I'm very disappointed with Prateek's review as we had gone out of our way to make their trip a good one.
He is surprised that this is our family home but I had a long conversation with another member of his group Amrita in which we discussed the fact that this is our home and, after learning that there were children in the group of similar ages to our own, we offered to leave out some of our children's toys and high chair for them to use - which we did although we have always packed up all our children's toys, highchair, etc when hosting Airbnb guests. It should have also been obvious that we live in this house as all of our personal belongings and clothes are here.
During their stay we received a text asking to use our iron and ironing board in which we said of course and advised that both are kept in our bedroom closet. If there was any doubt this was our family home then surely having seen our personal belongings and clothes in the closet would have made it clear.
The checkout time as flexible is an Airbnb term and means that we don't have a set check out time but can arrange a suitable time with guests depending on the circumstances. As mentioned we clearly stated that we would be back just after lunch on Monday. I then texted to give an exact time of 2.30pm and then we actually arrived back at 2.45pm. At no point did we discuss a checkout time of 5pm. Flexible checkout does not mean that you stay at the house as long as you want and ignore the times agreed.
In hindsight as this guest has not stayed with Airbnb before maybe we should have been clearer but we have never had any problems in the past. We could easily have set the checkout time at 10am but thought as we wouldn't be back until mid-afternoon to let them stay longer.
The reason I was annoyed when I phoned Prateek was the fact that when we arrived home we found the TV on, the house a mess and lots of windows left wide open (most worryingly on the ground floor) while they had gone into Brighton for lunch. It would have been easy for someone to climb in through an open window and we would have had a serious problem as our insurance would have been invalid. If they had shown a bit more respect for our home then maybe my tone would have sounded friendlier on the phone.
And while I appreciate the group made an effort to clean up before leaving our house I'm not sure what Prateek's definition of immaculate is because leaving a grill pan full of fat in the oven and open rubbish bags in the garden would not be my definition of immaculate.
We have definitely learned from this experience and will be sure to make clear exactly how the checkout procedure will work for future guests.