Best practices for preventing partiers?

The biggest problem we’ve had with Airbnb is by far people that use our unit to chill out and smoke pot. The same exact thing happens every single time:

  1. Guest instant books.
  2. Booking is last-minute/same day.
  3. Guest has a non-representative or obscure photo.
  4. Guest is local.
  5. Guest has no reviews.
  6. Guest gives vague answers when we ask why they’re coming.
  7. Guest gives vague answers when we ask if they’re OK with our no smoking rule, OR
  8. Worse, they outright lie, “agree” to our house rules, and then smoke anyway.

#8 is unacceptable, since we have a 10-month old upstairs and the smoke carries to our upstairs apartment.

We’re considering changing our settings to prevent guests w/o reviews, but we’ve had a ton of great guests that were new to Air.

We’re considering turning off Instant Book, but I’m worried that will kill our search rankings and revenue.

Are there any other tactics we might consider? E.g. meeting the guest face-to-face first? What if I get a bad feeling and they still lie?

Do guys ever verify the number of people in the party (they will occasionally mislead about the number of people)? What about checking ID?

Remember that all IB guests agree to your house rules, so #8 is irrelevant.

You can set a minimum 2-day advance booking if you think that’s part of the problem and won’t hurt bookings from the guests you want.

Do you say in your house rules that unregistered guests are not allowed on the property? If not, why not?

I recommend you meet your guests at check-in and you tell them in your listing description and your initial booking message that you will meet them at check-in. Given that you live upstairs, I’m very surprised you don’t do this.

Is there something about your listing that attracts pot smokers? This would be something I would investigate thoroughly.

For the guests that break your rules, do you give them bad reviews?


Is the issue extra people or smoking?

When I think of parties, I think extra people. This sounds less like a “party” and more like stoners hot boxing your apartment. Extra people are best addressed with an outdoor camera (evidence) and house rule (Only registered guests are allowed on the property, enforced by surveillance camera).

So far as smoking, it sounds like you’re doing a great job of communicating and checking on house rules.
Can you change your wording in a way to emphasize how quickly you’ll catch them and the repercussions? Is it very clear you live above? Even if Airbnb won’t enforce it, I’d put a big scary fine. “No Smoking policy is STRICTLY ENFORCED. We live above and can smell it immediately. Smokers will be asked to leave without refund and assessed a cleaning fee of $300.”

Anecdotally, not allowing last minute reservations helps.

I don’t think turning IB off is the answer - they’re easier to cancel if necessary and you’ll see a big drop in bookings without it.


I supply a lot of snacks and don’t have a problem with it :woman_shrugging:


Smoke alarms will go off if they smoke. Put it in your listing that if the place smells like smoke they will lose their entire security deposit, which should be $500. That’ll put a damper on things and ask them if they read that before they come ! Security cameras outside to see who comes in and out.

Also, let them know that you live above. That has helped.

Use IB but make sure to turn on “recommendation from other guests”, also, very very very important write in your description " no local guests" or “local guests please DO NOT INSTANT BOOK”, state that they need to request, answer all your questions and agree to your house rules and you have the power to decline or accept them. Don’t ask how i learn this–blood and tears…lol

Will Air allow me to write this (locals - please do not instant book) and use it as a house guideline?

So if someone does IB and they’re sketchy, can I call Air and have them cancel the reservation w/o penalty?

We’ve had guests that explicitly removed smoke alarms from the ceiling.

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Is it possible your prices are too low, and attracting these awful guests? I would be apoplectic if someone disabled or removed my smoke alarms.

Or try this:

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The problem here is that Airbnb won’t actually do it so it is an empty threat.

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Good thought but in this case they aren’t being vandalized they are being removed. The covers would just as easily be removed too.