Skip to content

How to Deal With Dirty Guests

When renting out your vacation home to guests, it's essential to be prepared for anything. This article will share a few tips on dealing with a guest who leaves behind a mess after they depart. This could be leftovers on plates, dirty dishes in the sink, used tissues all over the place, wet towels on the floor, and even worse, vomit around the toilet.


By Karolyn Hutson

Published on July 27, 2023

Ever opened the door to your Airbnb property after guests checked out and were met with a mess? It’s a sinking feeling, isn’t it? But don’t despair; I’ve been through it, and I’ve got your back. In this guide, I’ll share some tried-and-true strategies for dealing with dirty Airbnb guests. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!

Dealing with Mess and Damage

When it comes to hosting, mess, and damage can be a real headache. But with the right approach, you can turn things around. This section explores how to document the mess, clean up, estimate repairs, and even file a claim with Airbnb if needed.

Documenting the Mess

First off, grab your camera or smartphone. Although you may write a detailed description of the mess created by a dirty guest, you need to give proof. If the guest made a massive mess on your place, ensure you take many pictures. Sometimes, you may have to hire cleaning services such as carpet cleaning, maid service, or smoke remediation.

Airbnb has incorporated a system where you could raise a claim through the Resolution Center if a guest caused damage to the property. It’s essential to document everything, even if it seems minor. You never know when you might need to refer back to these images, especially if you have to file a claim.

Cleaning Process

Next up is the cleaning process. This might involve deep cleaning, using an Airbnb cleaning service, or tackling specific issues like stain removal and unpleasant odors. Don’t hesitate to call in professionals if the mess is too much to handle. Remember, your property needs to be in top shape for the next guests, so take the time to clean it thoroughly.

Whenever you visit the property for cleaning, it’s best practice to have a cleaning checklist. This may include the tasks to get the property ready for the next guests. Constantly update to include any missing items, or feedback you receive from guests. Examples of cleaning checklists from other hosts can be viewed in our resource directory

Estimating Repairs

If there’s actual damage, you’ll need to get professional estimates for the repairs. This might include getting replacements for broken items and keeping all the receipts. These documents will be crucial if you decide to file an Airbnb claim. So, take the time to get accurate estimates and keep all the paperwork handy.

Filing a Claim with Airbnb

Sometimes, the damage might be so severe that you need to file a claim with Airbnb. In that case, you’ll want to use the Airbnb Resolution Center and request AirCover, which offers up to $1 million in coverage. The reimbursement process can be a bit tedious, but with the right documentation, you’ll be on your way to getting compensated.

In the claim, attach the pictures and invoice indicating the amount you paid out of pocket for the extra cleaning. The app grants the guest up to 72 hours to respond. They can pay, decline, or negotiate the payable amount.

If the guest declines or the allowable time elapses before they respond, you can move a step higher to involve Airbnb. The app has a specialist team that scrutinizes the situation and weighs who is reasonable.

Managing Difficult Airbnb Guests

Dealing with difficult guests is something every host has to face at some point. This section’ll explore how to check guest profiles and reviews, communicate effectively, handle special requests, and maintain courtesy and professionalism.

Profile and Review Checking

Before accepting a booking, always check the guest’s profile and reviews. Look for inconsistencies and red flags and ensure the ID verification is complete. Pay attention to guest reviews and star ratings, as they can give you valuable insights into the guest’s behavior. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to decline a booking if something feels off. Here’s how you can do it:

Review Guest Profiles:

  • Look for a complete and verified profile, including a profile picture and verified ID.
  • Check for any inconsistencies or red flags that might indicate a potential problem.
  • Read previous host reviews to get a sense of the guest’s behavior and reliability.

Establish Clear House Rules:

  • Outline specific rules for your property, such as no smoking, no pets, or quiet hours.
  • Include any restrictions or requirements, like a minimum age for booking or a maximum number of guests.
  • Make sure to communicate these rules clearly in your listing and reiterate them in your communication with the guest.

Gather Complete Guest Information:

  • Ask for the full names and contact information of all guests who will be staying.
  • Request the purpose of the visit and any special needs or requests.
  • Confirm the check-in and check-out times to avoid any confusion.

Consider a Security Deposit:

  • Determine an appropriate security deposit amount to cover potential damages or extra cleaning.
  • Clearly state the conditions under which the deposit would be withheld.
  • Communicate the deposit policy to the guest before confirming the booking.

Manage Instant Booking:

  • If you use instant booking, set specific criteria that guests must meet, such as positive reviews or verified ID.
  • Consider using pre-booking questions to gather more information about the guest and their plans.
  • Stay proactive in communicating with guests who book instantly to ensure they understand your house rules and expectations.

