I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

Level 5
Edmundston, Canada

I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

That's it, I quit.

I am counting the weeks before I can walk away from Airbnb. I hosted hundreds of guests in a little over a year, and what started and a very pleasant experiance, now has become source of constant stress and anxiety. All the good things about hosting have been taken away by the now flawed review system.

Last summer, I used to say that Airbnb was a blessing in my life;  It was a pleasure to host people from around the world plus it was a good source of supplemental income. 

It was also a blessing for people who needed a break in their journey(I am located right in the middle of two large metropolis that are 18hours of driving away). My place was a convenient stop at very modest cost and guests were very appreciative. 

Now, Airbnb accounts for 15% of my income but also, 90% of the stress in my personal and work life combined. Not worth it. In the last few months, I also feel that the type of guests have changed, they are reviewing us like hotel cutomers would, not understanding the harm it causes hosts. The highest hotel rating in my area is 8.9/10. Airbnb rating system is asking us to remain at 4.8 or higher to keep our superhost status, that's 9.6/10. If Airbnb is attracting more hotel customers, they have to adjust their rating system to adapt to these new guests.


I asked myslef what could be done to keep my rating up, I have doubled my operating costs and time invested compared to last summer to improve guest's stay and, it did nothing. It did not change the rating I am getting. If anything, I have lost a few percentage points. Another downside is that it keeps me from raising my prices in fear that a higher price would affect the reviews negatively while I am having close to 100% occupancy during the summer months.

The current review system is not helping us improve guest's stay, it only creates stress and anxiety on the hosts. It would be better if guests told us what could be done to improve their experience before leaving a review without even undertsanding what it means.

Guests are leaving four stars with great comments in their reviews. THEY ARE NOT LEAVING US ANY CUES FOR WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED!  If I don't know why they are leaving a four star, how can I fix it??!! I don't think they even know themselves sometimes. 

It was a wise decision to open my calendar only 90days in advance, so I don't have to commit to hosting on Airbnb any longer. --Walking out

55 Replies 55

I am with you, I host over 100 properties and on the last year a lot of guest are not common guest they enter the property as quality standar and checking if everything is wrong or a little details just to get a refund out of the stay, its everyday more common, that instead of guest enjoying the place they are trying to complaint of any small detail that you can have on thousands of five star hotels and not getting any refund on these, plus we are not hotels.

Community Manager
Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hey @Rodrigo1098 ,


Just came across your comment and wanted to ensure if everything is okay!


Are you running into any difficulties with a recent guest? 




Please follow the Community Guidelines

Hi Bhumika

Not at the moment an specific guest but several times while opening a case having a problem with guest 9 times out of 10, they end up doing a 1 star review and its always based when I open a case when something is broken or any kind of charge, so I really believe once a host or a guest opens a case this review cant be valid as its not longer about the stay its about a revenge for both parties when they get affected and involve airbnb resolutions 

Level 2
Charlotte, NC

I’m walking away from Airbnb too, but as a customer. Maybe my reason could help you. I’m so tired of  places not looking like the pics that are posted. 
Possibly have someone unbiased compare the pics you post with your actual place. Lowered ratings are due to unmet expectations so identify what that is.

Level 2
Clovis, CA

I absolutely understand how you feel. We charge very little in order to maintain our 5.0 rating. But we get the occasional 4 pt rating and it takes us 20 5.0 ratings to make up for the 4.0 rating. 

Airbnb is very easy as long as you have perfect guests and no issues. The moment you have any issues, the hell begins. It takes me forever to find a phone number to talk to someone and lately I receive little to no support. 

we recently had a guest that ruin bedding, towels, etc. I took pictures etc, and I received no support. And of course the guest never replied or tried to compensate. 

Most of the time we eat our losses because it’s just not worth wasting time trying to get support. 

The final straw was this weekend when a guest walked through my main home illegally because he had problems with the fully functional lockbox. And here’s the thing, I have no recourse for this guests behavior. He illegally came into my home and started to yell at me about the lockbox. I walked over to our guest house and showed him that it worked. No apologies or anything. But I bet I get a bad rating! 

