There is no shortage of stories from disgruntled vacation rental guests who've encountered misguiding listings, rude hosts, dirty accommodations, or a dreaded list of chores expected to be completed upon checkout.
And that's exactly what one vacation rental host, who goes by Comprehensive_Link67 on Reddit, is tired of. In a post shared to the r/airbnb_hosts subreddit, Comprehensive_Link67 (who we'll call Link for short) called out his peers for their inhospitable nature and excessive rules, suggesting they have no one to blame but themselves for the bad reputation — and subsequent loss of business — hosts receive.
"Many of you need to get a grip," Link said in a now-viral open message to other hosts. "I am both an owner of multiple properties and a frequent guest. I am so confused by all of the hosts out here who take such an antagonistic view of guests and/or expect them to earn the right to pay you for a night's stay."
"Too many hosts treat PAYING guests as if they are doing them a favor by renting them accommodation. These are not friends crashing in your guest room. Like it or not, you are in the hospitality business, be hospitable."
"After four years hosting, I recently got my first bad review for an issue that really was a bad guest experience. The guest got a refund, new accommodations, and left a bad review. I didn't like the Airbnb policy that allowed both a refund and bad review. After some thought though, I was ultimately happy that the guest had a satisfactory experience renting on the platform. Hopefully they will use it again and another host won't be punished for my management company's mistake."
"Our competition is hotels. So, yeah, if a guest treats your property as they would a hotel, that is wholly appropriate. If they are egregiously filthy or damaging, fine, issue a complaint or request for renumeration. I see too many hosts on here who expect their properties to be treated with absolute kid gloves. Charging to replace stained towels? Are you kidding? Bleach them and keep extras. It's part of the cost of doing business," Link continued.
"If you spend any time on travel forums, you know that Airbnb sentiment is bad and getting worse. The #1 complaint is the huge list of checkout chores when we also charge a cleaning fee (far in excess of what they perceive they pay at a hotel). My point is that hosts should either treat this as a business or get out. The more you demand of guests, the more people will go back to hotels."
"That hurts everyone who is trying to make a go of this hospitality business. If you didn't enjoy my TED Talk, go ahead, down vote away. When Airbnb loses its paying client base and all of our utilization rates go to hell, just understand that we have no one to blame but ourselves," they concluded.
Though the post certainly struck a nerve with some hosts who attempted to justify their long chore lists or lack of faith in guests with their property, others were overwhelmingly in agreement.
"I agree. I got into this expecting to have to clean up messes, do a lot of laundry, and replace things at a much faster rate than I’d like," user u/kaytay3000 said. "It’s the cost of doing business and I built those expenses into my business plan. I’ve learned all kinds of cleaning hacks and handyman tricks and generally enjoyed being a host. I’ve had a few bad guests but consider it par for the course. I used those as learning experiences and have made changes to make sure I’m prepared for the next bump in the road."
Largely, hosts felt that there were many among them who just want to make a quick buck or pay off their property through renting more than they care about upholding a true business in hospitality — and it's those who they think are ruining it for everyone.
"This [decline in rentals] is because people who have never ran a business or have any business running a business started running a business," user u/Pleasant_General_664 said. "Just think of these shitty Airbnb hosts as the same incompetent business owners you see on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Robert Irvine's Restaurant: Impossible, or Anthony Melchiorri's Hotel Impossible."
There's an entitlement, other hosts said, as if guests are an inconvenience. "Too many hosts treat PAYING guests as if they are doing them a favor by renting them accommodation," user u/EternalSunshineClem said.
"I feel this way especially whenever a host is extremely bothered that a guest didn't write them a review. Getting an unfair bad review is always annoying but now we are mad if a guest just has other things to do and doesn't want to post yet another review? Choosing our place over MANY others, paying lots of money, and not breaking things should be more than enough."
This led other property managers to call out bad behavior they've seen firsthand from their peers.
"I'm a host who doesn't charge extra fees. As a guest in an Airbnb this summer, though, I was shocked to find a sign in the bathroom informing me that it cost an extra 10€ to take a bath," user u/Appropriate_Most1308 said.
"I recently stayed somewhere that was advertised as a place for medium-size gatherings (think wedding, family reunion, etc.). After booking, the owner sent me a 223-page PDF manual for 'cabin use.' Who has time [for] that?!" user MNTNBABE added.
"Lady, I just organized 18 people traveling from across the country. We’re adults who have stayed at hotels before. Why are you giving me a reading assignment?"
And others simply wished they could take vacation rentals back to the old days when it was far less corporate.
"I wholeheartedly agree. I’m not running a hotel company. I’m a host. That means I do things that hosts would do for a personal guest in their own home," user u/Calm_Brick_6608 said. "I actually hate that instead of people opening up their own homes for travelers to stay at for a bit, it’s become a sad, sterile, dreary property with no personality and obviously not someone’s true home. If I wanted that, I’d have booked a shitty holiday inn for half the price."