Best way to word it that space is bedroom and bathroom only

My listing states the space is a bedroom in my home and a guest bathroom. The space has a microwave, bed, desk with a lamp, and a chair to sit on. It clearly does not include access to shared spaces such as the kitchen. I’ve been hosting for five years and never had anyone do this.

Guest arrived and checked in. He ordered takeout and instead of heading back to the room to eat it like everyone else, he sits down at the kitchen table, five feet from where I am sitting in my recliner, to eat it. He asked for a glass of water and I said there’s some in the fridge in your room, but i offered him a cup to be nice. The he sat and ate and frankly the food smelled disgusting like fish. I watched Netflix with my headphones in and ignored him because I didn’t sign up for this and my listing says I am available for questions or needs but otherwise I prefer to keep communication to a minimum.

What do I need to do to set better boundaries so this never happens again?

It seems fairly obvious to me that the space is the bedroom for all activities other than those that require the bathroom. But apparently not.

Edited to add: I learned that this guest also used my washer and dryer in the basement without my permission. The reason I know is the door is always closed and it was open and the dryer door was also open with the light on. No one else was home but me and him. He did not stay in his space but went throughout my home and looked at different rooms. That is not okay. He also destroyed the list of rules that I left in a laminated sheet in the bedroom. Apparently he doesn’t like rules so he literally ripped them up.

Well, first you might not want to call the kitchen ‘a shared space’.

Include in the listing: “Your private bedroom includes your own bathroom but no access to the kitchen,”

As an aside it was funny to read your post saying approvingly of how all your guests but this one brought their food back to their bedroom. There have been MANY posts here of Hosts complaining that the guests bring food into the bedroom, and that they should be eating in the kitchen! Many of these, but all, were in tropical areas. So yours is to them a kind of anti-world. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I very recently got a notification from AirBnb defining a “private room” listing as needing access to at least one common space. Did I read it correctly?

As it is, I do list my dining room, right off the AirBnb bedroom with en-suite bathroom, as a shared space. This is due to the convenience of the room arrangement and the fact that I prefer to eat in the kitchen.

If folks stay a week or more, I mention, they can have kitchen access to prepare a light meal. Some actually mosey in while I’m making morning coffee and sit at the table :woman_shrugging:

If you share no spaces with guests, you can no longer list as a “Private Room”. It would instead be listed as a “Place to Stay”. You could put the simple wording that HostAirbnbVrbo suggested, but if you have never had this happen before, I wouldn’t be too concerned, and I don’t think any wording about anything can ensure that something “never happens again”. You could also reiterate in a message when the guests book that there is no access to the kitchen, living room, etc.

As mentioned by the other responder, as a homeshare host myself, I definitely do not want guests eating in the bedroom- I share my kitchen with them. And while all hosts should certainly feel free to do what works for them, I do find it rather odd to rent a room in one’s home and be averse to communication with guests and just expect them to hole up in their room all the time.

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Is a “place to stay” instead of a “private room” likely to be less desirable for people to book? I would offer use of my living room if it’s better for searches on AirBnb to have a “private room” - I’d rather not just to avoid fluffing pillows more than usual- but I’m wondering why AirBnb made this requirement? It would seem to me that a “private room” would NOT have any shared spaces while a “place to stay” likely would. Is it maybe because of the regulations in places like my city where we can only rent a spare room on AirBnb if the guest has no kitchen amenities in the room (i.e., no microwave, no fridge, no coffee set-up) and has to share your kitchen. The bylaw officer came and inspected and he strongly suggested I let people share as much of my house as possible. And then this requirement from ABB happened.

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As Airbnb hasn’t said exactly why they are doing this, like what precipitated this change, I think they are trying to differentiate all the hotels that are advertising private rooms, and hostel-type places where strangers share rooms, from a shared home with a real host. Hosts like you, who do live onsite, just renting a room, but don’t have shared spaces with guests are kind of unfairly caught in the middle, it seems. You are not a “homeshare” if guests are relegated to confining themselves to their bedroom, but you are renting a private room.

I’ve read other hosts on other forums saying this, and I don’t understand why anyone would think that. No, a private room means exactly that- the room itself is private for the guest’s use only, not that the rest of the house is private. This was sort of the original idea of Airbnb- that you live with a local host, who can help you feel at home in a new area, as opposed to just having a room with a host who doesn’t really interact with their guests.

