Can You Remove Airbnb Reviews?

Learn the ropes of dealing with negative Airbnb reviews, understand why removal isn't always an option, and pick up essential strategies to prevent future bad reviews.

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You’ve had a guest stay at your place, and let’s just say the review they left isn’t exactly what you were hoping for. 

Yes, the unfairness stings, but here’s the thing: can you actually do anything about it? Can you remove a review from your page on Airbnb?

That’s the burning question we’re tackling head-on today.

Let’s break down everything you need to know about managing reviews. From understanding Airbnb’s review removal policy to dealing with not-so-glowing reviews. 

How to Remove an Airbnb Review

So, you’re wondering how to delete a review on Airbnb, right? 

Well, here’s the scoop: hosts can’t just remove reviews on their own. 

Why? 

Airbnb wants to keep things fair and transparent for everyone involved. Reviews help guests make informed decisions and build trust in the community, so they’re pretty important.

Here are a few reasons why reviews can’t be removed:

  • Fairness and transparency: Airbnb doesn’t want to choose sides and wants to keep things transparent. If hosts could delete reviews, it might tilt the balance in their favor, which isn’t fair.
  • Guest confidence: Reviews help guests choose where to stay. When past guests give honest feedback, it helps build trust in Airbnb as a reliable platform.
  • Community guidelines: Airbnb has strict rules about reviews. They can only be removed if they break these rules, like including hate speech, discriminatory language, or personal information.

But don’t worry, you’re not completely stuck. While you can’t make the review disappear, there are still ways to deal with less-than-great feedback:

  • Speak up: You have the chance to respond publicly to reviews on your listing page. It’s a good way to share your side of the story and show future guests that you’re on the ball. Just make sure that your response is professional and respectful.
  • Reach out: If you think a review is unfair or inaccurate, you can contact Airbnb’s support team about it. Reach out within 14 days of the review being posted and explain how the review breaks Airbnb’s rules. Stick to the facts, keep it short, and include any proof you have. They’ll look into it and might remove the review if it breaks the rules.
  • Sort things out: Sometimes, you can smooth things over with a guest after their stay via direct message. If they’re open to it, they can even edit their review to reflect any changes.
  • Focus on the good: Lastly, don’t forget about all those positive reviews you’ve received. Guests take the whole picture into account, so even if you’ve got a couple of negative ones, a bunch of positive reviews will still shine through. Make sure to keep asking happy guests to share their experiences as their positive feedback can help balance things out.
airbnb review for messy guest

Should You Remove a Bad Review?

Getting a bad review can be really frustrating, but should you really bother chasing after it? Take a moment to ask yourself the following:

  • Is there a grain of truth in the review? It’s hard to admit that something is your fault, but you should try to be as objective as possible. If it’s something that’s mentioned by multiple guests, maybe it’s worth paying attention to and making improvements.
  • Is this review really that bad? Sometimes it’s tough to get Airbnb to delete reviews, so think about if it’s worth the hassle to try to get rid of it through Airbnb support. A simpler option might be to just respond to it, especially if you have a good argument against it.
  • Are you worried about a potential bad review? If your guest hasn’t left one yet but you’re worried they might, you can wait until the last minute to publish your own review. This way, you’ll have a better idea if they’re really going to leave a negative review.
  • Will not responding to the review hurt your reputation? Think about how ignoring a negative review might make you look as a host. Responding politely and professionally can help lessen any damage and show future guests that you care about their feedback.

Think about these questions and then decide whether to remove or respond to the review.

Airbnb Review Policies

Airbnb wants honest reviews, so just because one’s negative doesn’t mean it’ll get taken down.

But if a review breaks Airbnb’s rules, you can challenge it. 

Here’s what might violate those rules:

  • No respect for privacy: Reviews can’t include private information like a full name or address.
  • Disrespectful language: Harassment, hate speech, or personal attacks aren’t allowed. If guests aren’t respectful, you have the right to complain.
  • Off-topic review: Reviews should focus on what happened during the visit. If guests ramble about something completely different (like how their tour guide was impolite) you can report it to Airbnb.
  • Fake review: Reviews should be real and based on actual experiences. 
  • Bias: Reviews shouldn’t be swayed by personal relationships or conflicts of interest.
  • Violence or threats: Airbnb has no tolerance for threats or violent talk.
  • Bribes: Reviews shouldn’t include demands for payment or threats to post a bad review unless someone pays up.
  • Guests didn’t show up: If someone didn’t stay at your rental, they can’t leave a review. It’s just for guests who actually stayed.
How to Get More 5-Star Reviews on Airbnb

How to Avoid Bad Reviews in the Future

The best way to steer clear of negative reviews is by preventing them in the first place. 

Here are some simple ways to dodge bad reviews:

  • Show it like it is: Your listing should paint an accurate picture of your short-term rental. Use clear, honest descriptions and good-quality photos. Guests appreciate knowing exactly what they’re getting, so they’re not surprised or disappointed when they arrive.
  • Keep communication clear: Make sure guests know what to expect. Answer their questions promptly and be upfront about your house rules and any quirks of your place. Good communication helps avoid misunderstandings.
  • Review guest’s past reviews: Before accepting a booking, take a look at the guest’s past reviews from other hosts. This can give you insight into their behavior and help you decide whether they’re a good fit for your listing.
  • Only communicate on the Airbnb platform: To protect yourself and your guests, keep all communication within Airbnb’s messaging system as you can use those messages as evidence if any issues arise. 
  • Cleanliness counts: A clean space is key to happy guests. Keep things tidy and well-maintained. Regular cleaning helps ensure everything looks and feels fresh for each new guest.
  • Handle issues gracefully: Problems can arise, but how you deal with them matters. Stay calm and professional, and try to resolve any issues swiftly and amicably. Guests will appreciate your efforts to make things right and they might not leave a bad review even if the situation wasn’t ideal.
  • Stay updated: Keep yourself informed about Airbnb’s rules and policies. Things can change, so it’s important to stay up-to-date so you can provide a safe and compliant hosting experience.

Final Thoughts

There’s no quick fix to make a review vanish on Airbnb. It doesn’t work like that. 

However, you can still do something about a bad review. 

First, decide if it’s worth the fuss. Are the guests exaggerating, or are they sharing legitimate concerns?

If you’re sure that the review breaks Airbnb rules, report it. 

If not, respond respectfully, thanking the guest for their feedback. Just avoid getting into arguments, as future guests will see it. 

We hope that these tips will ease the burden of handling negative reviews. Remember, every host faces this at some point, so be kind to yourself.

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