Additional guests...can I charge?

I have a two room flat with one double bed in the bedroom and a pull out sofa upon which two can sleep. Can a charge an additional fee per person if there are more than two persons staying and how much do you suggest? As my flat is in the popular Notting Hill area in London with a huge terrace,my present nightly rate is £450.

You can charge for an extra person.

First you should set your maximum occupancy, which I assume will be three. You need to determine whether three people can comfortably live in the unit. If so, then the maximum occupancy is three.

Second, you should have a sense of what that extra person might cost you in what you provide, wear and tear and potential liability. I will assume that you have commercial liability insurance, that you are not simply relying upon Airbnb in the event of a liability claim against you. In my opinion, the major cost for that extra guest is the potential for a liability claim. I’d also review your rules because three people can be noisier than two. I don’t think it’s a linear expansion. So, just review and make sure they’re well communicated to the three people.

Third, you’d want to look at your competition. What do they charge? So, for example, in my area I often see a charge of $20 USD per day for that extra guest, but sometimes there is no additional fee. So, look to your competition. Put yourself in the position of a potential guest and ask whether they’d pay your all-in cost – look at the guest’s all-in cost, not just the extra guest fee.

You have come to the right forum to ask this question because I think we might have some Hosts who know more about your market than I (but presumably less than you).

Yes, you can charge extra for every additional guest. Do check first though with your STR insurance company and your local business license.

Both our apartments are one bed and both the insurance and the business license stipulate two people only. (I have occasionally turned a blind eye to an addition guest as long as it’s just for one or two nights.)

Regarding the charge, how much are those extra people costing you? Once you know that you can add your usual margin and charge accordingly.

Bear in mind that anecdotally some hosts have a hard time, or at least a time-consuming time, getting extra fees from guests who sneak in another person.

I don’t have an extra guest fee because an additional guest costs me nothing. (Or next to nothing). Utility costs are the same, I don’t supply extra towels/bedding, etc. so I can put up with the occasional extra guest once in a while without them incurring additional expenses to me.

Every host is different. :slight_smile:

They might be negligible, but I don’t see how they can be the same. It’s another person taking hot showers, plugging in their devices, etc. And if you have a max guest count of 2 and one bed, how do you not provide extra bedding? Do you askthe 3rd person to bring their own?

I’m talking about extra sneaked in guests. I don’t supply anything for them as regards towels or bedding obviously.

As I said, I turn a blind eye if the stay is for one or two nights. Yes, there will be a couple of extra showers, a bit more soap and loo paper usage, but electricity for TV watching, music, AC will be much the same for three people as two.

The water is paid for in our monthly maintenance fees so remains the same regardless of usage.

An extra person a few times a year doesn’t affect the bottom line at all.


I’m sure someone mentioned this and I missed it.

I believe you can charge an additional person fee only if it is spelled out in your listing. I don’t think you can decide after someone brings an additional person to add a new fee that isn’t documented in your listing.

I have never had that situation arise, so I have never needed to know about additional guest fees.

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If you are charging £450 (us$575) a night, guests expect (and are entitled to expect) a very pleasant stay. If adding an extra person means a luxury apartment starts feeling like a too-small living space, you may be undercutting your own brand. People can say “that’s what we want,” but if “what they want” turns out to be tripping over each other and impatiently waiting for someone else to finish using the washroom… they will review based on how the place made them feel, regardless of what they asked for.

We have about 97% five-star over six years, and one of the main things people like about our guest suite is its charm. When know that the charm disappears when it is too crowded, and when the charm disappears so do the effusive reviews. Since we are primarily in the “effusive five-star review” business we turn down requests for overcrowded bookings. We want guests who walk into “charm” every time they came back from a walk or dinner out, not guests who walk into an overcrowded dormatory…


One host in this discussion suggested a $29/night (£16) surcharge.

Assuming the suite has sufficient room and beds to comfortably accommodate an extra guest, adding a £16 surcharge on a £450 property makes the host look like a bit of a cheapskate. I don’t think adding £16 to an £80 property has the same potential to seem grasping, but when the host is already collecting £450, adding £16 seems almost punitive.

My recommendation would be to say “recommended for two, but accommodates maximum three guests” and leave it at that – and if you are ever asked if there is a surcharge your “no charge” answer generates goodwill

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Good point. I assumed that the Host would edit the listing to provide for that extra guest fee. But yours is too important a point to not make explicit. Thank you.

I took a quick look at Notting Hill properties, and this price seems very high for a one-bedroom.

Many properties in my neighborhood charge extra-person fees of $50-$100 US per person per night. But they are multi-bedroom homes and start the pricing at two people in order to be more affordable for those small groups.

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