Hosts around the world have told us how much hosting means to them—personally and financially—and how rewarding great guest experiences can be. On the flip side, a bad experience with a guest can be frustrating and, in rare cases, even disruptive. We know these moments can meaningfully impact you and your time, money, and local community.
You’ve also given us feedback that you’d like us to hold the entire community, both hosts and guests, to the same high standards. We agree. That’s why in early 2020, we’ll be rolling out enhanced guest standards that set higher expectations for a trustworthy community.
Establishing stronger guest standards
Our new Guest Standards Policy will clarify what Airbnb expects of guests, with the goal of ensuring that hosts can consistently have more positive experiences. When a guest doesn’t meet one of the standards outlined in the policy, they’ll receive a warning with education around how to be a better guest. We’ll track and weigh infractions (based on their severity), and repeated infractions may lead to suspension or removal of a guest from the platform.
These guest standards build upon existing policies we already have in place to address the more serious trust and safety issues that result in immediate removal from the platform. We’re enhancing our system to better monitor for guests who engage in less serious misconduct, so that we can educate and take appropriate action against those guests.
By setting clear standards, staffing teams to take action, and putting technology in place to track noncompliance, we expect to improve overall guest behavior and increase community trust.
So what are the standards?
The new guest standards address some of the most common concerns expressed by our host community, and support our broader efforts to address parties that are unauthorized or disturb the community. Beginning in early 2020, the new policy will cover these five scenarios:
The new Guest Standards Policy kicks in when it’s been determined that a guest has engaged in one of these behaviors. Hosts may report a violation, and we’ll also accept reports of excessive noise through our Neighbor Reporting tool or from local law enforcement.
What you can do
We encourage you to clearly outline what you expect of guests in your House Rules, listing description, and messages to your guests. It’s particularly important to specify your rules around parking, extra guests, and smoking so we know if it should be considered “unauthorized” under the policy. When a guest fails to uphold these standards, it’s important to begin by addressing the issue with them directly—this is often the quickest path to resolution. In all cases, be ready to provide evidence that demonstrates a rule has been broken, whether that’s photos of excessive trash left in your space, an emailed complaint from a neighbor, or some other documentation.
What comes next
The second phase of the rollout will include additional scenarios we know are top of mind for you, like late checkouts, late check-ins, and unauthorized pets. Our goal is to roll out these additional standards later in 2020. Over time, and with your feedback, we expect to cover even more situations that are important to you.
Your top questions, answered
Over the past few weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to hosts and collecting feedback on this new policy. We’ve addressed a few of the top questions below.
Why are you rolling out guest standards in phases?
These new standards represent a significant change for the community (both hosts and guests), and we want to make sure they’re working as intended before we expand them. Rolling out the policy in phases lets us carefully experiment with the standards, education and warning systems, processes, and technology systems we’re using. We aim to gradually expand and refine the policy to address other challenges that are specific to certain groups of hosts as well as different property types. This will be a journey, and we appreciate your input along the way.
What happens if I report an urgent safety incident while it’s occurring?
If you or your property is in danger, you should always contact local authorities first. We already have policies in place to handle severe safety issues, like assault and violent threats. Violators of these policies are, and will continue to be, subject to immediate removal from the platform. We’re also in the process of rolling out an Urgent Support Line that routes hosts directly to agents who are specifically trained to handle these kinds of calls. The goal is to ensure your call is handled quickly and consistently, so you feel supported every time.
How will I be supported when I call in with an issue about a guest in one of these scenarios?
As part of the new policy, hosts can request penalty-free cancellations for the remaining nights in a reservation when a guest has violated these standards and the situation cannot be resolved. And as always, if there is any damage to your property as a result of one of the above scenarios, you can file a claim under our $1,000,000 USD Host Guarantee.
Why aren’t you enforcing all of my House Rules?
Initially, the new Guest Standards Policy will focus on the House Rules that hosts have told us they care about most. We know there are lots of other scenarios that hosts include in their House Rules and listing details. And while these scenarios are important to you, they may not be relevant to all hosts (e.g. rules around whether shoes or certain types of food are allowed in the home). Although these more personal rules aren’t covered by our new Guest Standards Policy, you can help set the right expectations with clear communication—sometimes a respectful reminder can be enough to resolve an issue.
Keep the feedback coming
You've been telling us we need more robust guest standards to make our community stronger. We expect that, over time, these changes will improve guest behavior and your experiences as a host. We’re pleased to take this critical step in our journey to improve safety and reliability for our hosts. There’s still a lot more work to be done, and we appreciate your ongoing input.
The growth of our community, and the trust we’ve built, could not have happened without your partnership. Thank you for all you do, and please let us know if you have any feedback in the comments below.
