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.
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.
When is Airbnb going to limit the number of listings an individual or family can have to two?
When are we going to return to the original concept of this being an alternative to staying in a resort or hotel, etc. and eliminate corporate hospitality listings? I'm not interested in being grouped with these large, impersonal listing options, and will eventually leave Airbnb if this doesn't change.
Also, if these changes are not made, communities are going to limit the listings for you because of the negative impact on affordable, long-term, rental markets.
Take some responsibility for maintaining the concept rather than maximizing your short-term profits, and a probable IPO disaster, and the end of Airbnb.
This is a good start. I'd add a requirement for guests to have a profile picture of themselves with a clear shot of their face, and require guests to write at least a tiny bit about themselves in their profile. If I'm going to the trouble to open my home, clean, adjust my schedule, etc, they can write a sentence.
I find that many guests do not read the listing, or even the House Rules and I'd like Airbnb to stress to guests the importance of our Rules.
I deeply dislike not seeing someone's picture until after the reservation is confirmed. I'm a single woman renting rooms and you can tell a lot by a photo, including whether the guest has followed the basic rules and uploaded a photo of themselves. I had a guest whose photo was him from the waist up and he appeared naked. That's not a dude who's welcome in my home.
Airbnb will still refund the unused nights of the rules breaker. Allowing a host to cancel penalty free (ie not coercing a host to put up with a bad guest) is not a deterrent to bad guests. Warnings and education do not go far enough. It is not specifically in my rules that a guest should not burn down my house, but according to Airbnb logic, if they did, they would be entitled to get a refund of their unused nights after the damage was done. The host guarantee program is known by hosts to rarely pay out the real costs of damages and is far to cumbersome to file a claim for anything less than the most severe of damages. Security deposits are actually never charged on the guest’s credit card. This is progress on a glacial pace.
I think this new policy is a good idea. Will location reviews still be counted against hosts? I do give specific details about my listing, such as: rural secluded area, rental on well maintained dirt road, times required to drive to stores, possible snow conditions in winter and need to be able to drive in snowy conditions etc. However, sometimes people still complain.