How to deal with unexpected situations?

Stephanie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

How to deal with unexpected situations?

unexpected situations.jpg

Hello everyone,

 

From time to time, unexpected situations are always going to crop up, such as your washing machine taking one look at the huge pile of washing and deciding to give up the go or your guests arriving much later than expected! You can’t prevent these from happening entirely, but there are some things you can put in place to minimise the risk of them happening and ways to help deal with them if they do.  

 

Things like great communication and doing regular home maintenance, along with some handy lists of emergency support numbers for local repair companies or plumbers are just a few examples. 

 

What things do you have in place to help you deal with unexpected situations?

 

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

 

Stephanie


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65 Replies 65
Blair18
Level 2
Pensacola, FL

I'm rather disgusted that I can't find consistent reliable, correct information that a guest will receive from Airbnb when they make a reservation.  Not the things I provide, but that Airbnb provides, like my address,,, Some Guests call and want to know my address, others have rooted around and figured it out and come to my home.  I need to understand the logic and rules/procedures that airbnb follows  on this.  I have gotten at least 3 different answers from support.   It seems to me that it should be easy to direct me to the procedures and the logic for the structure.    

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

A guest ignored my instructions and broke the front door lock on his way out. I only realised a while after he left that I was trapped inside the house (the window at the front has a security grill so you can't get out that way) and tried to message him but he didn't respond. I had new guests checking in shortly. 

 

Luckily, I managed to flag down the neighbour as she was leaving her house, pass the key through the letter box and get her to open the door from the outside, but it meant I could not close the door again until the locksmith came. 

 

The new guests arrived and I explained the situation to them. I showed them around while keeping an ear on the door to make sure no intruders entered! Meanwhile, the guest who broke the lock returned and, having not read his messages, closed the door and locked all of us in!! 

 

Luckily, the new guests were understanding and the locksmith came quickly to replace the lock.

 

I am not sure what I could have done to be better prepared for this situation (all guests are instructed how to operate the lock and this guest broke it through brute force and sheer carelessness) but it's useful to have a few locksmiths' numbers to hand.

Audra49
Level 2
Phoenix, AZ

I have current guests and the heat isn’t working… it’s a brand new system.  I believe this has caused the master shower pipes to freeze , the shower isn’t coming on.  I have a technician coming this morning for repair of the heat .. what should I do to accommodate the current guest? 

Paula1838
Level 1
KCMO, MO

I currently have a long term guest whom is making me a bit uncomfortable.  She is “sleeping”.repeatedly with the male guests, in addition, doing so in the commons - living room sofa.  She is also bringing in strange guys here at the house to socialize late at night.  Lastly, she has been storing full size, overflowing garbage bags.  Is it me or is this strange or is this normal?

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Paula1838  You want to keep your feedback away from sounding like you are making any moral judgments.  If you don't have it in your rules, add that only registered guests are allowed on the property.  If you already have that rule, then very gently remind the guest that 'visitors' are not allowed.  I'm not sure how to discreetly mention the couch activity....maybe remind the guest that sound travels? or something like that.  

 

As far as the garbage bags, there is a class of people who more or less live in Airbnbs, so I presume she may be one of those nomads, and is hauling her stuff around with her.  I'm not sure what you can do about that now that she's already on site.  In future, add to your rules that the listing is a residence and guests are not allowed to store boxes/bags etc. 

 

ETA I tried to check out your listing, but nothing is attached to your profile?

 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Paula1838  Normal? A "bit" uncomfortable? Storing bags full of garbage? Having sex on the living room couch?

Take charge of what is going on in your home. Why are you allowing her to invite other people over?

 

This guest would be read the riot act and told what is and isn't acceptable behavior in someone else's home, or told to find another place and pack up and leave, pretty much anywhere.

Dot87
Level 2
St. Catharines, Canada

I'm having a learning experience with my current guest. This was a booking with very short notice, and things quickly got complicated. Could the boyfriend come early? (I should have said, "Check in time is 3:00. But I will gladly allow him to keep his bags here.") Then, "I have some clients I will be visiting. But a few friends will come to the house and I will paint their nails there." Not, "Will that be okay?" or "is that allowed". I was kind of uncomfortable with that, but I compromised by saying, "Only one other person at a time, and no one past 8:00 p.m." Again, my fault. I should have had a firm, "No!" But I had n o idea that the solvent smell would be so strong that my husband suggested we sleep in the trailer. Like I say,  I'm on a learning curve. Instead of leaving the house, my husband texted and then politely talked to the guests. They apologized and she rearranged her to see her remaining clients at their own homes.  I am not sure what kind of review we will get now, but I feel like it went as well as can be expected. In the same way that, "Good fences make good neighbours", "Clearly communicated rules make happy host and (possibly) happier guests". Has anyone else had a guest carry on business on the premises for a short term stay?

