I hope you are having a great week.
I often see discussions here in the Community Center where suggestions or tips on the house rules have been given and it is always well received. This is why I thought it would be great to start a discussion on this. :)
It would be great to hear tips on things you would recommend including (especially for a new host who is about to create theirs), also ways to write the 'rules' and perhaps even whether less is more in terms of points.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks so much,
I am very proud of my house rules and I encourage other hosts to steal from them. Many of them have been developed over time, some have been borrowed from other awesome hosts and some have been created to counteract some of Airbnb's odd workings. As someone mentioned earlier, they are there to also discourage those who cannot follow rules to look elsewhere.
Here are my 12 house rules:
Please read and agree to the house rules before booking the suite:
Here is the rationale for some of our house rules:
Many people have this house rule and if they do not, they should. This helps for those who book for two and then have 5 others come during the day using up your utilities/supplies and often causing more cleaning to be done.
This rule has been put in place for our protection as we have had someone book for 4 people and then snuck in 3 extra people and it was a nightmare dealing with the guest and Airbnb. We have not had any other issues since putting this rule in place.
This rule has been added now that Airbnb does not charge for infants/toddlers. Many people do not know that even if you make it that your listing is not suitable for infants that guests can still book with infants and not be charged for it. It is my belief that an infant makes just as much of a mess as many adults and they still consume things in the listing. I do allow infants/toddlers but it must be discussed first and I do charge for them. Recently I allowed an infant/toddler and they had a daughter the same age as my daughter so they had a playdate in the listing. I went down to help with something and the toddler had a banana peel smooshed into the carpet and another piece of banana sitting on the leather couch.
With our listing, we allowed guests to use our washer and dryer. We have twice had guests ruin bedding/towels by washing it themselves and either changing the color of it or locking in a stain.
Many hosts think this next rule is a given but many guests think they can just leave their garbage everywhere and anywhere and not do their dishes. The cleaning fee is really for the deep cleaning areas like the bathrooms, floors, and kitchen area but it should be left tidy.
This one is also a rule that most people you would think would just do anyway but we seem to have huge issues with people not locking the door when they go out. I am not as much annoyed when they leave the windows open as it does provide fresh air but it does concern me as most people can figure out where your listing is if they really wanted to.
I know I have 12 rules and I am fine with that. Are there any rules that you would add that I have missed or any that you think you may start using in your listing?
This was very helpful!
I have added in my own little 'pet peeves' so to speak, and you are welcome to read my rules if you so choose and comment.
But something about your simple direct approach worked well for me.
We are still editing but very much more pleased with the expression of our needs vis-a-vis our rules, etc.
The whole process of reading and observing how other people are working with Airbnb also helped me to come up with a new profile description that was satisfying to both myself and my partner and relates very much to where we are at currently.
Our recent Airbnb experiences helped us to see how important it is to 'level'.
@David And Frances Just read your last post....curious to know whom are you referring to when you say.." something about your simple direct approach worked well for me." ???
Love reading your posts....so positive and forward thinking about how to best handle your Airbnb. Excellent.
edited this post to say...."Oh yeah, I remember you are the host in Canada who gave me credit in his listing with my name with regards to your house rules. (smiling). Thanks.
I will read your house rules now. (again) hahaha
Great way to contact Airbnb or via Twitter at AirbnbHelp / Facebook
Thank you so much for the positive feedback, @Momi!
Dave and Deb wrote in about their rules, and it sliced through nicely for me and gave me further impetus to chip away at my own set of rules as well as streamline their expression.
It was so great to finally show up in community here.
I knew that the sudden rash of millenials were providing me with a super boost towards cleaning up my act! They inspired me to do some research, and it was far more rewarding than I had imagined it would be.
Your work, Momi, and the work of many others has helped me to dig down deep within myself and express my needs.
I have been at this rules and expectations business a long time (retired teacher), and believe me, it has never made more sense to me than it does now!
Yes, you could say I am a late bloomer!
(Just off my latest revision of my rules... amazing how helpful to delete a few phrases! Great process to go through, with myself, and my partner...)
Amazingly satisfying to come up with some decent descriptions of who we are and where we are coming from...
Many blessings all...
I also have conflicting thoughts when it comes to rules. I use ABB a lot when I travel, put it this way: the number of days I am an ABB guest is larger than the number of days I am hosting. So I am playing devil advocate here as I see it from two sides:
I might be an exception but I dislike when hosts have a long list of rules. It makes me feel as if I were being talked down like a kid who does not have common sense. I get immediately stressed even before I arrive at the ABB, not sure whether the hosts will keep my deposit if I ever forget to turn off lights or tie up the garbage bags, etc. So on the day of departure I usually get up super early to tidy up the ABB, and that is when I miss my hotel stay with turndown service :-)
So now when I host, I think it's reasonable to create rules such as no parties, no smoking, no pets, no shoes inside the house, no registered guest, some allergy-related issues, but anything beyond that is overkilled. Can you share stories when a preset rule helped you when problem arose? And I meant the detailed rules, not the common rules listed earlier. Did ABB put the responsibility on you for not having extensive rules in the first place? Again, I am prety new to hosting and thanks goodness I have not had any problem yet...
