I have found the whole hosting experience overall positive but I continue to be frustrated by guests ignoring my house rules. For example I have a big sign on the back of my front door that states that on check-out I expect things to be put back where they were if they've been moved, adjusted, unplugged, etc. As I've said to a few guests (not the bad ones, lol) staying in someone's house is NOT like staying in a motel. Rules are there to be observed because it's generally what the host wants and to a certain extent it takes into account safety and security aspects. It's very inconsiderate for them to just treat the place however they like. So, my point is if they don't can I impose a fine on them? Is this unreasonable? How do other people feel about guests ignoring the rules? I feel if I charge a fine then it will make them realise how important it is that my place is returned to normality at the very least for me. I'm thinking it could be on a bond basis, ie take the money upfront (with full disclosure of course) and refund it if I'm happy that they've left the place in an acceptable condition.
Hi Jeff. Thanks for your feedback. I just can't think of any other way to make people obey my rules! A fine is something that no-one wants so if they know that they might be subject to it they will take a moment to read the signs around my place and if they need to ask questions, do so. What do you mean by "pop along with a better perspective"? Are you implying that I just have to accept what people will do in my home??? I was brought up to respect other people and their posessions, I expect nothing less from my guests.
And, after all, do not forget, @Jeanette37, that guests do not stay for free. If it's about safety or financial loss, it maybe worth correcting guests. If it's only in the name of obeying rules like "this pot plant on the right side of the window" - sorry, but it's non-sense.
Hi Marzena. Thanks for your feedback but why should my expectations be to do with money or safety? I want guests to respect my property because it's common courtesy and good manners to return everything as they found it (not the bed of course, it's going to be changed/serviced). It's not rocket science. If they unplug something and it stays like that it could lead to things like batteries going flat and me not being able to use it when I need to, possibly in an emergency like a phone. I'm not talking pot plants but then why would any guest move something like that? They're not going to be put where they're going to be a nuisance. Any commercial accommodation operator such as a motel expects that their guests will respect their property irrespective of what they pay. If things get moved, unplugged etc they have paid employees to put things back where they belong and the next guest is none the wiser. That's their job. I however, make $30/night from each guest and so can't afford any expenses over and above what I've got. I have to make a return trip of 214 kms (I live away for work purposes) just to service the unit and that can be costly. So it's annoying to have to spend extra time returning things to normal. You might think it's nonsense but that's your standard, not mine. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
no, you may not have an additional deposit. Abb holds all the money and they are the only ones who distribute it.
No, you may not fine anyone for breaking rules.
Rules exist to:
1- deter people from choosing your listing
2- give you a basis for which to remove someone (either before they arrive or during)
the review system is your only recourse for bad behavior, so the best rule is the one that keeps bad actors from choosing to rent from you.
Hi Kelly, thanks for this but I'm disappointed to say the least as there must be some way that I can "smarten" guests up and their bad behaviour. It generally applies to the ones I have who stay while I'm not there (which is frequently) so evicting them after they arrive and before they're due to leave is not an option. The last thing I want is for people to think that I don't want them to stay unless their behaviour is impeccable, that's not going to happen all the time. I just want them to show my place (and I) some respect, appreciate that it's not a motel room and take a few minutes to read the signs. If they're unsure of anything they just need to ask!
Hi @Jeanette37. I can imagaine how frustrating it must be to have your personal space disrupted by guests, especially when there doesn't seem to be a reason for it. I can hear that the idea of a fine is not really about the money, but about you wanting guests to leave your place the way they found it.
From hearing about other hosts trying to collect moeny from guests after the fact, I suspect that this may just be another source of frustration for you, and likely would not change the guests actual behaviour :( I also am a firm believer that more rules does not improve guest behaviour, it just lowers ratings.
I wonder if there are other ways to approach the problem: Are there patterns in what people move and can that help you understand WHY they are acting this way? For example, do they unplug your alarm clock to plug in their phone charger? If so, maybe you can set up a more convenient place for their phones that doesn't require them to unplug your stuff. Do they move kitchen chairs so that they can see the tv better? Reposition the TV. Etc.
