Are my expectations unreasonable?

I’m just at a loss here. I spent hours last week editing and cleaning up my house rules, making them easy to read in a nice bullet list. I also updated them in my welcome binder. They are not difficult rules. Most of them are common sense stuff or a reiteration of the check boxes on my listing, like NO pets, no parties, no smoking, no unauthorized guests, flush only toilet paper due to septic system, etc.
I also printed out my check-out instructions and pasted them to the wall next to the front door so that people will see them on their way out. It’s a short list for check-out: hang up dirty towels, pick up garbage/dishes and put them in the kitchen bins/dishwasher, lock all doors and windows.

And yet, I still have guests (quite a few recently for some reason) who seem to give zero shits about following the rules or showing a basic sense of respect for someone else’s home. I don’t get it, and I don’t know how to change this trend.

It is frustrating. I have better luck with older folks. They have been more respectful. The younger folks in their 20’s have been the worst.

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I would have to see your rules. But if you only drafted them last week, the guests that are being horrid now may be looking at the old set.

Don’t hesitate to review your rules, however long, with your guests on arrival and ask if they have questions.

You may also want to consider how much equity they have on Airbnb in terms of previous reviews to and from other hosts.

And look at price, the great leveller. If you price too low, you tend to get lowlives.


Last night’s guests were a last-minute booking, so they definitely saw the rules. And none of my rules have changed; I just made the list a little easier to read.

I will say that many of the issues have been from people new to AirBnB, which is really disappointing because I obviously need to now limit my guests to people that have previous reviews.

I have thought about the price, and I’m right in the ballpark with all the other houses in the area. I’m definitely not a super budget listing.

That’s definitely the crowd I’m having issues with- the 20s and early 30s crowd. All the older guests have been perfectly respectful of the house and left it clean. What to do about that issue though? :frowning:


I don’t think that anyone here really has any idea why this is happening to you. I know that I’m being annoying here (:wink: ) but 99.9% of my guests are perfectly fine. I attribute that to three things - but I’m not saying this is the way to go, just that it works for me.

  • High price (comparatively)
  • House tour in 85% of cases (that’s a guess but probably about right)
  • No real rules, just expecting guests to act with common sense

I think that the title of this post is important though - what are a host’s expectations? Maybe I have low expectations and am pleasantly surprised?


That is probably just me: but the more that I read the word “RULES” here, the more I’m convinced that my next stay will either be just on the beach, in a camper van or in a hotel. None of them booked over Airbnb.

I am so with Jaquo on the rules thing: keep it simple and even better, no real rules. Expect common sense.


I would love to rely on common sense, but it seems that many of these guests don’t have any.

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That’s weird though because it seems that some of us have mostly guests WITH common sense. We need to figure out why.

Your question was ‘are my expectations reasonable?’ What is it that your guests do that’s so unreasonable? It would be interesting to compare them to the expectations other hosts have maybe?

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Last night’s guest brought a pet. That’s the biggest issue. My listing says in multiple places that animals aren’t allowed do to severe allergies. They paid for 3 guests and brought 4. They left a window wide open when they left, even though my check-out list - right by the door- says to lock all windows and doors before leaving. At check-out time, they hadn’t even opened the door to start loading the car, and they only started leaving after I sent them a message that they were past check-out time. (Smart lock tells me when the door is locked/unlocked.)

Last week’s guest let her kid smear and drip food all over the house and draw on the furniture with crayons.

Between these 2 sets of guests, I’ve had to move 6 towels into my cleaning rag pile because they were so badly stained.

Short lists are good. Many who travel for work and stay in hotels are accustomed to: put dirty towels & wash clothes in bath tub or bath floor & leave used beds unmade.

Will changing your rules to match those help?

It’s going to happen. Give honest reviews on them to protect the other hosts! I flame them in their private review with specifics. If there is damage, bill them. Definitely have a security deposit.

I do include instructions in my check out message, sent the night before.


Maybe have a preface to your rules to orientate guests towards following them . Something like staying in someone elses home is different from an hotel.

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  1. I say keep the long house rules in your listing because it covers you with Airbnb complaints and cancellations.

  2. I have my important rules (that seem to get missed) in my welcome message with check in info.

  3. I have all rules posted on my refrigerator.

  4. I have a welcome letter next to the manual that again highlights (with highlighter) the important rules.

  5. Finally, I have a camera (disclosed) with video taping send to email at the common shared front door that discloses things like dogs, too many guest, undisclosed visitors, children, etc.

  6. And most importantly, I enforce my rules. (Some like having wet towels, with a reminder but you bring a dog, smoke or have extra guest I’m already typing my message to airbnb and guest and calling Airbnb to cancel reservation white no refunds.

I think there is only a point having house rules if you are going to enforce them.

So in this case, not accepting the guests on arrival because they came with a pet and an extra person.

Generally guests like this who disrespect your house rules are likely, as you have seen, to be troublesome in other ways such as not abiding by your check out time.


Are your expectations unreasonable… yes, you chose for STR and with this comes the fact that you will have guests that break rules.

Nothing you will be able to do about it.
It will get worse since AirBnB keeps aiming at low level “cheaper than hotel” guests.

It’s self check-in. They arrived late at night when I was already in bed, so I didn’t see the camera footage until the next day. I also didn’t see the animal at all on the camera, so it must have been in one of the many bags they carried in. Had I seen an animal while they were checking in, I would have driven over there immediately and kicked them out.

I just went back and looked at the camera footage again on my large PC monitor, and it was a cat! They did have it in a bag and walked by the camera really fast, but I got a quick glimpse of its face. Who travels with a frickin cat?!

I’m afraid I do … :cat:


Really? I can’t even get my cats to the vet a mile down the road without massive howling and trauma because they freak out so bad in the car. I can’t imagine putting a cat through that.


My boy is as good as gold. When I get the cat carrier out and open the door he leaps in, settles down contentedly and looks at me as if to say ‘okay, I’m ready. Let’s go’.


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