False damage and theft accusations

False damage and theft accusations

What is the best protocol to follow if a host makes false damage accusations?


We just checked out this morning and after leaving a 5 star review and getting home the host has accused us of drawing with pen on the walls, stealing a blanket and towels, and permanently staining their sheets. I feel like they are trying to get a free ride because we checked in with kids. Our kids are tweens though, so they are not drawing on walls etc. and aren’t damaging sheets or beds etc. They weren’t even at the air BnB most of the time as we were out hiking. 


We’ve had multiple other stays this year with our kids and had 5 star reviews from every other host. We followed all their random cleaning rules at this location like balling up sheets at the end of bed and putting all the towels together in the bathroom, not wearing shoes in house etc but they are claiming ruined sheets, stolen towels and blankets and the need to repaint walls from drawing on them with pen. 

We love staying in air BnBs to have access to a full kitchen and multiple bathrooms but it never occurred to me that people would make up random weird damage complaints. This is really off putting that people can just make up random damage and try to charge you for it. Our family had planned to stay at this location again in a few months and regularly afterwards as it’s not far from home and recommended it to friends,  but this is obviously a deal breaker. 

What should we do?

3 Replies 3
Community Manager
Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hi @Maribeth17 ! Seems like the aftermath of the stay was very much unexpected and came of as a surprise. Did you happen to reach out to the Customer Support team to share your experience with them? 

Did you hear back from the Host or reach out to them in this regards?




Please follow the Community Guidelines

Level 2
New Albany, IN

Oh wow, this false accusation stuff is happening even more than I thought! (I just commented on a separate post where UK guest had been falsely accused of smoking...just like my friend was in the US a few weeks ago).


It appears about 2-3 years ago hosts were unhappy with how Airbnb handled their complaints -- taking the guests' word over the hosts' more often than not.


It appears now Airbnb has overcorrected, and guests are paying the price!


A host profiled my friend and used a photo of purple shampoo residue to "prove" my friend had dyed her hair in the tub.


Fun fact: my friends's hair was and is blond. The purple shampoo makes the blond less yellow. That's it. There is not even any purple hair involved in this whole dumb story!


The host also falsely accused my friend of smoking.  Fun fact: My friend can't even be around somebody smoking without literally having a seizure!


Airbnb's response so far is "sorry, we believe the host" even though my friend can show medical proof she is not a smoker.


Sounds like some hosts or cleaning companies are profiling guests with kids just like other hosts are profiling guests based on other factors to support their false accusations.


It makes sense -- tailor the accusation to the kinds of complaints Airbnb would "expect" from that guest based on their profile/reservation.

Hi Maribeth17,


As a guest, might I suggest to all guests & hosts take video of entire property upon entering at check in, including insides of linen closet/kitchen cabinets as documented proof of how you found the property upon arrival & again at checkout to show how you left the property i.e. followed checkout rules/process.


I recommend the same for host/cleaner: video from entry door throughout entire home after guest checks out and before touching anything to document condition of property (were checkout rules followed/damages/evidence of smoking/unauthorised events in the absence of exterior cameras) and lastly, after cleaning take another video as proof of how property condition before next guest arrival. Tedious, but cya & kyc...you can also make known on your listing that this is your process; it might save you from potential problem guests planning to lodge faux complaints for refunds or disrespect your property.


Guests/Hosts should hang onto video until review period has expired just in case, either party needs it as evidence in a dispute , faux/real.


*sadly I've found that reviews aren't 100% reliable as some guests have multiple stellar reviews but come to another property and totally disregard the rules as evidenced by condition of house after checkout, quite puzzling...surprisingly i've seen guests who are also superhosts at the conclusion of their pretty much seemed to have gotten dressed, cooked breakfast etc, not ensuring all exterior doors are locked, leaving bedrooms as if it were a hotel, unwashed breakfast dishes, food in fridge etc. altho rules are on listing and prominently displayed by the entrance...human behaviour