Leaving a bad review for guests?

Leaving a bad review for guests?

I'd like some advice from some of the hosts here, please.


I've been Airbnb-ing my country cabin/house for just under a year. It's not a full time rental, just a few weekends a month to cover costs. The rest of the time is for me and my gf. So far I have all 5 star and one 4 star (everything was great, they sid, but only 4) for a 4.9+ average.


I've been lucky so far with very enthusiastic and respectful guests but have just had my first bad experience: they are an older (70s) couple. They had good reviews and the wife (under whose name was the rental) is somewhat known and accomplished in the creative arts world. They seemed like they'd be a joy for a 10 day rental, covering my monthly expenses in one shot.


Unfortunately, they were not great. They drove their car around the parking area barriers, across the lawn and over a flower bed so they could park next to the house (the excuse was that the husband had mobility issues but that was never mentioned previously). They left the place messy, reeking from pot smoke (it's a no-smoking house). They had indicated they were bringing a dog and paid the additional pet fee but my cleaner found 3 separate places in the house where there was intact dog feces and one dog urine stain.


My friends who are experienced hosts have all advised me to NOT leave a negative review, that having any negative verbiage associated with my airbnb ad could drive away some potential renters in the future. They suggest that I leave a 4 star review, with a lukewarm sentence ("so and so were fine guests") and answer the survey questions (the ones that the renters wont see) truthfully so that any future hosts will know not to rent to them.


How would some of you experienced hosts handle this? Thank you in advance.

4 Replies 4
Level 10
Buckeye, AZ


A possible thought would be  very business nothing personal so nothing about the crazy lawn parking.  Communication experience for you was  not a 5 and could be improved.

Pet was correctly included and fee paid but cleaning for pets use was higher than  average expectation.


As to  the pot  smoking  my state it is legal.  I have found as I dealing with it, because I may have  more than 1 guest and since    many guest  contract employment are drug tested..  Us cigarette smokers are used to rules.  My pot smokers don't see themselves in the same light as   a tobacco smokers.  So I don't mentioned on my Airbnb app because usually  not an issue.  When I do mention to someone that I  think might enjoy.  I   have found the easiest way to get compliance  for pot smoking outside  only is  to address it has potentially harming another guest who is drug tested.

Level 10
Irvine, CA

@Jack2603 Leaving positive or dishonest reviews for bad guest is a complete disservice to other hosts, and in my personal opinion was poor advice. 


As I am sure you know reviews are blind, meaning a guest/host won't see a review till the other party leaves them one or the time exceeds the 14-day review period. I am a bit confused as to the "negative verbiage" you refer to. Are you afraid they will leave you a bad review? Because again, even if you wrote something positive to encourage a positive review in return, they wouldn't see that till the above mentioned occurred. If you are worried about other potential renters viewing your review for these guests, I really wouldn't worry too much about it. Most guest, me included, will look at reviews for the property, not reviews left to others by the host of the property, as that is not extremely reflective or relevant to the space itself. 


As host we only have a few things that help us assure we accept and host respectful guest. One of these things is reviews based on other hosts experiences. If every host worked on the mindset of "Oh, I'll leave a positive review for a horrible guest because I am afraid or worried", this guest would likely go undetected for their bad behavior and continue to cause issues at other properties.  


I encourage leave an honest and constructive review for these guests. It sounds like they didn't just break a minor rule, they smoked, destroyed parts of your property, and left the space messy with dog urine and feces. 

Level 10
Takoma Park, MD



@Jennifer1897  gave you some excellent advice. Please leave an unemotional, factual review. Be careful to adhere to AirBnB policy. Don't mention the pot specifically, although you can say something like  "guests smoked in our non-smoking property." You can also mention the dog issue. 

It's always good to be circumspect, rather than make direct accusations. 


"There were several violations of house rules with these guests. Extra cleaning was required due to pet accidents and smoking in our non-smoking property. We would not choose to host these folks again."


Something like that. Leaving a positive review is a disservice to other hosts. We have to look out for each other.

Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @Jack2603,I’m sorry to hear about the situation with your past guests.


It’s great to see all the helpful suggestions from our experienced Hosts. Have you had a chance to read through them? Have you decided on the review yet?


Please keep us posted.



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