Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Denver, CO
Level 2
792 Views

Hi, 
My husband and I are somewhat experienced in the hosting world. We just listed our new place and have our second set of guests currently in the property.  Communication with the group has been challenging to say the least. 

When the booking first came through we sent a message to the guest inquiring about if they needed an air mattress for their kids or if they had any questions. We received no response.  Two days before their scheduled arrival we sent her another message with our house rules and again asked if they had any questions. No response. 

On their scheduled arrival date, we received a text message from the guest asking if they could check in early.  We replied that the house still needed to be cleaned and there was a possibility we might be able to let them check in an hour earlier at 3PM (instead of 4), but we couldn't promise that.  Two hours later (~12:30PM) the guest and her family showed up at the property and insisted that we let them check in early. We let them know the house wasn't ready, but we would expedite the cleaning process to see if we could get them in early.  My husband and I were able to get the house ready ahead of schedule, we let the guest know and they showed up again at 3:30.

Every minute since check in has been not great.  We have outdoor surveillance cameras (disclosed in our listing) and as a result discovered they brought an extra child (bringing us over our occupancy limit), they have been smoking (we are a no smoking property), the adult males have been relieving themselves on our deck (in clear view of our neighbors), they have been leaving trash/litter in our yard, the teens have been jumping off our retaining wall (risking injury), letting the 5 and 7 year olds use the hot tub unsupervised, and the list goes on.  When we attempt to reach out to the guest who booked the reservation she is non-responsive. We've tried calling her directly, texting, and messaging through the app multiple times to no avail. 

Not sure what our next step should be. Should we have Airbnb cancel the booking and risk a bad review?  Have any of you encountered this type of situation before and how did you handle it?

HELP!!!!  


15 Replies

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Hilary232  Yes, I would contact Airbnb and insist they do a neutral cancellation, with no penalties to you, before these rude, entitled animals destroy your home. 

 

You can't worry about a bad review in cases like this. A bad review is nothing compared to your house getting trashed and having to cancel on the next guests because it takes you 3 days to get rid of the smoke smell and get the place presentable again.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Hilary232  I would also recommend you contact Airbnb and have them do a neutral cancellation due to multiple house rules being broken, non responsiveness, and significant safety issues, etc.  However, you will want to have some kind of plan for monitoring them when they leave the house to prevent theft and malicious damage, as they sound like total trash, e.g. multiple people on site to document their check-out.  Unless this reservation is only another day or something, I would want them out ASAP.

 

Yes, they will almost certainly leave you a bad review, but they might have done so anyway.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Hilary232  Another thing I would do, if you have contact info for your neighbors, is to let them know you are aware of the guests' unacceptable behavior and that you are in the process of getting Airbnb to cancel the booking and get them out ASAP. Apologize in advance for any disturbance they may be experiencing. 

 

You don't want to start out on the wrong foot with your neighbors on a new listing.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

 @Sarah977 @Mark116  thanks for the responses. Have you had luck with neutral cancellations? The case manager I spoke with earlier today made it sound like it wasn't an option. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Hilary232 “The case manager I spoke with earlier today made it sound like it wasn't an option”. 


You need to know that Airbnb outsources it’s CS to third party contract workers who are ill trained and usually know nothing of Airbnb policy. Their sole purpose is to be a voice to answer a call, and to try their hardest to simply cause a frustrated host to give up and go away. Problem solved.

