guest compensation for minor issue

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 2
122 Views

Hi - my guest arrived yesterday and shortly after check-in, complained of mould and 'spores in the air' that were causing him health issues. This is news to me- I've been letting out the property for over a year, nobody has ever mentioned it.

 

Anyway he wants to check out today so I've no reason to doubt he was genuinely affected (the booking was originally for 2 weeks) - and I think there IS a problem with damp outside one of the windows in one bedroom. 

 

My question is - how much should I compensate? He stayed one night, I had to vacate the property for two weeks (and of course block off those dates to other guests) - not to mention all the cleaning and tidying....AND travelling (I came down from Edinburgh to check him in). I reckon 50% of the whole payment is about right, but he probably expects almost a full refund, and I don't see a major issue here and feel half is generous. It's a tricky one. What would you do?

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Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Haverford, PA
Level 10

This is a not-so-common situation but most hosts would definitely encounter for a small amount of times in the hosting career. Problem is that the guest is hyper-sensitive to some allergens that is present in the listing while most other guests don't have issue with it at all. In this case no party has any wrongdoing it's just unfortunate coincidence. Similar examples include but not limited to pet hair allergy caused by some leftovers of previous pet/service animal. Even if hosts have no pet policy it does not mean the listing has never accommodated any animal due to the presence of service animals and ESAs, let alone guests who knowingly violate the rule.

 

Usually my solution is that if the guest contacts me shortly after check in for allergy (which is usually the case), I would offer the guest a full refund, in exchange of the guest check out immediately and cancel the reservation (so that i can still get bookings from other guests). If it's too late I might charge for the first night but it depends on the situation. I also advise the guest to contact Airbnb to find alternative lodging. My bottom line is: Any night or partial night that the guest stayed must be charged and if guest used our property so cleaning is needed, then cleaning fee need to be charged. At most refund the nights the guest did not stay and if so, the guest has to check out before the specified check out date.

 

BTW regarding the mold, if you are not sure, conduct a mold test either by buying a mold test kit and send to the lab, or ask a professional to do so. That way you will have an idea if your property actually has mold problem or not, and it serves as an evidence against the guest's claim.

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7 Replies

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@John5904 I would first go to the listing to see if there is any mold or the guest just lied to get a refund. 
Then I would decide what to do next. But, mold doesn't grow overnight so if there is a mold I am surprised you or your cleaner didn't notice it during cleaning

 

 

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Haverford, PA
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 It might not necessarily a lie. Some people are hyper-allergic to something so their tolerance is low. I have had a guest who is allergic to cat and a tiny little trace can cause serious asthma-like reaction and he developed serious symptoms in my pet-free listing. He acknowledged to us that there might be traces of cat due to the previous owner (the house has been acquired and pet-free for at least 3 years) or maybe a previous guest. No other guest has ever had such issue in the same house.

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 2

so what happened? did you refund the guest?

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Haverford, PA
Level 10

@John5904 If you were asking me then for that specific one I did. The guest had really serious reaction that he could not stay in our listing anyways, but he was pretty nice and acknowledged that his allergy was very rare and this kind of situation is somehow inevitable. He checked out immediately and asked Airbnb to help him find another place to stay.

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Haverford, PA
Level 10

This is a not-so-common situation but most hosts would definitely encounter for a small amount of times in the hosting career. Problem is that the guest is hyper-sensitive to some allergens that is present in the listing while most other guests don't have issue with it at all. In this case no party has any wrongdoing it's just unfortunate coincidence. Similar examples include but not limited to pet hair allergy caused by some leftovers of previous pet/service animal. Even if hosts have no pet policy it does not mean the listing has never accommodated any animal due to the presence of service animals and ESAs, let alone guests who knowingly violate the rule.

 

Usually my solution is that if the guest contacts me shortly after check in for allergy (which is usually the case), I would offer the guest a full refund, in exchange of the guest check out immediately and cancel the reservation (so that i can still get bookings from other guests). If it's too late I might charge for the first night but it depends on the situation. I also advise the guest to contact Airbnb to find alternative lodging. My bottom line is: Any night or partial night that the guest stayed must be charged and if guest used our property so cleaning is needed, then cleaning fee need to be charged. At most refund the nights the guest did not stay and if so, the guest has to check out before the specified check out date.

 

BTW regarding the mold, if you are not sure, conduct a mold test either by buying a mold test kit and send to the lab, or ask a professional to do so. That way you will have an idea if your property actually has mold problem or not, and it serves as an evidence against the guest's claim.

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@John5904  It sounds as if the guest's issue with mold is a "travel issue" and if Airbnb agrees he will be due a full or partial refund.  See this article:  https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2868/rebooking-and-refund-policy.  The guest should have contacted Airbnb after contacting you about the issue.

Re: guest compensation for minor issue

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 2

Yes, it seems this is what they did.

 

I see at the bottom of his listing that it says 'issue resolved', but I haven't received any kind of notification from Airbnb. Is that normal?

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