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Airbnb is a travel community built on trust–and reviews are an essential part of that trust. The platform wants to make sure that everyone has a great experience using Airbnb, so they’ve put together some guidelines referred to as the Airbnb Review Policy for writing reviews. These policies help contribute to the community while also maintaining fairness and respect .
Airbnb has published a very simple, 3 rule review policy and here are the main takeaways:
Rule #1: Reviews should not violate the Airbnb content policy
The above is a snippet from Airbnb’s Content Policy– let’s review some of the key points and how it might correlate with reviews.
Some things that are not allowed on Airbnb’s platform include:
- Content that is illegal, promotes illegal activity, or infringes on the legal rights of others
- Content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence
- Any content that is defamatory, libelous, knowingly false, or misleading
In order to make sure that reviews fall in line with the Airbnb Content Policy and the Airbnb review policy, understand these key points. If your review does not adhere to Airbnb’s content policy, it can be removed from the site.
Rule #2: Reviews should not be biased
Individuals or organizations that own or are affiliated with a listing or experience may not post evaluations of their company per the Airbnb Review Policy. Individuals who have been confirmed to provide direct rivals’ listings or experiences can’t do the same.
For example, I can’t leave a review on my own property.
I also can’t leave a review on a direct competitor’s listing.
This one is pretty simple- if you have any sort of affiliation with the listing or experience, you are not allowed to leave a review. This helps to ensure that reviews are unbiased and objective.
You also can’t incentivize positive reviews, threaten to write a negative review in order to get what you want, or offer compensation in exchange for someone else’s good evaluation.
We’ve got more details on the rules you must follow, including the fact that you can’t accept phony reservations in exchange for a good review, or establish a second account to leave yourself a bogus review, or collaborate with others to obtain good reviews.
Rule #3: Reviews need to be relevant
Basically, the Airbnb Review Policy wants you stick to the topic at hand not go down various rabbit holes in the review. They want you to avoid comments such as:
- A person’s social, political, or religious beliefs
- Using profanity or personal insults
- Situations that are beyond their control
- Services other than Airbnb (for example, a taxi, local attraction, and restaurant) are not advised.
- Comparing to previous stays, hosts, or guests
Stick to the issue at hand when you’re writing a review–for example, if there was an issue with the guest having more people stay than was allowed in the listing, focus on that and avoid veering off into a discussion about politics or religion.
If you’re writing a review about an experience, again, stick to what happened during the experience and try to avoid getting into side conversations.
In general, try to be respectful, objective, and clear when writing your review.
Example of a good review vs a bad review
Here’s an example of a good review:
“Our experience with John was great! He was very responsive to all of our questions and followed our house rules. The space was left clean and comfortable and we would definitely rent to him again.”
And here’s an example of a bad review:
“Our host, John Smith, was a terrible person. He was very unresponsive to our questions and we found out he was a *sshole. We’d never rent from him again, we’d only rent from his neighbor Bill.”
As you can see, the good review is objective, respectful, and clear. It sticks to the relevant information and doesn’t veer off into other topics. The bad review, on the other hand, is biased, uses profanity, and is overall unprofessional. It also doesn’t stick to the relevant information, instead opting to attack the character of the host.
Reporting a review that violates the airbnb review policy
If you believe that a review violates the Airbnb review policy, you can report it by flagging the review. Once a review has been reported, the Airbnb team will review it and take appropriate action.
To flag a review:
Go to the listing page on airbnb.com and scroll down to the Reviews section
Click the flag icon next to the review
In the pop-up window, select the reason why you’re flagging the review and click Submit
Some examples of when you should flag a review include:
The review is fake or inaccurate
The review is biased or promotional
The review contains threats, profanity, or personal insults
The review goes off-topic
The review breaks Airbnb Community Standards
When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and flag the review. The Airbnb team will investigate and take appropriate action.
What hosts can do if they feel a review is untrue
If you’re a host and you feel that a review is inaccurate or unfair per the Airbnb Review Policy, the best thing to do is reach out to the guest directly to try and resolve the issue.
If you’re unable to come to an agreement, you can also flag the review. Once a review has been reported, the Airbnb team will investigate and take appropriate action.
Some reasons a host might appeal to Airbnb regarding reviews include:
- The reviewer was not actually a guest at my property
- The review contains threats, profanity, or personal insults
- The review is fake or inaccurate
- The review goes off-topic
Keep in mind that even if the guest wasn’t happy with their stay, they may still leave a positive review if they had a good overall experience.
For example, if the property wasn’t as advertised but the host was responsive and accommodating, the guest may still leave a positive review.
The best way to avoid negative reviews is to be proactive and communicative with your guests. Make sure that you’re clear about your house rules, expectations, and policies from the start.
Respond quickly to any questions or concerns that your guests may have. And most importantly, try to be understanding and accommodating if there is an issue during the stay.
Is there a time limit to leave a review on Airbnb?
You have up to 14 days after check-out to write a review. If you need more time, you can ask the guest to extend the deadline.
Can I edit my review?
Yes, you can edit your review as long as it hasn’t been published yet. Once a review is published, it can’t be edited.
Is it mandatory to write a review on Airbnb?
You’re not required to write a review, but are encouraged to do so as it’s a great way to give feedback and help other members of the Airbnb community make informed decisions about where they stay and about guests.
Can hosts and guests remove bad reviews?
No, hosts cannot automatically delete negative reviews. Once a review is published, it can’t be deleted unless by the Airbnb team. So, if you believe that a review violates Airbnb’s content policy, you can report it by flagging the review and the Airbnb team will investigate and take appropriate action.
It’s important for all hosts to be familiar with the Airbnb review policy. In general, try to be respectful, objective, and clear when writing your review. If you believe that a review violates Airbnb’s content policy, you can report it by flagging the review. And if you’re a host and you feel that a review is inaccurate or unfair, the best thing to do is reach out to the guest directly to try and resolve the issue, then to Airbnb directly.
Have you had a good experience or bad experience with reviews or a guest violating the Airbnb review policy on the platform? Share them with the community below.
P.S. We hope you found value in our blog about the Airbnb Review Policy. Make sure to also check out our articles about Renting to a Guest with No Reviews on Airbnb or Vrbo and Best Times for Airbnb Check In and Check Out
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