We didn't realise we would be living with you. Well, I suppose that is okay..."

 

Later, when I challenged her on not reading the listing, she said that she knew I lived here, she just wasn't expecting me to be staying there that night (??) and that she exclaimed because she likes cats so much, not because she didn't know about them. All of this was in the message thread, so the CS rep could see that from start to finish, this girl was simply lying over and over.  The weirdest part was her claim that there was another person living in the house. I'm not talking about the other guest, which she was aware of, but every time her and her friend caused some kind of issue, they tried to blame it on some other imaginary person she said was here. Like I wouldn't know who is and isn't living in my house!

 

Were there any red flags with this guest? Well there was one. She had seemed quite concerned that there would be another guest staying and that he/she would 'bother' her and her friend. I should have known she would be difficult. Why pick a shared listing if you are uncomfortable with sharing?

 

Anyway, this experience taught me to reiterate certain points in writing (e.g. cats, stairs, traffic noise) before accepting a booking and the guest needs to message back that they are okay with those things. It's not foolproof, but it has certainly helped. I also have an 'Easter egg' question in my house rules.

 

 

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

@Huma0  Haha wow these guests and their "logic"... WILD! That's so funny that they didn't realise you and the cats lived there. And the imaginary guest! Did you manage to keep a straight face and remain diplomatic when they were talking nonsense? If so, I am very impressed! 

 

I took the advice of @Susan990  and printed out my House Rules in large font, and left them in the room. Found a cheapo frame in Poundland even though it's a bit large (A3 size) but I suppose no one can claim they didn't see it lol. 

 

Regarding my complaint to Airbnb CS about the review, they responded as expected - some blurb about free speech, that the review doesn't violate policy, and that they recommend responding to the review, which I will do (even though I haven't responded to previous reviews so hopefully it doesn't stick out too much). And thank you for the suggested wording for that too! Also I asked CS if there's any repercussions for the guest for their behaviour, they said they "will make a note on the guest account, investigate this matter and take the appropriate actions". I doubt anything will happen but I think I've done all I can on the matter now. I don't even need the voodoo doll I made of that guest anymore (joking!)

 

Thanks again to this lovely community for the support and advice xx

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

Also, I would suggest that, if in the future, you are in contact with an Airbnb CS rep who seems clued up, helpful, sympathetic about some other issue, when they ask "Is there anything else I can help you with?" respond, yes, and ask them about having the review removed.

 

I cannot promise it will work, seeing as I never tried it, but that is kind of what happened when the review mentioned above was removed. I was speaking to the rep about something else entirely.

 

On another occasion, Airbnb wrongly refunded two guests and the reps would not go back on the decision even though they knew they had made a mistake. I eventually got my money but only because I was corresponding with a nice, intelligent rep about something else and I asked her if she could also help me with that. She got it sorted in no time.

 

It doesn't help you for the time being, but it's worth a shot in the future.

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

@Huma0  It sounds like a bit of a CS rep lottery eh! But that's great to know and I suppose it doesn't hurt to try later down the line. Worst that can happen is they say "no" and nothing changes. Fingers crossed that I end up speaking to one of these super helpful ones! 

 

Just received THAT email from Airbnb "Improve your ratings to keep your listing active" Grrr. 

 

Also good to know about the increase of "less-good" guests around Christmas / New Year period. I'll have to be extra vigilant! 🙂

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom


@Mita127 wrote:

 

 

Also good to know about the increase of "less-good" guests around Christmas / New Year period. I'll have to be extra vigilant! 🙂


I'm not making it up. It has happened to me several times now. The first was a girl who complained in her review that the walk to the tube station was extremely strenuous (it's 0.3 miles on a completely flat road, so about 5 minutes). She complained that the room was listed as being on the 3rd floor, even though she admitted that she already knew that what is called the 4th floor in the USA, is called the 3rd here. She complained that she had to carry her own suitcase. Normally I do offer to help, but this girl was arriving on Xmas day and had been told to keep me informed if she was running late, but didn't even though she was hours late, so as soon as I showed her around, I had to dash to my family Xmas dinner as everyone was waiting for me with the food going cold. 