Thanks for reading
@Tran ,I'm also at home in both camps, being a host as well as guest. I cannot answer your specific question about "Can you share stories when a preset rule helped you when problem arose?", simply because I never had a major problem with any of my guests. I attribute that to having a very clear listing, clear house rules, exchanging a few messages with my guests before arrival, as well as personally checking in every guest : all pre-emptive measures, and it works very well for me.
Like you, I believe in clear rules, but not too many. Some of the pointers, like where to leave towels, what to do with laundry, etc. I don't put that into my house rules but communicate that in person when guiding guests through the apartment and/or leaving up friendly notes about it, thinking that guests want to relax, not go back online to check my house rules point by point before leaving, but those are things I wouldn't get upset about if not followed, they are just curtesy requests, while the ones that really matter, absolutely belong into the house rules.
Just want to clarify one thing, as you say that you will charge $100 for a lost key and that it will come out of the security deposit: As hosts we don't have direct access to the security deposit, Airbnb does, so when there is an issue, the host cannot just decide to charge it to the security deposit, it has to go through Airbnb and ultimately they, not us hosts, will make the decision on what comes out of the security deposit.
Overall, I think the feeling of how stressful hosting can be is getting highlighted here in the forums, as mostly we have posts from hosts who are dealing with problems and then get frustrated when they can't easily reach Airbnb. I never considered hosting stressful before reading all the posts here in the forums!
so I prefer going back to that somewhat innocent stage where I consider hosting fun, do my best as a host and expect all to go smoothly. Prerequisite is to understand Airbnb rules, know how it all works, and have a well thought out listing - sure works for me! And looking at your listing, I think it works the same way for you. Your reviews are great, also accenting your personal involvement in your hosting - no doubt you'll be superhost in a few weeks!
Thank you Annette for being so thorough in your assessment and advice, I really appreciate you putting in the time...
I will revise the rules/notes to my guests (re: fob replacement fee). This is why I love going to the community forum to learn from other hosts.
Your place is so gorgeous, I hope one day I could visit
Have a great day!
actually, @Tran , I believe that putting the fee for the replacement key in to your house rules is entirely reasonable, as it warns guests about what you intend to ask for. Some hosts just put all sorts of fees into their house rules, all really not enforcable, but yours about the key, I bet Airbnb would back you up on it. Maybe just phrase it a bit differently? You just don't have the power to collect it, Airbnb does, that was the main point.
Happy hosting to you, great place you got, and if ever I will be in Toronto, I will show up at your door steps :)
ps : thanks so much for your generous compliments about my place, much appreciated!
Hi @Tran, Annettes advice and summaries are great I agree, including the discussion about key security and charges.
If you attach the key to something slightly bulky, or a bright lanyard or ribbon, it helps the guest keep track of it. A clip attached is helpful too. My key has a very obvious place to hang and return it, so guests will see this as they come and go.
Helping the guests to retain the key is an easier pathway, that's for sure.
Regards, to all, Christine.
@Annette haha nice post. (I never considered hosting stressful before reading all the posts here in the forums!)
I am enjoying hosting and learning the tricks of the trade.
Living next to my listing makes it quite easy to keep everything under control.
We are closed for a week because I am doing some work(new porch, cut an outside wall and put up 2-meter bamboo fence and gate)
Reading the guests messages gives me a the time and understanding of each guest.
My only advice to new hosts is keep it simple stupid and read my lips I will not raise taxes!
Sorry, sometimes I space out in blurbs.
@BruceHey Bruce! You nailed it! You must keep it simple. However, it's all about interacting with people. I just enjoy observing people! Each one has a life story. By the time my guests leave, I have a new short story to write. I don't necessarily ask them, but they tell me by their remarks, body language, facial expressions. Life! It's so fascinating!
I was away from home during our last Airbnb guest stay. Upon returning, I asked my husband about our guests. He was unable to tell me anything about them personally! I felt left out and disappointed...Thank God, they left a great review anyway!
@Welcome Thank you for this, it really clarifies for me that we have multiple kinds of hosts -- maybe someday abb will help us recognize them more easily.
Then there are those like me or @Robin or @Bruce or where the guest is definitely in "our" spacesince we built it and furnished it and run everything and we will likely meet them and maybe even have a chat on the porch but we likely won't bump into them in a bathrobe.
Then there are the hosts who really are nothing more than another Marriott. They're booking out time shares or corporate housing or any number of hundreds of properties that they've never set foot on.
These three hosts have have different issues and concerns but it's not always readily apparent which kind of host they are from the blurbs they write here.
I think there is a fourth category: Someone who owns and lives in the home (and only has this one home on AirBNB) but is not there often due to work or other responsibility (or just other travel!). They own their home and do live there on occasion and want guests to treat it respectfully, but have others on the ground caring for it, cleaning it, etc. It's a combination of your second and third category. The guest will not meet us but we certainly want to know them well!