Home Hotels Airbnb Host’s Demands: Passive Aggressive Or Just A Clean Freak?

Airbnb Host’s Demands: Passive Aggressive Or Just A Clean Freak?

by SharonKurheg

An Airbnb renter aired his grievances when his host admonished him for his hygiene habits, even though he said he showered every morning. Read on and chime in – who do you think was right?

It was posted on Reddit’s AITA forum. AITA stands for “Am I The A-Hole?,” and is a place to get feedback from other Redditors to help determine if, during a conflict, you were in the right or the wrong.

Jack, age 26, was using Airbnb for the first time. He had just arrived in New York after an 8-hour flight and was jet-lagged and exhausted. His host, Clara, age 24, was renting out her bedroom while she bunked with her roommate (under NY state law, it’s illegal in most buildings for an apartment to be rented out for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is residing in the apartment at the same time). She showed him around quickly, pointing out the bathroom and bedroom.

Jack said:

…I told her I was exhausted, so I just wanted to go to bed. I fell asleep almost immediately, and then awoke at about 4am NY time and I discovered a handwritten note had been slid under my door.

“The note reads as follows: ‘Hi, this might be your first time doing AirBnb so you should understand a few standard etiquette’s [sic]. AirBnb is hosting so it is very different from a hotel or motel. You need to keep the room clean and free of odor because you are staying in someone else’s room.

“After your flight, you had a strong odor yet you didn’t take a shower before going to bed. As the owner of the room, the bed and the sheets, I am extremely displeased with this fact. You didn’t respect the cleanliness of my room. Please keep this in mind during your stay. I might have to report to AirBnb if you fail to keep up with the personal hygiene and lower the quality of my room. Best.”

Jack went on to write he was a “shower in the morning person” and ask why the host would rent out her room if she was so worried about other people’s “funk.”

Here’s an image of the note she slid under the door.

A few responders suggested that he clean up after being on a plane for so long, but not surprisingly, the vast majority of the readers agreed with Jack. Some comments included:

  • Eww NTA (Note from Sharon: NTA = “Not The A-Hole”), assuming you didn’t reek of something awful. This is a huge no go for Airbnb. You’d be well within your rights to say something to the company about the host making you feel uncomfortable.
  • NTA. What they really wanted to say is, “Even though we charge you a cleaning fee, please be considerate and don’t stink up the sheets because we don’t want to spend money washing the sheets for the next person staying in this room. I’m sure you didn’t find strange odor from the sheets last night. That’s because the person who slept in those sheets before you followed the Airbnb etiquette.”
  • NTA. Even if you smelled truly awful, she shouldn’t be renting out her room if she wants to dictate how others spend their time. What if you had a medical condition that gave you awful, constant farts? Would she complain then? Smelly people happen. Don’t rent a room if you can’t handle the guests.
  • Even if you had tacos B.O she doesn’t have the right to write a passive-aggressive note demanding you shower at night. Contact Airbnb and get a refund NTA
  • NTA. Tell Clara to mind her own damn business. In all seriousness, I would reply back “Thanks for the note – if you want to report me to Airbnb, I will happily report you to your landlord in the likely event you are violating your lease by subletting your room for profit.” That will put her in her place. She isn’t violating the Airbnb agreement since she’s there but I’ll bet $10 that her landlord doesn’t know she’s doing this and likely in violation of her lease.

What do you think? Does Clara have a leg to stand on in this? Should Jack contact Airbnb?

Whatever the case, it’s quite the story, huh?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Ryan February 19, 2020 - 7:18 pm

I would never stay in an AirBnb. What a dumb idea. The thought of staying in a strangers house freaks me out and i have much less confidence in their cleaning abilities compared to a hotel.

derek February 19, 2020 - 7:42 pm

No point in warfare. The guest should say that he was so tired after such a long flight that a shower was postponed. The host should stop being so aggressive. Actually, I would be afraid of xxxx (sexual assault) with AirBnb. As a guest, I’d be afraid that the host would do something to me, even if the host were female. As a host, I’d be afraid of the same thing from a guest.

Wes February 20, 2020 - 4:41 am

Depends how stinky.

James September 5, 2021 - 8:26 am

How can one not shower after an 8 hour flight? i am accustomed with ultra long haul flights over many different time zones, and the first thing i do after reaching the destination is brush my teeth and take a long shower

SharonKurheg September 5, 2021 - 10:03 am

By far, not everyone does. Even those who don’t wouldn’t have any sort of “smell” like the B&B owner was suggesting, unless the person had been sweating profusely. Unless the air conditioning isn’t working, that wouldn’t happen while sitting on a plane.


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