Strengthening our commitment to community standards

Strengthening our commitment to community standards

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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:

 

  1. Excessive noise: A disruptive level of noise, like loud music, prolonged shouting, or repeated pounding or stomping. It does not include complaints about minor or short-term disruptions (like a loud phone call) or noise that can’t be avoided (like walking up and down the stairs).
  2. Major cleanliness concerns: Anything that requires excessive cleaning after a guest checks out. This means extensive amounts of trash, debris, or food strewn throughout the property. It does not mean minor messes (like food left in the fridge or bagged trash left next to a trash can) or anything that could be considered part of normal wear and tear or turnover (like unwashed linens or a dirty kitchen).
  3. Unauthorized guests: When more guests stay overnight or visit the space than the host has authorized for that reservation.
  4. Unauthorized parking: When a guest or one of their visitors parks in an area that the host designated as off-limits, or when a guest or their visitors exceeds the number of cars that the host allows to park at the property, as set out in the listing description.
  5. Unauthorized smoking: When a guest or one of their visitors smokes inside the listing and the listing description prohibits smoking (this includes the use of tobacco, marijuana, e-cigarettes, etc.).

 

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. 

754 Replies 754

Actually I just shortened mine. If a guest is going to misbehave, they forget the fine print anyway. 

 

But I love the idea of calling the police in front of them, even if it's just pretense. 

Fabian207
Level 2
Warlingham, United Kingdom

So far I've thankfully had no issues with any guest in my small Studio Flat in the UK. It's concerning to read these negative comments, when in my experience, through  the dozens of guests I've had so far, without exception have been respectful of my property & contents. I believe/ hope I'm in the majority. Best.. F.

Priscilla46
Level 4
Concord, MA

I haven't had any issues either - hate to read about the horror stories some of you have endured.  My rental space is in my home so I think that has helped eliminate the partying crowd or anyone trying to sneak extra people or pets in.  I have had last-minute requests for extra guests and have occasionally permitted it with a surcharge of $15 per person. They have always paid. 

 

I agree with the late check-out. Everything packed up and out of there.  I think the new airbnb emergency number will help with a lot of that stuff. 

 

 

Karen2397
Level 1
Terlingua, TX

I haven't had any real issues either.  Guess we're the lucky ones

Andrea4062
Level 5
Panama City Beach, FL

I had a similar incident, a Bank President booked for 2 and brought all of his teenagers with him and their friend. Then, when my outdoor camera (which is disclosed in my ad) caught him, I called to confront that he agreed and confirmed to 2 guests, he got angry and refused to leave. I called Airbnb begging them to help me get him out and they didn't. They kept promising and just as I thought the guest caused damages.  And it took me weeks and weeks to get the money back from Airbnb while they investigated and looked over my video and photos. But the point is... our local police would do nothing either. Same thing so I sat there all week for 10 days KNOWING they were going to damage my studio as they were moving furniture, had too many people in the unit and nothing I could do. Airbnb offered to move them somewhere else, and they hung up on Airbnb, but I still think they should of kept trying or at least gotten more involved. They made 1 phone call to him that was it

Gloria904
Level 2
Pensacola, FL

This situation is heartbreaking to read. I am so sorry this happened to you. Makes me angry as Airbnb sure makes a ton of money off of our listings.

Gloria 

Pensacola FL

 

 

Kay63
Level 3
Olongapo, Philippines

Why don't you get a few Hells Angels or something to assist with this?

I am glad that you mentioned the Hells Angels. I have been a host and landlord for a very long time. I used to do legal evictions for the clients of a Vice President. So I don't have much of a problem evicting out of my home. Especially when the comfort and peaceful enjoyment my other guests is at stake. They have one hour. Mia casa, peeps. 

 

Bennett0
Level 2
Knoxville, TN

I routinely kick guests out who violate my rules. parties, extra unregistered guests, a hunting dog??  smoking marijuana or cigarettes.  Whatever it is, I just kick them out. I call the police and insist they leave. I make a huge deal out of it and I let the air BnB rep know that I will be suing the guest for damage (have not had to yet). I always make a well-documented claim with an invoice, and each time if he rejected I calmly insist that it be escalated to the manager. It usually takes 7 or 8 escalations (I cut and paste the problem) but I always get reimbursed.  I have about 10 such incidents a year across my 5 properties.  

