What Airbnb hosts wish their guests would stop doing

  • Airbnb hosts don’t communicate with guests outside of answering questions and leaving reviews.
  • So Insider asked hosts what they want their guests to stop doing during their stay.
  • The answers range from mild inconvenience to permanent damage.

Since Airbnb launched in 2008, more than 1 billion guests rented his properties.

Hosts use the app or website to rent out their apartments, houses, or even individual rooms in their homes to travelers as an alternative to hotels. According to the site, there were over one million active listings as of March 2022.

But, as with everything in the service industry, there are still a few issues that can still be resolved. Insider spoke to several Airbnb hosts and asked them what they desperately want guests to stop doing on their listings.

Here’s what they would like guests to stop doing.

Ask for the address before booking and ask for a clearly defined fee

Airbnb listings show the general location of the home. Lauren Keen, a Florida host, told Insider she wishes people would stop asking for the exact address. “You get that when you book,” she said.

She also wants people to stop asking about fees. “It’s clear what belongs to me, Airbnb, the cleaner, the government, etc. It’s literally spelled out, line by line,” she said.

Ask about amenities that are clearly not listed

Keen said she also had a problem with people asking about things that would be be mentioned in the list if it provided them, such as bicycles. If the house had bikes, that would be part of how it marketed the ad.

dog on a snowy terrace

Please remember to clean up after your pet.

Alison Rose/Getty Images

Forgetting to clean up after your pets at a pet-friendly Airbnb

Both Adam Smithwhich runs two Airbnbs, and Jake Cohena Colorado-based host said he’s seen people forget to clean up after their pets.

“We own a property in the mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It snows from November through April. We allow pets on this property. We provide pet waste bags to try and keep our property clean and poop on our decks. It freezes and is so hard to remove. Please respect our properties so we can continue to allow you to bring your furry friends,” Cohen told Insider.

Smoking in a non-smoking ad

In some cases, there are very real safety reasons for not allowing smoking. Smith told Insider that smoking is particularly a problem at one of his properties, not because he dislikes smoking, but because of the fire danger.

“One property sits in a log cabin in a very dry, wildfire-prone area surrounded by potential fuel from ever-forged woods with fire bans,” he said. “But, people are stupid, or not from a high fire risk area, and throw their cigarette butts anywhere.”

Phillip Foxallwho has an Airbnb in Rockport, Texas, also said he doesn’t like guests smoking, though his problem is the smell.

“Please stop smoking indoors! The smell of smoke, both cigarette and marijuana, is difficult to remove from furniture and linens. It costs extra time and money for cleaning and is just plain disrespectful,” he said.

Wash off makeup with a hand towel, smudge it forever

Makeup-stained towels came up more than once when Insider spoke with Airbnb owners.

Maria Kennedya host in Spain said she found the behavior “amazing”, not least because she left makeup remover pads in her bathroom for guests to use instead of leaving stains “impossible” to remove.

Nathan Waldon, another California Airbnb host, also mentioned it. “Because they stain easily, taking care to use towels correctly is very helpful. Towels are expensive,” he said.

Moving decor and furniture and not putting it back

As an interior designer and Californian Airbnb host, heather bull spends a lot of time on his lists.

“These were painstakingly staged, and we have to re-stage them after most of the guests,” she said. “It’s my pet peeve because cleaners need to be trained on where things are supposed to go.”

Waldon added: “If you decide to move a piece of furniture – a chair, a table, anything – please move it back.”

In Bull’s experience, some people like to rearrange other things around the house — they move items such as dishes to different cupboards, she said.

Lauren Rudicka Montreal host, said guests leaving decorations can also be an issue.

“Guests are always picking seashells and ‘decorating’ the house with them. It drives me crazy,” she said. After each stay, she always has to go through the whole house to make sure that no one has forgotten any shells.

In summary: don’t move objects without moving them back and don’t leave any new “decoration” behind.

Lying about how many people actually come to stay

Hosts can sometimes tell when people are lying, especially when they have a bigger house and it looks like only two people have booked it, perhaps to save money.

“We have a three bedroom house and rarely only a couple reserve it. Be honest, the more people come into a property, the more laundry there is to do, the more electricity and water it uses and the more responsibility is taken by the host,” Foxall said.

a packing checklist

A checklist would be nice.

d3sign/Getty Images

Not double-checking that you have packed all your belongings at the end of your stay

Smith noted that while he’s happy to fire whatever’s left, it can lead to some awkward encounters.

“One example created an awkward situation with the guest, and the next guest, and our cleaners, when the first [guest] left her vibrator on the bedside table. We had a good laugh about it,” he said.

Leave food and drink behind

Bull told Insider that cleaning out the fridge after every stay is annoying.

“I think they’re thinking of doing the next guest a favor by leaving, but we have to throw it all away,” she said.

Wait until the last minute to resolve issues with the list

Foxall said he sometimes had issues with customers waiting until the last day to try to get a refund, instead of addressing issues upfront.

“We encourage our guests to walk around the property and really check everything out. If anything isn’t working or isn’t clean, report it immediately and we’ll get it fixed. Don’t report it five minutes before you leave and ask for a full refund,” he said.

He even compared it to “eating all but one bite of an expensive steak at a restaurant and then sending it back.”

gnome in a weed yard

Too many weeds in the neighbors is not the fault of the host.

Egumenie/Getty Images

Blaming hosts for issues with the property that are beyond their control

Sometimes a guest will leave a negative review for things that are simply impossible to control like “the neighbor’s yard was overgrown with weeds” or for something they knew before booking like “the inconvenience of the house is that it only has one bathroom”, short-term rental marketer Jorge Zarate says Insider.

Forgot to leave a note

As Insider previously reported, Airbnb hosts live and die according to the website notes. Many hosts have mentioned that guests forgetting to leave reviews can be a problem, including Foxall.

“We provide all of our customers with a star rating guide so they understand the difference between a five-star, four-star review, etc. Be honest, but be fair, and if there are any improvements to be made, please leave Let the host know before submitting your review so they can correct it,” he said.

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