I have had some fabulous trips with Airbnb as a guest, and I’ve been a host for around three years. With all of the guests that I have had, there have been some pretty good guests that I have had the pleasure of hosting in my units. I tend to answer inquiries very quickly and answer any and all questions and try to help out the person that is looking to book. Generally this all goes well.
Then there was the ‘guest from hell’. This guest booked for four nights stating they were coming into town on a work training program and since my place was very close (walking distance of less than one minute to their workplace), this would be a great fit. He booked for four nights, with one guest and gave me an approximate time of arrival.
I responded with my usual friendly ‘welcome’ email that details: my phone number; how to get into the building; where to park (if necessary); transportation phone numbers from the airport should he require a taxi; stating that I will be there on his arrival to check him in, give him a set of keys, show him around and answer any questions he may have; go over the rules of no smoking/no parties/no additional guests; state that if there are any issues to please contact me and I will do my best to resolve them. This was a ‘standard’ email communication that I send to every booking, following the same procedures for every booking assures that I am covering just about every aspect of the booking itself.
The guest arrived at a reasonable hour. We went over the ‘rules’ again (just for clarification) and everything seemed fine. I let the guest know that someone does come in and out of the unit on a daily basis to clean, replenish towels, and change linens as necessary. Should he wish to not have this service, it wasn’t a problem; it could wait until the end of the stay if he should wish.
The first two nights are great: there were no problems. The guest came in and out of the unit and availed himself of the kitchen and cleaned up. The bathroom was cleaned after use so everything looked good.
The third night was when the problems began. I personally went to the unit to replenish the towels and remove any trash and make sure that the unit was clean for the guest. Before I entered, I texted the guest that I would be coming to do this, and I also knocked on the door before I entered the unit. There was no answer of either text or the door itself when I knocked, so I entered the unit to take care of the replenishment and take care of any trash removal.
Lo and behold, I entered the bedroom (of which the door was wide open to the hallway) to find a strange person asleep/passed out on the bed (not in the bed – on the bed). I immediately called the guest that was registered and asked, “What is going on? Who is the person that is in the unit?”
The guest stated that his ‘friend’ was drunk, and had nowhere to stay. He let him stay at my place and was taking a hotel room for the night. I informed the guest that under no circumstances were unregistered guests allowed in the units and that this ‘friend’ had to leave.
As I walked further into the bedroom where this strange person was passed out, there was an incredible stench coming from the room. As I cornered around the bed, there it was, where this ‘friend’ had vomited all over the floor and rugs. I left the room to attend to the bathroom, in which it appeared as though this ‘friend’ had been there also, as there was vomit on the toilet, in the shower/bathtub, on the floor and in the sink. It was completely disgusting.
I called the guest again, and said, “You need to come and take this person out of here.” The guest refused. I called the police, and told them the situation, saying “I have an unregistered person in my unit that has apparently been dropped off by my registered guest and I need this person removed from my premises.” The police complied and came to my unit.
Airbnb does not have coverage for unregistered guests and this is what I had relayed to this guest from hell. The police waited with me as we waited for this guest to return, eventually showing up at 1:35 AM and proceeded to lie to the police. He said that I had ‘okayed’ the guest being there and that he had offered me an additional $100 to let his friend stay there.
He did offer the additional $100 for the friend, but I just wanted him out of there. I did not take any money from this guest. The police and I packed up all of the belongings of the registered guest, and they escorted him off the premises after retrieving the keys to my unit from him.
I called Airbnb to state what happened, as this guest wanted all of his money refunded. Airbnb did not refund his money to him as his communications through Airbnb showed that he breached the contract by bringing in another guest.
The review I got from this jerk was absolutely scathing. He complained that he couldn’t bring in a ‘friend’, that my place was not up to standard, that it was nothing like it was advertised, that I had ripped him off, had charged him all sorts of other fees on top of the rental, and that I had thrown him out ‘for no apparent reason’.
I’ve had some wonderful guests, and since my places were photographed by Airbnb sanctioned photographers, they knew that I was telling the truth. I have never taken anyone else on that does not host or doesn’t have reviews from other hosts, as I never want to face that issue ever again.
Airbnb didn’t want to pay for the damages (I have a very high deposit just for cases like this) and after sending Airbnb the pictures of my place with all the damage to it, and the cleanup cost receipts from a deep-cleaning company, they eventually paid.
I lost other bookings because I had to cancel them due to this ‘guest from hell’. I’ve never had a bad experience at any of the places I have stayed though, but I did notice that this ‘guest from hell’ that I had. Three other hosts put up bad reviews about him after he left my place. Choose wisely and carefully who you let into your units, as you never know.