Quiet Hours, defined?

Ken28
Level 10
Newburgh, IN

Quiet Hours, defined?

I have the following rule:

"I go to bed at between 8~9pm. The hours of 9pm to 7am are 'quiet hours'. Please limit noise (phone calls, tv, etc.)" I also ask my guests before they book what times they anticipate arriving and leaving on a typical day. My last guest said he'd be in and out at 7a and 7p each day, and I approved the request.

 

5 days into it, I confronted him on a problem - every night he was leaving the house at 9p. He'd return at about 9:45p, eat a meal in the kitchen (imagine the sounds of plastic bags, dishes clanking, cubboards banging), then at about 10:00 until 10:30, he'd take a long shower in a bathroom that I share a bedroom wall with.

 

In confronting him, I told him that if this didn't improve, I'd remove his electronic lock access after 9p, since it was disturbing both me and my other guest. (She also goes to bed at aroud 9.) In his review, he told me that I should specifically state that you can't come and go, use the kitchen, or shower during 'quiet hours'.

 

Is he right? Do I need to define 'quiet hours' better? Should I say:

Do not shower. Do not roam the halls. Do not enter or leave the house. Do not assemble furniture. Do not make loud yawning noises as you wake up. And not pass go and do not collect $200?

 

I got docked 2 stars for what I thought to be 'professionally' handling the matter. I waited until the problem had escalated (after 5 days, I was losing enough sleep to be unprodicutive at work) and then I told him the problem and the possible solutions. Either change his schedule or book elsewhere.

 

He got a refund for his unused nights, but left me a pretty sad review accusing me of misstating my rules.

43 Replies 43
Linda108
Level 10
La Quinta, CA

Many host must defined quiet hours, @Ken28.  However, your definition is a bit unrealistic.  "Do not roam the halls" after 9 PM because you go to bed early...really?  If your shared space needs limits, fine, but you don't want someone to take a shower at 10 PM.   You are going to limit a guest's access to your home after 9 PM...again, really?

 

Maybe your home or your lifestyle has a narrow range of acceptable behavior.  Not a problem.  Your home, your rules.  Perhaps there is a more compatible guest you should target.  I would not want to stay at your place, because the rules seem to be about your comfort, not the guest experience.

 

I also have a private room and many of my guests attend a musical festival which means they are out all day and return to my place around 2.  They need to take showers because they have been in the sun all day.  I can hear the showers, and sometimes it is difficult for me to fall back asleep, but these are my guests.  I want them to have a wonderful experience, so I "take a hit".

 

You don't tell a guest to "change the schedule" as they are coming to your home to enjoy their travel. I have been a traveler on Air BNB and offer respect to the host but the host offers me flexibilty as well.  Have you ever stayed in a shared space while on vacation?  I found it really gave me a great perspective.

Yes, @Linda108 I've rented a room in a shared house for three months while interning out of state during college. I was very gracious for my hosts hospitality, and if he had ever asked me to keep it down, I would have quickly complied (though he didn't have to because I am very conscientious about other people's needs).

 

When I asked my guest to change his schedule/behavior so it complied with the quiet hours, he accused me of having misstated my rules. Is "quiet hours are from 9p to 7a" not clear enough? How can I better define this?

 

On a related, but separate note:

I contacted Airbnb earlier this week to find out what grounds I would have to cancel this guest's stay. This was after he kept me awake three nights in a row, and he was also not keeping the bathroom clean, and hung his wet towel over the bedroom door, after we had a deliberate conversation about that the previous evening.

 

But, as I expected, I received no response from Airbnb. I was hoping they would either cancel his booking, or they would tell me that I couldn't cancel. Either way, I needed to know before I attempted to confront the guest, which might just make things worse. When Airbnb didn't respond within two days, I decided I must take the matter into my own hands, otherwise my other guest would assume that I didn't care about her comfort either.  So, after the confrontation, my guest left with a bad attitude, I'm stuck with a rubbish review, and the only consolation I have is that my other guest was here through the whole process and she is fully on board with the actions I took. She's here for about 3-4 months, and the last thing I want her to think is that I don't care about her needs, by not resolving situations that directly affect her comfort and the cleanliness of the space she shares.

 

Your comment "...the rules seem to be about your comfort, not the guest experience" surprises me. Is that not what rules are for? My rules exist for two purposes. 1) They ensure little opportunity for conflict as possible, thus maintaining an honest, open, relationship between host and guest. And 2) they give me grounds for cancellation, if some problem does arise. In this case, Airbnb's lack of response continues to appal me. They should have responded within 24 hours and my guest and I should not have had to deal with this guest as long as we did.

 

I'm >>this close<< to telling Airbnb 'buhbye'. This is the second time this month I feel like they've really dropped the ball.

 

@Linda108 said: "If your shared space needs limits, fine, but you don't want someone to take a shower at 10 PM.   You are going to limit a guest's access to your home after 9 PM...again, really?"

