Declining a guest with no reviews

Level 2
Haliburton, Canada

Declining a guest with no reviews

Can you decline a guest, that has no reviews even though they have been a member for 4 years and there is no government id or profile pic, it was done in the middle of the night. I don’t feel right about it, but I’m not sure what to say to them 

19 Replies 19
Level 2
Jackson, MS

Wow! Airbnb would probably have a fit if all new guest on their platform couldn’t book a stay due to no reviews.


If Airbnb run an ad and traffic new comers they wouldn’t even be approved for booking.

Yall sound really weird. They have insurance for your damages no need to play police.

Y’all acting strange when you signed up to rent short term to strangers.

I have instant booking! This is about the guest needing a stay not me profiling them over no reviews. I treat this like a small motel not a stranger in my home. Your mindset and what you think of people shows through how you treat them. It’s not that serious. I have yet to see any serial crime through Airbnb so chill. I love AirBNB and hope host read the reviews from guest to see how we as host can make the platform suitable and friendly.

I only decline based on total absence of verification or bad reviews (which are on its own no help as "bad guests" just delete their profiles and create anew)


Most importantly I trust my 6th sense and I am REALLY glad that AirBNB removed pictures from requesting guests as that protects me from playing "discrimination card" by some rare guests


And BTW - @Jonathan323 is right - the second you INVITE a stranger into your house - it is THEIR house. So think twice about YOUR interest and pay no attnetion to penalties AirBNB is trying to foce you to host ANYONE.

Money is NOT everything 


Level 2
Chapel-en-le-Frith, United Kingdom

These days I will not even consider guests with no reviews....I used to consider it, but newbies are high risk and I have had a couple of bad experiences way back in the past. So now I always decline. I ask myself 'would I allow someone to stay in my house, have potential access to my belongings, my space, my life etc.... without knowing anything about them?'


I feel that this situation could improve, if AirBnB, firstly realised that inviting a stranger in to my house, someone that I have never met, and know almost nothing about is bordering on reckless and possibly dangerous, and secondly if AirBnB forced guests to give more info to hosts....a profile, a picture, a full name, maybe even a reference, then hosts may be more comfortable with newbies


I have just had a request...all I got was their first name! Nothing else, just XXXX wants to stay, they had one verification, no profile, no could be anyone. I know we all started somewhere with AirBnB and with reviews, but so did the many night mare guests....and they are out there, I have been unfortunate to host a couple over the years!

Level 6
Dresden, ME

I am super frustrated when guest don't have any profile information. It would be so easy to provide even a single sentence profile: "I'm Bob and I like animals, and hanging out in coffee shops"  My very last guest joined airbnb the same month as the booking, had no profile information, and the introduction email was "we are hoping to arrive by 9, signed Bob and Martha" Our check in until 9 and since they were driving from 6 hours away I was convinced they would arrive after check in. All of this made me really uncomfortable but I accepted the booking and the guests turned out to be amazing. They left incredible cheese from their dairy with a thank you note,and not only did they take the bedding off the bed they also folded the sheets and pillows beautifully on the bed. It was the complete opposite of how they presented themselves online.

I've had lots of guests who have no reviews, or their profile picture is some kind of obscured pattern (not a clear face...or even a face), and it is frustrating. I like @Emilia42  's request for more info. It is nicely worded. Much better than "I don't feel comfortable sharing my space with "Bob" with a goverment id!" Which I have said to guests before.

I really wish Airbnb would encourage guests to provide some profile info and  introductory requests. I always (as a guest before hosting) sent a note asking to book, with info about myself, my travelling companion and the reason for our stay... It seems like this would be instinctive for someone asking a host to share their their space whether the host is present or not.

Airbnb tells me that if I ever feel uncomfortable with a booking I can contact them...but truth be told I feel uncomfortable with these guests right up until they check out and I see how they leave the room!


Level 1
Stockholm, SE

I am a newbie hosting and also live in the space which makes me uncomfortable if the guests do not have any previous reviews, however I could perhaps be ok with no reviews, as long as they have uploaded an ID. 

Would that be a good way to think about it?

I have been a member since 2016 and never stayed in an airbnb and never hosted until now. It all seems to be a lot of fun and love the community. 

I am also at least in the beginning wanting to preview every booking and not use the direct booking system so perhaps I will still get "bad points" for declining a new guest with no uploaded ID, I am not sure. Will learn more.

Level 6
Dresden, ME

I'm with you Katarina, I feel uncomfortable sharing my space with a first name and a goverment id.  I have accepted people with no reviews and they have been fabulous, I have declined bookings as well. I just have no information to go on sometimes. I wish Airbnb encouraged people to provide this!!!


Level 6
Dresden, ME

I'm with you Katarina, I feel uncomfortable sharing my space with a first name and a goverment id.


Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

25% to 30% of my guests have no reviews. Even though my listing says picture required, some don't post a selfie. However, I don't share any interior space with my guests.

Tell them that it's important for guests to post a pic so that you can differentiate between them and the burglar.

Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Ashley882  As others have said, the content of the communication is a much more useful thing to go on than the content of the user profile. I can understand some of your hesitations, but as an experienced host I'm sure you know that you can ask follow-up questions when in doubt.


What I'm most perplexed about is that you say "it was done in the middle of the night."  What do you think is relevant about the time of day a request comes in? Surely you've received a text or email from somebody in a different time zone before; it's generally accepted that the internet is a 24-hour-a-day operation.