Hi Isabel. Thanks for your reply. I'm wondering whether there's anyone else out there who is consistently having the same problem, glad to hear that you are a firm believer in rules. I find that with "patterns" of what they're doing, it is based around what devices they bring and what needs to be plugged in certainly. A lot unplug things in the bedroom and that's frustrating when I had an LED clock there. I had to reset it every time but it's no longer there. I point out where power boards/power points are but this doesn't seem to work. My unit is old and therefore lacks a lot of power points. I do want to have a lot more put in for my own benefit but this will cost and I'm only working part-time and can't afford to do a lot of things in the way of improvements for myself let alone any visitor. Hmmmm.
Are you charging enough for your space?
Are you charging enough in security deposit?
I have a section in my house rules I call The Penalty Box.
It outlines any charges that will be levied against the security deposit should the listed infractions occur. The wording in the Penalty Box states that should these events/actions occur there is no negotiation, the renter will be charged ( and possibly multiple times per infraction).
My PB list includes $500 for any food or drink found in the hot tub (instituted after a guest accidentally dropped several mugs of hot chocolate in the hot tub and then fought about paying for draining, cleaning, filling and new filters.) $25 for any cigarette butt found on the premesis ( instituted after walking around my yard and picking up over 25). $25 for any dirty dish left in the sink - there is a dishwasher and soap use it daily (instituted when I can into a sink HEAPED with dirty dishes, pots and pans) and last but not least $150 for driving anywhere not gravelled (instituted after the third guest who drove on the front lawn, got stuck, said "i thought we could drive anywhere in the country.")
Spell out the charges up front and make sure you have enough of a security deposit to cover if the charges need to be levied.
I also leave a binder of house rules in the house in a conspicuous place. I thas sections for opening, hot tub use, general rules, THE PENALTY BOX, things to do in the area, emergency procedures, emergency contact info, and closing procedures. I find guests are actually very grateful to have things spelled out and collected in one location.
Hi Cheryl, thanks for this and the answer to your first question is "probably no". I think my charge is reasonable but I am looking at gradually increasing (towards the end of 2018) my rate to $50/night to cover a multitude of increasing costs and the fact that I have "improved" things overall like putting a tv in the guest room. I don't even have one in my room!!! I think your Penalty Box idea is brilliant. I really have to put a compendium together with House Rules to leave in my unit as it will negate the need to have signs all over the place that most people don't read. After all, when one visits a motel or similar they quite often have a compendium with all the "need to know" stuff in it including recommendations for restaurants, instructions for operating equipment, etc. I usually read them!
Hello Cheryl. Hooray! Someone who has a common sense approach to the problem I have put forward. I like the idea of a Penalty Box but also a security deposit. I would like to charge a deposit for every (unknown) guest and stipulate that if they don't return things to the way they found them, it will be seized. As far as problem guests goes I did have one couple stay there and despite a big sign on the laundry cupboard saying that when they open the door, be careful of the light above, still broke it rendering the light useless. I had to get it fixed but there was no apology from them or offer to pay for it. Fortunately a friend fixed it for me so it cost me next to nothing. I could have claimed on the insurance but it wasn't worth it. Regarding a binder, I'm in the middle of preparing one now! Don't want guests to say they didn't know. It's possibly about a year and a half late though.
Penalty box sounds like an inhospitable idea. I read Cheryl's reviews (which are good) but noone mentioned it which I found surprising. Would expect ''...I was a little unsettled by the PENALTY BOX but despite that we had a nice time. ''
anyway, no mention of it but listing is not live at the moment.
Doubt that you can ''seize'' a deposit because guests move things. In fact, I know you can't. Guests sometimes move my sofas so they can have space for yoga. When they don't move things back I struggle because they might be two, I am one. But it isn't often. Sometimes they can't remember where things go. Accept.
I read your reviews, you have a lot of good ones. Also read your rules, no mention of the dreaded penalty box but if you plan to have one, make sure to mention it there. Maybe add a rule: Return things to where you found them please.
@Eve123 It can not be enforced on AirBnB, but you can if you have a signed rental agreement and ID take a guest to small claims court to enforce them if they are all listed in your agreement. AirBnB allows a rental agreement and copy of an ID to be required of booking guests.