Additional fees for "Guests" of booked Guest

My listing is on a lake. The 2BR “apartment” is upstairs we live downstairs. Our current guests booked for themselves and their 2 daughters who go to college close by for 4 adults for 4 nights for Memorial Weekend. I have a 6 person maximum stay. They are checking out tomorrow. They are a very nice family and we have actually enjoyed their stay. However, the daughters had several of their Sorority sisters over to swim in lake and enjoy our numerous amenities. They were all polite and neat and cordial. My listing states No parties or events. It was not a party, but additional people on the premises. What should a reasonable extra fee be for these extra “guests”? The parents paid about a grand for the 4 night stay. They never asked if they could have guests, they just showed up during the day and hung out.

I don’t think you can impose a fee after the fact and get away with it. I doubt AirBnB would back you up unless you had something in your house rules. More than likely the guests will either (1) refuse to pay the extra fee, or (2) pay the fee and give you a less than stellar review, or even (3) complain to AirBnB.

The guests of the guests didn’t stay the night…I’m not even sure what you could call the fee if you asked for it. Personally, I wouldn’t.

What I do myself is have a rule in my house rules that states only registered guests who booked can be present on the property unless the guest asks for, and receives, permission in writing from the host to have a guest visit.

Your guests took advantage of the situation but I seriously doubt they believe they have done anything wrong, and I think they will be offended if you even bring it up at all, but will be especially upset if you ask for money.


If you don’t have a “visitors” policy I don’t see how you could fairly charge anything. I have it in my rules regarding what constitutes a “visitor” vs an extra guest, associated fees (if any) and the process for approval.


Not worth it; probably spoil an otherwise pleasant experience on both sides.


Let it go. How much did the girls’ visitors actually cost you? What did they use? A few extra towels, some toilet paper, maybe some hot water and soap or shampoo? On a thousand dollar booking, it doesn’t seem worth upsetting the guests, who you said were very nice, respectful, and tidy.

And it would be odd to have not said anything at the time, when you first saw these extra arrivals, and then try to charge them after the fact.

Some guests have no idea that this sort of thing can’t be assumed to be okay, it isn’t that they are purposely taking advantage.

Just use this as a learning experience going forward, add “no visitors” to your listing info and reiterate when guests book. And if they ignore it, deal with it right away, not after the fact.


I agree with what ya’ll said. Some of the girls even talked about how nice our place was and they had never been to this lake and what a treat it was…ect. They made some great memories, which makes me feel good. We are in the hospitality business afterall. Thanks for your responses.
BTW: This was a VRBO booking and I try not to have to deal with Airbnb “Host support.”


You never know, those visitors may book your place themselves one day, since they liked it and enjoyed themselves.


Too late to deal with fees. My listing clearly says no guests without permission. Occasionally, if someone has no car, a person drops them off or picks them up and steps in briefly. If you do allow anyone, I would require names. Liability seems like a remote issue until something happens and you don’t even know who has been there. Charging for extra people could be seen as charging for your swimming spot which could raise some additional insurance issues. Perhaps you should talk to your insurance agent.

1 Like

I wouldn’t charge them. The girls didn’t sleep over, they just came to enjoy the lake. I would let it go but I would NOT give them 5 stars for observing the rules.


To Kerri: May I ask a question about your listing? You provided a link in your bio, so, I took a peak. My listing is similar. Waterfront. You mention your listing is upstairs, you are downstairs. Ours is exactly opposite, the listing is downstairs, we are upstairs. Both units are completely separate. Guests have their own driveway and entrance. The only thing that is “shared” is the lake (and we go out of our way to give guests primary access to the lake).
The question: your listing says “entire home”. I call mine a guest suite. Ive had guests cancel bookings because they notice its “not the entire home” even though its not listed as an entire home. How has it worked for you calling it the entire home when you live onsite?
Note: not being negative at all, I’ve just always struggled with this. Its definitely not a shared room. But, its not an entire home either. I’ve never felt comfortable with how to describe it.

1 Like

I’ve noticed it too and wondered about it. This kind of place, and yours too from what you describe, is technically a duplex. I think it’s safe to go with “Guest Suite” but you could also go with “Apartment” since each side of a duplex is an apartment.

It’s definitely not an entire home and with the AirCover for guests, I’d be worried about having to give someone a refund for it not being accurate.


I only charge if they spend the night, and hopefully they know who will do that at time of booking.

1 Like

Nice to see someone post who is in a similar situation as myself. When I initially listed, I was confused as to how to list it. The greedy side of me won, & I listed as entire place for years, with the first line in my listing saying we live downstairs, & that it was a suite upstairs. (There isn’t a separate entrance)
I saw the light, & changed it to read serviced apartment. Yes, my reservations went down, but I know I won’t get nailed for misrepresenting it. In the almost 5 yr it was listed as entire place, I only had one guest question that it wasn’t the entire house ( kind of surprising!), but they still left happy, & all was well. Air’s listing categories really don’t fit what we have, but I now feel we’re being up front on what we offer.
Sorry to get off topic here, but it’s the first time I’ve seen anyone post with a similar quandary about what category we fit into. Ah, the simple things they could change to make it just a little easier…

1 Like

I totally agree that the categories need to be expanded!

