Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

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When it comes to setting House Rules, you’ll want to strike a balance between protecting your home and ensuring a great stay for guests by setting clear expectations. That’s why Airbnb’s House Rules tool allows hosts to select from a list of standard rules, as well as write their own, and requires guests to acknowledge and agree to the House Rules before booking.

 

“Rules are just another way you can really see a host’s true personality shine through,” Superhost Kelly, of Austin, Texas, U.S.A. said. “I would never rent from a host who had no rules. And if guests are able to see from a list of rules that they wouldn’t enjoy that host or that property, then that is a good thing to learn.”

 

Almost nine out of 10 hosts have selected from Airbnb’s basic rules, which touch on issues such as smoking, parties, pets, and kids*. However, hosts who write custom House Rules book more stays than hosts who don’t, according to Airbnb’s internal research. This may be because those hosts set clear expectations, and their guests have a better idea of what kind of stay they’re in store for.

 

By writing clear rules in your listing, guests can view them before they book, during their stay, and even after checking out. House rules are also sent directly to them once a reservation is confirmed, so you don’t have to rewrite or resend emails to every guest. Setting rules can help you save time and help prevent miscommunication.

 

Here’s how to set up and make the most of Airbnb’s House Rules feature. Plus, hosts share some of their best rules and tips:

 

How to create House Rules

 

On the web:

  1. Go to your listing(s) on Airbnb.com
  2. On the listing you want to add House Rules to, click “Manage listing”
  3. Click “Booking settings” at the top of the page
  4. Next to “House Rules,” click “Edit”
  5. Select your expectations and write rules for guests, and then click “Save”

 

On the app:

  1. Go to your listing(s) on the Airbnb mobile app
  2. Click on the listing you want to add House Rules to
  3. Under “Guest resources,” click “House rules”
  4. Select your expectations and write rules for guests, and then click “Save”

 

5 House Rules tips from hosts

 

  1. Keep it simple

“You don’t want to add so many rules that guests think they’re at mom’s house,” said Superhosts Wendy & Frank, of Stonington, Connecticut. Some hosts offered up suggestions**:

House Rules should NOT read like legal mumbo jumbo; otherwise, nobody will read it or potential guests will go to another listing that’s less complicated:

  • Parties not allowed.
  • You may not exceed the number of people specified at the time of booking.
  • The internet may not be used for illegal activity.

 —J Renato, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Don’t add things you can’t enforce, like extra security deposits or charges for something broken.*** I don’t put courtesy requests or pointers, like where to leave towels and what to do with laundry, into my House Rules. I communicate those in person when guiding guests through the apartment or leave friendly note. While the ones that really matter to me absolutely belong in the House Rules.

  • Our place is meant for either a couple or for a single adult.
  • No children.
  • The couch in the living room is not to be used as an extra bed.

—Annette, Prescott, Arizona, U.S.A.

 

  1. Talk about local customs and climate

When writing your House Rules, take the opportunity to teach guests about your cultural norms and the local area. “Many times guests come from cultures and customs that are very different from ours, and want to spend a few days relaxing without too many obligations,” Superhosts Andrea & Ricardo, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, said. More hosts offered up their rules:

  • We ask that you be prudently silent and discreet, especially at night or during the siesta.—Beatriz Elena, Medellin, Colombia
  • No shoes inside. This is very common in Thailand.—Nutth, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Do not leave the lights on and the windows open at sunset, or the house will be filled with bugs, mosquitoes, and moths.—Monica, Santa Maria de Palautordera, Spain
  • No eating/drinking of any food/drinks, other than water in the Airbnb room. Please do not keep any food in the bedroom. No one is a fan of bugs.—Momi, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

 

  1. Point out safety concerns

Much like customs and cultural norms, it’s wise to assume guests come from other areas of the world with different laws and safety issues. These hosts address this in their House Rules:

  • Please close and lock all windows and doors when you leave the suite.—Dave & Deb, Edmonton, Canada
  • No candles. None. Instead, we provide flameless, battery-operated candles for you to use.—Heather, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A.
  • No business involving the public or unauthorized guests is permitted. External security cameras are in use.—Jayesh, Urangan, Australia
  • Illegal downloads are forbidden. If you’re found guilty, government fines can run about 1,700 euros per movie.—Branka & Silvia, Zagreb, Croatia

 

  1. Use some humor

When in doubt, lighten things up to show your personality and encourage guests to read your House Rules. These hosts share some tips:

  • I expect guests to behave like grown ups:
    • Don’t burn down the house.
    • Don’t kick my dog.
    • Eat drippy food at the table.... It's a nice table.
    • There are several waste baskets around the house: the toilet is not one of them.

—Amy, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

 

  • I have incorporated a question in the middle of my House Rules in all UPPER CASE. If the guest answers, it demonstrates to me that they have taken the time to read the House Rules:
    • WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIAN? There is no right or wrong answer.

—Eloise, Winslow, Arizona, U.S.A.

