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.
We've been extremely fortunate, every season we do experience at least one guest that abuses our house/strata rules. This year we had a guest abuse our noise and parking rules and our strata imposed a $300 fine. In my mind this should have come out of a refundable damage deposit, however I had to report this to Air BnB on the website with proof. The guest agreed to pay for the parking portion, but disputed the noise violation. I requested that Air BnB pursue the matter, which took months, but I did get a response back and partial payment. I will say that Air BnB was VERY polite responsive when we finally did hear back from them, but the it took way too long to get this resolved when there was documented proof provided from our Strata.
Just heard that Airbnb cancelled a reservation because it was made by a member of a "hate group". Just trying to verify that Airbnb is deciding what people can book and what people cannot. Isn't that my decision as a host?
Airbnb is a platform, and I am the decision maker. I feel the same way about the requirements they are making me agree to in order to make my home 'safe' regarding covid.
Oh yeah? Maybe you should do some research and see which stores and companies you do business with donate to political campaigns. Just because they don't broadcast it doesn't mean they don't.