Can bad reviews be removed on AirBnB?

Chances are, if you are running any kind of vacation rental business, a time will come when you get a bad review. This is OK. It happens. If a bad review happens and it is entirely justified then you have the right to reply. Use this right and explain what happened and why the failing was there. Perhaps the guest is complaining about an air-conditioner not working. Or it could be leaking and you might have missed the maintenance? With the right to reply you can easily say that this has now been done and is working as intended. Simple! But, can bad reviews be removed on AirBnB? The answer? Yes, if there is a valid reason.

Reviews on AirBnB are unique

What makes AirBnB reviews unique is that the guest and the host can leave them. This means that it is in the interest of the guest to leave the apartment in a good condition. It is also in the interest for the host to be welcoming. To ensure that you give the guest a good experience. With this, reviews on AirBnB tend to be positive. However they can sometimes be bad. A guest can be too demanding or have unrealistic expectations. If someone is new to AirBnB they may not be so familiar with the way it works. You can often tell whether a guest – host experience is positive or not before the reviews are written. With this, you can pre-vet whether you think your review you receive will be a positive one or a negative one.

AirBnB penalises hosts who do not get 4 star ratings on average. They even can take your listings offline because of this. It is important for you as a host on AirBnB to keep your reviews positive and keep the experience of your guests great. You can find your average rating in the stats tab so you can keep an eye on it if it is a worry for you.

Can bad reviews be removed?

If you contact AirBnB and tell them that someone said something nasty about you online, they will probably laugh at you and not take any action. People have the right to make their experience public, if it is a factual representation. AirBnB do however have their own review guidelines. In here they have a few things which aren’t allowed in reviews so if you see any of these in a review posted against you, it is fair for you to raise it with AirBnB.

  • Reviews that do not relate to personal experience
    • If the guest is referring to something else they saw or something that a friend experienced who wasn’t in their party. It shouldn’t be included in their reviews.
  • Reviews unrelated to the actual stay
    • If someone has a political point to make or decides to talk about religion, it has nothing to do with their stay… it shouldn’t be in their review.
  • Content that endorses or promotes illegal or harmful activity or violence, or is profane, vulgar, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or discriminatory.
    • If someone is threatening something illegal against you. Or threatening you then you have the right to get the review removed.
  • Content that violates another person’s or entity’s rights, including intellectual property rights and privacy rights (ex: publishing another person’s full name, address or other identifying information without permission).
    • If they refer to a member of your team by their full name or provide some personal details, you have a right to get the review removed.
  • Content that is proven to be used as extortion.
    • If someone is trying to get something for free. And/or threatening a bad review if they don’t. Do not give in, if they do write something you have proof of this extortion attempt.
  • Content that refers to an Airbnb investigation.
    • If a dispute has gone to the resolution centre then don’t mention it. If it is mentioned then the review can be removed.

If you have a bad review and think it should be gone then there is a simple way to do it. Go to your AirBnB account. There is a Help icon in the top right. From here you can send a message to AirBnB regarding your concerns. They will then take a look and make a decision. AirBnB decisions are final so respect them, but don’t be afraid to highlight the guidelines and what was broken. If you can provide evidence, chances are you will get the outcome that you want.