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What it’s like to have bad Airbnb guests

One of the questions we often get asked about hosting on Airbnb is: “Do you ever get bad guests?”

Yes. Yes we do.

But to be honestly, it doesn’t happen a lot, and hasn’t happened until very recently. In the 50 or so guests we’ve had in the last seven months, only three were bad news. And I say bad news in the sense that they had a bad attitude, and didn’t fully embrace the concept of Airbnb. (Not bad news in the sense that they endangered us or stole from us).

The “bad guests” we’ve had typically were just rude in one way or another. Because they pay to stay in our flat they feel entitled. They believe it’s the same as a hotel. When in reality, Airbnb is an entirely different experience from a hotel altogether. Especially if you elect to stay in a private room in someone’s home. You are essentially living in their space with them, and should be respectful of it.

The result is usually we’re just a tad uncomfortable in our home. Which is not ideal, but this is the risk hosts have to take for the pay off. And the amount of amazing guests we’ve met have far outweighed the ones we wish would leave.

The lesson we’ve learned from having “bad guests” is very simple: You can tell a bad guest a million miles away. It’s all down to their initial contact with you. Was it good or was it bad? Did they put in effort and express interest? Did they ask for any special terms and conditions (or separate kitchens for severe gluten allergies)? Did they ask for a discount?

From now on, Mark and I only accept guests who reach out to us politely, tell us information about themselves and the purpose of their trip. And hopefully, they have questions for us, too. We want them to ask questions. That means when they finally show up to our flat, they have clear expectations and zero ambiguity.

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