Yup, I’m done with this too. Simply not worth the $ anymore.

Level 2
Phoenix, AZ

I feel similarly. I have absolutely loved sharing my home via airbnb. However, a recent guest damaged my home, disrespected my house rules and neighbors, left a huge mess, then left a libel review saying that "they harassed me". First, I did not harass anyone. Also, there is no "they", only me. And, I am two hours away from the property, so there is no way for me to harass a guest, except through messaging, but as they can read, I was nothing but nice. The agent says she is sorry, but it is beyond their control. It is one thing to lie in your review, but it is another to libel a person. I feel like I need to leave airbnb, I had a 4.93, now I have a 4.89. The part that disturbs me is that we give them a decent amount of our money, so I feel they should protect us, including from false lies and libel in reviews.

Level 2
Paris, France

" they (Guests)are reviewing us like hotel cutomers would"

And why wouldn't they when most hosts are in for the money only and guests find their rental key in a box when they arrive instead of a human being welcoming them ?I remember my 1st stay as a guest in Prague with an American friend We never thought it would be that money oriented and had even brought a bottle of French wine to give to the host thinking it would be a cultural encounter more than just a host-guest transaction ....Now no need to say i would never ever bring a present or anything to an Airbnb host as he/she would most probably be bewildered as our Prague host was when we gave him the bottle of very good French wine!

Level 2
México D.F., MX

Hey everyone! Count us in between the people who are leaving AirBNB.


We've been Superhosts for more than a year, but the stress and the money are simply not worth it. Our worst review was a 3 star review, which came from a guest from NYC, who complained about the noise one of our neighbors was doing while installing a new toilet in his apartment. The noise started past 10:00 a.m., and we didn't know of it in advance, so we were unable to warn our guest about it. The guest checked out of the apartment abruptly, even tough the security staff at our building assured us that the noise didn't last longer than 15 minutes. Fortunately, we left this guest a honest review, which in her case, was a harsh review. Evidently, we received the same from her (except for the "honest" part, of course). We have learned the hard way to review guests as honestly as possible.


On another occasion, a guest returned at night to our apartment, while being drunk. He wasn't able to open the building's main entrance with the key we gave him, which worked perfectly fine, but wasn't "drunk proof". We ended up calling the building's security staff at 4 a.m., to ask them to open the door for our drunken buddy.


We've had wonderful guests, but honestly, for us, 1 bad review eclipses 30 good ones, and the AirBNB algorithm seems to "think" the same.


Anyhow, we've decided to quit, and rent our properties the old way, not having to worry about whether we can provide some guest a paper clip, in a timely manner, to change the SIM card on his IPhone (we don't live in the properties we rent, btw, and any adult should be able to solve something as simple as this, by himself, considering our property is located in the middle of every kind of store you can imagine).


On one of our properties we have bookings until the end of April, and we've already blocked May and the upcoming months after it, so we don't receive any more bookings. On our other property, our last booking is in August, but we're considering canceling it, so we can get out of AirBNB as soon as possible. Only a sense of responsibility is stopping us from doing it.


Best to all, folks!


- Mick & Mar

I am with you, these guest leaving sometimes 1 star review, about been drunk and you not answering 5am in the morning is crazy

Level 7
Key West, FL

I hear you. April 15th is my "walk away" day and I am counting down the days! 5 years of it!!!

Level 2
East London, ZA

Totally agree ! 

   I got the 'review warning ' , from a guest that felt privileged booked for one was 2 ! 

I should have have insisted ! 

   I am budget ! Almost cheapest in town ! 

Yes , the grass was long , it has rained a lot ! 

Clutter in the yard , yes a bit ! 

  I got a minus for having my work truck in my yard . 

   What really gets my goat is Location and Accuracy . 

Scored 1 star each ! 

   Was happy to stay there ! 

The daughter let slip that they had to leave the previous 'rental' 


  What also irks me is the dismissive attitude of ABnB , case closed , go whats yourself ! 

Have also considered an upgrade and the cost . 

 More than enough stress ! 

 My location is prime in our city , quiet, can walk to beach , pretty safely in 20 mins .Shopping centre , Spar Wimpy 1 km away . 

