Are House Rules a legally binding document?

AirBnB once told me they were- and anything I. put in there AirBnB can go. after the guest for. Now I had a last minute cancellation, even though my house rules strictly prohibit that but AirBnB says I can’t do anything about it. But when they agree to stay and book, aren’t they legally agreeing to the house rules? Even if AirBnB won’t enforce- can I still legally? Any lawyers out there?

Depends why they cancelled. A cancellation due to extenuating circumstances trumps all, I don’t think house rules are legally binding, its just an area on your listing that airbnb will enforce if they feel like enforcing it.

There must be a half dozen threads about cancellations and Airbnb not enforcing host’s “strict” policy. You should use the search feature of the forum and read up.

When you put your property on Airbnb you pretty much sign away control of policies to them since they decide what they will and will not enforce.

Well my question was- outside of AirBnB is it legally binding? So while AirBnB may not want to enforce them, can’t I still? When they agree to rent- are they or are they not agreeing to house rules? Or does that need to be in a separate legal contract outside of AirBnB?

How do you think legally you would go about enforcing ‘rules’ that are written on an Airbnb listing ? The rules are there to govern how the guest behaves at a listing not your cancellation policy. Your cancellation policy are the options available through Airbnb and governed by their T&Cs.

If you want legally enforceable terms, see a lawyer and draw up a proper contract for short term lets which you can use for direct bookings.


House Rules that you have created is not a legal document, per se (“legal” referring to operating under the law). Did your guest agree and sign it? Did money pass between you, were there penalties or sanctions set forth? It is not, in and of itself, a contract between you and the guest.

My rental agreement for LTR’s is a legal contract and enforceable in court. The House Rules are incorporated by reference in the rental agreement which means it is made part of the contract but cannot stand alone. If a tenant does not comply with the House Rules, about all I can do is call out a “breach” of the terms of the contract (the rental agrmt) which may lead to a termination.

Your HR are not enforceable on its own.


Thanks SandyToes. I have a legal document, AirBnB told me to include those in house rules and they are enforceable- and even once enforced payment based on my house rules. But sounds like I need them to sign the contract separate from AirBnB? Agreeing to house rules on AirBnB is not at all binding like an actual contract?

“AirBnB told me to include those in house rules…” [I don’t know what “those” refers to.] I don’t have any answer for you about dealing with guests with a contract outside of the platform because you (and guests!) are basically governed by Air.

They told me to include my legal document as the house rules and they would enforce them. I am waiting to hear from lawyers. When they click accept- the renter is in fact accepting your legal document in and outside of AirBnB I believe. And even though AirBnB won’t enforce the contract you can as the renters agreed to it. This is a really important legal issue. If that is not the case- then we all need to always send a separate contract outside of AirBnB

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@BigBearRentals - when you agree to the Terms of Service you agree to having Airbnb refund guests at their discretion.

“All determinations of Airbnb with respect to the Guest Refund Policy, including without limitation the size of any refund and the comparability of alternate Accommodations, shall be in Airbnb’s discretion, and final and binding on the Guests and Hosts.”


If you’re running a vacation rental business I would definitely recommend it. If you’re an Airbnb host renting a room in their home, mostly for one or two night stays (like me) then it’s not necessary. So not all of us need to do this.

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Right but thats is not answering the question- AirBnB can say they will not pay or will refund but I can certainly take legal action outside of AirBnB as they renter agreed to my terms/ contract.

Your posts are somewhat confusing making it difficult to answer your questions.

As you have already engaged lawyers, I would wait to hear back from your lawyers for an authoritative answer that will stand up in court as we are hosts, not legal experts and are just expressing opinions.


Nowhere here does it say your house rules are a binding contract outside of Airbnb. I think you were badly misled by some 20 year old help center worker who was probably alternating phone calls between Airbnb, UNIQLO and Pepperidge Farm.


You can try but you might not have grounds.
Can it go to small claims?
The renter could argue that they were bound by the terms of Airbnb, which apparently supersedes anything you made them sign.
Any lawyers here who could answer? @Emily? That is if you aren’t buried in 20 feet of snow! :rofl:

“…Pepperidge Farm.” … :grin:


Either that or Vermont Country Store. Or Lillian Vernon.


Thanks- I was always told from AirBnB that I didn’t need an extra agreement as agreeing to my house rules is legally binding both in and out of AirBnB- but probably a good idea to do an external extra one as well moving forward

Omg. I’m dying!!! Excuse me biscuit was not crisp enough, I would like a puffer jacket as compensation :joy::joy::joy::joy:

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