Hi all, while I've been using Airbnb as a guest for many years, I'm new to hosting (just posted my listing a week ago today). We have our third guests tonight, who are staying for one night. I only have one house rule - absolutely no smoking inside or outside the house. This is stated on the listing and I clearly state that no smoking is allowed inside or out and that any violaters will be asked to leave immediately. I'm very allergic to smoke and I have asthma attacks when exposed to smoke, which I also mentioned in my listing. About 30 minutes after our guests arrived, we started smelling pervasive smoke from all the way upstairs and on the other side of the home. We went down and knocked on the door and asked if the guest were smoking and one of the gentleman said he was just smoking in the bathroom. We told him that the listing was absolutely no smoking inside or out, and that I was very allergic and asthmatic, and if he absolutely had to smoke that he could walk down the street and do it. The other gentleman was very apologetic, but I am absolutely appalled that someone would smoke in the house after that is literally the only rule we have. I did not list a security deposit on the listing; do I have any recourse? I saw that some of the forums mentioned that you have to evidence. I'm not sure what I can submit as far as evidence but the guest freely admitted it and I imagine that the cigarette butt is probably in my brand new plastic trash can that's in the bathroom. There's not a window in the bathroom so I'm very concerned about being able to air it out and remove the pungent smoke smell. Please advise.
Yes, as @David126 mentioned, the security deposit is only for provable damage and is not easy to collect even then. You can call Airbnb and ask them to remove your guests for breaking house rules, but be aware many guests will not really care what your rules are. Their mindset is that they have paid for the space, so it is theirs for the amount of time they have booked. If were you, @Kayla26, I would reinforce with the guests upon arrival that you have asthma issues with smoke, and would appreciate any smoking be done well away from,the property.
Unfortunately even if you had a security deposit set, there is nothing you can charge them for unless while smoking in your bathroom they caught the curtains on fire! It is very frustrating when guests do not respect the house rules! I have NO smoking of ANY KIND in my listing profile, I have NO SMOKING signs on the inside of the front door and in the bathroom of our guesthouse, I do however provide a smoking section for my guests outside in our garden area, they have very respectful of that only using the ashtray for their butts, it seems redundant but you will have to post in CAPITAL letters everywhere you can possibly think of NO SMOKING some guests you have to treat like children!
It is true that no cost were incurred but if guests are going to be that disrespectful of my space I am going to keep their deposit from here on out. This just happened to me today. I will post in my house rules that if you are caught smoking inside you will not receive your deposit back. I did have pictures of ashes in the shower this time but had not collected a deposit.
@Kayla26 I noticed that you have instant book. In your IB message, do you say something like "Plese review my House Rules. IMPORTANT: no smoking inside."
Since you have IB, would you consider adding to the House Rules section: "After booking send me an email confirming you understand all the House Rules and you will follow all of them. Kindly confirm that you will not smoke inside my home (I suffer from severe allergies)." If the person does not send this confirmation, call Airbnb to report that you are uncomfortable with this guest bc he/she has already broken your house rules (Airbnb will cancel without penantly to you).
In the "Other Things to Note" section, I suggest using the first line to mention no smoking since people do not usually read until the end. For instance "**See House Rules Section. NO smoking permitted in my home."
In the listing info it might be a good idea to add "Smoke-free."
PS You cannot keep the deposit. It is held by Airbnb.
When you confronted your guests and they admitted that they were smoking and breaking your house rules, I would have told them they had to leave.
Forget the money, forget the deposit, they will continue to smoke at their convenience wherever they fancy. You will be better off without them.
I would suggest that you contact Airbnb, tell them that you have caught your guests smoking in your home and they admitted to it, against your house rules and it has made you uncomfortable hosting them and you want them to leave. You are informing them (Airbnb) before you action this as you may be subject to repercussions. Then, go tell your guests you want them to leave and reiterate the same in Airbnb messages to them. Tell them when you want them to leave by and be present when they go.
Don't offer or mention a refund, it will be up to the guest to sort anything out directly with Airbnb. Do not accept to pay a refund when Airbnb message you and ask if you would like to refund your guests. Your refund policy is what will decide what, if any refund is provided.
The alternative is you do and say nothing. (Not my recommendation).