What If Airbnb Guest Steals And How To Prevent It

If your Airbnb guest stole some items from your Airbnb, make a list of stolen items, make a police report, contact Airbnb, and immediately contact the guest through Airbnb resolution center.

Many Airbnb hosts told us, though guests stealing something is very rare, it happens. Guest steals various items, such as money, jewelry, towels, books, handbags, washcloths, linens, toothpaste, toilet paper, mirror, computer, yoga mat, laundry basket, Nintendo Switch, Laptop, even TVs.

If any item is missing or you suspect your Airbnb guest has stolen those, immediately contact Airbnb before your next guest Arrives or within 14 days after your guest checkout, whichever is earlier.  If you fail to contact Airbnb before your next guest arrives, Airbnb will reject all of your claims. 

Step 1: Make Sure Item Is Missing.

First, make sure that the item is missing, and you are confident the guest has taken it. 

Step 2: Make a list. 

Make a list of stolen items with description, if possible, with a prior picture. 

Step 3: Gather proof.

Without sufficient evidence to back up your claim, Airbnb will deny your lost claim request. So, gather all of your photo and video evidence if possible before contacting Airbnb. 

Immediately contact Airbnb before your next guest arrives.

Step 4: Obtain a police report.

Obtain a police report where the theft occurred. Never ignore this. If someone steals from your property, they will do it again in the future. By filing a police report, you will save other hosts from further theft.

Step 5: Contact The Guest.

DO NOT accuse your guest of theft right away. But, give your guest the benefit of the doubt. Message your Airbnb guest through the Airbnb platform. Ask him/her politely that did she/he has taken — item name (the stolen items ) — by mistake. Sometimes, the guest would take something by mistake. It happens. If that is the case, ask him/her through Airbnb resolution center to do one of the followings:

  • Return the items, or
  • Reimburse you for replacement.

If the guest refuses to reimburse where you have sufficient proof, contact Airbnb support center, and police to recover your lost item.

Step 6: Leave a comment.

Whether the guest returns the items, reimburses you, or refuses your accusation, always leave an honest comment on the guest profile for other hosts. But follow this formula for writing any negative feedback.

Open the reviews with a positive note, for example, “The guest communicated well before check-in.” Also, write something positive which you observed about your guest. 

Then go into the negative part of the reviews. For example,  Sadly, it seems a few items were missing after the guests checked out, as we have not had any other persons enter the apartment after they checked out. We were unable to communicate them directly to verify this, but are pleased to resolve the issue through Airbnb resolution center. Additionally, the guest broke the following house rules — list the house rules that the guest broke.

Alternatively, you can leave a review stating, “The guest is better suited for a hotel where everything valuable nailed down. I will not accept his/her future booking, will not allow him/her near my belongings, and certainly don’t recommend him/her to other guests.” Because in some instances, we found that Airbnb removes those reviews that accuse a guest of stealing. It’s because Airbnb wants to uphold their brand image and don’t want any negative press regarding a theft in Airbnb rentals.

8 Easy Ways To Prevent Airbnb Guests From Stealing:

I’ve talked to many experienced Superhost. They told me that they take the following measures in order the prevent a Guests from stealing:

  • Always vet your guest. Read their reviews left by other hosts. If you are not sure, ask the intending guest questions about the purpose of the visit.
  • Put a “Security deposit” requirement in your listing. It is not a bad thing, and a good guest would understand it and book your Airbnb.
  • Only accept those guests who verified their identity and phone number with Airbnb. 
  • Install a camera in front of the front and back yard. Never install a camera inside your apartment or house, it’s against the Airbnb Terms of Service. This camera will capture if your host steals large items from your home or apartment, such as TV, microwave, mirrors, etc.
  • Don’t put anything expensive in your rental house or apartment. If you rent a room in your residence, keep every expensive item locked inside your room. You can also put a camera inside your room. That is not against the Airbnb Terms of service. 
  • Don’t allow local people to book your place. It’s a RED SIGNAL. Why a guy in your locality needs to book your place. It’s best to deny those booking requests. Numerous hosts told us that most of the theft occurred when they accepted a booking from someone from their locality. 

“The guest is better suited for a hotel where everything valuable is nailed down.”

  • Please don’t allow any guest who does not have any profile picture in their Airbnb account. Upon guest arrival at check-in, make sure this is the same guest who booked your Airbnb. If the photo does not match, contact Airbnb and notify about this incident, and ask Airbnb to cancel this reservation. 
  • Don’t allow any proxy bookings. A proxy booking is an Airbnb reservation, where a verified Airbnb guest books for other people such as for friends.


Airbnb guests stealing items from a rental property is not new, but it’s rare. It the stolen item’s worth is not that much, let it go as a cost of business, but don’t forget to notify Airbnb and leave a comment on the guest profile. Otherwise, pursue after the guest with law enforcement and Airbnb.