Jennifer1809
Level 2
Grimsby, Canada

Hello everyone, We have been hosting for about 2 years now and we just had a new long term guest check in for 2 months. Our space is not a 5 star luxury place but it is nice, clean and updated. I have an average 5* reviews from about 75 stays.  I work hard to keep it clean and am always buying new things to replace. I just purchased $400 in outdoor cushions. I'm proud of the little apartment I created. The problem: This new guest has been asking me for all kinds of things that we don't offer and wasn't listed in my amenities. She has complained a few times too from the moment she arrived.(ie. there isn't enough space and it's cramped-can't fit all her clothes in the wardrobe and toiletries in the bathroom).  I feel like a concierge and that the guest is expecting too much. She also brought a dog which I agreed to as long as the dog is quiet, vetted, etc. Well the dog has been barking. Basically, Its stressing me out the thought of having this person here for 2 months...not sure what to do as she hasn't done anything really wrong but drive me nuts. 

Any advice would be great! Thanks. 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Jennifer1809  Yes, she has done something wrong. She's complaining about everything, misrepresented the behavior of her dog, and expects you to attend to her constantly. 

 

This is the kind of situation where you need to say "XX, it is apparent to me that my place isn't a good fit for you- you have so many complaints. It would be best for both of us if you looked  for another place as soon as possible where you would be happier and we alter the dates of your booking here."

 

She willl either agree, or stop complaining if she wants to stay. If she continues in the same fashion, you should  contact Airbnb to say you are uncomfortable with this guest, she us a  bad fit for your place, and want to cancel the rest of the booking without penalties.

Jennifer1809
Level 2
Grimsby, Canada

Thanks @Sarah977 

I spoke with my husband just now, she has only been here 2 days. We decided that if there is one more complaint we will have to talk to her about her making other arrangements. 

Also, I didn't mention that the first eve she was here she put the extra twin bed mattress out in the damp enclosed porch outside the apt. door. She said it was too cramped in the apt. with all her clothes...

 

 

Jane2672
Level 2
United States

@Stephanie - another issue: a guest gave a stellar written review of our place last year, but marked bathroom cleanliness and location as 4 stars. In her private comments, she mentioned that she would have preferred that our property were closer to the ocean . . . well, I can't very well relocate it. She did make the reservation after all. I did contact her to see what the issue was within the 14-day review period, but she never responded.

Jane2672
Level 2
United States

@Stephanie  - it appears the guest who checked into our AirBnB cottage (directly behind our home) has a second person staying with her without my knowledge. I do charge a second person fee, it is in the listing and in our text conversations, she was made aware of this. My issue isn't about the fee, but rather that nothing was said, I wasn't asked or informed, which speaks to honesty and trust. I don't want to create a confrontational situation, but I am not happy that she didn't speak to me about it.

Deanne45
Level 3
Manchester, ME

Has anyone ever encountered a guest that finds the most important thing in an entire house is the use of a dishwasher?

 