These are our homes people. We need to start taking an aggressive stand against guests who lie, throw parties, host their own guests, cause damage, etc. We don’t need a support group, what we need are local bouncers there we pay to physically remove people from our home when we want to. You are allows to eject trespassers in any state. And when a guest exceeds the use that you have contracted with them for, you eject them. Eviction is only relevant if there is a lease. Some states give more rights if someone has been there for 30 days.  Consult a local attorney.  But again, we need bouncers to get gets out when we say it’s time to go, and then we need publicity about it to let other guests know we mean business. 

When someone refuses to check out and they leave their bags, I collect their things and put them at the curb and let them know. When someone is throwing a party and I see it on the security cam, I call the police, enter the house, video tape with my phone and say, “party is over, everyone leaves now.”

 

I’ve been hosting for 3 years; enough is enough. It’s about time that hosts develop our own protocols for how we deal with making guests leave when they are no longer welcome. 

Debbie583
Level 2
San Ramon, CA

Uber and Lyft got into trouble because they were not helping their most valuable customers, their drivers. Airbnb so far has been good to hosts from a financial and technology support side, however I have numerous safety concerns that when I give feedback just seems to go into a big black hole. When I give the feedback to the call center they have no clue what to do with that feedback though they do pay lip service about sharing it with someone in the company.  Based on my questions about that sharing I can tell it’s not gonna happen.  

Tammy246
Level 1
Sheridan, WY

Wow, your experience would definitely force me to opt out of hospitality.  Your experience encourages me to place an outdoor camera.  I'm so thankful they implementing standards.  Do you know if the guest paid a penalty or lost their deposit?  

 

Kit11
Level 2
Sebastopol, CA

Unfortunately, for us hosts, Airbnb now has a reputation for siding with guests. 

Ljubo12
Level 1
Palm Beach, FL

One gest booked 4 people to attend Tony Robbins seminar in west palm beach Florida.

Same gest called me sad that she has additional 3 guests .

Cotage house is to smal 2 bedroom I bath to accommodate 7 . The most of the group cancelled .Booking gest complained to Airbnb that this booking  guest member got fired by Tony Robbins blaming me loss of job at tony Robbins .My 15 listings we closed for good  as penalty to me host.

  I wrote appeal with e mail from tony Robbins verification department for  employment states that booking hos for seven people of my guests was not on list of Tony Robins employee with advice to call her if she is private contractor recruiting people for any venture .Group os 7 people payed booking host $3500 for 7 nights from that money booking host payed about $760. I refunded entire her fee

  E mails from Tony Robbins in blue color original confirmed that she is not found on employee list, and is  not my fault that she lost customers and layer Employment at Tony Robbins company.

My rating  is 3.8,  more than 65% of gusts wrote me all stars review. Airbnb sad that investigation is in process . 

I ask Airbnb  Please reopen my listings , I am not asking any damages cased by private income maker, booking houst

 

At least on the surface- it looks like because you are in a known party destination maybe you should be around to monitor your property for check-ins and clearly post and list your expectations- maybe add an extra per person fee or see about a deposit. Your situation is different than mine but this is just what I see. It’s too bad AirBNB new policies don’t address your problem but for those properties in party destinations it should require more diligence on the hosts part instead of expecting draconian rules for the entire community. 

Andrea, do you not have an R/A.....this puts them contractually obligated for certain things and gives you both legal and monetary remedy.