 

Therefore, it is incumbent on hosts to be very familiar with all policy, and to learn to stand firm and not be pushed around.  Actually, more important is to work smarter, not harder, set your listing and house rules up to your advantage, and vet guests heavily, preventing the ones who will be a problem from even gaining entry. Once they’re in, a host will always be at a disadvantage. Also best to avoid ever having to contact Airbnb at all, and solve problems on your own. Only use Airbnb to formally cancel a stay when necessary. 

https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/259/if-a-guest-makes-you-uncomfortable

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Hilary232 Agree with all the above advice. Looking ahead, I strongly recommend turning off Instant Book, at least until you've got a dozen or so stays under your belt. I doubt the current guests would have passed your screening process, if only you'd had one. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Daylesford, Australia
Level 10

Going ahead, I'd also make sure neighbours know how to get in touch with you so they can let you know if anything is going on which bothers them. Late noise,  parties etc. You need your neighbours to feel ok with having a holiday rental next door.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

Well they are out as of this morning. Cleaner/property manager confirmed our fears.  The guest stained our brand new carpet, put a hole in one of the walls, left trash strewn all over the unit (so far 7 bags filled), ripped the seal off from around the door (why? I don't get it), littered outside,  left items in the fridge, rearranged some of the furniture, wet towels left everywhere, dirty dishes (didn't attempt to do a load), left some personal items behind, used condoms under the bed, etc.   I am absolutely disgusted to see the photos and videos of how they treated our home. 

We've taken the advice you all have provided and turned off instant. We are also going to cancel any reservations where the guest does not respond to our communications prior to check-in. We are also going to require that all guest that will be staying be added to the reservation and added a security deposit for all future bookings.  We will be running our own back ground checks now, found out one of the guests is a convicted felon. 

I'm hoping we can recover some of the cost of the damage/additional cleaning via the resolution center, but I'm not confident we will be successful .

Do you all know if there is any way to flag the adults in the system that stayed at the home with the primary guest?  I want other hosts to be on the lookout for this group of people so they don't get screwed like we did. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Olhão, Portugal
Level 3

I am not sure you can add a security deposit. When I started advertising on AirBnB I did so, but I was contacted by CS this was not allowed.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Hilary232  " We are also going to cancel any reservations where the guest does not respond to our communications prior to check-in."

 

You can't just cancel reservations. You  will get penalized for cancelling.  A fine, your calendar blocked for the cancelled dates so they can't be rebooked, no chance of Superhost status and a "host cancelled this reservation"  on your review page, which will discourage future guests from booking with you.

 

The whole point of requiring guests to submit requests instead of Instant Booking, is that you have the opportunity to vet them before accepting their booking. If there are red flags, decline.

 

And no, there is no way to flag others in the group.

 

So sorry you had this happen.

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Portland, OR
Level 3

I think you can set up your instant book to only accept instant bookings if the person has other positive reviews and/or if they have provided a government ID. If they do not meet these requirements, it will come in as a request and you have the option to turn it down if you do not feel right about it. In addition, you can set a security deposit for all guests to cover any possible damage. I set mine to $150 and luckily have never had to submit a claim. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Scott57  Do you realize that Airbnb doesn't actually collect or hold a security deposit? If a guest causes damages, you have to request that the guest pays and of course most bad guests simply refuse to. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
Nowra, Australia
Level 2

Hi

i have recently been in contact with Airbnb about a revenge review. To put it simply “ they don’t care”. 
The only time they will do something is if the guest says something about the platform or mentions a competitor. 
They will let anyone book your place and say what they like on a public review and not let you respond. I was insulted and the guests after breaking items then told a pack of lies about the place. It’s the last review left so the first thing people see now. They don’t take a security deposit from the guests and whatever you do don’t try and get someone to pay for damage. 
I just got a message this morning from Airbnb saying they understand my situation, which is just words. 
Make sure you have good insurance and ask lots of questions before someone comes into your place. And start your own list of bad guests. 

Re: Guests Breaking Every House Rule and Non-responsive

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sam4447 

 

These guests sound really entitled, e.g. okay we broke things, but how dare the host be upset about it. The listing is basically too nice a place for our kids (whom we are clearly not responsible for controlling), so yeah, we chose to book it, but it's the host's fault. 

 

Good on you for leaving an honest review for these people. I'm sorry though that you had this experience and that Airbnb was no help.

 

Luckily, this review will slide down eventually and be buried underneath all your good ones.

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