My vacation rental is in a remote area of my state with very few repair people. Our house cleaner arrived to clean between guests one day only to find the dishwasher leaking on our hardwood floors. It was easy to determine it was in need of a new seal. The only local plumber that does not have a several months long waiting list does not repair, only installs dishwashers. We were able to locate the part needed and quickly ordered it. In the meantime, we received a request for a month long reservation. I never anticipated that the dishwasher would not be up and running by the time the guest arrived 2 weeks later. As it become a couple of days prior to the guest arrival and still the part had not arrived but we did receive other extra parts for the same dishwasher from the same parts company. It turned out that part was on order. I immediately informed the guest of the situation and our intent to fix the dishwasher as soon as the part arrived. Two weeks later we still did not have the part. Due to COVID there were part orders delay, shipping delays and so on every where around us. During this time we also sought local dishwasher and repair dealers in the area of our residence, 2 hours south of the vacation rental. The part was unobtainable anywhere. The guest had been becoming increasingly upset that she had to hand wash dishes after every meal. Now I'm somewhat understandable about the situation. There are 3 other adults also staying with the renter. The communication became rather demanding, as if I were not telling the truth about the part on backorder. I went to the extent of sending the guest a screen shot of the email I received after having to email the company as they were not accepting calls. The email I sent my guest showed that the part was ordered and was being shipped. Then to add to the delay, we live in the northeast. Fedex was having some delays due to weather conditions. My guest has not kindly demanded a partial refund for not having use of a dishwasher. Here is now where I am having a bigger dilema. I provided a 47% discount off of our nightly rate for a monthly discount. This brought the nightly rate down to $106 a night for a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2400 sq. ft. fully stocked home. I was willing to give her 5% of the already reduced nightly rate as a refund. This is not acceptable to her. She wants 15% which totals the cost of a high tech brand new dishwasher. While I definitely do not want to risk a very negative review, which I feel she will give anyway, and have it effect my Super Host Status that I have maintained for the full 2 years we have owned and rented our vacation rental, I also feel like her demand is eroneous. Does anyone have feedback?

Peter2907
Level 1
East Point, GA

So, our guest called and messaged us about a mouse that appeared in the master bathroom. She said she was so scared that she could not turn off the shower because she was so scared. We don't live near the Airbnb and don't have anyone to go out to take care of said rodent. We tried calling our pest control service as well as several other 24/7 pest control places and nothing. At this point I'm waiting to hear back from someone from a local neighborhood Facebook group. Fingers crossed that he will be able to make it out. If not, then the guest will have to live with the mouse until tomorrow or Monday or can either find somewhere else to stay. Thankfully for the guest, there is another full bathroom. I hate we can't do anything yet.

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

@Peter2907 

 

Was your wee mouse issue resolved?
I bet the mouse was just as terrified of your Guest as the Guest was of the mouse...life for us all is a two way relationship between Humans and Animals...

 

I wonder who in the world first decided to be scared of a wee mouse????

There must be a story passed on through the generations of someone's family about mice.

 

@Liv @Katie @Nick @Quincy @Stephanie5 @Brian @Catherine-Powell @Anna @Francesca @Noriko @Sergi @Lizzie  and other ABB Admins, now that could be a good Promotions Project??

How many Mouse Houses are on Airbnb???

There must be a Mickey Mouse, Mini Mouse and other Mouse named and designed properties, are there?

@Onmouseover-0 @Mice0 @Belmice0 @Romicedes0

 

 

 

William1349
Level 2
Kirkwall, United Kingdom

Does anyone know if airbnb filterout smokers from seeing non-smoking rooms/homes?

Tulin1
Level 2
Nicosia, Cyprus

Can anyone give me some examples of a hard guest, I mean complaining all the time!! Whatever you do you just cant make them happy and they donot appreciate whatever you do 😞 I had over 100 guests staying at my flats and never had a problem. This is the first time I am having problems and do not know how to deal with them. Thanks in advance.

Ange2
Level 10
null

@Tulin1   For me a hard guest is someone who arrives, has not read the description/amenities, has an overwhelming attitude of entitlement, and expectations that are completely unrealistic, and they decide it is all your fault and lash out, such as writing a dishonest nasty review with a low star rating.

 

You do not say what they are complaining about and whether it is valid but out of your control, so it's rather difficult to give any advice.  In general, I would suggest, do not take it personally, and if you have done what you can do within reason (if you can do anything) and they persist (and their stay is longer than a few days) finding them somewhere else to stay that suits their needs may be the best option.

 

To protect yourself against Airbnb refunding them, make sure all they have said and all you have done to address their complaints is documented in messages on Airbnb.

 

Good luck!

Tulin1
Level 2
Nicosia, Cyprus

@Valerie454 what a good idea to have some battery operated candles. The first thing that I will buy Monday morning. Thanks for the great tip. 

Valerie454
Level 2
Louisville, KY

The power went out (later discovered a transformer on a pole burnt out) and my guests were returning from dinner.   I lined the stairs with battery candles, put some in the bathroom and bedroom.  They thought it quite romantic. But I had to scramble to put all the batteries in them before they returned.   The power came on just a few minutes before they came down for coffee.  Traveling is an adventure.   Battery operated candles, a must have.  

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