Guests sneaked in one more unregistered person

My nightly price is for 4 people, after 4 there would be $50/per person per night. Today new guests checked in, they were 4 at the door at first. After a few hours, another one sneaked in. We have security camera outside the unit in the hallway so I can see it clearly. What should I do? Any advise would be highly appreciated!

Tell them that they need to pay up.


This doesn’t help for the current guests, but have in your house rules that guests not paid for prior to arrival will be subject to an additional $150 per person per night fee. Make it the first rule and remind people of it as part of your communication. It may not stop everyone but it stops some people from cheating.


I just messaged the guests asking for clarification. Luckily the guests promptly altered their reservation and pay $50 as policy says. Problem solved.


One thing I do in my automated messages is on the one for the day before check in, I use the short codes to remind them of the number of registered guests in case they want to update that.

I would think that would give guest at least pause before playing shenanigans.

Glad it all worked out for you.

Of course, you could have played hard ball and just kicked them all out but that reminds me of an exchange of Reddit where the OP asked what might the landlord do if they made their rental apartment an Airbnb. Here was the exchange:


Do make sure you leave an honest review to warn future hosts considering this group.

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Glad that worked out for you. I’m the same, 4 is max. And I have in my house rules, thanks to previous posts in this forum, that unregistered guests – human or pets – are subject to a $100 fine PER GUEST, and that any house rules that are broken can result in immediate cancellation of the reservation.

I know those have helped me prevent some issues and this week I had a guest ask me if their grands and kids could come over for dinner. Initially I said it might be okay and asked how many she was talking about…thinking maybe four. NOPE, a total of 13, including the 4 who are staying here.

Told the guest we weren’t set up for that many and that I also have to be considerate of my neighbor…and that there were full home rentals available that same weekend.

They waited a day and then said they’d make other plans and keep the reservation. We’ll see how this one goes…Not gonna worry about it though.

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I just had a similar situation. Guest tried to book for six (credit card was declined, thankfully) and said she was “eloping” and spending her honeymoon at our place. After I asked if there would only be the six of them there (our maximum and seemed odd for a honeymoon!), she admitted she was going to have her wedding and reception at our place with “maybe around a dozen guests” and “Mom and Dad will drop by, too”. Ummmm, nope!

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Crazy. Glad you dodged that one with the credit card decline.

She seems quite unclear on what “eloping” means.


I think she was trying to make it sound like the wedding was in the US and she and new spouse were going to St Lucia with friends to celebrate, but at least she admitted the wedding plans when I asked pointedly where the wedding ceremony would take place.

My house rules has no unregistered guests allowed. So there won’t be dinner or parties allowed. Maybe I should add $100 fine in the house rules as well…

Yes you should if you have any hopes of collecting it. Has to be in the listing if Airbnb is going to back you up at all, and you can’t count on that. And I’d add a line about a possible immediate cancellation too for unregistered guests.

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True, enforcing “house rules” is a crap shoot. Consider yourself lucky if you successfully do so.

The risk of course, is not only receiving a scathing review, but the guest could accuse you of some atrocious violation and get a full refund. On Airbnb anyway.

In the case of (Airbnb) guests sneaking in additional people, you may be better off just letting it go and simply writing it in their review. The, risks of confrontation with guests are substantial on Airbnb.

Reasonable guests usually won’t cause problems and will agree to pay. But you can never be sure. Your best and only chance of avoiding these kinds of confrontations is to screen prospective guests to the best of your abilities before they book. Their review history can tell you a lot (if they have any), but wise pre booking dialogue can save you a lot of stress.

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I can only tell you what I would - and have done in the past. That is to go to the rental, remind the guests that my insurance and business license only allows two people in the apartment and that I could lose the insurance and license if more people where there.

Therefore they are endangering my long-established business and I need to insist that the extra people leave.

However, I wouldn’t bother about one extra sneaked in guest as long as the stay was only one or two nights as that doesn’t cost me anything worth mentioning.

But bear in mind too that it’s a dangerous scenario for the guests. The place catches fire, you tell the firefighters that there are four people and they rescue four. The additional one burns to a crisp.


I think “eloping” is a typo and she meant “swinging”.


I am concerned that some of us say there is a fine for extra people, a fine for parties, etc. That would seem to indicate to a guest that it is OK to break rules for a fee. My rules are not set up that way. No extra people, no sneaking. Period.


Why the fine? It would seem to me that it is OK to break rules if you’re willing to pay. My rules are firm, and a bribe will not negate them.


I’ve had to explain that to OTA representatives before. For instance, they think I should charge a $300 fine if someone smokes in the house. We accept up to six guests and the usual stay is a week, so fining someone for smoking merely sets the “smoking rate” to be about $50 a night higher than the “non-smoking rate” of $500+ US.

That’s why my house rule is first time smoking is a warning; second time is eviction without refund.


No, it’s NOT OK.

The problem is with Airbnb’s obsessive guest favouritism, written in their policies.

Sure, they sneak in extra guests. They smoke in the house. They break other rules. But as a practical matter, not only is Airbnb unlikely to assist in any enforcement of those rules, but doing so often (well, almost always) prompts the guest to write a scathing review, but now with the new Airbnb refund policies, facilitates (and even encourages) the guest to fabricate some atrocity the host committed, to get a full refund. And that’s serious damage.

The question is, which is worse?

A) the loss of a few bucks not paid for the extra guest, and/or the cleanup of smoke odours or messiness,


B) the loss of not only the extra revenue or the costs of clean up, but loss of the entire revenue from that booking, in addition to a scathing review, and potentially, suspension or delisting.

No, it’s not fair, but it’s how it is. The only effective deterrent is prevention. Screen your guests. Reject them if they appear dubious in any way. Don’t let them book it in the first place. Another booking is right around the corner, just be patient. Airbnb is a very effective booking machine. It’s what they’re best at. Use it to your advantage.