How to resolve conflicts with guests?

A guide to resolving conflicts with guests

  • The importance of prompt and effective conflict resolution with guests.
  • Guidelines for conflict management.
  • React quickly and effectively to ensure guest satisfaction.
  • Actively listen and propose appropriate solutions.

April 2024

When we provide a quality service, guests usually leave satisfied with their stay. They might even leave a positive review about their experience. However, at some point, it’s normal for a conflict to arise with one of them. In this case, it’s necessary to resolve these issues as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming visible on social media, as practically everything is shared through them nowadays.

Resolving a conflict quickly and through dialogue will make you a more professional host. Try to satisfy the guest in proportion to the problem while always maintaining their inherent rights and duties intact. Here are some tips for dealing with conflicts and resolving them in the best possible way.

Being a host isn’t just about listing a holiday rental on a holiday rental website, but also about addressing any problems that may arise in the property. There are also occasions when problems cannot be fixed instantly, such as a water leak or an electrical fault, for example, but that’s what agreements are for.

Guidelines for resolving guest problems

How to resolve problems in a holiday rental? In addition to the tips we will give you later, we recommend some guidelines to assist you in managing holiday rental conflicts. Putting them into practice from day one will help you solve any conflicts that arise in the accommodation:

  • Keep calm at all times.
  • Maintain eye contact with the guest.
  • Address them by their first name or add “Mr” or “Sir” as appropriate.
  • Don’t get defensive when facing the problem.
  • Don’t blame your guests directly either.
  • Monitor the problem and its solution to see how it evolves.
  • Let guests know that you are actively listening to them.
  • Respond to public criticism as quickly and courteously as possible.
  • Ask them what they need to solve their problem or improve the situation.
Comment résoudre les conflits avec les clients ?

Basic tips for resolving conflicts with guests

React quickly

In conflict management in rentals, the host must be quick. If a guest complains with or without reason, you must respond reasoned and calmly to their requests. Being surprised or silent will only encourage the guest to exacerbate their discomfort. They may even become verbally aggressive.

This isn’t common, but it can happen. In this case, you must respond with complete firmness to show that you disagree. And if ultimately the fault lies with us, we must try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to satisfy the guest. The key is to take control of the situation effectively so that the guest leaves happy.

Accept that you have the responsibility

For better or for worse, that’s how it is. If we advertise our property on a holiday rental portal and something goes wrong, we must face the situation. Complaints are a tool to improve our holiday rental service. It’s very important to resolve an issue with a guest in order to offer them a positive experience. After all, the goal of holiday rentals is for guests to feel comfortable and happy.

What happens when we have unfair complaints? Like, for example, bringing pets to the accommodation when it’s prohibited or complaining about not including airport transfer service when you’ve never offered it… Then, we must try to dialogue with the guest and above all not aggravate their discomfort. You have the right not to admit your guilt, but apologizing politely before presenting your defence will help to soften the guest’s nervousness.

Put yourself in their shoes

Imagine you’re the guest to better understand their point of view. An example would be if the Internet connection stopped working and the tenant got upset because they couldn’t access this service. Well, besides reassuring them and apologising, we must also consider that for them, the connection is essential. Moreover, no one likes to pay for a service that doesn’t work but is included in the price.

In this situation, you could offer them a discount on their stay or allow flexible check-out on the day they have to leave the property. Apart from assuring them that the problem will persist for the shortest possible time. You can also talk to them to delve into the problem and meet their needs. Perhaps you can reach a satisfactory agreement for both parties.

Avoid the same complaints

If, for example, you receive several complaints because the mattress on the bed is uncomfortable, maybe you should check what’s wrong with that mattress. It would be best to ask the guest directly. This way, you’ll know if the complaint is because it’s uncomfortable, hard, or old. If the guest is right, the appropriate thing would be to buy another mattress.

If several people share their opinion on social media exposing the same problem, they will only confirm that it is real. Keep in mind that when renting out my holiday home, you are also offering a good service. This requires you to periodically check the condition of the furniture and the proper functioning of the facilities.

Set rules in your holiday rental


Establishing rules in your holiday rental could save you a lot of trouble. In fact, when we go to a hotel, there are rules to follow. Entering and leaving the room at a certain time, not disturbing other guests, or not staying with children if it’s an adults-only hotel are some of them. Holiday rental homes should also have some basic rules.

The rules are not only there to protect your property but also to ensure harmonious coexistence with the other neighbours. These rules should be visible on the holiday rental website and in the property itself. Guests should always be clear about what they are and where they can consult them. If you wish, you can even detail them in the contract.

Why is it important to solve problems promptly?

First, so that the guest sees that we are doing our best to ensure they are satisfied with the holiday rental and the service received. And second, because their opinion will give a good or bad image to our rental property. Negative reviews can announce the death of an accommodation, just as positive ones can achieve the opposite effect.

Keep in mind that resolving a problem doesn’t require one party to emerge victorious and the other defeated. It’s not a war. An agreement must be reached where both parties are satisfied. At Holidu, we advise you never to dismiss any problem as an insignificant complaint.

And even if apologising to the guest seems unfair when the complaint is unfounded, think that you are simply doing it to be polite. Apologising doesn’t mean admitting the tenant is right; it simply indicates that you regret that they are not comfortable. For this, nothing beats empathy and good communication with the customer.

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Effective communication with guests


The responsibilities of holiday rental hosts regarding guest safety


How to create a holiday rental invoice


Taxation for non-resident hosts with holiday rentals in Spain


Implementing discounts in your holiday rental