 

One Xmas, I left cards, little gifts and treats for every guest. Almost all of them not only did not thank me, but threw it all in the bin, cards unopened and all.

 

I had another guest, whose booking I did not accept, who wanted details about my tree because she wanted her Xmas to be 'extra special'. I turned her away because of the awful reviews she had left for previous hosts. I'm glad I did. She became quite abusive when I said no.

 

Those are just a few examples. The CS rep's explanation makes sense, but a lot of these guests did not book last minute. I don't know what it is about Christmas that attracts such nightmare guests.

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

@Huma0 Omg! That is insane. I cannot believe that guest kept you waiting on Xmas Day while you were late for your Xmas dinner! And had the audacity to complain on top of that! Also, I felt offended on your behalf that your Xmas cards and gifts were thrown in the bin. That's so sad! And the one that became abusive after you turned her away! Glad to see the Christmas spirit was alive and well then haha. Hopefully these are the odd nightmare guests and that the majority of your guests are reasonable, sane people?! 

 

I haven't hosted that many guests yet so I'm sure I will experience more of these "interesting" guests in the future, haha. 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

No, luckily the majority of my guests are not like that at all otherwise, believe me, I would not still be hosting!

 

I have met many lovely people who come from all over the world and many of them I am still in touch with and some I would count as friends.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

Sorry you were unable to get the review removed. Another host mentioned on a recent thread that it's worth trying again after a couple of months... and then trying again after another couple of months... until you get a sympathetic rep. I don't know if that works. Perhaps.

 

Anyway, you will recover. Your other reviews are great, so this one stands out as an outlier and will soon be buried anyway.

 

As for the guests I mentioned above, it's funny now, as are most of the stories about problematic guests, but at the time, I wanted to cry rather than laugh. It's a funny thing, but I realised that for some reason, the Christmas/New Year period attracts the WORST kind of guests. I don't mean they are all bad (the other guy staying at that time was great), but the percentage of bad guests goes up dramatically. After this happened a few years in a row, I decided to block off those dates for short stays.

 

Now I only host long stays, so it's not an issue (most guests leave before Xmas, but if they do stay, they're fine). However, last December/January, I had to open up dates because of a fairly last minute cancellation and attracted nightmare guests again. A (actually helpful and clued up) Airbnb rep told me when I had to use up all of my penalty free IB cancellations in the space of a week, told me more guests book last minute and in a panic around the holidays, so they are less likely to have read the listing properly.

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Mita127  don't forget to remind him that he left the bedroom window open in that pouring rain!

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

Keep us updated as to how you get along with this. I am not too hopeful given how Airbnb's stance on removing untruthful reviews has changed significantly in recent years, but you never know!

 

Personally, I think a review where the guest complains about things CLEARLY stated on the listing should be removed, but sadly, it seems Airbnb CS does not agree...

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

Well, take consolation in the fact that his review sticks out like a sore thumb amongst your other glowing ones and will soon be buried under other great reviews, but that yours is the only review on his profile. I would certainly not host him after reading it.

 

Are you going to respond to the review? If so, I would suggest something along the lines of:

 

"As you can see from my other reviews, I go out of my way to be a friendly and accommodating host. Sadly, my listing was not a good fit for X, as he seemed unwilling to follow any house rules. He took exception to the fact that he could not have additional, unregistered guests stay over whenever he wanted, even though this is clear on the listing, as is the check out time of 11am and the no smoking policy. I would encourage all guests to read the listing before they book."

 

Perhaps you might want to mention the fridge smell issue? I don't know. You have plenty of time to respond to the review, so perhaps see what other hosts suggest here.

 

Another tip though is to make a point to respond to all of your guest reviews, even if it's a just a quick sentence thanking them for being a great guest and telling them they are welcome back. That means that when you do have to respond to a negative or inaccurate review, you are not drawing attention to it unnecessarily. It also shows you to be a kind and thoughtful host. I have even had guests tell me that my responses to reviews were one of the main reasons they booked with me.

