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Commercial use of listing?


My most recent guest booked for 5 adults for 4 nights. On the second evening of the reservation, I messaged her to see if they needed anything. The guest replied that everything was fine and asked if there was another jug of water for the water dispenser. Before check-in, the dispenser had a full 5-gallon bottle plus 2 gallons inside the dispenser. I brought over a full bottle and put it on the dispenser. While there, I very politely told her that I had never before had a guest use so much water but I’m always interested in guests’ needs.

She told me they worked for a non-profit and were holding face-to-face meetings in the house. Four of the guests, including the guest that booked, came in from other areas of the country and one was local. The local guest was a single mother and it was harder for her to travel, so the 4 others came here for face-to-face meetings. Only 4 guests slept in the house and only 5 guests were ever in the house, so they were true to their reservation.

Other than consuming about 10 gallons of water and 1.5 lbs (!!!) of coffee in 4 days, they were average guests.

I’m wondering though if this would be considered commercial use and if there’s anything I should be concerned about regarding Airbnb policy, insurance, etc.


Wouldn’t bother me.

One way to look at a guest ‘over using’ freebies etc is that when you consider all the other guests who under use freebies, a host will pretty much always be on the right side of their expected freebie budget. :slight_smile:

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Airbnb claims they do a form of background check now on guests. They recently bought a company that does that. I would throw it back on their policy if an issue comes up


If they were using it for commercial purposes (they were) they should have told you.

In the vast majority of cases I would have charged extra for commercial use (a meeting room would have been a tax deductible expense they can claim).

I don’t believe Airbnb cover commercial use in their T&C but you would need to check.


I don’t understand how a non-profit can be commercial. But as long as people aren’t doing anything illegal, messy or noisy in the rental, I don’t mind what they get up to. :wink: I don’t see it as any of my business, really. Or Airbnb’s, come to that.

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Hi @jaquo not for profits are big business. Think Amnesty, Oxfam. Plan International, Greenpeace.

Whether it is a not for profit or commercial organisation if they are using the listing for a business meeting, (which these guests were), then arguably it would be using an Airbnb for commercial purposes, just as if a photographer booked a place for a commercial photo shoot, it would be being used for commercial purposes.


Hell , I would welcome that type of booking on a regular basis, additionally I would let them know that I prefer to book them outside of the platform in future & make an effort to secure future stays.
Is it any different to a booking that is for work purposes?
In my area bookings are down for all ABB hosts & we have considerably fewer hosts than 2 years ago, I have no idea why stays are dwindling across the board. I live in an area that has diverse tourism activities year round.
It would have been a rough winter if I had not secured stays outside of the platform or declined “out of box” reservations.


It didn’t bother me, either. They used maybe $10 in consumables more than other guests, but no stained towels or other damage, so overall, still very average. They used only one of the ten 0.5L disposable water bottles I left for them, they put all their recyclables in the proper bin, and they even switched off the A/C when they checked out.


It’s a bit of a grey area, isn’t it? Because we’re in a very quiet location, I’ve had guests who were writers and have found our place an ideal place to work. I’ve had professional artists too who’ve painted the landscape.


This is mostly why I asked the question. I was hoping somebody knew. I start researching it on Airbnb’s’ website.


For my house rules this would fall under “parties, get-togethers, gatherings, meetings or shingidgs”. People always try to be slimey and say something like 'its just an assembly of X many people for Y purpose" and don’t want to pay the event fee.

For these guests, I still wouldn’t charge an event fee however because its just 5 guests. My fee is more for events with guests of 8 or more. I have requests for parties of 25 people which means probably 75 will show up. Thats when I need a non-refundable $500 fee. I know it sounds a little unreasonable but the other option is to just not allow events or parties. Thats just given my neighborhood and how close I am to my neighbors. If I actually had a party barn or trailer and this was a permanent vacation rental, sure.

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