How to communicate with guest that leave a mess?

Level 1
Oslo, Oslo, Kingdom of Norway

How to communicate with guest that leave a mess?



I often experience that some guests are very accurate and tidy and the others leave the flat dirty.  It often requires double as much time to clean after such people. What to do?


To write a bad review is nothing. To charge money for cleaning, but I dont want to take it from tidy people. Deposit works only if something is damaged. But if house rules say, "wash up after you" and they dont do it, trash all over the place,  what to do? Violation of house rules took place, but there is no remedy to punish that.


Anyone can suggest something? I thought to charge for cleaning and then return money to tidy people, but it is to much administration for that. 

31 Replies 31
Level 3
New York, United States

i suggest charging a cleaning fee to every guests.  


but if only 1 out of 10 is messy, i personally would let that go.  it might help if you make explicit cleaning rules.  perhaps you can create a departure check-list for your guests.  


Level 1
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

I'm new to this and I've just had a guest(s) who left the apartment pretty messy. Only our second set of guests too.

Bags of rubbish/trash and some kind of maker/pen damage to one of the bedooms. The apartment has just been renovated and its pretty annoying. I've messaged the guest about the wall.


Any advise? Don I start a dispute resolution with Airbnb?





I do charge a cleaning fee to all guests but have just had the worst (Korean) guests and only for 5 days. Our very new AirBnB self-contained Studio was not only trashed completely with saucepans, dishes, cups etc left out and food droppings on the floor, stove and splashes of sauce up the wall. There was no cloth, detergents or wiping up products used nor was the dishwasher, but 1/2 a huge container of washing powder was used??? The washing machine, shower, bath, sink etc had running water many times and when they left I went inside to find the entire bathroom flooded and water flooding out to the main room. All towels and everything in the bathroom was soaking and about 3cms of water over the bathroom floor as well as water sprayed on the ceiling. All soaps, shampoos, bath wash, conditioners and body lotion were gone (there was sufficient for a few weeks). Everything was obviously used and nothing replaced or tidied at all. I have a rule of non-smoking inside and leave an ashtray outside and found that full of cigarettes and water too as though it had been in the bathroom. All lights left on all day and night. No respect at all. I contacted them and asked about the water and was told it just came out. It does not and never has before and we checked it and it has not happened. I do not wish to write a review and I do not wish to have such guests ever again so will be very wary. There was a check but obviously was not correct. My husband and I are very upset, as we have been very lucky and have had really wonderful people from England, America, Finland, New Zealand, Italy and all have treated the place with respect and loved their stay at our place, but these people were the first Asians and from what I am reading this is very common. At no time did they say thank you or send a message or write in our guest book as all others have. Also when they arrived they did not seem to understand that our living area upstairs was private, although I told them several times and the continued to come up the stairs and the wife asked to sit on my terrace, although there is a private terrace just for guests. Eventually they understood but not before they tried to open everything that was outside of the guest accomodation. We found the behaviour to be very odd and confronting making the 5 days very unsettling. 

Level 10
Brighton, United Kingdom

Good grief Jill - I got away lightly with my recent Chinese guests - a couple who left a mess - furniture moved, bedding strewn over floor, rubbish dropped on floor, lights on all day, all night, ditto fire - and they left without saying goodbye & left fire on full, lights on & key in door, unlocked & security gate wide open!
I text them to ask why they did that - they said 'we were in a hurry & we paid a cleaning fee'

Japanese guests have been the complete opposite. Friendly, polite, tidy, clean etc - or have I just been lucky
Level 4
Washington, United States

It seems this is an all too frequent occurence with Chinese and Korean guests.  We have had wonderful Airbnb hosting experiences with Chinese and Korean guests, and I hate to generalize about the behavior of nationalities, but the only bad experiences we've had in our more than three years of hosting on Airbnb have all been with guests from those countries.  I'm wondering if Airbnb can address this issue in some way.

Level 4
Washington, United States

We have been Airbnb hosts for almost 3 years, and have happily hosted at our second home in Seattle more than 100 times.  We have had 3 bad experiences with our guests leaving the house very dirty and/or breaking or damaging property.  All three experiences were with guests from China.  I'm wondering if other hosts have had issues with guests from China.

