Top 10 Reasons of Bad Airbnb Reviews and Ways to Benefit from Them in 2024

Who has never received a bad Airbnb review? If you come across a problematic guest, it doesn’t matter if you have all the essential equipment, that you have taken care of the decoration of the property, or that you offer a 5-star service: you will most likely receive negative feedback.

But many negative reviews on Airbnb can be avoided by understanding their causes and taking steps to prevent them from happening again. Read on to learn the most common reasons hosts receive negative reviews on Airbnb.

Bad Airbnb reviews from guests

Bad Airbnb reviews and how to handle them

Guests’ reviews on Airbnb: an important distinction

Since user feedback is important when assessing a product or service, everyone enjoys reading internet reviews and pays close attention to them. They may persuade you to buy it or stay far away from it. Reviews on Airbnb are no different.

Reviews are a fantastic tool for tourists and hosts to understand potential guests better. They can add legitimacy to a traveler’s profile or a vacation rental listing or occasionally raise questions in our minds. Reviews are thus helpful when they provide neutral and impartial info.

Process of adding reviews
on Airbnb

The review process on this platform is really straightforward. You can leave a review on Airbnb in the following ways:

  • When a guest checks out of your property, Airbnb will request that you rate the traveler’s profile and leave a review.
  • You have 14 days to submit your feedback after the traveler’s departure.
  • Only once a) both sides have commented or b) 14 days have passed, whichever occurs first, are comments published.
  • Private comments may be sent after the publication of both parties’ comments.
  • Airbnb advises that you always give accurate and unbiased feedback. This is crucial to give future visitors useful information. Additionally, their remarks will benefit you.

Every review is essential! Not all guests are willing to leave them, so you need to learn how to communicate not only correctly but also ask for feedback. Our team can share techniques and teach you how to do it professionally during a personal consultation.

Meaning of star ratings
on Airbnb

Once you have more than three reviews, a five-star average will be determined and featured in search results and on your listing page. The addition of stars to the traveler review allows you to grade yourself in various categories quickly:

  • Overall impression
  • How was the cleaning?
  • Does it correlate with a listing?
  • Arrival: how did things go?
  • Did a host react to messages and inquiries promptly?
  • Location: directions to a property, local attractions, etc.
  • Does the price match the various services offered?
  • Did all the facilities work?

By introducing additional cross-selling services or adjusting your vacation rental to the seasons, you can enhance the services of your holiday rental by knowing these factors.

Bad Airbnb reviews
from guests

Fortunately, negative feedback is relatively rare on Airbnb. Most guests are reasonable people, and many negative comments can be avoided by understanding their causes and taking steps to prevent them from happening again.

Receiving a lot of negative feedback on Airbnb can damage future bookings your listing may have, as most guests check the reviews section of the listing to decide before booking a property.

10 reasons of bad Airbnb reviews
getting by hosts

Mainly expectations. If your guests have paid $100, they’ll expect a $100 experience (or even higher), and anything below that increases the chances they’ll leave an unfavorable review.

reasons of bad airbnb reviews

Top 10 reasons of bad Airbnb reviews

Remember that each traveler has a different idea of what is okay or unacceptable. Young guests will forgive you a hard mattress but not a bad internet connection, while retirees will be just the opposite.

1. Misleading listings descriptions

One of the main causes of negative reviews on Airbnb is not correct descriptions in listings. If you are tempted to “dress up” your accommodation description, think twice: it will surely work against you.

Airbnb bad review

Misleading description as a reason of bad Airbnb reviews

Most travelers prioritize professionalism, and a listing in which basic details are unclear or with few photos conveys just the opposite. If you want to surprise guests, keep it positive: a welcome kit will delight them, and you will be a host of 10.