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Andrew0  And sometimes there is a significant lag between when the request was sent and when you get the notification. Some come through in real time, but I've often gotten my notifications at 3AM when the guest actually sent the message at 9PM and is in my same time zone. A friend in Canada who hosts told me this happens regularly to her, as well.

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Laura2592  Absolutely. This has been the case with all my guests who have had profiles for many years with no reviews. I do ask when I see that, in a polite "I'm just curious" way. In one case, the guest said she liked to "armchair travel" and had stayed at Airbnbs but with her husband and under his account. One guest said she'd had a couple of stays but her hosts hadn't left reviews. Another guest said he had intended to travel, but life got in the way, and he'd not had the chance. In all cases, the guests were polite and good communicators when messaging and they all turned out to be wonderful guests.

I'd be much more on guard with a brand new profile than an established one, even there is a lack of reviews.

Level 10
Frederick, MD

Sometimes people join Airbnb just to fantasize about the great places they want to travel, or see an article about a unique stay and get curious. This can go on for years before they try to book. If they are married they might have a spouse book. I know in our house I do the booking because I also do most of the communication with guests. My husband has zero reviews but he has stayed a lot of places!

Level 10
Anchorage, AK

I host profiles with no reviews all of the time; especially when I first started. I wouldn't want to exclude someone from using the platform based on just that aspect. How can they get a review if no one allows them to stay?


The guest might have booked in a different time zone than yours and that's why it was booked in the middle of the night (I get a lot of these because I live in Alaska).


That being said, I have learned over time that guests that have nothing to hide will always upload their government ID. No government ID, no booking as far as I am concerned. You can request that the guest uploads their government ID to the Airbnb platform.

Level 10
Saint George, Canada

I dont mind a newbie if the share why there are staying with us and it sounds reasonable.


I would insist they upload Government ID with a complete profile. Also confirm they understand and agree to house rules.


I only travelled with Airbnb in Dec. 2018 and had no reviews. Now a host.

Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Ashley882 I agree with the others here, and will add that you can also ask the guest to upload their ID. If they have a problem with that, it may be a red flag. 4 years is a bit of a long time to have zero reviews. As the others have said, could be many reasonable explanations, but given lots of hosts are (unreasonably) reluctant to leave a negative review, this is a bit of a red flag as well. That's why asking questions and analyzing the replies is so valuable to you, in deciding to accept or not. If this was an instant book, then you have a bit of leeway in asking ABB to cancel, due to being uncomfortable with it. If it's a request, you can simply decline, and share with them briefly why you declined.

Level 10
Whitehaven, United Kingdom

@Ashley882 I agree with Rob & Emilia. I have hosted loads of first timers, probably more than 50% of my bookings. Most had not bothered to fill in their biography, many were not verified, & many had no profile pic. Sadly, many did not bother with a cordial message of introduction, just "working in the area", arriving 6pm etc. I attribute this to new guests not understanding the norms & expectations of Airbnb communications, rather than being rude people per se. - Unless they ARE rude! They all turned out to be OK - good guests, some were charming once here, some kept themselves to themselves, but no trouble.


Re the photo: If the guest has NOT provided a photo on their profile, the inquiry shows a dark grey circle with a light grey silhouette.  (This also appears on their profile, & with the reviews they write instead of a photo.) If the guest HAS provided a photo, a grey circle with a white initial, same as their first name appears. (Once booking is confirmed, the photo appears.) So at the initial inquiry stage, you know if they have provided a photo, even if you can't see it yet.

Level 10
Orono, ME


If this is a request to book, you will not see the guess profile picture prior to confirmation. From my experience, the year they joined really means nothing. I was an Airbnb member for a year before I became a host and 2 years before I stayed as a guest. There are plenty of guests who do not find the opportunity to stay when they first sign up and also plenty of hosts who do not leave their guest reviews. But I would still try to gather more info about them


"Hello XXX, thank you for your interest. It appears that you have not given any information about yourself in your profile. I like to establish some rapport with my guests before they come to stay. Can you take a moment to tell me a little about yourself and the purpose for your visit? Have you used Airbnb before a a guest? If I do not hear back from you by 7pm this evening I will assume you have found another option. If this is the case, please withdraw your request to save yourself from a future cancellation and possibly losing your first deposit.

Looking forward to hearing from you"

Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia



Ash, we all had to start out from somewhere. Not one of us here entered the Airbnb platform with a bag of good reviews behind us!

Look for the words behind the booking request, or if you are using Instant Book that first introductory message it complimentary, or is it aggressive?

Ash, how would you respond to a booking request that came from this profile?



No reviews, nothing......she had only just joined Airbnb....If I just went by her history and her profile picture, I would have declined her request....... but Ash, look at the lovely passive way she approached me!

I accepted that reservation and I was proud to give her this review at the completion of her stay!


Cleanskin 2.png


I was so pleased I was able to get her Airbnb career off to a good start.

Ashley, if I can give you some advice. look for the best in people, not the may be surprised how many beautiful guests there are out there in the world.


Like I said, we all had to start from somewhere!





Level 10
Anchorage, AK

@Robin4  Excellent response! I probably would have judged by that pic as well. Often times younger guests don't realize how their profile comes across to hosts. I've had plenty of young people book that were great guests!

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