Common Guest Complaints and How to Prevent Them – Part 1/2

Consider this: it’s late on Christmas Eve and guests arrive at your holiday rental with tired kids and bags full of perishable groceries.  They’re excited and ready to relax after a long day of early rising and driving, maybe airports too.  They enter the code to access the key box, but nothing happens.  They try several times without luck, and then double check the code – yes, it’s what they received in their welcome email.  So they call the owner – but no answer.  They try again.  Nothing.

Hours and hours from home, their much-anticipated holiday is off to a terrible start.  Understandably – they are unhappy before they even get inside the house – and this can leave a bad taste in their mouth for the entire trip.  Cue a negative review or a dispute about money after they check out, and the owner now has a potential nightmare on their hands.

At, we have seen and heard it all.  We have also learned with extra vigilance and planning, it should be easy to prevent most issues from arising.  Here we’ve compiled the seven most-common guest complaints along with some advice around how to prevent them.


It sounds so simple, but this is an issue which happens all too often.  Avoid entry issues by over communicating with your guest contact.  Double check they have the correct information and create a back-up plan (like giving the neighbour a second set of keys, or the code to the cleaning company).


This one sounds so obvious but again, it is an issue which arises all too often, mostly due to mismanagement of the cleaning schedule or when cleaners have a lack of understanding about how a holiday rental clean must go above and beyond a typical house clean.

If you’re doing the cleaning yourself, you must be super vigilant around ensuring the clean is able to be fully completed during a changeover – ie, after one guest checks out, and before the next one arrives.  Often this is only a couple of hours window of opportunity – if you can’t commit to that, you’ll need to hire professional help.

If you’ve engaged a professional cleaner, you will still need to be extra diligent with them to confirm check-in dates and times, so they never miss a booking.  Prepare a detailed cleaning checklist for the cleaners to sign off every time, and have a backup cleaner in case your principal cleaner can’t complete a booking.  Lastly, make sure you are engaged with the best suppliers of quality linen.


Of course guests aren’t going to be happy if they’ve arrived in a 40 degree heat and the airconditioning has broken down, or the oven doesn’t work and they are now unable to prepare that Christmas Day lunch.  In an ideal world, issues wouldn’t arise – but sometimes they do, and that is just part of being a home-owner.  The best you can do is conduct regular maintenance to keep your holiday rental in top condition.  And if an issue does arise, be communicative and fix the problem with urgency.  If it was a serious inconvenience, maybe consider sending a small gift to smooth things over.


The solution is simple – be available to answer calls day or night.  If something does go wrong onsite, address the problem quickly.  The longer guests are sitting around waiting for a response, the greater the risk of negative reviews and an escalated dispute.  If you’re not willing to make yourself available 24/7, you will need to consider engaging a professional manager such as

This concludes part 1 of this blog.  Stay tuned for part 2 for the next three most common guest complaints and how to prevent them.  In the meantime, contact us to find out more about how can save you the time and hassle of ever having to worry about avoiding guest complaints yourself!

Written by nab79 • June 13, 2019
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