Hi all, just wondering if anyone has a similar policy in their home. On a number of occasions I know that my guests have dishonoured my house rules in regards to no alcohol. They say that they either did not read the policy or did not see the no alcohol clause before they booked. Some guests act surprised when they read my Guests Airbnb manual upon arrival or when they ask and I tell them.
How have other Christian hosts or (teetotaller hosts) dealt with this issue? I constantly get asked whether we allow wine or beer for relaxation purposes. We do allow a glass of wine over dinner when I am asked for clarification however I do not make that public knowledge. To keep it easy I simply indicate in my house rules that No alcohol is permitted. Some guests can't accept it seems and come back and say they won't party or drink beer excessively etc I normally reply by saying that it's more a personal conviction because of my Christian stance rather than the fact that the guests may get drunk or party.
Some have cancelled their bookings as a result - I have no problems with that.
Would like to hear from those who have similar beliefs and no alcohol policy in the home.
@Robin4 That is a creative way to approach making that smoking rule enforceable! But in my view, a non-smoking rule is very different from a no-alcohol rule. Smoking in a non-smoking home constitutes a kind of damage - at least to its air quality and odor - that would have a legitimate impact on the next incoming guests' stay. One can't really make the same case for alcohol. It doesn't really leave a trace if it's not spilled, and if you're going to ban anything that might leave a stain you'll also have to tell guests they're forbidden from drinking coffee or menstruating.
The approach taken by @Michelle53 sounds more like: "I don't trust you to behave yourself if you have a beer in the kitchen." This does strike me as a rather condescending way to treat adult guests, and it adds an unexpected note of irony to a listing whose first word is "Relax!" I personally can't imagine offering a dining area for up to 4 people if I felt entitled to tell people what kind of liquids they can and can't put in their glasses. It would feel as strange as offering a bed to couples but forbidding them from having sex in it. But I realize there are some cultural differences at play here - in Germany, it's perfectly normal to have a beer on the subway home from work, or while sitting in a public park or walking down the street, but in many countries these activities are all illegal.
@Andrew0 You can, of course, talk to me, first-person, rather than past me, third-person, if you have a constructive suggestion.
Which, actually, the suggestion regarding my listing title is. The title was established back in 2015 when I first listed, and hasn't ever changed, although my reality and my house rules and listing description have evolved substantially.
Since my problem guests are pretty much all from the US, one could perhaps conclude that people just aren't as mature around alcohol as people in Berlin, for whom being without beer is pretty much unthinkable.
@Michelle53 While I think it's not really up to a host to dictate what adults can and can't consume on one's property, your no-alcohol rule is based on your past experience with guests who can't drink responsibly, rather than coming from a place of some sort of moral judgement, so I don't see it as that much different from hosts having to add things to their house rules which seemed like just common sense that you shouldn't have to have a rule about.
"Don't get so drunk that you fall and break things or make so much noise that the neighbors complain" shouldn't have to be said, but if you tend to get guests who can't drink responsibly, then you have to do what is necessary to protect your home.
And the no alcohol rule you have also seems to have worked out fine for you as far as guests respecting that.
It's a funny thing- where drinking alcohol is prohibited and seriously frowned upon for those under a certain age, or in public, there seem to be many more people who get stupidly drunk. In places like Europe, where children are often allowed a glass of wine with dinner, just like the rest of the people at the table, or as Andrew says, have a beer on the subway or walking down the street, getting drunk doesn't seem to be a goal or much of an issue.
It's the same here in Mexico. It's quite common to see people walking down the street with a beer, or sitting on the square with a drink. And while Mexicans can be quite loud in general, you don't normally see drunken brawls, or people drinking til they puke. It's the American tourists who scream and yell drunkenly in the pool until 3 AM, disturbing the entire neighborhood.
@Michelle53 I don't know if one culture is more mature than the other, but it does occur to me that when people are drinking responsibly in your unit, there's no reason you should ever be aware of their drinking. They're not making excess noise or breaking things, they wash their dishes and take out their trash - so even if they broke your rule, you'd have no reasonable complaint about their behavior.
On the other hand, guests who are immature and irresponsible are likely to still be problem guests even without alcohol. I experienced fewer and fewer problem guests over time until in the past 2 years that number got down to zero - not because I made my rules any more restrictive, but rather because I got better at identifying them in the initial correspondence. My Acceptance Rate stands at 60% and I have no regrets about that.
@Sarah977 @Andrew0 Debating the virtues of how different cultures relate to alcohol makes for a great conversation, but since I have to deal with the real-world problems of the guests I host and the local regulations, it's not really a practical consideration for me.
A few things to note before I bow out of this topic.
1. I may take some things under advisement, while everything shuts down for the winter. I'm already down to just one booking for October, and nothing at all after that, although booking patterns have completely changed since I reopened, and often people are only booking a couple of weeks out, intead of months ahead. .
2. Covid-19 had changed everything. Travel patterns, type of guests that book, nature of trips, my screening procedures, scheduling of local events, local regulations. Everything. I have no idea what 2021 is going to look like, so everything is on the table for review, even the viability of continuing to list at all.
3. If it's not broken, don't fix it. Right now, my approach works for me. Fundamentally changing the nature of my listing may work, it may not. With so many other variables in play, I'm loathe to make too many adjustments all at once. The point about rules is to try to prevent things from happening, not deal with them while/after they are happening, when it's already way too late. Screening guests thoroughly is certainly a viable strategy, and now I'm doing far fewer bookings overall, I am screening much more carefully.
When restaurants and bars were closed, people were turning to Airbnb as a gathering place (often against regulations) - all this did was lead to more problems for hosts, resulting in ever-worsening local restrictions. I never had problems like that.
