Breaching house rules (drugs-->marginal review)?

As long time (4.5 years) and quite high volume hosts (north of 2000 guests), I suppose we have been lucky to have very few times we had to challenge our guests on significant breaches of our clearly stated house rules. We are actually quite flexible for most things, but we are very strict on no smoking inside and absolutely no drugs anywhere on our properties.

Fast forward to last week where we had a couple in one of our suites for a weekend. Noticing the spectacularly progressing sunset, I popped up onto our roof deck to see two things. The sky blazing orange and truly spectacular, but also this couple preparing a joint to smoke. Even pot is a very big non-starter for my husband and I so I very quickly remind them that NO drugs on the property were accepted. They quickly apologized and offered to take it elsewhere. Problem avoided I assumed.

Reviews are done (and we appropriately rated them for this but did not specifically call it out in their review–perhaps we should have, but I assumed, they learned their lesson and given the response would be more respectful to other hosts). The problem is, while they give quite nice early comments about location and cleanliness and such, they proceed to say “Expect to encounter the host frequently and know they do run a tight ship.”

To be clear, this is a private suite (BR and en-suite BA) in our home. Of course one might expect to “encounter” us in our own home. But the “run a tight ship” comment is clearly a sideways slap down on the drug issue.

SO, time to potentially post a response to the review. My proposed response is: "Thank you for the compliments, GUESTNAME. Yes, of course given that we live here it’s reasonable to encounter us occasionally as you come and go. And yes, you are correct, we strictly enforce our house rule of no drugs at anytime anywhere on our property (“run a tight ship”).

Thoughts? Specifically, is calling out the drug issue appropriate and helpful?


I’m sure others will disagree but I would not respond to their review. They left nice comments and the ‘run a tight ship’ mention can be seen as a good thing - you don’t want guests thinking you’re an easy touch. For me, personally, smoking a spliff outside is not a big deal. But that’s just me. Look at it from their perspective: they were enjoying the beautiful sky just like you were. But then they got a message that made it clear that they were being observed. Not so great. Just saying.


I too would leave it alone. They are effectively telling potential guests that you don’t put up with any sh!t, and rather than having to deal with that behavior again, isn’t that what you want?


I think you should not respond to the review. The review was honest and the guest is doing you a favor in pointing out that you enforce your house rules.

Is marijuana legal where you live? If so, your guest might have thought that it wouldn’t be included in drugs. As, of course, guests are permitted to bring prescription medications, over the counter medications and supplements and probably alcohol you should specify what you mean by drugs.


Pot is still formally illegal everywhere in the US at a federal level. As a resident of Washington DC, it gets more complicated. It’s legal on private property in DC, however, as a federal district, it becomes somewhat fuzzier. BTW, just because it’s legal at the “state” level still doesn’t say WE have to allow it on our property :-). We have had serious discussions between the two of us if we would just ask guests not to smoke at all on our decks. And yes, you are correct the term “drugs” should probably be more carefully covered in our house manual and house rules based on that point.

In the end, my inquiry here was more about how to handle the review than a discussion about if we should allow pot to be smoked on our deck. We made the NO part clear in our listing, house rules, and house manual, so doing so even after we said no and then being kind of slapped for it in the review is the part I was really looking for input on.

Based on the comments here, I think I’ll just leave the review alone and not even respond.


Thanks gang! Exactly the alternate perspective(s) I was hoping to see.


Agree with everyone here… the tight ship comment is irritating but more a reflection on them than you.

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Hello to a fellow DC host!

I feel you on this one. I’m new to Air and refining out my listing/rules/etc, and I’ve struggled with how to best phrase the ‘no smoking, no drugs’ element of things. “Illegal Drugs”, it could be argued, doesn’t include pot - but federally it does. I have a ‘no smoking’ rule, but I’m not cool if they bring in edibles/oil/other ways to ingest either (of course if it’s prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons that’s a different kettle of fish).

As for the question on the ‘how to handle the review’ - it seems you’ve decided, but my very inexperienced self says to leave it. As a potential guest, “Tight ship” does not feel like a bad thing at all - it would make me think you are on top of things and I don’t need to worry during my stay. If it discourages guests who would prefer the owner not be present so they can break rules they don’t like - so much the better!

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No smoking, vapes or edible drugs please. No cannibis products on property.

If you changed the “please” to “allowed”, it becomes a tighter ship.


I actually really don’t care if people smoke a joint;they are on vacay! They just need to be responsible same as with drinking. I never go out on their patio but I notice when I clean up sometimes there is pot residue in the ashtray.I dont really care if they smoke as long as its not in the room;and this is California.LOTS of people smoke pot here .


I grew up in London, U.K. We were lucky to even get our hands on some weed. We had to make do with hash. Now we’re in Los Angeles. It’s everywhere. I can get high just lane splitting thru traffic on my bike, the amount wafting out of open car windows. As Diamond54 stated, LOTS of folk smoke weed here. It’s a fragrant state. It’d be naive to believe most of our young, creative type guests don’t smoke. As with alcohol, responsibility is the key.

Thanks again gang. Again, I don’t care if the smoke weed–I object that they smoke it on my property where I and my other guests may be impacted by it. It is the same reason we are seriously considering asking our guests not to smoke on our decks. So, if they come back to the house smelling of pot, I don’t object, I just object that I and my other guests have to change how we enjoy the decks to avoid the downdrafts.

And yes, @pigneguy, I agree on the responsibility part. We seem to have that issue often with alcohol both in the rooms and on the roof deck also.

What if it is prescribed and the guest has a medical MJ card, then its prescription drugs? Or CBD oil? Where is the line drawn? I think @konacoconutz has the right approach to clearly outline what is NOT ok.

Also, many people who take marijuana medicinally (in edible, capsule, or tincture form) may not even think about it breaking your house rules.

If it’s the smell of marijuana that bothers you (and I agree it smells like a decaying dead skunk) and marijuana is legal where you live why not ask your guests to use edibles on your property?

I wouldn’t reply to their review. The place to make a comment on violating house rules was in your review of them not in a knee jerk response to their slap down. It doesn’t matter if the rule was no drugs or no pets or no nudity in the common spaces.