Death of a guest

Austin, TX
Level 1

A guest’s mother died in our home and the room smells awful. I’ve never dealt/cleaned up after a dead body.  And Now my favorite room smells funky-like she either wasn’t able to care for herself or had been dead much longer than guest is telling us, which isn’t much by the way.

I’m a nervous wreck and can’t sleep. My housekeeper said she smelled the room from down the hall the first morning she came. What steps do we need to do to clean up and would we charge him for replacing the bedding all the bedding and matress as it was soiled.

Our guest didn’t let us know this happened until after he checked out, which was a day after the death. He literally wrote us like it was simply an afterthought after he had sent multiple messages about checking out and left the house.

Please advise…we’re ready to sell our house, and am beyond uncomfortable with the situation and need advisement. 

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2 Replies

Re: Death of a guest

Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Jennifer2952  What an awful situation. I can genuinely sympathize with the distress this has caused you, but in all fairness I can also understand why your guest might have been too preoccupied with the death of his mother to be particularly concerned about the residual effect it would have on his Airbnb hosts. Grief is peculiar that way.


There actually are specialized services for this kind of situation, such as this one:


There's even a quirky comedy film about them:


Do you have upcoming bookings that need to be cancelled due to the cleanup? That might require some intervention from Airbnb - but then again, if you're about to sell your house, the cancellation penalties might not matter so much. As for the cost of the cleaning and damage, you can initiate a Resolution Request, and your case would be a pretty reasonable one, although pursuing it might look a bit callous in the light of day. This is the kind of delicate situation that might have been resolved smoothly back when Airbnb had a functional customer service operation, but the state it's in these days I wouldn't expect much help from them. I think this is the point where I'd get the post-mortem-cleaning specialist onboard and hit the Eject button on the listing.





Re: Death of a guest

Wiarton, Canada
Level 10



So sorry to hear that 😞  I would recommend that you hire a professional service to do the cleaning.   Life and death happen,  that's not a reason to quit.  This past July, we had...


1 - Mother in law pass

2 - Neighbours in a head on collision, both survived

3 - A 2nd neighbours parents in a vehicle collision, Father passed.


Personally, considering the situation, I would refund the guest 100%.  But that's my nature.


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