Arriving w extra children/ppl at check in wo authorization

Hi all! Thanks for letting me join in! My question is, what do you do when people show up with extra children or adults? My last two stays pulled this on me. It’s awkward and I’m not confrontational. I have updated my house rules and I am considering sending ppl my rules at booking and if they not comfortable with them, they can book elsewhere. How do you gracefully tell ppl to leave when they try to pull at fast one? Thank you!

Can you make the mental adjustment to think that standing by your stated rules isn’t confrontational? Is expecting respect a confrontation? The guest violating “rules” should be the one feeling insecure, not you.

OTOH it’s hard to look at multiple extras and say “sorry, not letting you in.” So make the rule simple and clear. Mine says something like “limit of 2 and anyone showing up with extras will have their reservation canceled immediately without refund.”

Another approach is something that seems nicer and you get paid. So…“Oh, you have two kids. Sorry for the misunderstanding. That’s an additional $50 per night. Once you pay I’ll let you in.” Smiling, friendly, confident.

If you can’t pull either of those off, I got nothing.


I confirm at time of booking the guest numbers, including children and then I ask them again the day before arrival if there has been any changes.
I let them know I will be meeting them on site with the keys and my clipboard, just amazing how often the booking has to be updated!


If anyone tries to bring an extra person (beyond our limit), we say our insurance won’t allow it. No one has ever showed up at our door with anyone extra. The extra person discussion always happens at reservation (or inquiry) time. I make it clear what the insurance limits are, and—like KKC—we wouldn’t let them in if there were any extras. We run a home-share Airbnb (when we’re open; we’re closed now because of the pandemic).


Thanks for your response KKC. I’m kinda new at hosting so it’s a matter of taking control of situations that are not adhering to my rules. I need to stop being uncomfortable calling ppl out. I like the “oh, you have 2 kids, that’ll be…”, will definitely be doing that if it ever happens again. I have adjusted my rules and by having ppl read them while they can still cancel wo penalty, I think that’ll tighten things up. Thanks again for your feedback.

1 Like

Hi Debthecat. Thanks for your help! That’s a great suggestion, I will start doing that asking when I confirm and rather than a lockbox, personally meeting the guests so I can meet them and explained rules and safety info. Sounds like you’ve had the same problem but have better boundaries!

Hi Rebecca, I appreciate your help! I like your suggestion of explaining that we just can’t due to insurance and making it that plain and simple. Thanks for that good advice. I was surprised that the last two groups just showed up without asking first. I’ve been revising my list of rules and expectations but I am trying to keep it from being too much of a buzz kill for good guests. Take good care.

Rules are good, but the real trick is to communicate promptly, on the Airbnb message platform, as soon as the guest contacts you (or instant-books, if you allow that). I always find out who they are, why they’re coming, how many people will be on the reservation, and approximate arrival time. If they book for one and two will be here, I send a change to them to update the number of people. And I get the names of everyone who’ll be here.

Communication is key to hosting for us.


Here’s another thing for you to ponder as you’re new - and that is why exactly you have the rule about extra people. Or in other words, why you have the extra person fee?

I never have done because extra people hardly cost me any more than the two that’s stated on the listing. (As long as there aren’t lots of them - the plumbing probably couldn’t cope).

An extra person every so often is costed into the nightly fee.

That way, if I see that they’ve brought an extra person or two, I don’t need to spend any time at all collecting the extra person fees or worry about it in any way.

Bear in mind too that some people see the extra person fee as being a ‘hidden extra’ similar to the way that hotels charge resort fees or parking fees. So another way of looking at it is that you’re being transparent.

Finally, if extra people have been sneaked in, when you send the guests their final message on the evening before check out after the reminder about check out time and the thank you for staying with us stuff “as there are four of you staying in the apartment, it will take you no time at all to clean the place so it’s like a new pin. There are plenty of cleaning materials under the sink but please ask me if there’s anything you need. I’m always happy to help.” :slight_smile:


The OP didn’t have a fee, she had a rule — because her insurance limits the number of guests. My rules say that if they show up with extra people, infants, children under 12, or animals (share listing) they will not be able to check in and their booking will be cancelled without refund.


It was @RebeccaF who suggested that the OP say that the rule was due to insurance. Although the chances are that her local authority permit also specifies guest numbers.

Yes, I assumed that she’s got the extra guest fee - I shouldn’t have taken it for granted. That’s just because we get a lot of people here who do.

Novel way of handling this. I quite like that!


Just asking them their names and ages immediately after booking made a big difference for me as far as surprise extra guests. I did put in my house rules that the “names and ages of all guests will be required before check in “ so they know to expect that and it discourages disrespectful guests


Well put, thank you. I will start clarifying at the start of the booking. I just have assumed that ppl are upfront about the number of guests that they are booking for. I will have to be more clear and certainly ask more questions. Do you send a message with your house rules too? I am going to start that too. Someone else mentioned this and it’s a great tip too. Thank you!

Thanks for your reply. I state that the cabin is for 2 adults and that the property isn’t suitable for infants or children in my listing so these ppl are just going around my rules. I was a wimp by not addressing the issue but I am now more comfortable calling people out and asking them to go elsewhere. I think that it was a fluke and not likely to happen a lot. Especially since I am going to now share the rules at booking and create better boundaries.

1 Like

Great tip, will start this too. I do not allow anyone under 21 yr old so this is helpful. Thanks!

1 Like

I haven’t messaged our house rules, but I do remind guests where they are in the listing and ask them to let me know they’ve read them. So far, I haven’t felt the need to send a rules message. I can understand doing that, however.

1 Like

You’ve gotten more than 50% of the way to setting more/better boundaries as a host. What would I recommend to get to 100%? Be a faithful reader of this forum. You will get a PhD for free. Honestly, once you really settle in as a host, you’ll have problem guests rarely, and you’ll find new passions: duvet or top sheet???; cotton/linen or microfiber sheets – things that make this forum sooooo entertaining and informative.


This just happened to me, 2 guests checked in last night and this morning another car shows up. A quick look at the security camera footage and I see the 3rd person bringing in his backpack and sleeping bag.

I texted them on the platform, I see you have a friend over which is fine but I just wanted to remind you that your reservation is for two which is the max occupancy for the cabin.

The responded a little later that they were going for a hike and told the friend he could crash on the couch (@KKC told me that couch looks inviting!)
but if he had to leave let them know and they would send him off.

I responded sorry but he cannot stay, my STR permit is for max of two, the fire dept likes to know how many people are here if there is a fire…

So that’s that, I hope. As I have stated before my only 4* reviews all come from people I have told them no about something. I hate that I worry about reviews but I am not going to be held hostage to them either.



So I got a 4 star review, no surprise. People do not like to be told no.