Guest won't check out, What are my rights?

Level 1
Redfern, Australia

Guest won't check out, What are my rights?

I have a guest who hasn't checked out and I can't get in touch with them.

I had a bad feeling about this guest all along and went against our rule of only allowing those with reviews to book. She sold me such a story about her son and daughter in law's twins arriving early and she seemed in great need to find somewhere to stay.


Anyway, I just went up to clean for our next guest who is due to arrive in a few hours, only to find she hasn't left yet. I've tried calling, emailing etc but no response. What are my rights here? Can I move her stuff out and change the locks? How long do I have to give her before I do that?



31 Replies 31

Thank you for this calm comment. I have a gut feeling I may have this issue with a current guest due to check out today but said he’s extending his 28 night stay for another month - I have yet to hear from him today and he has not reserved the additional time yet. 

Level 9
San Mateo, CA


I suggest you message the guest through Airbnb so it is well documented in the thread and also call Airbnb right away so they can take the lead on it.
Level 3
London, GB


Any update? I hope all is going well.
Level 1
Limassol, Cyprus

It's happened to me as well, turned out they were sleeping and wouldn't open the door or even hear the telephone... Basically had to open the door, literally throw them off the bed and push them out of the house... I had to help them pack their things to speed up the process to get ready for next check-in... I was really rude to them at the time but I was really stressed out and frustrated... Once I finished a couple hour later and went through the next check-in, I gave them a call, apologized for being harsh but explained how the whole thing could have gone horribly wrong. They understood and apologized... We sort of laughed it out... What I'm saying is, follow your instinct and do what you feel you need to do to get ready for your next guests... The rest will sort out.
Level 10
Cancún, Mexico

Hello Sarah,

I’m so sorry to read about your experience. I think everyone in this forum would benefit on knowing how this story ended as to know how to proceed if a similar situation happens to us.

Depending on which country you live is whether you are legally allowed to touch your guest's stuff or not. What I'm not really sure is how long did she overstay. Was it just a few hours or was it days? What I would have done, if it had been hours, would be to message her through Airbnb, probably she's at the hospital or somewhere without access to the phone, make it really clear that this is not okay but you're cutting her some slack.

Depending on the time of the day, if it's noon or in the early evening, I would welcome the new guests, receive their stuff and explain the situation, even maybe offering to stay at your place (where you live) while the guest checks-out where they originally booked.

I think everyone's reaction is valid as it is a reflection of their own experiences. No one is too harsh or mellow. And also, as I mentioned before, it would really depend on how long ago was the suppose check-out.

Please fill us in!

Level 2
Las Vegas, NV

This happened to me and Airbnb did nothing. They told me to leave my space because it's too dangerous. Airbnb doesn't have our backs. 

Level 1
New York, NY

I'm going thru a similar situation.  The guest hasn't checked out, they are doing a load of laundry and the cleaning lady is waiting for them to leave.  Guests excuse is that they went to concert last night and didn't get back till late. I knocked on the door and asked when they would be leaving and she said at some point today.  Very poor and inconsiderate attitude of this guest.  I hate to see what the place looks like when they leave. 

@Cesar40  Here's what Airbnb's Terms of Service say about a guest overstaying their checkout:


Overstaying without the Host’s Consent


Guests agree that a confirmed Booking is merely a license granted by the Host to the Guest to enter and use the Listing for the limited duration of the confirmed Booking and in accordance with the Guest’s agreement with the Host. Guests further agree to leave the Accommodation no later than the checkout time that the Host specifies in the Listing or such other time as mutually agreed upon between the Host and Guest. If a Guest stays past the agreed upon checkout time without the Host’s consent, they no longer have a license to stay in the Listing and the Host is entitled to make the Guest leave. In addition, Guests agree that the Host can charge the Guest, for each 24 hour period that the Guest stays over the agreed period without the Host’s consent, an additional nightly fee of two times the average nightly Accommodation Fee originally paid by the Guest to cover the inconvenience suffered by the Host, plus all applicable Service Fees, Taxes, and any legal expenses incurred by the Host to make the Guest leave (collectively, “Additional Sums“). Airbnb Payments will collect Additional Sums from Guests pursuant to the Payments Terms.


Hey!! Do you know where specifically this can be found in the terms of service? 

Level 2
California, United States

Hey! Do you know what section this is under? I’m trying to find it with no luck. Thanks!

Level 10
Florence, Canada

Okay, now that this old post is dredged up again anyway, what happened, @Sarah294? Was all well ultimately? Any advice? Do you still have her stuff in your car? 

Level 3
East Fremantle, Australia

I pop in throughout the stay. Once the day after they check in, to see if everything is OK. Then again the day before they leave to confirm the checkout time.  If I cannot chat, I will message them.  (On the few occasions that I didn't do this, I regretted it as there was usually some mixup.) If it is a long stay, I will make contact once a week. If there is no reply to any texts I will front up. Treading the fine line between being aware of any problems v. being intrusive. I'm also keen to find out how it ended ...


Level 1
Sydney, Australia

Some of these responses seem reactionary and yes harsh. People do make mistakes. 


I just had a guest overstay by 10 hours. Tonight I  arrived at my house to clean at 10pm (late after work) and she had not left. She also had two friends with 2 dogs visiting- but I know for fact they had not been there the 3 nights prior so I didn’t freak out about this.  Rather than overreact I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She said she legitimatly thought she had an extra night and I believe her because sometimes the Airbnb ap is confusing in regards to checkout time. A checkout day can look like another nights accom.  Given that I have a guest arriving tomorrow we discussed options and she decided to pack up and leave rather than pay another night. 

I feel a bit confused about what kind of compensation I should get for this and if I should leave a bad review. It’s 2am in Sydney and I’ve now been cleaning for 3 hours so I won’t be getting much sleep. 



Level 2
El Portal, FL

We have smart locks on our properties and do not give keys to guests. They get a personal code for the lock, which is scheduled to deactivate at 11 am on the day of check out.

We do have smart lock on our property, too. No keys involved. So, what happens when they are still in the house with all their belongings, you deactivate the lock and they are still in after 11 am? Not so simple I would imagine.