 

  1. Be yourself

Some hosts have a long list of House Rules and others have hardly any rules at all; either way, they still come away with five-star reviews. Hosts recommend reflecting your hosting style — whether it be relaxed, flexible, formal, strict — in your rules to help guests determine if it’s the right fit:

  • Live and let live! Most guests are on vacation and don’t want to be lectured. I make soup, and lay out bread, cheese, and croissants. They feel as if they are welcomed.—Aija, Welcome, Hicksville, New York
  • My listing is very clear on what I need from our potential guests who share our space:
    • All of the House Rules below MUST be read all the way through to the end. It will not be in your best interest to skim thru my rules. Therefore, please do not do so.
    • This is OUR home. We want our wonderful guests who stay with us to respect that this our home and we are raising our child in this home.
    • No raising of voices, arguing, or vulgar language.
    • No drugs in/out of our home.
    • Any violations and you will be asked to leave.

—Momi, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

 

Superhost Momi includes 12 more detailed House Rules after this, and she’s received more than 100 five-star reviews. Guest Steven, of Pullman, Washington, U.S.A., wrote: “I must say after reading [Momi’s] House Rules, I was a bit nervous. I soon realized that this would not be an ordinary stay. And to my delight I was correct.”

 

Once you’ve published your House Rules, confirmed guests will automatically receive them and can access them at any time. Creating House Rules once will help set guest expectations and set the stage for many five-star stays.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

*House Rules include limits on smoking, areas beyond the listing space that are off-limits, permission to have visitors, and more. To add information about how to use appliances and amenities in your home, see our House Manual tips.

**Host tips have been edited for length and clarity.

***If a guest violates a house rule, the host and guest are encouraged to communicate and resolve the issue. Creating House Rules helps Airbnb CX mediate a disagreement; however, Airbnb CX cannot enforce House Rules. If a host asks a guest to leave because of a House Rules violation, the guest will be refunded for the nights not spent and Airbnb CX can help facilitate that. If a guest refuses to leave, then the case will be escalated and be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Labels (1)
165 Replies

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

Level 5

So good to get posts like these. I learned so much!

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

Level 10

> If a host asks a guest to leave because of a House Rules violation, the guest will be refunded for the nights not spent and Airbnb CX can help facilitate that.

 

If a guest breaks the house rules and is asked to leave, they sould NOT be entitled to a refund. If I get throuwn of a cinema for disrupting others, I don't get a refund.

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
White Plains, NY
Level 3

@Alex-and-Vaughan0 wrote:

> If a host asks a guest to leave because of a House Rules violation, the guest will be refunded for the nights not spent and Airbnb CX can help facilitate that.

 

If a guest breaks the house rules and is asked to leave, they sould NOT be entitled to a refund. If I get throuwn of a cinema for disrupting others, I don't get a refund.


I agree , guest should not be refunded..

If they violate your house rules....how else are they going to learn to do the right thing by someone else?....

 

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 8

Yes, I agree with Alex & Vaughan.

Disrespect my house and you'll face the consequences. Not a refund. We live in a small complex and I don't want my neighbour's being disrupted because the guest doesn't want to follow my clear instructions on house rules.

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 10

@Alex-and-Vaughan0  @Peter-and-Jan1 

Just in case there's any doubt as to how Airbnb views House Rule Violations by your guests, here's the official explanation... 

 

"Airbnb does not reprimand guests financially for a House Rules Violation. Most House Rule Violations are considered active personality conflicts that can be mediated to find an amicable solution for both parties"

 

So in other words, the guests can disrespect your rules, denigrate you as a host, trash your home, terrorise your neighbours and destroy your business to their hearts' content, safe in the knowledge that if the hosts actually have the audacity to throw them out, then those lovely people at Airbnb will always reward guests for their thuggish behaviour with a nice juicy refund, and more often than not, will subsequently rehouse them with some other poor unsuspecting host (without ever informing new host of the true circumstances, of course)

 

That's how it works, and guests are fully aware of this. Especially the more unscrupulous ones. Once again, Airbnb proves itself to be the quickest, easiest scam in town. At hosts' expense, as always. 

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 10

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Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 3

That's terrible!

How on earth is it a "personality conflict" if someone smokes or does drugs in your home? Has a loud party when guests are prohibited? Stops up the toilet with sanitary supplies or other junk that costs you thousands of dollars to repair? Especially if your listing is for an entire unit vs just a room in your own home?


Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level 3

This is not acceptable. Bad guests - where there is often plenty of evidence- should be penalised, and the host refunded in full at the very least.

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level 1

Thank you good tips

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

I've included no e-cigarettes or Hookah/ Shisha smoking as a safeguard.

 

 

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

@Airbnb2 This topic choice and how it's been worded as a post is excellent, a bouquet 💐 to the person on your team who composed it.

 

 

All the best and see you in New Zealand sometime soon ..

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 10

I'd love to get a take on 

Annette, Prescott, Arizona, U.S.A.  "No children rule." By simple application, if a guest were to show up with a child, they've broken the rules on the spot and an immediate booking cancelation should be done by airbnb without penalty to the host, right? With the non refundable option I'd still get paid for the first night and if there were addition days my calendar would open back up. Sounds great to me. 

 

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Australia
Level 10

This was really helpful - made me think, evaluate and tweak. 

More of this sort of information/education please!

Many thanks

Re: Make the most of House Rules: host tips & how-to’s

in
Guwahati, India
Level 1

Not wise to list  down too many rules . When guests arrive and post interaction where you can judge the guest , spell out few dos and don'ts in a friendly manner . That does suffice mostly .... 

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