I think the issue with guests from China (and other parts of Asia) is that only the wealthy can travel abroad, and in China and many parts of Asia, it's super common for families of means to have live-in help.  So it could be just a situation where the guests honestly don't have much of a clue about housekeeping, and assume that in your house, as in their house, someone is paid to come and clean up after them.  I actually have guests upstairs making a huge racket, it's a family from Shanghai that checked in today.  I took pains to show them where the dish soap was, the fact that there is no dishwasher, how they should wash and dry the dishes, where to put their damp towels, where the broom is, etc.  I would normally not go into this detail, but with a family that I suspect is not used to tidying up after themselves, a very detailed orientation might work.  Now I'm regretting that I didn't specifically pull aside the children and tell them that it's very rude to run on the floors and jump off the sofa, and if they did make too much noise that I'd come up and scold them.  I like to scare kids and I didn't do it this time!!

Level 4
Washington, United States

Thanks for your reply.  I'm thinking that I need to modify how I communicate our house rules for guests from Asia becuse our experiences with guests from China have been so frequently disappointing.  And to be honest, I'm not sure if I'll ever accept guests from China if they don't have excellent reviews.   


I can confirm the dirtiest guest by FAR I have ever hosted was from China. Also, mentioning the rules about keeping things clean didn't make any impact. 

Level 3
Beijing, China

Hello @Vladislav0 and @Maria-Lurdes0,


I am a Chinese, I travel a lot with airbnb and I host my two apartments in Beijing, China.

I do agree that most of the Chinese do not leave the apartment in good condition. Same thing also happen to guests from other parts of east/southeast Asia. It's really annoying that I hosted guests from South Korean and left my apartment in terrible condition. I wrote to them and they replied they didn't know they need to clean it, as they always left the room messy in hotels...

So, I normally reject inquiries from China, east/southeast Asia to avoid this happen again. I only accept guests from these part of the world with positive reviews and overseas living experiences. I seriously inform them when they check in that it is my home, not a hotel, and they should leave it clean, and I posted lots of rules, making all of the price clear if they break the rules. If it really happened, I would definitely leave a negative review and ask them to pay for what they had done. I don't want any other hosts come across this situation again. 

I don't want to be racist, but it really happens. The percentage that I prove the booking enquiry from them was much lower than the other parts of the world. That's how I deal with it. 

Hope it works.


Happy New Year!



I just resently housed Asians. They were very nice and they were not terribly messy. But I hated how they were up with my boyfriend past 1 in the morning talking. They also left the bathroom light and fan on so i couldn't tell if it was occupied and they were wasting electricity. The thing that really had me flipping my lid was when these men were blow-drying their hair at 2 in the morning. They also did this weird thing where they would lock the open doors so there was a possibility that someone could walk by and shut the door. Then we would be locked out of it until we went to buy a key. The worst of all worst was the first and last day while they were loading and unloading their cars they left the front door wide open. We have two indoor cats. I almost had a heart attack. Twice. 

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Jessica I'm not sure from your post as if you have thought through whether hosting is right for you.


If you don't like your BF talking to guests to the early hours, then you need to talk to him about it. He could easily have made his excuses and left.


If you are going to host then guest may leave doors open so perhaps if you don't want your cats going out then keep them in your rooms when you have guests expected.


Do make sure you are very clear about your house rules and verbally point things out such as lights in the bathroom and noise levels in the night


Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@Vladislav0 @Connie13 @Michelle68 ...Once again we seem to be getting into a race based conversation and, although we, as hosts, possibly need to know these things, I don't feel comfortable putting a race tag on certain peoples activities!

I have read everything that has been said here and I am now of the opinion that I will alter my house rules and lead off with the following comment...or something similar.

"Dear guest, thank you for seeking out our property for your up coming stay. Airbnb hosting differs from a hotel! You will find us very welcoming and more personal, but remember, you are coming into our house and we would ask you to treat it as a private home, and not a hotel. Please treat our cottage with respect and take just a little time to leave it in a neat and tidy state"!


This may seem stupid, after all I do come out with some stupid statements these days!!!! But it would possibly make some guests think about where they are staying and perhaps be just that bit more respectful.

I would like other hosts comments on this....or something similar.....cheers.....Rob