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,
@Kelly I just finished reading ALL of your House Rules.....seems we are kindred spirits. Can you imagine how much harder it must be for me and my family sharing our 1600 sq foot space and having someone using half a bottle of Old Spice or AXE cologne walking around our home? Eeewwwwwwwww.
Can't believe as I continue to host how much I have to add to my rules. And the worst part is, I have been attacked by a few hosts for the type of House Rules, yet yours, are even more specific, lengthly and I believe you "borrowed" from me and my style too? correct? Am I wrong, or did you once send me a private direct message talking about my rules. Could have been another hosts bc I do get alot of messages almost daily. Its amusing to me that others can have an opinion yet they don't even share their own home with guests....meaning they don't bump into their guests at 7am like we do as we all head to the household bathrooms. And recently we had a 6'4" 220 lbs Ukranian guests ask if he could walk around naked.....yes I wrote NAKED! And he knew we have a 13 year old daughter who lives here too!!! I thought he was kidding.....he wasnt.
Love what you wrote in your listing House Rules....and I can see from your reviews, that your experiences are going well. I may actually add to my House Rules with something you specifically wrote reminding guests that we all want to experience a 5* stay.....both as host and guests. I recently added this part to my House Rules...."while I understand you are a paying guests, you are still a guest in our home nonetheless."
But you are completely right about one thing.....ABB CX (Airbnb Customer Service) will not do anything if you don't have it in writing. Been told hundreds of times by ABB that my listing, my House Rules and my photos are the example of what every listing should be. Therefore, all of those host "haters" can just move on as I host my beautiful guests who continue to leave me beautiful gifts and monetary tips. (one guest actually left a $200 check in a thank you card with instructions that the check be deposited into my daughters college fund). I sent them a thank card along with a photo of my daughter at the bank holding up her receipt. I am SO blessed! Wishing the same blessings upon you too.....always.
By the way, love love love the barn. Added it to my list of places to stay. :) As least you can feel good knowing you would be hosting a 5* host who truly read your rules and agrees with them 100%! hahahaha
Great way to contact Airbnb or via Twitter at AirbnbHelp / Facebook
@Momi yes, rules are a bit of a pain, and as I said, mine are longer than I'd like them to be. I don't think I've seen your listing, but I did find several great rules lists over time from other hosts. As I recall @Alice & Jeff had a layout that was helpful, also a great listing in Sydney warned me of parties & sunless tanner, @Dave & Deb are always level headed and thorough, so many others too that I'm not recalling right now.
Rules are just another area where, if you're looking, you really can see a host's true personality shine through. After hosting myself, I'm quite certain I would never rent from a host that had no rules. And if guests are able to see from a rules list that they wouldn't enjoy that host or that property then that is a good thing to learn.
Now, on to a kind of different topic: You've made the rule and people just don't follow it....
My listing & my rental contract both say at least 4 times: No Unregistered Guests on Property.
But it happened again today that a guest looked at me and said "oh, our friends are stopping by before dinner, we'll just be hanging out for awhile." Now, this is a guest house, but really?!? They fully know the listing says no unregistered guests, but because they aren't spending the night, they think it doesn't count.
No means no, or so I thought... I'm writing up a Guests of Guest Addendum that will spell it out further. But the whole thing just sounds pissy because I'm essentially saying "hey, no unregistered guests actually means no other guests"
Y'all want to read it and tell me if it's the worst idea ever?? lmk
and, another experiment I'm trying right now is that I've created a second listing for my space. Same space, different listing.
This listing is for less guests, it has less rules, is at a lesser rate, BUT is only visible to guests with govt ID & positive reviews.
I'm trying to capture the calm, weekday, experienced, low maintenance ABB guest thru the second listing, while the first one is still out there available to all the newbies with all of it's extensive rules and explanations. Just opened it last week, so we'll see if a different format brings a different kind of guest.
We had a problem with people having people over to the house as well and finally posted this in our house rules:
* NO ENTERTAINING; We are perfectly happy having people pop by to pick up our guests, but we would prefer that you not use our home to entertain them. We'd be happy to help you find other places to spend time with your family and friends.
* OVERNIGHT GUESTS: All overnight guests must be approved in advance through the booking process and are subject to an additional fee as noted in the price. Maximum guests: 2.
This mostly stops the problem of "hanging out" and when someone says people are coming by, we tell them, unfortunately we cannot have them over since we are then liable for them, not Airbnb, because they are not Airbnb guests. We explain that our insurance does not cover guests of guests and we'd be happy to help them find a public space to hang out in.