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

Hi again! So today I got a notification saying the guest has written a review for me but of course, I can't see it yet until I submit my review of him. As per what has been advised here and on other posts, I aim to keep it concise and factual, to basically help other hosts make informed decisions about potential guests. Please let me know what you think of the following, I intend to give him a one-star rating: 

 

"The guest initially booked for 30 nights while he was working on an internship close by. He seemed polite, and my dog enjoyed his company. Unfortunately during his stay, despite my reminders, he persistently broke many of the house rules including leaving on all lights and appliances when not in the room or apartment; not cleaning up after himself in the kitchen, and, although I did not observe him smoking on the premises, there was often a very strong marijuana smell outside the guest room. The most serious transgression of the rules was him bringing unauthorised guests overnight. This made me very uncomfortable. My listing is very clear in both the house rules and description that no extra guests are allowed, and these rules are reiterated before the booking is confirmed. About halfway through the booking, and shortly after I refused his request to allow another unauthorised guest to stay over for 3 nights, he decided to shorten his stay and check out early. After he checked out, I discovered multiple stains on the carpets that required shampooing, scratches on the walls, marks and debris on all tables from cups, food and tobacco including a vape pen cartridge, despite my strict no smoking rule. The window was left wide open when he left, during a prolonged spell of torrential rain (there were local flood warnings) which then left the bedding and other items soaking wet, including a lamp still attached to the mains socket. He also left expired food in the fridge and rubbish on the bathroom floor, despite the bins provided. His stay required significantly more cleaning than usual, and I was unable to host others for a couple of days after he checked out. I have made Airbnb Support aware. I cannot recommend this guest."

 

Please let me know what you think or any changes I should make to this. Thank you all again for your amazing support and advice on this! 

 

@Hum0 @Stephanie365 @Gillian166 @Lorna170 @Susan990 @Richard531 @Kitty-and-Creek0 @Kelly149 

Stephanie365
Level 10
Fredericksburg, VA

I would leave out the details.

 

"Unfortunately PigPen was a less than ideal guest. Multiple rules were broken including the No Smoking policy. He repeatedly brought unauthorized guests into my personal home after being told to stop. 

 

Upon check out, the space required significant cleaning and repairs. He is not welcome here again." 1* across the board and Do not recommend!

 

Concise, yet still outlines the major  transgressions that no host wants to deal with and leaves no doubt that this guy is a nightmare as a guest.

Mita127
Level 5
London, United Kingdom

LOL @ "pigpen". Thanks @Stephanie365 and @Gillian166 for the feedback, super helpful! 

 

I've cut the wording down significantly, so this version is likely to be what I will submit in the morning:

 

"Unfortunately <name> was a less than ideal guest. Multiple house rules were broken, including him bringing unauthorised guests to stay overnight. He was not tidy during his stay and often smelled of cannabis. Upon check-out, the room required significant cleaning and repairs. I have made Airbnb Support aware. I do not recommend this guest."

 

(I feel I should mention the cannabis/marijuana as it is still illegal in the UK)

 

Thanks to everyone here for all the support! 

 

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Mita127  I still think you should mention the smoking, it's a bummer that mentioning mj could get the review pulled, but as a host of a non-smoking property i want to know if a guest is a smoker. I wonder if writing "the room smelled quite fragrant" would be enough to convey what you mean. 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mita127 

 

Sorry for the late response. I didn't see your post until now because there was a typo in the tag. I agree with the others RE shortening it and not going into too much detail.

 

Be careful though not to mention cannabis. I have heard that Airbnb may remove a review if it mentions drugs. I would just mention 'smoking' instead. That would be enough to warn most hosts.

Kelly149
Level 10
Austin, TX

@Huma0 is right, please go read the whole review policy @Mita127 bc mentioning illegal drugs and/or support could both be reasons that he could have the review pulled. The don't leave room for complaints review is something like:

 

"unfortunately not a guest I can recommend to other abb hosts. We had significant safety concerns and quite a lot of extra labor both during and after the stay. Best of luck to so-and-so for his future travels."

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