How to Handle a Situation with a Guest


How to Handle a Situation with a Guest

New to Air B&B, but not short-term rental management. This is my first experience with the particulars of the review system. I have a question about how to handle a particular situation.

I got a same-day reservation request from a verified guest. He was relatively new to Air B&B and had good reviews so far. He was traveling to Colorado and wanted to wait out the unexpected snow storm before continuing.

We have a 3 BR/2BA single family residence, 4 beds (2 queen/2 twin), max capacity of 6 guests, and a 3 night minimum. We are strictly no pets. All of this is clearly communicated on the listing; pet policy re-iterated on check-in instructions. We don’t live onsite, so check-in is hostless via real estate lockbox on the front door – code changed for each guest.

Issue: The reservation was for 1 guest. One of his reviews indicated he was traveling with a toddler, so I figured he just didn’t mention the toddler – not a big deal. He stayed the full 3 nights and checked out right at 11 AM (regular check-out). He didn’t communicate the entire time other than to let me know when he checked out (what I request on the instructions).


When we got into the house to clean, every single bed had been slept in indicating 4-6 guests had been in the place.

There was a red stain (wine or Kool-Aid-ish) on the living room area rug.

There was fluorescent green fingernail polish “applied” to the outside of the back door.

There was gray/white pet hair everywhere, including walls and furniture.

He followed other minor check-out instructions, but clearly violated others, not to mention misled me on the number of guests. Our rental and cleaning rates are a flat rate, so no issue other than he was dishonest. The cleaning took longer than normal, and the success of stain removal from the rug is still in question.

He has written a review for us; however, I have not yet reciprocated. Not sure how to proceed? Should I just write a review and “tell it like it is?” Should I contact him directly? All his previous reviews were good, so not sure what may have happened here.

In the meantime, we are installing a Ring Doorbell so that we may have a better handle on such situations in the future.

Advice appreciated.

6 Replies 6
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Lisa7001 do not contact the guest until you have reviewed him. If you do he can edit his review up to the time you write yours. 


Good to know. Thanks for the warning.

Level 10
Orono, ME

@Lisa7001 You should be aware that in many cases it is an oversight on the guest's part when the booking is only for one. It is so important to confirm this with the guest ... especially when you are renting a large multiple-bedroom house. This happens to me often and I try to always catch it prior to the stay. Here is an example of a recent conversation:


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As far as the review goes be honest, short, and factual. 

Something like "XX's group size was larger than expected as the booking confirmation stated only one guest. XX communicated his checkout time which was much appreciated. The house required some extra cleaning past the allotted cleaning fee."

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



I think @Emilia42 's suggested review is excellent. I might just add something about 'minor damages' as that's more than just some extra cleaning and as a host I would want to know this.


Although @Emilia42 is right that your rating might not make a huge difference when a guest already has several 5.0, I would still rate down. You might not be the first or last to do this with the guest, so it might make a difference at some point. They could be just clinging on to that 5* by a thread for all you know! 



@Emilia42 This is hugely helpful. I knew when I saw the number of guests was 1, I should have addressed it immediately. He was a last minute/same day check-in, and I was cooking dinner when he messaged, so I got sloppy. The suggested review wording is excellent. So, does this warrant a 3, maybe just a 4? 

Level 10
Orono, ME

@Lisa7001 I don't think star ratings are that big a deal for guests (as opposed to hosts.) Since this guest already has a few 5-star reviews, a 3 or 4 may not make that much of an impact on their ratings. (Guests' star ratings are rounded to the tenth decimal place while hosts are round to the one hundredth.) The written review is key to informing other hosts. 

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