Thanks for your comments, but I'm now out of this thread.
Michelle in most jurisdictions (mine included) it is not the serving of alcohol that is prohibited, you are free to offer alcohol to anyone who can legally drink it.....you cannot sell it!
The sale of alcohol requires a liqour licence and a local government food and beverage permit!
The other thing a lot of hosts may not know is, it is illegal in all westernised countries to provide food to guests unless you have food handling certification. You cannot keep a kg of bacon rashers in the freezer and peel off 4-5, wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for the guests self made breakfast. You cannot cut a wedge off that block of butter and put in on a butter dish for them.
Any foodstuffs you offer the guest must be supplied in the manufacturers accredited sealed containers.....the exception being Bread, Eggs and some fruits. Even milk must be supplied in the sealed manufacturers container, be it glass, plastic or cardboard.
The law is, whoever supplies that product prior to hygiene sealing must have an accredited food handling licence.
@Robin4 Yes, we have food handling laws, too. When providing food, a food handling certification is required.
The exact text of the ordinance regarding alcohol reads as follows :-
"Section 4-14-050 Unlawful Acts
(d) Service of alcohol - Prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any shared housing host to serve or otherwise provide alcohol to any guest or any invitee of any guest"
If you're interested in some light reading, the full ordinance can be found here :-
Relevant sections start around p 21.
Oh life is full of grey areas, isn't it Michelle! The interpretation of selling is being read differently by various authorities. What Chicago is saying, their interpretation is, the 'provision' of alcohol (along with everything else you offer) is deemed to be a part of the rental contract and as such is regarded as....selling. You could be sued for inadvertently providing a coffee to a guest served with out of date milk! It's a sale not an offer!
You can provide alcohol to your friends at a get together, or a dinner, but having a paid guest or anyone associated with that paid guest anything you do forms part of a sales agreement......wow!
That document sure is an eye opener. That section 6 just comes under the heading of illegal activities, no definition of what an 'illegal activity' is, just that.....it's illegal!
Personally I am glad our authorities have a somewhat broader concept of the 'shared economy'!!
I don't think I would host under that sort of straitjacket, I don't need the money that much, I enjoy the experience, and if that was taken away from me by the state.....I wouldn't bother hosting on!
Gee, ever since Rahm Emanuel had the majors guernsey Chicago sure have had it in for Airbnb!
@Robin4 Honestly, if I didn't actually need the extra income, I probably wouldn't be doing it either.
Sadly, many of our Aldermen feel this is not restrictive enough, and are gathering, almost as we speak, to tighten things up.
"Party Houses" are killing us.
My state government says I can host whoever I want whenever I want as a paid guest. My local council have given me a certificate of occupancy to rent the building as a habitable space that conforms with the required building codes, and the Federal government require me to furnish a profit and loss statement once a year each November to the tax office.
Michelle, that's it, I have no other restrictions.
Well I do have two....I must conform to food hygiene standards, and I must remove my Airbnb welcome sign at the front gate once guests have arrived. This being an R1 residential area means, no permanent street advertising.
Our state and our local council actually encourage tourism, they understand the income that brings into the state and local communities. I am seen as an ambassador in our area, not a pariah!!
@Robin4 That certainly represents the positive side of the argument, yes.
However, we have ever-louder voices representing the negative side of the argument, and, at the moment, looks like they are winning (aided and abetted by the Hotel industry).
Having read the responses on this thread, I have to say, we as a community are possibly getting a bit high and mighty here with our criticism of @Kisa0 's stance on alcohol!
It's not up to us to make a judgement on whether she is right or wrong, that's up to the guests. If she can make her alcohol stance work, fine, she might carve out for herself a nice little market of guests who don't want to stay within cooeee of where alcohol is or has been.
Regulars here will know that I am always open to a glass or two of red wine....and more often than not, so are my guests, but I wouldn't like to be criticized for that......that is just my hosting style, and I find that I do attract guests who do like to be sociable.....win/win!
I do feel though that Kisa needs to come out of the woodwork and make her stance a feature of her listing description, not leave it buried down in the fine print where all it is ever going to do is create problems for her guests and herself.
It may be that short term renting is not viable for Kisa.....like being a surgeon when you are a Jehovah's Witness......but that is for the guests to decide.
Kisa, I will cut you a bit of slack, but make your stance on alcohol very prominent so there can be no confusion about where you stand!!
One of our selling points is that we are located within an easy drive of several wineries. So no, we would not or could not "forbid" that any more that we could "forbid" premarital or any "unusual" sex in our place, did we have a strong belief system that made it important to us that our guests not engage in such things in our space.
OP I would probably advertise "Christian Guests Strongly Preferred" on your location if you want to attract like-minded individuals. I know that if I saw a host saying that, my lapsed Catholic self would look for another accommodation where we would both be more comfortable. Best of luck!
@Laura2592 We have several great micro-breweries in the local area. Of late, well prior to Covid anyway, it's become popular to hold wedding receptions there.
I do have guests that come into town for events like that.
They pop up, too, on the new "Top Places Nearby" list, which seems to be somewhat random, and updates itself from time to time.
I totally encourage folks to go out and enjoy those locations. Just not to bring product back to drink on the premises. Anything staying sealed in its original case, intended to be taken home after the trip, can be accommodated.
My "No Alcohol on the Premises" restriction sits right under "No Smoking", but only appears when one clicks "Show All". The vast majority of my guests seem to have found it. One or two have been grumpy in reviews, but that tells me they didn't read everything properly.
I think most reasonable people follow the restriction without any trouble. If they have a particular opposition to it, they are, of course, welcome to book elsewhere. I've never had trouble filling my calendar with it in place, and my house is always quiet.