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A little bit burned out from this slow season and having to turn down many potential party guests (march break and st. patricks), I was thinking to change my house rules that are very generic (like many hosts around here)
Today, I come across to this house rules, I like it. What do you think of it, as a guest.
"We prefer guests over the age of 25 unless you have previous, positive reviews. We screen last minute bookings without previous, positive reviews. Before sending a booking request, tell us more about yourself and the reason for your stay. Rule number 1, enjoy the space and have fun. Here are the rest in detail. Please do not smoke indoors. You are welcome to smoke in front of the property on the front sidewalk but please do not throw butts onto the street. Parties are not allowed in the apartment and no outside guests are allowed without previous approval. If you would like to have a guest over please touch base with us for approval. We want to keep our other tenants and neighbours happy so that we can rent to other great people like you. Please remove your shoes while inside of the apartment, and be mindful that there are other people living on the floor below you. Also, be careful with suitcases so that the walls do not get damaged. Use coasters with drinks on surfaces so that the wood does not get damaged Use placemats under laptops and dishes as well to protect the surfaces you are working and eating on. Make sense? Please do not use our white towels to clean up spills, remove make up, etc. There are cleaning rags and paper towels for cleaning spills and cotton pads in the mirrored cabinet in the bathroom for removing make up. The extra linens in the apartment are to help us get ready for the next guests. We will leave the required amount of linens for you and your guests. Please do not use the extra linens in the apartment. If you need something extra, please let us know. Noise must be kept to an absolute minimum between the hours of 11pm and 7am. We are sorry for all of the rules and details but we host people from all cultures and from all over the world. What may seem like common sense to you is foreign to someone else. We prefer to be clear so that everyone is aware of what we expect. Finally, let us know if you need anything at all during your stay. If you find something missing or need anything, please let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure your stay perfect. Hope to see you soon! "
Those rules seem perfectly reasonable to me and I wouldn’t have a problem booking a place like that. These are all things I try to do as a guest anyway. I usually book ahead of time and read the entire listing and all the details beforehand though. A lot of people try to book last minute and don’t read anything except for the basics.
Observations as a science & technical writer with 30+ years experience in creating all sorts of materials for all ages:
As a giant paragraph it stinks! I quit reading about 4 lines down. Perhaps as a series of bullet points someone may want to read further.
Except in the last two sentences, there are far too many “please”. The writing is too much “pretty please” and wishy-washy. These are Rules, not polite requests! People “from all over the world” understand simple words and simple sentences; not these convoluted constructions.
Far, far too wordy by 400%.
Smoking anywhere on the property will lead to smoking indoors; just don’t allow it.
Don’t allow guests or parties period – “previous approval” for a guest means they’ll just have one over and ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Likewise telling them not to use the extra linens – don’t leave them in there, they will get used!
My description won’t divide into paragraphs, but my rules do. So yes to using paragraph breaks. I really hate the “Make sense?” in the middle of those rules. It feels condescending. I would absolutely lose the “We are sorry…” line because we are not sorry at all, and we are blaming other cultures.
It’s a bit much. That’s my take on it as a guest.
It’s far too long! It sounds like this host kept a diary of every guest who ever annoyed her and turned that into her house rules. (I may have been guilty of doing this myself at one point. You all helped me whittle them down from war & peace!)
I like the conversational tone, but most guests (me included) would prefer a shorter, bullet-point list of things the host REALLY cares about. Litmus test: are you going to kick somebody out over this? If I accidentally ding the wall with my suitcase, what happens?
It bothers me when hosts identify a problem with their setup and, rather than making it fool-proof, put the burden of dealing with it on the guests. The solution to people putting wet glasses on your wood furniture isn’t to make a coaster rule - it’s to put protective glass covers on your furniture. Same goes for linens - if it’s not supposed to be used, lock it up. Making those changes is far easier than policing the behavior of hundreds of strangers.
So many things are re-stated “no outside guests without previous approval. If you want to have a guest…get approval.” Ummm…
None of these are big asks, but it gives the impression the host is anxious about everything.
If you are in the U.S. you can not ask for a guest to be over a certain age (25) as it discrimination in it’s finest. They must be of legal age in your state (18 where I am). I would suggest less words…such as
Please remove shoes upon entry
Use placements at the table (they are located…XXX)
Cleaning Rags are located XX please do not use the guest towels to clean up any spills.
As far as the liners go… I would rather a guest use an extra liner than have garbage overflowing. Drink coasters should be out and visable. Just put a bullet point… * Please place a coaster under your drink at all times. There is no gtd they are going to do that.
I’m only familiar with U.S. federal employment law, which protects people 40 and over from age discrimination in U.S. Is there a public accommodation rule protecting under-25s?
Car rental companies, for example, can discriminate against under-25s (New York I think is the only exception). Just looking for clarification/additional information here. I personally will book any guest 18 or older.
I don’t know why. I use airbnb as a guest and I see listings and book listings with very few rules. And in my own experience I found adding rules about something didn’t change guest behavior, it only made me more frustrated.
Your house your rules. Your rules, my booking. It’s a marketplace so hopefully your rules list is attractive to the kind of guest you want booking your listing.