 

When he leaves every night at 9, and arrives again after 10? YES! I gave him ample warning that "if I don't see improvement, I will disable the lock after 9p". That's basically my nice way of saying STOP LEAVING THE HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WAKING ME UP. YOU TOLD ME YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE AND THIS WASN'T WHAT WE AGREED TO!

 

There's no risk of getting locked out if you are home before quiet hours -- i.e., following the rules.

Cynthia-and-Chris1
Level 10
Vancouver, WA

Your rules are definitely a little extreme. I don't blame the guest for docking stars. I have quiet hours as well, but I would never tell a guest they have to be in the house, in bed, and silent by the start of quiet time. If they want to come in at 2am, fine by me - just be respectful of other housemates and keep it down. 

@Cynthia-and-Chris1 "I would never tell a guest they have to be in the house, in bed, and silent by the start of quiet time"

 

Nor would I. Nor have I ever. I've had guests come and leave after 9 in the past, and it's never been a problem. I have guests that watch TV late (they bring headphones, of course). Most guests just walk quietly and minimize noise out of respect. I think it's this particular guest just didn't care, and there was nothing I could do to make him care. Pointing out the noise issue and giving him an ultimatum was the only way I felt he'd respond to the problem.

David126
Level 10
Como, CO

Perhaps use the term curfew in your listing and state that it is strictly enforced?

David
Annette33
Level 10
Prescott, AZ

sorry, @Ken28 , the way you handled your guests, your subsequent extensive criticism of several of them in your review of them, and also  your responses to their review of you, all that is just not professional. it says more about you than of them, and you didn't do yourself any favors by lamenting all their shortcomings.  Though you come across as flexible and inviting in your listings description, your actual statements show an all together different side.

I would not get the idea that your rule " 9pm - 7am quiet times"  means I am not allowed to leave the house, or do anything that makes the slightest noise after that time.

 

 

Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@Ken28

Yeah Ken, @Annette33 @Linda108  @Cynthia-and-Chris1 are on the right track.

You are not a host, and my feeling is you should find another way to make a dollar. Guests are paying you good money to be trussed up in a myriad of completely onerous rules which you then abuse them for breaking!

@David126 is absolutely correct you must clearly and prominently state that you have a 9pm 'curfew'....because that is essentially what it is!

The major problem here is a lot of people do not read a listing thoroughly, they see a cheap price and a few reasonable photos and book only to find out down the track they have made a mistake and find the terms of the stay unacceptable! 

No, this is not hosting, move on Ken, you are not doing the platform any good, there are plenty of other ways of making money which do not involve treating guests as school children and zipping them into a straightjacket for a major part of their stay.....Ughh

Cheers....Rob

@Robin4 says "you are not doing the platform any good"

 

WOW. You are very quick to jump to conclusions about me. Look at my reviews, from the past year, and tell me I'm not a good host. I have SUPERHOST status because I go out of my way to make sure guests are comfortable:

 

"It's obvious he enjoys people and wants your visit to his home and town to be comfortable and memorable. Mine certainly was!"

"Ken and his dog Duke are super friendly and hospitable... can assure that it will be a great stay..."

"Ken is a gracious, attentive host."

"Friendly, easy, comfortable, and clean! Short but very nice stay with Ken. Don't hesitate to book, great stay."

"Ken was an excellent host throughout my three month stay... I really enjoyed my stay and would recommend anyone a rental with Ken as a host."

"The place is as described, and the host and his dog are very friendly."

"Ken was great. ... He is extremely pleasant, helpful and laid back."

"My 3-night stay with Ken was fantastic. He is a very friendly person and I enjoyed the time I spent with him... He was quick to respond to questions. I highly recommend Ken as a host.

"Ken and his dog, Duke, were kind and welcoming. The check in and check out experience was very streamlined and effortless. The place was very clean, quiet, and photos were accurate."

"Moving to the area for work, I needed a place to stay for a few weeks. Ken was an outstanding host and this has been by far the best experience I've had with Airbnb. Helpful and knowledgeable, Ken is a helpful host. His house is in great shape, clean and available. It was great to be able to use his kitchen as well. All in all, no complaints, and only positive things to say about him and his friendly dog Duke. I would definitely recommend this listing for anyone, for short or long stay."

"Great Quite Place to stay"

 

As my other guest puts it... this particular guest simply was lacking in respect. Had he showed any effort at all, it would not have escalated to the point it did.

 

I'm not hosting an EXPERIENCE. My house isn't here for you to "enjoy" or "have fun". I'm providing a ROOM - a safe, comfortable, and clean one in a hospitable environment.

 

I don't want to list this as a 9p 'Curfew'. It's not been a problem for other people arriving later than 9p, as long as they're quiet coming and going. This particular guest just wasn't quiet.

 

Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

@Ken28

Yes I possibly misjudged your listing or your clientelle a bit.