This is what I have always done- guests have a private room and private bathroom, but share my kitchen and outdoor spaces. I’ve never had a guest who was confused about the living arrangement.

I wouldn’t concern myself if I were you with fluffing the pillows just because you might share your living room with guests. The concept of homesharing includes accepting how the host lives in their own home. Of course few guests would be happy about sharing space with a hoarder or slob, and I am more on top of keeping my kitchen clean when I have guests sharing it, but you don’t have to go overboard in thinking everything in shared spaces has to be quite pristine all the time.

You should be very happy this happened. A closed bedroom with a meal smelling of fish will keep that (and all other food) odor for days or more. Many hosts do not allow food in their private rooms for this reason.


I used to host in-home, with up to five guests at any given time. With all those people it’s essential that they know exactly where they can go and which rooms are off limits.

When I greeted guests, we’d have to walk past the lounge, downstairs loo and kitchen (off-limits) and the dining room that they could use and where breakfast would be served.

At that time, I’d always point out that the dining room was available to them but the other rooms were for the family only.

You’ve been lucky so far, but in future, it’s a good idea to let them know which rooms that can and cannot use as soon as they arrive.

Well, you sort of did. When you opened your home to the public - which is what guests are after all - you became the host so you need to be confident that you can control things.

When you first see a guest somewhere they shouldn’t be, it’s much better to have a friendly word with them rather than blatantly ignore them.


I have a really hard time understanding why in-home hosts are reticent to talk to their guests if they do something that’s bothersome or against house rules. I’ve read so many posts over the years from homeshare hosts who are stewing silently about poor guest behavior. The longer you wait to say something, being upset, the more it moves from “Oh, by the way…” into the feeling of a confrontation.

One of my guests told me about a homeshare she had booked where the host complained in the review that she “overused” the kitchen, even though full kitchen use was on the listing. My guest said she didn’t understand why the host didn’t just say something if it was interfering with the host’s meal prep times- the guest would have happily complied with a kitchen-use schedule.

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Many hosts aren’t really well suited for it but they need the money so they continue hosting. It goes fine most of the time.

This sounds like the first time it’s happened so no need to overreact.

Yes, I realize some hosts homeshare because they need money, but if a person really doesn’t like having guests in their home, or having to talk to them or exchange pleasantries, aside from answering questions related only to the rented space, it seems to me like deciding to be a nanny when you don’t like children, or a dog walker if you don’t like dogs. Seems like folks would pursue other ways of making money.

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Alright, so I have a bedroom and bath that I let out on Airbnb. What I did, was I had a contractor put a external door in, so the guests don’t come through my part of the house at all. He put in a deck also. So the guests have a nice little deck and their own entrance. Now, nothing to worry about. They come and go as they please. It rents for a lot higher, too. Very private. I have a microwave and minifridge in there. Same as yours otherwise. Just something to think about.
In your case, you are going to have to wait for them to arrive, greet them, walk them to the room, talk to them all about what is family spaces, and off limits, and what is accessible to them. No way around it. This intrudes on your time, but it’s how you make money, and keep your privacy.

Something for me to think about? I am fully aware that lots of hosts have created private suites in their homes for guests. Both parties have complete, self-contained privacy. That’s a different hosting model than hosting room in your house where guests use your front door, walk down the same hallways the hosts use, etc. That is the case in which I find it strange if a host resents communication with guests in the form of easy banter, etc.

I happen to enjoy homesharing where guests use my kitchen and we have interaction. I’ve met really cool people from all over the world and had some great times with guests and it’s one of the things I enjoy about hosting- I don’t just do it for the money.

None of that bothers me in the least. I don’t consider it an “intrusion”. And I have never, since starting hosting in 2016, had to talk to guests about “what is family spaces or off-limits”. Guests have been fully aware that they have full use of the kitchen, and the outdoor spaces and their private room and bathroom (which does have a private outside door). Never had any guest plop themselves down on the living room couch and I wouldn’t care if they did.

Also, there is no room to put any minifridge, microwave, or anything else in the guest space. And I live in the tropics- food in the guest room will attract ants, cockroaches, and other insects.

Their post isn’t addressed to you, it’s to the OP I’d imagine.

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Ah- it showed up on my feed as a response to me. If it wasn’t, my apologies.

Morning coffee? The aroma calls the guests to the table. :smiley:

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