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,
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.
Making changes to your home this year? Share your 2018 plans here!
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Community Center Project in December.
Looking to contact the Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
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.
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!