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Check-in…. when they bring a lot of people who aren't staying

We rent our whole house. We hate rules so we have few on our page.

  1. smoking outside
  2. no parties or events.
  3. Please let us know if you’re having company.
    Twice this summer we’ve had guests turn up…. booking for 4 and at least 10 turn up and wander around…. making it hard to show the quirks of the house to the right people, and generally making it chaos. Then I wonder who is actually staying, and so do our neighbours when two van loads turn up.
    The latest guest spoke on arrival of the relatives she was having for dinner…. as though we’d discussed it earlier.
    The house last week suffered through wear and tear. The washing machine got a work out every day. The hot tub needed a new $60 filter, to replace the one that was new before they arrived.
    What do you do on check-in?

I think you need to confirm with them in your initial messages exactly how many people will be staying there. Tell them you need a precise number.

If the number is higher than what they booked with, then you can send a change request with the higher number.

If more people show up, you need to amend the booking right then. If they balk at paying extra, then they don’t get the keys.

It’s one thing to not like rules and restrictions, but if you let people do whatever they want, they will abuse you and your property.

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I should clarify my question. The rest of the people who arrived lived in the same city, they just came to see it, or show their friends staying where it is?
There may have been an extra person staying I don’t really know.
I’m think of greeting guests who arrive with others….", please those that are going to live here stay. The rest of you please go into the back yard and enjoy cooked and water.
This is the second time it has happened this summer, and frankly I hate it. Should I be keeping a list of those staying ( names) for insurance purposes?

Rule #3 should read "No visitors. No one, other than registered guests, allowed on the property at any time.

You’re running an AirBnb homestay, not a convention center or party playground.


I’m getting exterior security cameras this week. I know former guests had overnight guests at least twice because my neighbors rat them out.

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It’s not clear to me if you still want to allow all these extra day visitors over? You have one rule that says no parties or events. But the next rule says to please let us know if you’re having company. Having 6 visitors over for dinner is a party or event to me. Just because a stripper isn’t invited, and not everyone is getting falling down drunk…doesn’t mean it is not a party.

If you don’t care about pissing off your neighbors and want to stick to the idea of “hating to give the guest rules” - then I think your idea of having everyone else stay outside while you give the tour is just fine. Just say “I need everyone’s attention. Who will be staying the night, and who will be going home this evening?” - Then have all the boys and girls raise their hand, and tell them you need to go over some important information for 10 minutes, so all who will not be staying…I need you to stay outside until I am finished. Those of you staying…please follow me."

If you don’t want to upset your neighbors, you need to get rid of that rule about “company.” Rules are your friend, especially when you are renting out a whole space. Too many guests these days have “hotel mentality” and think they can book for 4, and then call everyone else staying a “visitor.”

When someone sends me an inquiry, I reply with:

“Please let me know if the 4 guests includes all children/infants. Will there be any visitors during your stay? Also, please confirm you have read the entire listing description, house rules, check in/check out times, etc. …as once I accept your booking, I am unable to cancel it.”

Notice I don’t say “if you plan to have visitors” - I ask “will” there be any visitors. This is where the divulging usually begins. Or the guest just sticks to their lie, and then later on messages me that so and so will be joining. At that point (if approved) I charge for the extra guests. Many guests just think they will advise you of extra people and now you will just say “okay…thanks.” - and extra people get to stay for free.

I also have surveillance cameras, and guests are notified of this. My rental is secluded from eyesight of all neighbors…so if I didn’t have those cameras - I would have no idea what was going on over there.

Thanks so much you two. I intend to go over my whole listing and change things. Interesting enough, I once owned a resort, and now am a travel writer teaching travel agents about all-inclusive resorts. In a hotel situation only registered guests are allowed in rooms and suites, or on the property at all as it happens.
The Willow House in the West Harbour Hamilton is our listing.

I just looked at your listing and it is not clear to me the bed arrangement in the second bedroom. I know the listing says 3 beds, and the master bedroom has a Queen. But I am still confused on the 2nd bedroom.

I do not envision only 4 people staying overnight, and the rest of the “visitors” going home. Your place looks large. That was 2 living rooms correct? I also could not tell if there are two separate dining tables?

Hi cabinhost:
It is a 1885 semi with many quirks. There is a living room, and then a bigger family room in beside the kitchen. There is a breakfast bar in the kitchen, and a dining room table in the dining room. The family room has a small two seater table and two chairs.
The second bedroom has a trundle bed ( Ikea) which we thought made into a double. We had bought two single mattresses of a better quality than Ikea sells. Then we bought a fold up cot.
Turns out the trundle makes into a king. That doesn’t leave a lot of space, when taking the two desks into account. SO…… it can be a king, or add a cot and there is room for two separate beds… the trundle and the cot.

Thanks for confirming. I do see guests piling in the “friends/relatives” and using floor space for kids to sleep on airbeds, sleeping bags, etc. But they’re only entering in “4” since that is your maximum.

I checked out your listing, too – lovely place! You are right up against your neighbors! I suggest doing everything you can not to piss them off. NO extra guests unless approved by host IN WRITING! And get security cameras for the front door and the backyard (maybe not facing the hot tub as that may be a bit too intrusive).

Too easy to relocate to another room …

I know that a lot of hosts say no parties or events, but I believe that’s wide open to interpretation. Would a family dinner or a book club meeting be considered a party or event? To me, no; to others, yes. I think it will work better to be specific. For example, “You may have no more than two unregistered guests at a time in addition to the registered guests. They may not arrive before 9:00 A.M. and must leave by 9:00 P.M.”.

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You’re right about that. Guests like to interpret everything to their benefit. I had one guest inquire, and when I asked about visitors she said she would like to invite over around 25 people for a few hours. She also said “I understand you do not alllow parties or events” but this is just a “family gathering.” - (eyeroll)

Well, there’s a scam in the making – find a newbie “entire house” listing with little or no damage deposit, rent it out and have your Christmas party there and call it a “family gathering”. The mess stays out of your house …

Thanks cabin host. In the two years we’ve been hosting, I don’t think it has happened often, but twice this summer I’ve been ticked. I need to find a good balance between being too tough, or a host that can be steamrolled over.
It also might be host burnout…… just have two bookings left, when we’ve been full all sumer, often with same day turnovers.

I think she inquired with us too.

Keep it simple. I had toyed wi all kinds of things like, guests allowed only with approval, but cannot stay overnight. Guests as long as I meet them first. NO. Nothing seemed right, and I had to ask myself, what did I really want?

It’s defaulted to this : Only your approved and registered party allowed in apartment or on the property.

Keep it simple. There is no reason why 20 friends should be allowed to show up and check it out. If they are doing this with you present then what the heck do they do once you leave.

Just say no to unregistered people.

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Thanks for the kind words about our house Sandy. I still haven’t decided what to do, but I’m clearer now.
We in the past have rented cottages, and I realized now I’ve abused the situation too. When my daughter arrives from Australia, all her friends turn up…… and she has many. It never occurred to me it was a problem…… different side of the fence right?

Did you invite guests over, or have them stay the night after being told the maximum occupancy? Or were you told to advise the owner of visitors?

Or were there no guidelines given when renting the cottage? If I wasn’t in the business, I would probably think it was okay to have people over if there were no guidelines given. But if I put up a damage deposit myself, I probably would prefer a bunch of people didn’t come over. The last thing I would want is one of my friends accidentally spilling food or red wine on a couch or carpet…and now I am responsible for replacement.

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