Communication with Guests

Communication is key in managing difficult guests. Pay attention to your tone, mannerisms, and the way you handle phone calls and text messages. If you need to cancel a reservation, do it professionally, and always stick to your house rules. Open and honest communication can prevent misunderstandings and make your hosting experience smoother.

Special Requests and Outside Communication

Sometimes, guests might have special requests or try to communicate outside Airbnb. Handle these situations with professional communication and be wary of paying outside Airbnb or booking for a friend. These situations can be tricky, but you can navigate them successfully with clear guidelines and firm boundaries.

Courtesy and Professionalism

Always maintain courtesy and professionalism, even when dealing with difficult guests. Show respect, understanding, and empathy, and keep your communication calm and collected. It’s not just about being polite; it’s about building trust and creating a positive experience for both you and your guests.

Offering Solutions

If problems arise, be ready to offer solutions. This might involve problem-solving, finding alternate solutions, or even canceling a reservation. Keep your attitude positive and be proactive in addressing issues. Your guests will appreciate your efforts, and you’ll come out looking like a true professional.

Protecting Your Investment and Ensuring a Positive Experience

Your Airbnb property is an investment, and protecting it is paramount. This section’ll explore how to screen guests, set expectations, communicate proactively, and take safety measures to ensure a positive hosting experience.

Proactive Communication and Behavior Management

Proactive communication and behavior management are essential in hosting. Keep the lines of communication open, set clear expectations, and be ready to take action if needed. Be polite and professional, and don’t be afraid to enforce your house rules. Your guests will respect you more for it.

Write a Review About Your Experience with the Messy Guests

Writing a review about your experience with messy guests is an essential part of the hosting process. It’s not just about venting your frustrations; it’s about providing honest and constructive feedback to help other hosts make informed decisions. Here’s how you can approach it:

Be Honest but Professional:

  • Clearly describe the issues you faced, such as property damage, cleanliness concerns, or violations of house rules.
  • Avoid personal attacks or overly emotional language. Stick to the facts and keep your tone professional.

Provide Specific Examples:

  • Use specific examples to illustrate your points, such as photographs of the mess or detailed descriptions of the damage.
  • Be clear about what went wrong and how it affected your property and hosting experience.

Offer Constructive Feedback:

  • If appropriate, offer constructive feedback on how the guests could have behaved differently.
  • Suggest ways to improve their future behavior, such as better communication or adherence to house rules.

Consider the Impact on Future Hosts:

  • Remember that your review will be visible to other hosts, so consider the impact of your words.
  • Be fair and balanced in your assessment, recognizing any positive aspects of the guests’ stay as well.

Follow Airbnb’s Review Guidelines:

  • Familiarize yourself with Airbnb’s review guidelines and ensure your review complies with them.
  • Avoid including personal or sensitive information, and focus on your experience as a host.

Reflect on Your Own Practices:

  • Take a moment to reflect on your practices and consider whether there’s anything you could have done differently.
  • Think about how you can prevent similar issues in the future, such as clearer communication or more detailed house rules.

Our Thoughts

Lastly, always prioritize safety. Double-check guest profiles, confirm information, and follow best practices for safe and happy hosting. Your guests’ safety and your peace of mind are worth the extra effort. So, take the time to ensure that everything is in order before welcoming your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a dirty Airbnb?

A dirty Airbnb can mean different things to different people. But generally, it refers to a property that doesn’t meet cleanliness standards. This might include unclean surfaces, leftover trash, or damage to the property. As a host, you must set clear expectations and communicate them to your guests.Dealing with a Messy Airbnb

Can I kick out my Airbnb guest?

Kicking out a guest is serious and should be handled with care. Consider the host rights, eviction process, Airbnb support, and legal considerations before taking any drastic steps. If you find yourself in this situation, consult with Airbnb support and follow their guidance.

What to do about messy guests?

Messy guests can be a real challenge, but with the right approach, you can handle it like a pro. Start by documenting the mess, then move on to cleaning and repairs if needed. Communicate openly with your guests and consider filing a claim with Airbnb if the situation warrants it.

Should guests help clean up?

Whether guests should help clean up depends on your house rules and expectations. Some hosts expect guests to do basic cleaning, like washing dishes or taking out the trash. Others prefer to handle all the cleaning themselves. Be clear about your expectations, and communicate them to your guests.

Written by

With over six years of short-term rental hosting experience, Karolyn has helped hundreds of guests have an enjoyable experience. I love writing and am passionate about real estate, hospitality, and photography. Karolyn holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and enjoys sharing her experiences to help others.