Instances of misleading descriptions on Airbnb

Reason Example
Inaccurate location A listing that claims to be in the heart of a city, but is located in a less desirable or less convenient area.
Incorrect photos Photos that make a space appear larger or more luxurious than it is, such as using wide-angle lenses or overly bright lighting.
Hidden fees Listings that advertise a low price but then add extra fees for cleaning, taxes, or amenities not originally included in the price.
Amenities misinformation A listing that claims to have a hot tub or pool, but the amenities are actually shared with other units and are frequently occupied or unavailable.
Omission of key detail Listings that omit essential information, such as the fact that a property is shared with other guests or that the host will be present during the stay.
False advertising Listings that make false claims, such as advertising a private beach or access to a nearby attraction that does not exist.

If you want to avoid bad Airbnb reviews because of the description, you should probably explore our Airbnb description guide with many examples. If you want ready-made descriptions and a complete analysis of your listings, consider our Airbnb profile solutions service.

2. Poor communication with guests

Imagine that you are a guest. You have already bought your plane tickets and reserved your apartment and activities for that week, but the day of check-in is approaching, and you have not received a single word from your host. You will start to worry and stress thinking that you have been scammed… Wouldn’t you mention that in your review?

Negative review on Airbnb

Negative review on Airbnb because of poor communication

Communication with guests is a determining factor in the success or failure of your vacation rental, so it is key to take care of it. Your goal should be to clarify as much information as possible in your listing, such as:

  • Check-in and check-out procedures;
  • House rules;
  • Property information;
  • Emergency procedures;
  • Wi-Fi and internet access;
  • User manuals (TV, AC, kitchen appliances, etc.);
  • Tourist information;
  • Feedback form.

Do not forget to provide your guests with a contact number for possible emergencies and/or doubts. Knowing that you are available in case of problems during their stay will reassure them. If you want more tips on this, explore our article on the importance of communication skills in hospitality.

3. Uncomfortable beds and/or night noises

The most important rooms in your vacation rental are undoubtedly the bedrooms, so it is worth investing in good quality furniture (especially the mattress) and that can last for years in good condition. The first example of a bad Airbnb review regarding beds is below:

Bad Airbnb review from a guest

Example of bad Airbnb review from guests

Another one instance of feedback is even much better to analyze:

Negative review on Airbnb

Noisy neighbors as a reason of a bad review

One of the main reasons people travel is to relax and be comfortable. Don’t ruin their vacation with an uncomfortable bed they can’t rest on, or you’ll probably get a negative comment on your Airbnb profile.

In the same way, make sure that travelers can sleep well without being disturbed by noise from the neighbors. The property should be properly insulated, with double-glazed windows for better noise protection.

4. Lack of accommodation cleanliness

Today more than ever, cleanliness is essential in any accommodation. Whether you clean yourself or hire an outside company, set the bar high in this regard, and keep it that way for every guest.

Airbnb bad review

Instance of bad guests’ review on Airbnb

Take a look at the list of cleaning products and equipment that you should always have on hand:

  • A good vacuum cleaner;
  • A microfiber mop for parquet floors;
  • Glass cleaner;
  • All-purpose cleaner for the kitchen and floors;
  • Disinfectant for bathrooms;
  • Lots of microfiber cloths;
  • A few scouring pads to clean stubborn dirt;
  • A toilet brush;
  • Wood polish to add the finishing touch.

Now, what if you can’t respond quickly? Luckily, suppose you have a vacation rental management team like CHM’s. In that case, you will have set up automatic personalized responses for your guests, proper communication, 24/7 customer support, and a lot of more.

5. Bad internet connection at the property

Not all travelers are tourists in search of relaxation, and even if they are, today they will surely expect certain standards from the Internet connection.

