How to Write a Negative Airbnb Review for a Messy Guest

Learn how to write negative Airbnb reviews for messy guests with practical examples and expert tips.

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Check out our guide for first-time vacation rental hosts!

As an Airbnb host, you open your homes to guests from all walks of life, each with their own quirks and habits. While most guests are a delight, there’s always that one who leaves a mess and a headache behind.

So, what’s a host to do in such a situation? 

Do you sweep it under the rug, hoping for better luck next time? Or do you take a stand and share your experience through a negative review? And if you opt for the latter, how do you do it tactfully and professionally?

Stay tuned, we’re about to tackle the tricky task of writing negative reviews for messy guests. Get ready to delve into the nitty-gritty of giving constructive criticism in a public space. 

Airbnb Review System At a Glance

Let’s start with the essentials. 

Before you write that review, it’s important to know how the Airbnb review system works. 

Here’s what you should know about it:

  • Response Window: There’s a time limit for leaving reviews after a stay ends. You have 14 days to write a review, after that, you’ll no longer be able to share your experience.
  • Review Visibility: Reviews stay hidden until both you and the guest have left a review or until the 14-day review period is up. So, there’s no retaliation as neither can base their review on what the other said. 
  • Star Ratings: You get to leave an overall star rating, and also rate guests on different things, like how clean they left your place or how well they communicated. So, if they were friendly but left a mess, you can give a high rating for one and a low for the other.
  • Dispute Resolution: If things get hairy over a review, turn to Airbnb. You can report it if guests are impolite or offensive and they’ll help you sort out the disagreement.

Writing a Negative Airbnb Review for a Messy Guest

Here’s a dilemma for the ages: The guest left your rental a real mess, but there’s no damage. Should you leave a negative review?

Reviews should be all about honesty, so don’t label them as good or bad. Just share your honest thoughts on guests.

Truthful reviews are the backbone of the Airbnb community as they help both hosts and guests make smart choices about who they’re hosting or staying with. 

Even if writing a negative review feels awkward, it’s super important for the review system to do its job right. They need to be spot-on reflections of both hosts’ and guests’ experiences.

That’s why our advice is to always be honest and objective in your reviews. That means sharing the good, the bad, and the downright messy.

airbnb review for messy guest

Tips on How to Appropriately Review Messy Guests

Hosting can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but dealing with messy guests can throw a wrench in the works. When it comes to reviewing these guests, you need to strike the right balance between honesty and professionalism. 

Here are some tips on how to handle it:

Look Into the Airbnb Review Policy

Make sure to read Airbnb’s review policy before writing a negative review to avoid any rule violations.

According to Airbnb, the reviews should be relevant, unbiased, respectful, and truthful. 

To learn more about the rules, read the full review policy.

Balance Positives and Negatives

If there were any positive aspects of the guest’s stay, such as good communication or following other house rules, be sure to mention them. 

Balancing positives with negatives shows that you give fair and balanced reviews, rather than solely focusing on the negative.

It’s best to start with the good, such as saying they were easy to communicate with, and then share the negative feedback.

This is the kind of feedback you should avoid: 

“X left my house a total mess, and I would never host them again.”

This is how you should balance the positive and the negative: 

“X was nice and we had good communication. However, he left trash all over the place even though there were bins in the apartment for the waste, which was explained in the house rules. I wish they were more respectful of the space and follow the house rules.”

Focus on Aftermath

Describe how the guest’s behavior influenced your hosting experience. 

Did their messiness mean you had to spend more time cleaning or inconvenience you or other guests? 

By showing how their behavior affected you, you’re giving future hosts a heads-up about what to expect when hosting this guest.

Keep It Factual

Stick to the facts when describing the mess left by your guests. Stay clear from exaggerations or emotional language that could come across as overly critical, as other guests can see your review. 

Simply state what you observed, such as unclean dishes, scattered belongings, or stains on furniture.

For example, “X and Y were friendly and arrived on time. Even though they stayed only two nights, they moved the furniture around and left dirty dishes in the sink. There were also crumbs all over the couch and the floor, so I had to spend extra time cleaning up.”

Be Professional and Diplomatic

No matter what happened, there’s no room for personal attacks or aggressive language. That can only make things worse and make you look bad as a host. 

So, be mindful of how you express yourself to get your point across in a calm and professional way. 

Use neutral words that get your message across without stirring up trouble.

Here are a couple of ways how you can express that a guest was messy in a neutral way:

  • “The guest left my home in poor condition, which meant I had to spend much more time cleaning up to make sure it was ready for the next guest.”
  • “The guest left behind some clutter and unwashed dishes.”
  • “ There were scattered belongings, and all the bins were filled with trash which doesn’t comply with our house rules.”
  •  “The guest had left the space untidy with food crumbs and spills.”


Reviews are there to give hosts and guests the opportunity to share their experiences. So, even if a guest has glowing reviews but left your place messy, you should speak up.

You have nothing to stress about as long as you stay objective, keep it brief, and explain clearly why you’re giving them a lower rating for cleanliness.

If you’re worried about seeming too picky, start with something positive to show you’re fair and balanced.

So, go ahead and leave an honest review, as it helps other hosts know what they’re getting into.

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