Hiya @Patricia55 ,
I had posted this in another thread regarding the latest on verification but thought to share it here too as it's relevant to the conversation:
Thanks for sharing your questions about the recent request for verification. We are expanding the verification program by asking both hosts and guests to provide this identification, just to make sure everything is correct. This process happens from time-to-time, so some of you may remember having done this in the past.
Part of keeping the Airbnb community safe and healthy is ensuring our members are valid. This is being rolled out globally so other territories will be expected to complete the process in the near future.
This whole fiasco has been just the reason local legislators have been seeking to justify reworking of local regulations.
"Fed up with what they say is the ability of vacation rental companies to easily skirt city rules meant to track the proliferation of home rental units in Chicago neighborhoods, aldermen are talking about reopening the controversial ordinance to tighten the controls on Airbnb and other similar companies."
Believe me, if Airbnb doesn't start implementing the basic controls, lack of which have resulted in taking the brakes off the train, local juridictions will impose them.
The folks that end up getting hurt by that aren't the bad actors, it's the regular folks who have been trying to do it right all along, and comply. Someone over at Corporate has to crawl out of the bubble and come and visit with people in the real world.
Once upon a time, there were host meetings. We could discuss the "Host Experience". Nowadays, I don't hear much about that - just the "Guest Experience". It's supposed to be about the "sharing economy". Or it was, anyway.
Well, IF Airbnb actually follows through with these rules, that would be great. I’m skeptical because I know that they currently don’t support and/or compensate hosts when guests blatantly break rules and damage property. It’s rather sad that the best way to get Airbnb to take a claim seriously is to go to Twitter. That looks like saving face more than doing right by their hosts.
News which crossed my feed this morning in the Chicago Sun Times (unfortunately, behind a paywall, so this is all I can view). For background, personal use of marijuana will be legal in Chicago after January 1st. I can only imagine the number of people becoming "pot tourists" from jurisdictions where it is still illegal.
I'd like to know, if I put a "No Marijuana" item in my house rules, if Airbnb would support me, or if I'd somehow have to document that. One can, of course, smell it yards away. One can only hope it will be included in the "No Smoking" policy.
(or will CS tell me that is part of the Guest Experience ?)
Apologies, all, I ran out of time to edit my post, above. I found the full text of the link, and the part that seems relevant here is this :-
"Though Airbnb has no explicit policy on marijuana use, guests are required to follow house rules that can include limitations on smoking. Individuals who flout smoking rules could potentially have cash drawn from their security deposits to compensate hosts for damages."
Of course, we already know that guests don't actually read the house rules, and there actually is no security deposit. And we can't document a smell.
@Michelle53 We actually do have a 'no smoking marijuana anywhere on the premises, inside or out' in our house rules, that we also send as part of our welcome message to all guests. This was added after one of the parties we had to crash early on. Probably the best way to document it would be to send a message to the guest in reference to it through the ABB app. But you're right, nothing would probably be done anyway.
@Jody79 Do you have IB turned on ? I don't, and there are no more welcome messages. I can send a regular message. There's a new wrinkle, though, and that seems to be that some folks never check their messages. Obviously, also don't have notifications turned on. I've several times lately had to call or email to get arrival info, etc. There really should be a "How to be a Guest" primer.
Hi @Michelle53 We do have IB turned on, but I don't think an automatic welcome message goes out. I've put together one in my saved messages that includes our house rules. Majority of our guests have responded soon after we send them.
I googled that very phrase and found a couple of really good articles on how to be a good guest, which I printed out and put in my house manual. I show it to the guests upon check-in.
We actually do have a 'no smoking marijuana anywhere on the premises,
The majority of cannabis is no longer smoked. There are many other ways of recreating with marijuana, either with THC or CBD. The odor from smoking is much less offensive than other forms ~ but smoking does carry the danger of fire. If you simply don't want your guests to bring cannabis onto your property, you should probably revise your listing.
[Not that guests will read or that Airbnb will support you in the case of non-compliance]
Thank you so much for the feedback so far - as @Lizzie mentioned, this is an evolving process and this is just the first part of a longer rollout of changes.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with the links to the same information prepared in our supported CC languages, and apologise for the delays:
Brazilian Portugese: https://abnb.co/zwkpx
@StephanieThank you for notifying us of the translations.
Is there any word on when we can expect to be advised of a deadline for communication of the "longer rollout of changes" you mention? I am very anxious to be advised on all concrete changes to platform policy. Surely deadlines have been outlined to those who are creating the changes. Please share the delivery dates with us, so that we are aware of how long we can expect to be left in "limbo".
I hope you have had a good weekend.
Good news, the next update is due to be shared later this week, I'll keep you posted if this changes at all and will let you and other CC members know once it's live.