Bad guest review on Airbnb

Example of a bad guest feedback on Airbnb

When you run a Wi-Fi speed test, the results are typically reported in Mbps. The higher the Mbps number, the faster your internet connection is. Here are some general guidelines for what different Mbps readings can mean:

  • Less than 1 Mbps. Very slow and could indicate a problem with your internet connection or Wi-Fi signal. Basic web browsing may still be possible, but you may experience buffering when streaming video or audio.
  • 1-10 Mbps. This is considered slow and may not support streaming video or audio very well. Web browsing and email should still work, but you may experience slow page loading times.
  • 10-50 Mbps. This is a decent speed and should support most online activities, including streaming video and audio. Though, you may experience some buffering or lag during high-traffic times.
  • 50-100 Mbps. This speed should be fast and support multiple devices streaming video or audio simultaneously. You can download large files quickly and experience minimal buffering or lag.
  • 100-500 Mbps. This is a very fast speed and is suitable.

Airbnb has recently launched a Wi-Fi speed test, which seeks to end the practice of specifying Internet speeds that are not actually met and end up being a nuisance for guests.

6. Disappointing location of the property

The photos you upload of your property and its surroundings are the most basic element in persuading guests and convincing them that your home is right for them. Photos of resorts that make you think the property is located there (when it really isn’t) won’t help you earn positive reviews.

bad airbnb guest reviews

Airbnb bad guest review example

Don’t be afraid to add comments to your images explaining what you’re showing and how far your property is from the site they’re looking at (“15 minutes’ walk from X”, “two hours’ drive from Y”), because that will make a difference. Also, guests don’t feel cheated if they know the distances up front.

Misleading and correct variants of location representation

Incorrect example Right description
This modern apartment is conveniently located just 2 minutes from the beach. The property is a 15-minute walk or drive from the beach.
This cozy cabin is situated in a peaceful forest, just a stone’s throw from a quaint village. The village is a 30-minute drive away, and not easily accessible from the property.
This spacious house is just a short walk from the city center, with all its attractions and amenities. The city center is a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute drive away, and not easily accessible from the property.
This charming cottage is located just 2 minutes from a lively entertainment district, with plenty of restaurants and bars. The entertainment district is a 15-minute drive away, and not easily accessible from the property.
This cozy apartment is located just a few steps from a bustling shopping district, with plenty of stores and boutiques. The shopping district is a 20-minute walk or a 15-minute drive away, and not easily accessible from the property.

A good idea is to integrate Google Maps into your vacation rental website. Your guests will be able to see the exact location of your property and explore the surroundings themselves.

7. Excess Airbnb house rules in the listing

If the hosts need to establish certain rules to avoid problems, these have to be very clear in the listing before the reservation. If guests can only access certain parts of the house, say so upfront. Let them know if they can use the washer only once a week. Tell them if the rubbish is picked up on a certain day, because they can’t read your mind!

airbnb negative reviews

Airbnb negative review because of not clear house rules

When guests are bombarded with a book of rules right after arriving at your property, things never end well. Reconsider your vacation rental, think about the rules that need to be made clear, and be sure to communicate them from the beginning. Look at the example and template of Airbnb house rules.

8. Low level of privacy at the property for guests

This is more common for those hosts who share their home while they are living in it, since the lack of privacy can put your guests on edge.

negative feedback from guests on airbnb

Negative feedback because of poor privacy on Airbnb

Respect the limits of your guests. Although you may be okay with them walking into your room without knocking on the door, they may not feel the same way.

And the same goes for noise: keep it to a minimum when you’re home at the same time as your guests so they feel comfortable, relaxed, and can sleep after a long day.

9. Lack of supplies at the Airbnb rental

Most guests will understand that the owners are not 24-hour a day available for them, but they certainly do have certain expectations about what you will leave in your property for them to use. This usually includes basic items:

  • Bed linens;
  • Towels;
  • Toiletries;
  • Kitchenware;
  • Appliances;
  • Cleaning supplies;
  • Trash bags;
  • Internet access;
  • TV and entertainment;
  • AC and heating;
  • Iron and ironing board;
  • Outdoor furniture (if applicable).
bad guest review airbnb

Bad review because of lack of supplies at the property

If you’re not going to be able to make enough toilet paper available to them, be sure to say so in your listing and remind them before they arrive. Guests will appreciate your honesty and will be able to plan ahead instead of having to run to the store in the middle of the night!