All on my page ! 

   Client tried to book in at 42 , not 67 🙂 

I get 1 star ? 

    Am really not in this to make ca$h , yet for the price I have a unique stay . 

TBT , my bookings do not look at reviews ! 

  And the good stays do not leave a review ! 

Should be compulsory !


Level 2
Washington, DC

Make you a deal, you come to DC, you can at my digs for free, if you let me do the same at yours.  BTW, where are you?


Level 2
Washington, DC

I don't blame you.  I have also lost the enthusiasm for Air BnB.  You are giving guests so much more than they get at a hotel.  Flexible check in and out times, privacy they'd never get at a hotel, parking right at the door--heck, I even leave breakfast.  It takes time to keep the place clean and well appointed and people either don't leave reviews or they act as if they are expecting a five star hotel for less than they'd pay for a flea bag downtown.  And Air BnB penalizes you and your guests for cancellations way more than a hotel would ever dream of.  More trouble than it's worth.

Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia


As long as I live, I will never understand Airbnb's rating system. Every day I see stuff on here I just can't believe!

You Maxine have 4 reviews, one of which is a host cancellation (the greatest hosting cardinal sin) and yet you have a straight 5 star Airbnb rating......what th!


I have 299 reviews, 278 of which have been 5 stars all the way, 14 of those 299 have been 5 stars in every category but a 4 overall. I have never cancelled a guest reservation and yet my overall rating sits on 4.93.


The original poster of this thread was totally correct, this has got to be the most totally dysfunctional review rating system ever devised!





Level 2
Washington, DC

And that host cancellation gave the guest a solid two months to find another accommodation. And Air BnB were kind of jerky about that as it is.  The guest was hardly phased.  For all the time an effort I put into it in the last two years, it's not worth the trouble unless I have no other income stream or I'm retired and have time to deal with it.  I'm loving the space as my "living room," the place my pets don't go to shed, an extra kitchen for parties, my bike trainer set up in front of a smart TV--all the stuff that crowds my chaotic upstairs now down there, but the Feng shui is perfect.  And still extra bathroom, laundry, and bedroom for guests.  I may change my mind, but for now, so over Air BnB. 

Level 2
East London, ZA

Correct , yet am not too concerned 🙂 Other avenues ! Sort of works for me ! 

Level 3
Killarney, Ireland

I feel exactly the same way, coming to the end of our bookings now and counting it down. Makes me completely miserable and the lack of personal space is not worth it.

Level 2
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I own 2 vacation rentals and have received over 200 4 and 5 star reviews. Having said that I have just removed my properties from AirBNB as they did not support me when two separate guests damaged my property.I know of three other homeowners that have also removed their properties for the same reason. While not all homeowners are alike, some of us take our job very seriously and work hard to offer our guests a fabulous experience. But when a guest has a bad review and I'm supposedly considered a super host, I expect them to take my word first.(yes, I included pictures and quotes) They've just managed to wipe out a months worth of profits. I'm done!

Level 2
Pasadena, CA

We experience the same. When I travel, I only stay in 5 star deluxe hotels, I'm using the 5 star deluxe hotels standard to run my Airbnb. However, the review system seems to make it almost impossible to meet the requirement! I really hope AirBnB can fix it. I'm really disappointed.

Level 2
Montreal, Canada

@Manon87 if you are no longer enjoying the experience, take a break before you make your final decision.


I agree, the rating system is a source of stress and it's immensely frustrating. I consistently get 5 stars and I'm baffled how guests would give my listing 4 stars for location. I mean THEY PICKED THE LOCATION how is that my problem if they didn't like it?


I also take great issue at the focus on beign a Super Host. I challenged the system last year because it's based on volume, not on quality. I get a long of long-term bookings from medical students (I'm 2 blocks for our new super hospital). Last summer I had the loveliest guest for 2 months. Naturally, I will never attain Super Host status if I keep booking long-terms because I can't reach the 10 booking requirement.


I have given hope on that because I prefer having 1 person for a few months and have a steady source of income than some stupid fake badge that basically means you can clean the room and turn it around quickly.


#RantOver 🙂