2 guests in a 5 bedroom house

My co-host and I have a large 5 bedroom chalet in the country and are are very new to Airbnb.
It can sleep 11 people and we charge more for larger groups than smaller ones.
An instant booking was made for 2 people, Monday to Friday on the week of Christmas 2020.
They want to host dinner parties for around four people on each of the nights they are there.
Because there are only 2 of them, the rate is low and they got the mid-week reduced rate as well. (Airbnb “smart” pricing.)
This is arguably our most easily booked week all year and the price difference if the place were full is substantial.

Can we get out of it without getting in trouble with airbnb? It’s a year away.
And if we do have to honour it, what is the best approach to avoid this situation in future?

Thanks so much for your response!

The pricing is your mistake and you should let it stand. If you think you can make the full 11-person rate on specific dates, then set your price so that whoever books pays that rate regardless of guest count.

However, I would tend to believe they are planning to not just host dinner parties but will be having more than 2 overnight guests as well. Still, can’t you charge for extra guests even if they only come for dinner? Do you have cameras?

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At Christmas? Not all hosts agree with me (we’re all different in different areas) but I charge more during any holiday times, including Thanksgiving, Easter, July 4th etc.

(Excellently, one year I had a couple book at the increased July 4th price quite happily - they were from Italy and July 4th meant nothing to them :slight_smile: )

Now that your guests have booked, you have, in effect. entered into a ‘contract’ with them. The fact that you hadn’t manually overridden the SP price to the price you wanted isn’t their fault.


Do people really plan dinner parties a year in advance? Where are these people coming from? Are they local?

You should be finding out more details unless you take them for their word - a couple booked a 5 bedroom chalet a year in advance and will have some friends over for dinner a few nights…it’s always possible. But I would be asking more questions.


Thank you very much for replying, cabinhost.
I had similar thoughts, especially as they said they might book again to do the same thing the following summer.
They are travelling quite a distance and are new to airbnb with no reviews and only email and phone.
The house is fairly impressive, and I wonder whether this is a business of some kind, where they host clients and/or make some kind of pitch.

I’ll ask them for more info.
Your input is appreciated. Thanks again!

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They absolutely may be doing some kind of filming etc. where they host intimate dinner parties…(not partying or anything like that). But filming and maybe they are the only ones literally staying the night.

It’s just a very odd inquiry and you have every right to suspect something else is going on. Dinner parties a year from now ? What are you doing for dinner next week? lol. Exactly my point.

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Do you mind sharing a bit how this topic came up in the inquiry?

You have every right to ask more questions because this doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s fine, but maybe it’s not, and if it’s not, you can ask Airbnb to cancel because you are uncomfortable hosting them. (Search the previous threads to learn the wording. Do not cancel them yourself.) Do your house rules state no unregistered guests? If not, then it should and you should change it now. Your guests should be happy to provide you with more information and I always frame it in the wording of ensuring this is a good fit for them, and for you, as you want them to have a “5-star stay.”

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Why have you not required verified ID and some good reviews in order for guests to be able to IB? That seems really lax. I would change that ASAP if I were you. I don’t use IB at all, but if I did I most certainly wouldn’t let guests who are new to the platfom, with no verified ID and no reviews to IB.

We’ve used Instant Book almost since we started as hosts. We don’t require anything. We get lots of newbies. And we’ve never had a newbie who was a problem.

It has really worked well for us. We are resident hosts, though, and that might make a difference.


I’m glad to hear it’s worked out for you with no issues. I’m also a resident host and I just can’t imagine accepting some faceless entity into my home without some prior communication. But we are all different.
I think the experience of getting bad bookings through IB if some verifications and prior good reviews aren’t required are much more common than you might think. According to posts I’ve been reading for years. Many hosts have turned off IB because of the horrid guests they were getting.


I would suggest manually opening your calendar to avoid guests from IBing during high-season in the future. You could use one of your penalty-free cancellations due to being “uncomfortable” with the dinner party.