10. Broken/worn-out appliances or services

There is nothing more stressful than going on vacation to a vacation rental that you think you are going to enjoy, having to check all the appliances and gadgets for damage.

Bad Airbnb review

Negative Airbnb feedback example from a guest

Remembering to replace any outdated items will make the guest experience more positive. The price you will have to pay for receiving a bad review will be much worse than replacing a few glasses, tiles or other things from time to time.

As a conclusion

No one is immune to receiving negative feedback on Airbnb, but knowing the most common causes will help you pay special attention to these aspects so they don’t disappoint your guests. With a focus on keeping your property to the nines and a continuous improvement attitude toward traveler reviews, you can be sure you won’t run into any reputational issues at Airbnb.

Frequently asked questions related
to bad Airbnb reviews

1. What happens if you get a bad review Airbnb?

If you receive a bad review on Airbnb, it can impact your future bookings and reputation. The review will be publicly displayed on your profile and future hosts will be able to see it. This can make it harder to book desirable listings, but it’s important to remember that you can take steps to improve your future stays and guest experience on the platform.

2. What is an example of a bad Airbnb review?

Here is an example of a bad Airbnb review:

“I had a terrible experience staying at this Airbnb. The host was unresponsive and didn’t provide any basic amenities like towels or extra blankets. The apartment had a smoky smell and was filthy. I had trouble sleeping while I was there because of the uncomfortable bed. This listing is not something I would suggest to anyone.”

In addition to honestly evaluating the guest’s experience, this review contains concrete examples of what went wrong during their stay. Remember that negative feedback must always be fair and impartial, refrain from making personal attacks, and refrain from foul language.

3. Is it OK to write a bad review on Airbnb?

It’s okay to leave a bad review on Airbnb if you had a terrible experience. When expressing what went wrong, be fair, neutral, and specific. Also, avoid using insulting or threatening language. A bad review may sway the choices of other guests and encourage hosts to change their listings.

4. Can a guest remove a bad review on Airbnb?

No, after posting a bad review on Airbnb, a guest cannot take it back. But they can ask for the review to be taken down if it breaks any of Airbnb’s rules, such as using offensive language or making personal attacks. They can do this by contacting Airbnb’s customer support staff.

Reviews on Airbnb cannot be taken down for being negative or unfavorable because they are meant to be an honest and open reflection of client experiences.

5. Can a guest respond to a bad review on Airbnb?

You may respond to negative reviews on Airbnb, yes. It’s crucial to maintain professionalism, respond to particular queries, and offer further context or details that can help to make the situation clearer. A well-written answer might lessen the damage a bad review does to your reputation.

6. How honest should you be in an Airbnb review?

You should be honest, fair, and specific about your experience, including both positive and negative aspects. Your review should be respectful and provide constructive feedback to help the host improve their listing for future guests.

7. Can Airbnb hosts see your reviews?

Yes, Airbnb hosts can see the reviews you receive from other hosts, and the reviews you leave for them after your stay. These reviews are publicly displayed on your Airbnb profile.

8. Do Airbnb reviews of guests matter?

Yes, Airbnb reviews of guests matter as they can impact a guest’s ability to book future listings and can also help hosts make informed decisions about potential guests.

9. How many reviews are enough on Airbnb?

There isn’t a set threshold for how many reviews are “enough” on Airbnb, although more reviews can increase a listing’s popularity and appeal to potential visitors.

10. What percentage of Airbnb guests leave reviews?

Around 50% of Airbnb guests leave feedback. This number can be higher or lower depending on various factors. Hosts can encourage guests to leave reviews by providing great hospitality, prompt communication, and a positive overall experience.

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