I'm a pretty new host, so I may be a bit strict on house rules. I had a guest who was trying to have a party with 10 guests over in a 1 bedroom condo. When I saw this, I messaged her on Airbnb app to ask her guests to leave since her phone was blocked. She also had extra guests staying over than the 2 she booked. After the stay, I requested additional money for the vomit in the bathroom, extra guests, and breaking house rules. She gave me a 1 star review. How do you all deal with guests like this? How do you prevent this from happening in the future?
She has no reviews and said that she was visiting friends and family in the area.
I started 1 month ago and have all 5 star reviews except for this one. Now Airbnb is sending emails about my listing being at risk. What should I do?
Thanks so much!
@Yiwei3 There is nothing you can do to prevent a 1-star review. If the text of the review violates Airbnb's content policy, you can request that it be removed, but they have no provisions for objecting to a review on the basis of the star rating alone. Your recourse is to write a public response, and a reciprocal review, which it appears that you've done - and quite well.
My suggestion to Airbnb has long been that they allow text reviews for all stays, but disable the star ratings under circumstances involving disputes such as rule violations and damage claims. If you search the word "retaliatory" in these forums you'll see hundreds of threads from hosts with similar issues, and such a policy might have made a difference in most of those cases. Unfortunately, given that Airbnb is currently overwhelmed by the Covid-19 crisis, they won't be dealing with stuff like this anytime soon.
Looking ahead to whenever tourism resumes in your area, the best way you can avoid these situations in the future is to take proactive measures to prevent parties and extra guests from happening in the first place, such as external cams, and disclose them clearly in the listing to deter party-planners. Leaving off Instant Book, and screening booking requests can also be an effective filter. The minute you've lost control over the property, your options are all bad ones.
That’s not true. If they break the rules and do damage their review should not be allowed. I’ve had a review removed under such circumstances.
@Lola41 Then you are one of the few hosts who have managed to have a review like this removed. Hosts normally get told that the review stands as long as it doesn't break any of their review policies. Lying and retaliation reviews apparently are allowed and don't contravene policy.
@Harriet68 All of the reviews on your profile for this calendar year to date are positive, and none of them violate any of the rules in the content policy. Removal of reviews is very rare. What review are you wanting to be removed, and on what basis?
@Andrew0 thanks for your response and advice! I agree with you that taking out star review for disputes would be good. What do you recommend I do to prevent this in the future? I already have a Ring doorbell, which is how I caught this one because the guests kept pressing the doorbell. Do I list consequences if they don't follow house rules? How do I enforce my house rules and would Airbnb back me up?
@Yiwei3 I agree with Sarah's suggestions below - you can eliminate the overwhelming majority of parties just by having a 3 night minimum stay.
As far as consequences go, there's not much you can do about rule violations after the booking is over. Airbnb will not back you up if you try to impose penalties or fines, and there's no guarantee that they will back you up on retroactively adding extra guest fees if thw guest denies them. So you need to be able to deal with this stuff without Airbnb's help. The one recourse you always have is to terminate the booking and remove the unruly guests from your property.
@Andrew0 If I terminate the reservation, I may still get a bad review? I should have terminated the last one, but I was trying to be nice and let just her stay. Next time, I will make sure to end it and put it in my house rules.
@Yiwei3 Yes, a booking becomes eligible for review as soon as the check-in date begins - even if the guest cancels or doesn't show up on the arrival date. They're only prevented from reviewing you if they cancel prior to that date.
But please, don't let yourself be controlled by fear of a bad review. It's your home, you're the boss, and if one listing service isn't giving you the results you hoped for you are free to take your business to another. I do think it's still possible, though, for Airbnb to work well for you. The most important test is the correspondence prior to accepting a booking. It's easy enough to lie about plans and party size, but convincingly feigning grace and decency is a skill very few of the a-holes out there possess.
you have a very good advices.
i had a bad experience too and I hope the last . In my case I live in the property, but I learn that if you complain verbally is worst that if you do it in writing .
I would advice :
1-write message to Airbnb asking for advice and what to do . KEEP a copy of the message by screen shot with time and note name of Airbnb assistance. My message was lost by Airbnb. So I learnt by my mistake
2-Of course make sure your rules are clearly written down in Airbnb and also in The Aparments by way of a note at the back of the main entrance door of the apartment or still better have a welcome package which states your rules in a informal way . Say something like:
please note :
3-Any thing damage during your stay you will be liable to pay.
Check with Airbnb the procedures before hand and be prepared.
Ii take photos of the apartment every time someone arrives and I make sure I tell them that everything is in good order ) of course all these requires time and someone .
I do feel Airbnb should have a template for new host to use with tips and examples of things to put as rule and other things to have in mind .
Airbnb community is great to use
Good luck we all learn as it goes . I am still learning.
Maria in London, UK 🇬🇧
@Yiwei3 There's nothing "too strict" about expecting a guest to be honest about their intentions or enforcing guest count- there's nothing you've done wrong on that front. Other suggestions building on what Andrew said, is to not take one night bookings, as those are the most likely to be the "party" bookings. You can also adjust your setting to require up to 3 days advance notice for bookings, so you don't get any last-minute "Hey, I know, let's book an Airbnb for a party tomorrow night" guests.
If you don't already, make it very clear in your listing info that any guests not accounted for on the reservation will not be allowed on the premises, and if more people are found to be there, it will lead to the entire reservation being cancelled then and there. Repeat this in a message to guests when they book.
You might also consider not having self-check-in, if your schedule would permit you to meet and greet on arrival. You can get a sense of whether they are likely to need some watchful vigilance on your part, or it's just some quiet middle-aged couple on holiday.
Be aware that these scammers who lie about hosting a party tend to look for new listings, assuming, usually rightly, that the host is inexperienced and they'll be able to bamboozle them. As you build up more reviews, up your price a bit, and get established, you'll be less targeted for this type of activity.
And ask a friend or family member who looks like someone not to be messed with, if they would be on call to attend the house with you if ever have to confront this kind of scene again, so you're not on your own. I have a friend people call on like that- he looks like some bada** straight out of The Godfather, even though he's really sweet and non-violent. But you wouldn't know that to look at him.
@Evan-and-Shelby0 You'll get different results in every jurisdiction. Many cities' police are sick and tired of being treated like a private security service for AIrbnb hosts that can't keep their properties under control - and plenty of residential communities are fed up with their streets being invaded by unruly strangers because space zoned for housing is being misused.
There are times when you may have to call the police in as a last resort, but you really should be doing everything you possibly can to stop these things from happening in the first place, even if that means fewer bookings and lower short-term gains. If "get the cops to help" is a part of your business plan, you've got an awful strategy.