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.
It's good to know the team is working on changes. It's about time...
I just wonder... how come smoking and parking are a top priority while violent, aggressive behavior, theft, late check-out... are not?
I also wonder if all those changes will be only on paper or Airbnb will put them into practice without well-known and typical catch-22 traps.
No party rule should be enforced in the standard when a host is chosen it.
House rules can be separated as two sections. Airbnb standard house rules and a customized house rules from the listing owner.
Violations of Airbnb standard house rules should be fined. Otherwise, it is still rules up in the air and guests will not follow.
I would like to see how Airbnb is to implement those standards, which is more important than listing them out in the plan.
I think there are good points here, especially listing house rules as two sections together. It would greatly enhance clarity and likelihood of guests reading them. Also, fines would be a consideration. If there are no consequences there is no incentive to adhere to the rules.
This sounds good and seems grounded in common sense. But, as with everything related to airbnb the devil is in the details and the execution. So, we'll see.
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.
Oh, how lovely. Host can request a penalty-free cancellation when the guests have done enough damage/caused enough trouble, that the host has no option but to throw them out.
Would that be with or without a refund for the offending guests?
Yes, that's an interesting question. Will the guests be refunded for the unused nights after having been thrown out for housrule-violations.
Right now they are refunded, we have that in writing from airbnb.
Will the guests be refunded for the unused nights after having been thrown out for housrule-violations.
Of course they will.
In other words,ZERO penalty for frustrating the contract while the host gets hit in the pocketbook.
@Susan17 All the guest has to do if charged for unused days is dispute the charge with the credit card company. If that happens, the credit card company will reverse charges and you ultimately will have to refund. I would prefer the penalty free aspect restrict the guest ability to review the host.
Maybe so, @Linda108, but if the guest knew that they had to go to all the hassle of disputing, and filing a chargeback claim, it would still be a hell of a lot more of a deterrent than guests being fully aware that no matter how badly they thrash your house or disturb your neighbours, Airbnb will simply hand them back their money if the host is forced to evict them because of their anti-social or criminal behaviour.
And if Airbnb introduced a policy in their Terms of Service, whereby they made it perfectly clear that no refunds would be given in the case of evictions resulting from certain serious violations, that would solve a lot of problems too.
@Airbnb How about a little more transparency, Airbnb? Require guests to provide REAL, LEGAL full names. REQUIRE guests to download a government-issued ID and VERIFY it. Then SHARE the FULL, LEGAL name with us hosts BEFORE the booking is completed. "The Skeptic" as full, legal name on a guest profile does NOT cut it, I'm sorry, Airbnb. We as hosts would feel much safer if we were able to vet our guests better, since you are obviously not going to do it.
@Ann489Yes, absolutely, we do need full transparency with the real names, addresses etc of guests. I get these details for guests through Booking.com, there is no reason for AirBnB to prevent us from having them.
We agree guests should provide more information to Airbnb, and more information should be received by host.
We also agree guests should agree to accept certain standards with Airbnb and sign them, and sign hosts House rules. This may not discourage everyone from ignoring some things, but it is a good beginning. Our house rules have expanded to the point we wonder if they are read at all. Yet, issues must be addressed, particularly when possible cultural norms may come into play. Who thought "no nude sunbathing in back yard" would be necessary? We had to decline a guest who had such a history, and was taking photos!