 

Nilda1
Level 2
Miami, FL

I too had a similar situation. Had a guest who had Butt surgery and was using my Airbnb to recover. She left blood on the sheets and threw all kinds of hospital bed pads in my toilet. Damaged my plumbing completely and poop started coming up onto the tub and sinks. Disgusting. I didn’t find out until they left and I had to clean up the disgusting (not to mention health hazard) mess. Then had to call a plumber which cost me more than $500.  I have a $200 security deposit listed in my listing yet when I called Airbnb they did nothing because when they called the guest, the guest denied that it was them.  I had pictures, receipts and a statement from the plumber and all of that was not good enough evidence once the guest rejected the additional money request.  They also smoked the whole time they were there and I Have a strict non smoking policy. That meant nothing to Airbnb.  I felt completely betrayed by Airbnb. They protect the guest more than the host. I also had a guy who was smoking weed the whole time he was in my home. He brought a guest with him and broke into my off-limits room and slept in there completely unauthorized. Then as they left they broke into my housekeepers car by breaking her window and stole her purse. Airbnb did nothing. No witness, no help. If guests denies charges, too bad for the host.

K-M-0
Level 2
Livermore, CO

Almost everyone who books with me says only one person is coming. A bachelorette party resulted in 1500 damage to my place. I just paid it and didn't want to file a claim. In 2020, I think I'll get a little more stern.

Deborah706
Level 2
Kingston, Jamaica

@Andrea4062, I suggest you add a charge for extra guests, as this feature can also be used to deter unauthorised guests. For instance, if you have a studio that accomodates 2 persons, even if you don't intent to host more than 2 persons, under extra guests still add a charge for guests exceeding 2 persons. That way if a guest invites unauthorised persons you can charge for anyone over 2 guests.

 

So for example, if there were 12 persons in your listing and you advertised that it accommodates 2 persons, you should add a charge of say $30 per night for more than 2 guests. This would work out to be a charge of 30 ×10 =$300 per night for 10 extra guests. This would be a strong deterrent for guests is considering inviting unauthorised persons. Also, Airbnb would have to enforce this charge since it's included in your listing description.

 

So, even if you dont have a pricing strategy that charges for extra guests, I strongly encourage all hosts to use this feature to protect themselves from unauthorised guests and parties. If you are able to show evidence of the extra  guests, through the use of a video camera, you will be paid by Airbnb. And I am sure the guest who booked will likely try to get the extra people out asap once the penalty is applied.

Jocelyn142
Level 1
Windsor, Canada

Airbnb doesn’t enforce it even with camera footage

Deborah706
Level 2
Kingston, Jamaica

@Andrea4062, I suggest you add a charge for extra guests, as this feature can also be used to deter unauthorised guests. For instance, if you have a studio that accomodates 2 persons, even if you don't intent to host more than 2 persons, under extra guests still add a charge for guests exceeding 2 persons. That way if a guest invites unauthorised persons you can charge the guest for any person over 2 guests.

 

So for example, if there were 12 persons in your listing and you advertised that it accommodates 2 persons, you should add a charge of say $30 per night for more than 2 guests. This would work out to be a charge of 30 ×10 =$300 per night for 10 extra guests. This would be a strong deterrent for guests is considering inviting unauthorised persons. Also, Airbnb would have to enforce this charge since it's included in your listing description.

 

So, even of you dont have a pricing strategy that charges for extra guests, I strongly encourage all hosts to use this feature to protect themselves from unauthorised guests and parties. If you are able to show evidence of the extra  guests, through the use of a video camera, you will be paid by Airbnb. And I am sure the guest who booked will likely try to get the extra people out asap once the penalty is applied.

DeAnn197
Level 2
Baywood-Los Osos, CA

Good advice but it doesn't always work. When I have had someone that books as 1 guest and then replies to my check-in instructions that" they" will be there at a certain time, I respond with "how many people will be joining you? They say 3 or more and I notify them that there will be extra guests charges (over 2), they berate me and cancel their reservation without penalty and then I lose money because it doesn't re-book on that short of notice. I then changed my cancellation policy (of which I am told I get less bookings because) and have added to my listing "Please include all guests that will be joining you so that we can comfortably provide for your party" and I have had less problems but I was disappointed with the lack of support from Air B & B as this person repeatedly verbally abused me in writing and Air B and B did nothing to penalize this person for the abuse or cancellation or lying about the number of guests.

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