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Extra unpaid for guests

What is best depends on a number of variables. There are a lot of people here telling others what they should and shouldn’t do (sometimes in ALL CAPS!) who don’t know anything about you or your listing. You have to consider you and your property in weighing all advice.

One more advantage to pricing competitively for single people is that it should lead to more bookings. In a competitive market just $5 or $10 a night can be the difference between a booking and a free night. More bookings leads to more reviews which leads to more bookings.

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I am having this same problem at this moment except my guest had a party and there was 30 people more than she said, so kinda different

In your case I would have the charge for extra start at 3 people instead of two, as in the first two people are included in the price, just an idea


It is a cottage, not a room

what would you do if the booking is for 1 guest and 5 queen beds are used? I have camera proof of 5 guests entering the house.

Step 1. Prevent problems before they begin. When one person books a place that has 5 beds then immediately begin questioning the purpose of the trip, etc. I’d meet this guest in person for check in.

Step 2. Message them through the platform and tell them they must change the booking and pay for the extra guests. Tell them you require the names of all guests. If they don’t comply immediately their booking will be cancelled.

Step 3. Contact Airbnb and get this on their record. You or your co-host may need to go to the property to take care of this.


There’s not a lot you can do, or should really want to do, after the event.

To prevent this you should wonder why a single guest required a rental with five beds. Ask the guest. Always meet and greet guests. Even with Covid precautions it’s easy if you’re masked (I always carry spare masks with me in case the guests arrive without them).

If you see proof that extra people are entering your rental, and if this is a problem for you, then knock on the door and tell the additional people to leave.

the problem is that I live remotely. I have a historic house & can actually accommodate 16 people, not including the attic which can hold another 6 people. so I often get smaller groups, even 1 person.
I tier the pricing so less people can stay…of course, I don’t make as much money when they do. maybe I need to make a minimum # group.

I’m thinking of maybe hiring one of my neighbors to be my property manager so they know someone is watching them.

I just installed cameras. I know people have been abusing this situation for years.

Airbnb won’t back me up even though I have texts from the housekeeper, pictures of used beds, and video proof of 5 people on the property.

It does sound like you need better processes. Can you lock the doors of the extra rooms?

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I don’t understand. It doesn’t follow that you would often get small groups or solo travelers for a home that can hold 22 people. And how many bathrooms does this home have? You need to find a lane and stay in it. Raise your price and include up to 6 guests in the home. That will deter solo or couples from booking. Make a minimum stay of 3 or more nights.

Airbnb is a booking and payment platform. You have to be the one that actually does the management of the rental on the ground. You really need a co-host.


Normally, the house does lock doors. But since the boss hired for his employee, I guess she thought they wouldn’t be sneaking other people in. I guess I will tell them immediately that doors will be locked.

There are many hosts who live away from their rentals but moat have a truly excellent co-host. You’re very lucky to have had nothing awful happen without an experienced co-host looking after things for you.

If your neighbour has experience with Airbnb then use him/her by all means but if not, you’re in a very vulnerable position.

What are you expecting them to do? It’s your responsibility to make sure that your place is run correctly, not theirs.

It often surprises me that people simply hand over their lovely homes (and especially a large historic building) to complete strangers.

Does your STR insurance and your license limit the number of guests you can have?


I’m surprised you charge extra for 2 people. I charge extra for 3 & 4 guests but I dislike nickel & diming & only charge extra for 3rd & 4th guest because of increase in utilities.

the first 2 are in the base price. I charge after 2 guests.

In this case, I would really consider reaching out to the boss and telling them what occurred & send the photo evidence. Be calm and professional and request what is due if you feel it’s worth it. This is not a good reflection of that company. As a boss, I would be very embarrassed and eager to make it right. If the boss says no then you can decide to escalate to Air (they may offer to pay 25-50% with the proof; I’ve gotten 100% before but it was some work).

