Response from Trista:
As is evidenced from the fact that, after living in my home, and mostly with me physically there, Sarah does not know my name (it's "Trista" not "Tricia"), Sarah lacks listening skills.
I did not hand Sarah a house manual because I was physically there, walked through everything, and provided a complete tour and extensive information in person. I HAD previously discussed my expectations and concerns about my cat, and my apartment, in detail, via airbnb messaging and telephone prior to her arrival. I shortened my usual three week minimum rental period to two weeks to accommodate her change in schedule, even though it was to my disadvantage and inconvenience. I repeatedly verbally checked in as to her complete comfort and needs-- further, I was present to answer any questions or concerns. She was made aware of every issue of which she now complains- that she does not recall this is unfortunate.
Her departure was very abrupt, and I texted within an hour afterward, and asked after her personal welfare out of sincere concern. I also asked to be brought up to speed as to what things she had taken care of when she left, and what not, so I'd know how much cleaning after her I needed to do. I also didn't know why the toilet paper in my bathroom had disappeared. I did not hear back from her in response to any questions.
And then I found the damage to my coffee table, which yes, would cost $1100 to replace at the lowest cost I could find it for sale online. I told her from the beginning that I did not seek that amount in damage reimbursement, but airbnb requires proof of the value of the item damaged be provided in order to begin the conversation. I asked her to please make this right, and come up with a solution. She did not.
She never informed me of the water damage (which is NOT "small" and has been thus far impossible to remove/fix), nor the one-meter long scratch on my table. She is the only guest I've had in three years to damage my furniture, and the only one I've ever had who kept even the slightest damage a secret, and then blow it off as no big deal -- with not even an apology.
I am not a "professional" airbnb host-- no, this is not my career and I am not a hotelier-- and when sharing my home with someone, I expect the basic considerations, maturity, respect AND self-sufficiency I would of a roommate. The price I charge does not even cover the full half of the expenses of my home, and I am taxed on that income, but I host because I'm sincerely interested in meeting fellow travelers and connecting with other participants in the sharing economy, at a price that isn't prohibitive.
As for my elderly cat, who has kidney disease (very common in felines), a vet technician comes by every other day to administer fluids (using her own keys, and with coordination of convenient timing with my guest- the guest does not need to be present), and the extent of this "extraordinary" care Sarah struggled to do involves merely mixing medicine into her food, twice a day, keeping her water fountain very clean and topped up, as well as keeping her litterbox clean daily. Pretty average stuff. The cat does not have seizures nor vomit nor require a guest to administer pills -- "very ill" paints a false picture-- the cat has a compromised immune system.
As long as future hosts are extremely specific with Sarah, create lists of rules in triplicate, do not have a pet, and maintain more of a hotel-style business rather than a home-sharing space, future visits should go well. --Certainly better than it unfortunately went for us.