You’re conflating : 1) Whether the guest’s behavior conflicted with the rules as they existed when the guest booked, vs. the new rules, and – the current subject (outside of the Host’s draft review) – 2) whether the new listing rules are, as you say, ‘perfectly, absolutely clear and precise’.
I think that the current rules, as discussed in my post above, falls short of ‘perfectly, absolutely clear and precise’. While these rules have our attention we might as well suggest improvements.
Isn’t it better to say that the check-in time check-in time is a x-minute window that you and I agree to at inquiry/booking that’s between 4 pm to 9 pm? After all, the listing now says "If you expect to be arriving after 9 pm, please mention this . . . " Isn’t it better for the Host and guest to agree upon that before making those post-9 pm travel plans? Doesn’t it ‘seem like’ it will be OK to come after 9 pm so long as it is ‘mentioned’ at inquiry or booking?
And is this a clear statement?
So, first this establishes an expectation that later checkouts should be possible. What if it isn’t? The listing said it ‘should be’. Now what?
Then – quite mysteriously – the listing says 'but if so . . . ’
Well, if so . . . what? .
It apparently means if a later checkout is possible then arrange it in advance of booking. This is convoluted; it is not written from the guest’s perspective. After telling the guest that the check-out time is normally [by] 11 am, the next thing the guest needs to know is that IF they’d like a later checkout time then they need to ask if it is available and, if so, arrange for that at inquiry or booking.
Isn’t the clear thing to say: “If you’d like an earlier check-in time or a later check-out time, please let me know at inquiry or booking to see if that is possible.”
The current language is
So the check-in time is ‘fixed’ by ‘negotiation’. Fixed. What does that mean? If I said I was coming at 7 but I come at 6:30, is that unfixed or is it ‘roughly’ ‘within that time’? How about 7:30? 8:00? 8:30? . . . . Is it OK to come earlier than the fixed time as long as it is roughly within it? [This is the language we’re dealing with.] Talk about cultural variations! Isn’t this why most delivery services I know give you a ‘window’? [Isn’t that why the Host wrote ‘within that time’ because they were thinking about a time window but yet ,they were saying a ‘fixed’ time?
Does the current wording avoid ambiguity and confusion ? I ask not for, in your words, someone who ‘either has a reading comprehension problem or a mental deficiency’. Ha ha. I ask for the English reader but not for the experienced guest.
As an aside, all this talk of ‘negotiation’, while technically within the definition is off putting to me. So I have to ‘negotiate’ a time to check in? Can we just talk and agree on a time window? I’m talking tone but maybe this is typical British usage. Not a big deal, but to me it feels arduous.
Having said all this, you and I probably well understand the Host’s language, especially in the context of Hosts and guests.
But now consider a guest who: 1) Is not all that familiar with short-term rentals, 2) might not be an astute reader, and 3) might one day be reviewing this language (or maybe a more astute friend) looking for a refund or a way to criticize this Host. That guest’s audience will be an Airbnb customer service representative. So it’s not good enough for you and I to understand; we’re not the audience.
So, as to #1 and #2 let’s make it as EASY as we can for a guest to understand. And as to #3 let’s try to make the rules as close to bulletproof as we can to protect this Host should it get in a later dispute.
This is not about pride of authorship or criticism; it’s about being as clear as you can for guests and about protecting the Host. It’s an ongoing process. I would guess that if each of us reviewed everything in our listing today we’d each find a way to improve it unless all our language really were ‘perfectly, absolutely clear and precise’.