That being said…

I had the same thing happen on my very first booking. What I did: (1) said nothing at first, called AirBnB. They were 0 help with guidance (didn’t know about this forum :stuck_out_tongue:). (2) I calmly messaged the guest that they owed me for the additional persons (evidenced on camera) & mess they left and sent a payment request. Guest went ballistic and rightly so. Why? What I requested was way too high (priced that way in house rules to detour the behavior but now that it happened it didn’t read right to enforce it so steeply). Guest refused to pay. (3) I escalated. Air got involved, billed guest for 1 extra person (because my base price would have covered the others, he just needed to be honest) and $70 for leaving vomit on my porch area. (4) I reviewed guest honestly at Air’s urging. (5) Guest gave me my first review ever. 4.0. (5) still, many bookings followed so :poop: on the lying guest.

2 YEARS LATER…take all this great advice from the hosts above! (1) Know your market and “you do you”. I ended up moving to pricing to my max capacity and it lead to hosting larger groups but also making more $$$ and reducing the sneaking (2) Decide what battles to fight. I never let stealing go (yes, I consider it stealing when you bring people you didn’t pay for) & I’ve had some guests kindly fess up and pay up while others balked. Establishing a great rapport before and just after they arrive helps (can be done via messaging; I don’t meet my guests either). (3) AirBnB will pay sometimes (they’ve paid me the 2 times I was cheated & guest would not pay but I had to fight for it; only worth it to my sense of justice but that is enough for me :sweat_smile:) (4) I recently started only leaving enough of all supplies for the number of people booked. It’s awesome…cuts down on laundry/cost while sending a “message” (5) In the message with the access info I reiterate the number of people expected and tell them to contact me ASAP for changes. At the bottom of the message, it contains a big warning about extra people or pets.

So far I’m happy. Also, with the price increase to accommodate my max occupancy, I’ve weeded out a lot of trouble frankly. I wanted smaller groups and to be “affordable” but all it got me was issues, and now, I still get the smaller groups AND the larger groups w/o getting as many trouble makers.

PS> Whatever you decide your max. occupancy is or how you will price, be sure not to picture more of the house or set the house to accommodate more than your decided max. I offer six dinner chairs, seating for 6 in the living room, 6 patio chairs, etc. and I include that in pic descriptions ("seating for 6 at the dining table, the living room comfortably seats 6, etc.). I can sleep 10 but I’m not advertising that & I’m not looking for that kind of group.


The boss made the booking for 1 person knowing that 5 were coming.

I am so sorry. I misunderstood what you meant when you said…

I see, “she” refers to your housekeeper and not the boss, who is “he” in the paragraph. That’s my mistake.

Still, how did you become aware that the boss knew for certain more than 1 person was staying? Is it not possible his employee did this w/o the bosses knowledge?

the boss Kevin made the booking for 1 person. He said he was making it for Daniel. Then after the housekeeper found all the beds stripped, I wrote to Kevin and told him what the housekeeper found and point blank asked him how many people stayed. It was then he said he thought 5 people stayed. I told him that 5 people can stay for the cost of 5 people and like you, I have a high “penalty” rate to deter people from sneaking in. :(. he said he couldn’t afford it so I took it to Airbnb. I submitted housekeeper texts, photos and video proof of 5 people in the house. Airbnb denied my claim and then I complained to BBB. Then Airbnb replied they have some specialist team working on it. I’m tired of the lack of support from Airbnb. I’m gonna look at alternate websites besides VRBO which I’m on.

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How much is your normal per person surcharge, and how much are you claiming as a “penalty”?

$35/person/nite. $45/person/night is the penalty

I have $20-$21 per person over one and $50 is the penalty charge.

Something I have noticed is that they no longer break out the additional person fees so they are legitimately unknown by the guest. They would have to know, care and then do some what if analysis to determine the price and at what number of people it takes effect. This happened sometime this year I think.

I also noticed that recently they have started adding rate, cleaning, resort etc?, extra person AND Airbnb fees for a total price (still doesn’t include taxes, similar to hotels) and then in small print below right that it includes $xx in guest fees…they are the Airbnb service fees but they no longer attribute them by name to their bottom line…

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