On further checking you host in a small town of less than 4,000 inhabitants where I guess night time activity is limited and I could see the bulk of your guests just wanting to have a quiet get away, and would be happy to fit in with your lifestyle.

In your situation it could be quite feasible to have a 'lights out' policy by 9 pm, but most hosts list in areas where an evening meal is not consumed by 9pm and I can see that what works for you Ken would be totally unworkable for most hosts.

So, I am sorry, there is definitely a niche there for you in hosting because, as you say of your 14 reviews 12 of them are complimentary, but I would not consider your rules to be mainstream where hosting is concerned.

I do however still contend you need to make your 'quiet time' considerably more prominent to discourage that odd guest that doesn't want to retire as the sun goes down!

Cheers.....Rob

@Robin4, Thanks for your understanding here. Yes, in my area (we're on western edge of Central Time) the sun goes down by eight and most people eat dinner between 5 and 7pm. Occasionally as late as 8, if you have a super hectic day. There's nothing to do here at night, unless you enjoy the bar scene in Evansville.

 

I like the suggestion of a "lights out" policy. That's a clearer expression of my expectations. (Surely not a 'curfew'). Though, the lights themselves don't bother me - having lights out does invoke a sense that people in the house should be resting.

 

I've added the following to my rules:

"I go to bed at between 8~9pm. The hours of 9pm to 7am are 'LIGHTS OUT' or 'QUIET HOURS'. You're welcome to stay up past 9, but please be cognizant and limit noise and movement (e.g., phone calls, tv, music, kitchen use, showering) so that the house remains quiet. Bring some headphones if you like to watch movies or listen to music late."

 

And in the 'interaction with guests', I now state:

"I go to bed early, so please understand that I'd like movement and noise after 9p to be limited."

 

And in the listing summary:

"My home is a quiet escape after a long day."

 

Are there better ways to phrase these or other places I should put them?

I know this post is from a long time ago, but I just wanted to say, have clear house rules, define the type of guest you want, and if that guest books your place knowing your house rules and doesn't obey them, you have all of the right in the world to put your foot down to the guest, either follow my house rules that you consented to when you booked, or leave.  Notify the guest IMMEDIATELY when they break a house rule, don't wait 5 days or even 1 day next time!  This is YOUR house, and yes, your guest is paying to stay in your house, but they also could rent a hotel room or apartment if they want to be able to roam freely without any rules.  They are choosing to stay in someone's elses home, and should obey your YOUR rules, as the owner of the home, PERIOD.  Tell them to go and stay in a hotel if they want to be up at weird times of the night and not have to worry about anyone else, god forbid they have to worry about the owner of the house?!   It is complete disrespect if a guest doesn't follow your house rules, and even if quiet hours are not defined in the house rules, it is common descency, and common knowledge, Denver has quiet hours from 10pm to 6am, this is when most of the world sleeps, guests should adhere to these quiet hours even if none are stated, out of common courtesy.  Dont be afraid to clearly define your house rules, no coming and going various times throughout the night (if you must leave and come back once, please be extra quiet), quiet hours strictly from 9pm-7am, no hanging out in the common areas during quiet hours.  If a guest breaks these rules, tell them you will ask them to leave if they dont start obeying them, tell them immediately, right away!  

 

 

 

 

Bleh

Ken28
Level 10
Newburgh, IN

On a related, but separate note:

I contacted Airbnb earlier this week to find out what grounds I would have to cancel this guest's stay. This was after he kept me awake three nights in a row, and he was also not keeping the bathroom clean, and hung his wet towel over the bedroom door, after we had a deliberate conversation about that the previous evening.

But, as I expected, I received no response from Airbnb. I was hoping they would either cancel his booking, or they would tell me that I couldn't cancel. Either way, I needed to know my options before I attempted to confront the guest, which might just make things worse. When Airbnb didn't respond within two days, I decided I must take the matter into my own hands, otherwise my other guest would assume that I didn't care about her comfort either.  So, after the confrontation, my guest left with a bad attitude, I'm stuck with a rubbish review, and the only consolation I have is that my other guest was here through the whole process and she is fully on board with the actions I took. She's just extended her stay another 3 months, and the last thing I want her to think is that I don't care about her needs, by not resolving situations that directly affect her comfort and the cleanliness of the space she shares.

 

@Linda108, Your comment "...the rules seem to be about your comfort, not the guest experience" surprises me. Is that not what rules are for? My rules exist for two purposes. 1) They ensure little opportunity for conflict as possible, thus maintaining an honest, open, relationship between host and guest. And 2) they give me grounds for cancellation, if some problem does arise. In this case, Airbnb's lack of response continues to appal me. They should have responded within 24 hours and my guest and I should not have had to deal with this guest as long as we did.

 

I'm >>this close<< to telling Airbnb 'buhbye'. This is the second time this month I feel like they've really dropped the ball.