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Booking Contract

I am new to hosting and havent had my first guests just yet. I have several bookings coming up in the near future. I recently received a request that they view my contract before they book. I have not made up a contract, didnt know if I should or not, wondering if the booking site rules and regulations are enough? I stressed to them they could read the rules and regulations on the booking site and she continued to tell me she wanted to see my contract. She also told me shes a realtor and full payment is not usually required upfront. For my future bookings they all paid the full amount up front so I dont know where this lady is coming from. She is insisting I show her my contract. I am really taken aback by this person. The next day I get another request from someone else on another site I am listed on and she’s also asking to read my contract. I feel these are two of the same people. Anyhow - should I make a contract aside from the booking protection? Any thoughts on this lady, she doesnt sound like a guest I want to deal with…

Are they booking through Airbnb?

Is she booking through AirBnB? Then that is her contract. Unless you’re renting for longer than 28 days. Then you need a lease.

Payment up-front is Air’s policy.

Call Customer Service and have them cancel her.

EDIT: If you’re booking on your own or through another service, this forum is for AirBnB hosts and it’s an international forum. We don’t know your local laws on STRs or LTRs.


@casailinglady - Even though this is an AirBnB forum, it’s not unusual or forbidden to discuss other booking methods than AirBnB.

@deej1103 - Many owners that rent out full properties require a contract in addition to the AirBnB rules. If this person usually rents out over VRBO or HomeAway where they have to sign a contract, then that might be why they asked.

Reply to them that your contract is your house rules and the terms and conditions of booking through AirBnB. And also ask if there is something in particular they are concerned about.


I have had contracts with short-term rentals through VRBO, so maybe that is what she is accustomed to. Some Airbnb hosts do have their own contracts, but Airbnb is not really supportive of the practice. Does she have any prior reviews on Airbnb as a guest? If she won’t take your word for it, tell her to call Airbnb, or you can contact Airbnb and show them the communication with her and ask what you should do. Hopefully the communication is via Airbnb messaging and not through SMS/text or e-mail.

Unless it was for a rental that is longer than about 30 days, I find it hard to believe she never had to pay upfront for a short-term home rental. Airbnb does allows a split payment where the first half of payment is due at booking a second half is due 2 weeks before check-in, but I don’t think that is what she is referring to. Regardless, you have no control over payment processing with Airbnb.

Both @Ritz3 and @casailinglady asked if the booking is through Airbnb in order to give the best advice. Right now everyone is only assuming it is.

I never said or implied that anything is forbidden on this forum. I did say it’s international and we’re all hosts. I should have stated the implied “and we can’t give legal advice across countries/states/municipalities.”


Thanks, @Brian_R170. I felt the OP left out a lot of pertinent info and now they’ve gone away so we’re none the wiser.

Another post and run? :wink:

I have a contract I use with AirBnB and a slightly different one I use elsewhere that requires not only a copy of ID, but a copy of their credit card. It has helped me on more than one occassion having it even on AirBnB.

It could be but in defense of the OP remember it’s an international forum and not all posters are on the same time zone as the people replying. Also people might post a question and go to bed. They don’t even expect an immediate answer. I’ve seen questions posted on the Airbnb community that never get answered. That is very rare here and sometimes new members are surprised at the volume and quality of replies.

To @deej1103, others have addressed the contract issue. When I rented a home in Costa Rica via VRBO I signed a separate contract and paid a real deposit. When I booked a similar home in Boston via Airbnb I did not.

I personally am not interested in renting to the kinds of self important people like you describe. I’d reply to her that I don’t have a separate contract for my Airbnb rental, thanks for her inquiry.


Alternatively, direct her to the Airbnb site and inform her that the rental contract is, in fact, the ToS that she agreed to when she joined Airbnb.


If you want her booking, maybe. I’d direct her to take a hike in the opposite direction if I had a whole house rental. (edit to add: based on what’s posted here. IRL, maybe I’d work to get the booking. I don’t have much info on this prospective guest)

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Yes, the inquiry was on airbnb and another on vrbo.

Thank you for replying and the information.

This is not a long term rental. I believe she was inquiring for 2 days. She was a new traveler and the other was new as of 2020 on vrbo. I must be on a different time zone then the rest of you as it was 1am and then I did go to bed, so thanks for those who came to my defense on that. I didn’t realize that I would get as much feed back so fast and I guess I should of stayed up a bit more to see everyones thoughts on this subject. Traveler shouldnt have anything to worry about that I know of. Its a large property that sleeps up to 33 people, with a river and a nice pond for swimming.


Wow - 33 people! That size of property is going to attract parties and corporate events.

With that large of a property, I advise you to require they sign a separate contract. You can as long as it is in your house rules that they have to sign that contract. Summarize your contract in the house rules so the guest doesn’t get surprised on key items.

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That’s true for many properties. Many properties charge 25% to 50% upfront, and the balance due 30-60 days before arrival. However, some properties do require 100% upfront.
So I would not be offended or distrustful with the comment about full payment, but I’d think she’s a bit snobby because of the realtor statement. I’d ignore it, though. You’re not interviewing people to be your new friends.

What I would ask about, though, of EVERY person that books a property that sleeps 33, is what brings you to the area and who is travelling with you.

You can inform her through the platform that the contract is available online and if she has any questions regarding the contract or payment, she can contact Airbnb. Don’t allow her to waste your time.


I understand with a large property like this that it will bring a lot of traffic. Most of the bookings are for family reunions, 1 is a church retreat. I do not know where to even start as for a separate contract and what it should say. Shouldn’t I be protected through airbnb?

I have 3 houses on my 6+ acre property. I have rented all 3 together for weddings, reunions etc. I can sleep up to 34 easily. I had a lawyer draw up my contracts/rental agreements and would advise you to also. Make sure it’s one familiar with local and state laws that effect your property.

Also if you have not yet already done so put the house into an LLC I would recommend that to limit your personal liability.


Thank you. I do have the property in a LLC.

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