But I’m sorry but there may be a misunderstanding. I was referring to the situation that jdmlt posted, which they described as similar to Kerri’s. To me, the lakehouses sound like up-and-down duplexes, which is technically 2 apts, but I understand why it doesn’t feel like apartments too so guest suite is probably better.

Though I do have my own quandary! And it seems that most hosts in my area do as well. The typical home here is a 3-family, what they call a triple-decker, generally one apt per floor and often the owner lives in one of the apts, as we do. Ours is from the late 1800s and was probably a boarding house so we have a small 4th unit as well. It is not legal for LTR (has to do with really dumb parking rules, but that’s a different gripe) but is legal for STR. And that is why we are still on Airbnb even after we stopped doing it in our 2-bed apts and put tenants in them.

I’ve gone back and forth between studio and 1-bedroom because it’s a 3-room apt so not really a studio but the bedroom and living area are combined. I feel like we book more quickly when I list it as a 1-bedroom and no one has ever complained, but sometimes I fear the possible guest that might complain and switch it back to studio. I do call it a studio in the title and describe it as a 3-room studio-ish apt in the description. And the photos make it clear but it’s been years since I’ve had an unreasonable guest so I assume the next one is right around the corner, so it is listed as a studio for now.

But I have always listed as an “apartment” because it is an apartment. And all was well until Airbnb started calling an apartment a “Rental Unit”. And it is a rental unit, it is an apartment that is a unit that is rented out to others. But I’ve heard people say, often other hosts, that they assume that a rental unit means that the host is doing arbitrage so they won’t book a rental unit. For me, it’s a strange assumption because most hosts here own several apartments that they rent out, there is no arbitrage involved.

And hosts here with similar units use everything from apartment to loft to guest suite to condo. I don’t feel that it’s a loft since it’s an apartment in a house on the first floor in a residential neighborhood. And because we’re on the 3rd floor and the apt is on the 1st floor, it doesn’t feel like a guest suite to me, guest suite sounds closer together for some reason to me. And condo makes it sound like there are other owners in the building. I feel like people only own one condo, not the whole building of condos - but I’m not sure if I’m right about that. But I do think that “condo” doesn’t translate internationally.

I’m curious what others think about it all. The least that Airbnb could do is to define these categories better for guests.

At least this unit is flexible. There is a lot of possible regulation floating around and there may be some exemptions for guest suites/private rooms. So because it doesn’t have its own address, it could surely be a (very) private room if necessary. And then I could get more under-25s again, who I am missing since Airbnb made it hard for them to book entire places.

Can you elaborate on airbnb made it harder for under 26 year olds to book? I
Just posted about my currents guests who are all under 25 and the
Of one of them booked and didn’t tell me!

And instead of 8 as booked and my
Maximum she had 12 !

And she didn’t stay at the property nor did she share any of this with me! It has been my weekend nightmare and tomorrow morning g it could be worse when I arrive after their checkout.

Also would you advise me
To arrive before they leave? Could be confrontational….

whatever they do, they’ll probably not think internationally. Would be great if they actually bothered to ask hosts, the only time i’ve been asked to do a survey it was about diversity/inclusion.

Ironically after commenting that we don’t allow overnight guests without permission, I think we had our first overnight guest snuck in overnight… Our two room suite opens into our kitchen although it has a separate entrance. I knocked on the guest door to ask if the oddly parked truck in our yard was her guests (angle parked across two spaces and on the grass). She said, yes he’s leaving shortly, and I explained how he needed to park if he came again. This morning I was out of milk so I ran to the store early and saw the same truck parked in a public lot a stone’s throw from our house. The guest stuck her head in the kitchen and said, I won’t need breakfast today. I watched her leave and sure enough there was the guy with her. I texted her regarding our dismay and have yet to hear from her. I could kick her out but she’s only here one more night and they didn’t cause any other disruption so I may just tolerate her without the overnight guest until her AM check out. Ironically she mentioned that she is very COVID avoidant and therefore only wanted to socialize outside. This will be the only the second guest that I have blocked in over a decade.

1 Like

This seems like a case of a guest thinking better to ask forgiveness than permission. Or just skip the forgiveness. I think most hosts would do exactly what you’re doing rather than cancel the booking. But I do feel it teaches guests to just keep doing as they please.

I know you said elsewhere that you’re looking at winding up the business. I feel the same. I have a booking tonight that kind of slipped in where I don’t want it and I’m so irritated about it. OTOH since a recession is coming and I’m on a fixed, non-COLA income I don’t want to “cut off my nose to spite my face.”

1 Like

Call me naive, but I really can’t believe someone would have the nerve to do that inside your personal home. Really sickening the level people will go to.

I did tell her that we were not happy and she claimed he left at 9 PM and came back at 6:15 - I was not born yesterday. I told her that we were not happy with the situation without flat out calling her a liar since I didn’t know 100% for sure. We too, need the extra cash, but keep talking about coverting to LTR. We are very spoiled with our two current LTRs having one tenant for 17 years and one for 13.

1 Like