Don’t Panic: 7 Common Airbnb Nightmare Scenarios and How to Resolve Them

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Have you heard about the Airbnb nightmares that involve the host losing a ton of money? Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about this if you take the proper precautions. Discover 7 Airbnb nightmare scenarios and how to resolve them.

You’ve probably heard about the Airbnb nightmare scenarios that usually involve the host losing a ton of money, or worse, getting kicked off the platform. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about this if you take the proper precautions by preparing yourself for a potential Airbnb horror scenario.

Here are 7 common Airbnb nightmare scenarios and how to resolve them.

1. You’ve Been Catfished!

The scenario:

A single guest books your property and everything seems fine. However, the person that arrives to check in is not the person that booked the stay although they claim that they are the same person. It turns out that their profile image is actually a stock photo.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

Be cautious about accepting guests that don’t have any reviews at all. If you’re unsure about a guest or something seems off, don’t hesitate to ask more questions or do a quick search for information about the guest on the web. The guest may be catfishing you to avoid you finding out about their criminal background.

Alert Airbnb right away about the profile and cancel the booking before the guest arrives.

2. Intoxicated Guests

The scenario:

Your guests just arrived. Unfortunately, they’ve already had a bit too much to drink (or worse) and are being less than friendly. The situation is rapidly becoming an Airbnb nightmare. You feel uncomfortable letting them stay on your property and they’re starting to cause a scene.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

If the person is on your property and is very drunk, contact Airbnb right away and request the booking to be cancelled so that you can have them removed from your property or sent to a hospital. If you believe that you are in physical danger or there is drug use, contact the police first.

Finally, make sure that you make it clear in your listing as to what you will tolerate when it comes to the use of alcohol in your house rules.

3. Storm of the Century

airbnb horror story

The scenario:

Your guests have just arrived and suddenly a tornado warning is put out by the local emergency authorities for your area. The storm rips through and tears the roof of your property. Fortunately, your guests are safe but their belongings and your property are completely destroyed.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

If you know that a storm is on the way, it’s okay to cancel the booking with your guests. Let them know that their safety comes first even at the risk of a bad review. If your guests are already affected by the storm, contact Airbnb and your insurance company for assistance right away.

Airbnb will help the guests arrange some alternative accommodations and you can then go ahead with assessing the damage and filing an insurance claim.

4. Flakey Tourists

The scenario:

It’s the height of the holiday season and you’ve managed to fill the bookings for your beachfront property for the entire month. Unfortunately, the guests that paid for 3 of those 4 weeks have just decided to cancel the night before they were scheduled to arrive.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

Consider using a Strict Cancellation Policy to protect yourself from guests who want to cancel at the last minute. In addition, you should also limit the number of days that guests can book your property during the busy season so that a single guest can’t ruin your income for the entire month.

Finally, make sure that your listing is available on several short-term rental sites so that you have a better chance of having new guests book your property if one decides to cancel on short notice.

5. It’s Party Time

airbnb nightmare scenario

The scenario:

Your guests ask to book your property for the weekend and they say that they are looking to spend the weekend sleeping and reading books. Unfortunately, the real plan is to have a wild party at your property and it’s the beginning of yet another Airbnb horror story.

After the guests leave on Sunday morning, without notifying you, of course, your cleaning service arrives to find your place in shambles.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

Watch out for guests who are only looking to book your listing for one night, especially on the weekends. You should also check your guest’s reviews to see if other hosts have had problems in the past.

Finally, don’t allow additional guests to stay at your property if you’ve only agreed to a certain number at a time. Installing video surveillance on your property will also help you to catch the party guests arriving so that you can call the police and shut it down.

6. You’ve Been Robbed

airbnb nightmare

The scenario:

Your guests book a stay at your property and everything seems fine. In fact, they don’t even bother you with any questions at all. However, once they leave, you notice that they helped themselves to a lot more than you offered them. Some of your belongings including expensive artwork and cash are missing.

Now those guests are long gone and they’re not responding to your Airbnb messages. Airbnb has not offered to cover the cost of replacing the items.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

Don’t leave valuables on your property. If you have expensive furniture and home decor that you want to remain in the house while guests are staying there, make sure that all items are covered by an insurance policy.

You should also make sure that you file a police report right away after you notice that the items are missing so that they can investigate the matter.

7. Imaginary Infestation

The scenario:

You’ve just booked a new guest and you’re excited about their stay. Everything seems to be going normally until they check out.

Soon after they’ve checked out, you receive a message from your guests saying that your property is infested with bugs or vermin. The guests are demanding a full refund and are threatening to report you to Airbnb.

However, your property actually isn’t infested and it’s all a scam.

How to avoid this Airbnb nightmare:

Ask your guests to report any problems that they may experience immediately upon arrival. If the entire property is indeed crawling with roaches or mice, there’s simply no way that the guests won’t bother telling you about the problem until they’re ready to leave.

Make sure that you fumigate your property regularly and obtain the proof from pest control company that you’ve had the work done. A recent inspection can work in your favour to prove your case against the guest.

In addition, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you take photos and video of your property between guests so that you can prove your case in the event that the guest tries to provide “evidence” to the contrary.

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