The only “out” you have is to use one of your “I am uncomfortable with these guests” cancellations. AirBnB will ask you why you are uncomfortable and “I want more money” isn’t really a good answer.
I suggest you say “I believe they are going to throw parties and have more people over than they paid for and are trying to cheat me by booking for only two people”. Right now, AirBnB is being very careful to “squash” parties.
Then, if you cancel, do two things RIGHT AWAY:

  1. Add “No guests allowed on the property other than those booked and paid for through AirBnB” to your house rules. Then add a stiff penalty - like $100 per person per night (or day) for unauthorized guests.
  2. Either raise your prices for those dates, or block off far-off-dates if you aren’t up to keeping on top of your rates.

Then please don’t let your rates get out of control again. If these people weren’t going to have “small dinner parties”, my suggestion would have been to honor the rate and live and learn.


Call AirBnB, hope you have a friendly contact explain the situation and ask them to cancel.
If not, just cancel and take the hit. To me personally loosing a couple of thousand would be a bigger problem than a worthless SH status.

I have a property like that, but for 17 people. I ask a base price based on 12 people. And an extra charge for every guest above 12.
So if a guest wants to book for 2 I still get the 12p price.

A few bits of advice:

  1. First, change your booking window to 3 months (see image).

  2. Then, review your calendar and increase prices for special times for your area.

  3. Setup really good “house rules”. House Rules only apply to the bookings made after they are changed.

  4. Use up one of your “I am not comfortable with this booking” - CALL airbnb customer service to get it done. You get 3 per year and this is a good one to use it on. Their story does not hold water and you have every reason to feel they want to host parties.

Some here will tell you to eat the money and stick by the booking. Heck with that - you are new to airbnb and mistakes do get made. You are running a business and there is real money at stake - your money. Gosh knows what damage if you allowed this booking. No one makes legitimate dinner plans for multiple parties of 4 - for a year away.

  1. Enable professional hosting rules. This will give you more flexibility and power with various settings, rule sets, etc.

  2. Get the AirReview extension for Chrome - so you can see more info for guests with history.

  3. If you want to block off additional areas in your calendar, it can be better to do that using calendar syncing with a different site. For example, I have 4 other sites that I sync with. I can easily use of them to mark dates as “unavailable” - rather than blocking them inside airbnb directly. There seems to be some indication that airbnb might punish listings that are marked unavailable IN their system.

For example, I don’t wish to allow a full 3 months of availability - so I use one of my other sites to limit this.

  1. Don’t use smart pricing. It is designed to maximize bookings at the expense of your revenue. Airbnb could care less about the money you lose.

  2. There are a LOT of really good posts here - spend a few days reviewing them and you’ll avoid learning a lot of mistakes the hard way.

Good luck!


:rofl: Hopefully, we hosts are comfortable with our listings.

Seriously, though, you do know they are planning to have extra people without paying for them, so this might be a reasonable penalty free cancellation.


I would be keeping a close eye on this. They booked at the cheapest rates and are having small dinner parties … Who does that at this time of the year? What if the guests “accidentally” have one too many and end up staying over?


Sorry for the delay in replying.
The guest said he has friends and family in the area and would like to “invite a few friends for dinner in small groups not exceeding 4 per occasion during the holidays”.
They then said if it works out well they might rent from us again the following summer.
Again, thanks for the input.

Don’t count on it. Scammers play on our greed (maybe greed is too strong, but I hope you see what I mean.) It’s a free promise for them to make to entice you to rent to them and bend your rules.
Let the reservation stand if you are comfortable with their current plans and have a way to enforce they follow their promise of only a few people for dinner (you do have exterior cameras, right?). If you aren’t comfortable, cancel them. They have almost a year to find another place.


I’ll change the house rules straight away and yeah, we would have honoured (begrudgingly :smiley: ) the booking except for the dinner party thing is kind of a double whammy. I mean, if there are six people in the house every day then they should pay for more than two.
I just don’t know how to make it fair since they theoretically won’t be showering and messing up beds.
Thanks for the input. :slight_smile: