Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2
375 Views

We had a family of 5 stay last week. The final evening the grandfather had a heart attack in the house and very sadly passed away that night. 

The guests did leave the following morning but the house needed lots of extra cleaning - stained carpets, sofa and ruined bedding. Given the tragic circumstances we wouldn’t consider charging for extra cleaning costs.  

But ….. Airbnb keeps asking me to submit a review. What do I say???  Am I penalised if I don’t review a guest. If I do submit one, what on earth can I say. 

Thanks for reading and interested to hear your thoughts

Catherine 

21 Replies

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

You do not have to leave a review, and are not penalized for not leaving a review. Airbnb does not discriminate with its “gentle reminders” about leaving reviews; we all get them for every guest. If you don’t want to leave a review, just ignore all the reminders. Although it is helpful to other hosts and potential guests to leave reviews, it is certainly understandable if you want to make an exception in this case.

 

P.S. I’m sorry about the death in your home. That must have been very sad.

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you for replying. Fairly new to Airbnb so wasn’t sure about leaving reviews.

 

Yes it was extremely sad, tragic for our guests and quite unsettling for us as hosts.  

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you. Appreciate you taking the time to reply. 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
San Diego, CA
Level 10

@Catherine2614 I agree with @Pat271  and I personally would not leave a review considering those circumstances. I’ve never read it’s a requirement. 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you for responding. I think we will not to leave a review.m given the circumstances 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Catherine2614  There's absolutely no penalty for not reviewing.

 

My personal stance on reviews is that I only want to comment on an experience that is likely to be replicated in future stays. It's extraordinarily unlikely that the surviving guests experience a fatality in their group every time they travel, so in this case I would skip the review and send a private note of condolence after some time has passed.

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you, yes I did make contact a couple of weeks later through the messages. 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
California, United States
Level 10

@Catherine2614   As others have noted, you don't need to worry about leaving a review.  Skipping it would make the most sense in this instance.  Although, if items were damaged (regardless of how/why they were damaged), you are being very generous in donating your expenses to mitigate the damages to this family.    

 

Changing gears a little. . .  Now, I'm an ultra pragmatic, business-minded (some may even say slightly ruthless) person.  So take these thoughts below with a 10-ton block of salt. 

 

What I find puzzling is that the guests shared this information with you at all.  I mean, we periodically travel with my extended in-law family (my wife has a 97 year old grandfather that travels with us).  And if he were to tragically pass while we were vacation at a STR, I guess the very last thing we would do would be to share this information with our host.

 

We would take care of our dearly departed, vacate with haste and be the most respectful guests we could.  I just don't know why these guests (or maybe people in general?) can't be private about what's happening with them while still being professional/courteous with others that need-NOT-know.  

 

What's the purpose in telling you?  Were you supposed to call the hazmat squad?  Are you supposed to inform future guests of the recent passing in your listing?  I know that in real estate sales, one of the big disclosures is whether or not the prior owner/occupant passed away in the home (this can dramatically decrease the value of a home).  So now you're a bad host if you don't disclose this to future guests?  How long from now does it "matter" that someone passed in your listing?  Oy. . .

 

I dunno.  I just don't think it's anyone's business other than the family's and I find it really odd that they would tell you.  

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Richard531   Really? I'd be very disturbed if I learned that someone stayed in my home and didn't inform me that a member of their group died there. So disturbed that I might even suspect foul play - like, why would someone hide that enormous detail when I asked them how they enjoyed the stay? 

 

Bear in mind, I've primarily hosted tourists rather than locals, so I'm used to being their primary local contact and first port of call in an emergency. 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thanks for your reply. And yes, I’d also rather know what happened than be unaware. 

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thanks for your reply and I can relate to your comments. 

He passed away around 11.00pm and they were due to check out the following morning. They were told it could take up to 12hrs for collection of the body to take to a hospital for a post mortem.

 

This could have impacted on their departure time and preparing for our next guests - thankfully it didn’t as they removed the body around 3.00am and the guests left not long after.  The guests were forewarning us he could still be there when our cleaner turned up. 

I certainly wouldn’t dream of telling future guests and what happened doesn’t bother us being there. 

We are in the UK and I’m not aware of a property being devalued if someone has died in it.  Happy to be proven wrong 😊

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Pensacola, FL
Level 10

@Richard531 your response is rather odd, I think. In the state of Florida, when someone dies in a home the police MUST be contacted and an investigation must occur. To rule out foul play. this doesn't have to be a big deal, but it must occur and has to be clear that natural causes were the cause of death. 

I'd never understand  if someone died and didn't tell me in our place and they  covered it up and left. Yes, death is personal but when it occurs in someone's home you don't try to act like nothing happened, and say, non of your business. Actually, it is the host business. Seriously, some strange thinking actually in my opinion. Just my take on it.

 

p.s. I was a Hospice volunteer doing massage therapy on those in the final days of life....!

I wish you well and peace.

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
California, United States
Level 10

@Andrew0  Great point that I had not considered at all.  Like I said, 10-ton block of salt.  I guess I'm super private and want to keep my own problems to myself.  But I suppose it's the person's house we're talking about and they should know, then.  Hopefully I'll never know how I would react in this same situation!

Re: Guest died. Review?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Richard531 If the individual died in my home, yes I would want to know, strictly from a liability standpoint. Some states do require that you report a death in the home and its disclosed during any sale of the property. But I agree with you if the guest died in a hospital during the stay or passed away during some other activity that was included in the stay. 

 

I tend to be very suspicious when strangers/customers/guests overshare as 9 times out of 10 it leads to some request for a discount, special leniency, or some other favor. If it happened to me that an elderly relative passed during travel and it affected my ability to do something with my hotel or Airbnb I would only say that we had a family emergency.

 

In fact, I am working on a house that I may do a LTR on, and recently posted a few pics on a neighborhood forum to gauge interest in rental. I got several reasonable responses and one that was paragraphs long detailing a husband leaving, a single mom with nowhere to go, young kids etc. I have stated when I am setting up appointments to view, and the ONLY person who can't seem to follow instructions is Ms. Sob Story who regales me with more and more details from her unfortunate situation. I am very much on my guard.

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