We used to allow it until a couple was going to dinner with family and a cousin was picking them up. Next thing you know, cheese, wine, crackers and 4 people are sitting on my back porch all of whom are unknown to me (this is within an hour of their arrival). And we're hustling to provide glasses, plates, napkins, etc when I see the guest of the guest get up and go to their bathroom. Now I'm cleaning up after 4 people? Plus, what if he goes into their room and steals something from their suitcase? Now we're in a situation with our Airbnb guests that makes US look like the theives. No thank you! So no more.
You've got to set the tone and boundries from the moment your guests arrive. Even if it is in writing and a formal contract has been signed, it is up to you to reinforce what is acceptable. Some people will always attempt to push the limits. Stay the course!
Thanks for asking about this. Good question, admittedly it isn't as easy as it should be, but it is on my wishlist to improve.
If you add the @ symbol and they still don't appear then, one way to do this is to find a post they have created in another thread in the CC and click reply on their post and when you add the @ symbol they will show. Select that and then copy that mention and paste it here (or in the thread you wish to mention them in). Then discard the other draft reply post.
Alternatively, you can highlight to be and say who you would like me to mention I can edit your post and add it in for you. Happy to do this as often as you would like. :)
I hope this help, if this isn't clear just let me know.
Happy 3rd birthday to the Community Center – a huge thank you to you all. Take a look, here.
Could you go plastic free?
Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
I hope this gets fixed soon @Lizzie. I know there have been several times I have wanted to tag you but you do not show up. You would think the "Admin" would show up first when typing @Lizzie! You are important!
Thanks @Lizzie, the post above is the one I couldn't get to @@Alice & Jeff, Louise in Sydney and Dave & deb
thank you for the instructions on how to find another host on cc -- I'm usually here on my phone in between little bits of time here and there so toggling between windows isn't possible but I'll keep it in mind or ask for help. Thanks!
House Rules should NOT be something like a legal "mumbo jumbo", otherwise nobody will read it or potential guests will go to another less complicated listing.
I think it is better to be short and to the point - Say it all in a few words and "hit the nail on the head"!
I have only hosted since January 2017. My rules are ever evolving.
I started by reading the forum topics and picking what seemed to fit my listing. I started with:
I remember you telling the story about why you have added the latest ruling to your set (about being fully-clothed).... and I think it was Andrea who made the joke about hosting 'Captain Underpants'!
Still makes me laugh today.
Poor Captian Underpants. LOL He has become one of my prime examples of why I send a rules reminder email to the guests. So far he has been the most ... unusual guest I've had. There are commercials that will cause my family members to text me, laughing hysterically when their memory is triggered. LOL There is one for a home loan company where the puppet and man sit on the couch i underwear, and there is a kids movie. It has been a very interesting 6 months of hosting. :)
Before getting started, it helps to understand that the purpose of house rules is two fold:
a.) to make the guest aware of specific points to guarantee a smooth visit without problems.
b.) to have things in writing so that in case problems develop, you have the right to cancel the stay and Airbnb will back you up in that.
In my opinion, to be effective, rules should be very clear, easy to read, and not too long. Anything that is a wish, but not essential, perhaps just post some helpful notes in your place or mention them in person when checking in guests. To have effective rules:
1.) make good use of the ones Airbnb offers already, such as no pets, no children, no smoking, no parties.
2.) don't repeat these rules again in your own wording, it just detracts from what you want to get across.
3.) don't say "please" in whatever you add, could be misunderstood as an invitation but not as a rule you are serious about.
4.) don't add things you cannot enforce, like extra security deposits or charges for something broken.
5.) do add some obvious rules which seem necessary to avoid problems:
a.) only registered guests are allowed on the property.
b.) registered guest must have a clear profile picture.
c.) clearly specify your check in times, perhaps require guest to text you the ETA on the day of arrival.
d.) Clarify the situation with children: Airbnb only says in their offered house rule "may not be suitable."
e.) add specific rules for your situation and listing.
Overall, rules are only as good as you are willing to enforce them. in case you notice an infraction, address it right away, directly to the guest: like in case of extra people there, make up your mind if you are willing to tolerate it, then face the guest and in his/her presence change the reservation to include the extra people (often extra $$ to collect), or if you don't want to tolerate it, then ask them to leave = you are boss at your property.