Guests want to have friends over for dinner, Whole House Listing

Hi All: I searched and couldn’t find a similar posting. So sorry if I am being redundant. I had an inquiry for my home at Christmas time and they wanted to have their family over for dinner. They didn’t end up booking but it got me to thinking about this for the future.

First red flag “Can I have a discount because I want to stay 2 weeks” (my max) Sorry no, the price you were quoted is already at a nice discount.

Second red flag “I want to have my family over for Christmas dinner. But other than that, it would just be me and my grandchild” Well, Airbnb TOS states no one on property unless they are on the booking. It would invalidate their insurance (yeah, we all know it is so so in the first place but still) “It would only be a total of 5 people” Coming from a family of a few attorney’s I throw out Would they be willing to sign a waiver? (testing the waters so to speak) Their reply “Would you be able to just leave it at the house?” Hmmmmm 3rd Red Flag It appears they don’t want me to see how many people, maybe? I have front door and back door security cameras LOL The number of people entering the house cannot be hidden.

The point is, would anyone consider allowing a guest to have family over for a Holiday dinner, or just to visit? It feels kind of stodgy to say no, but on the other hand, we do live in a litigious society. What has been your experience with this? Thanks

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If I had a whole house listing I might allow a one day event for an additional charge. If they violated the guest count on other days I would put the charges through on Airbnb and cancel on them if they didn’t pay. However in this case with the red flags I think you were wise to deter them from booking.


I would charge for the guests visitors. Not necessarily a huge amount …

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This is not a red flag for me. Every week or so I get an inquiry about a discount. The answer is always no but more often than not, they book anyway. Some people just like to try. No big deal.

If it’s only a couple of people, then yes. Our apartments both sleep two people. They have crockery and cutlery for four people. If the guests are okay with that, then fine. Although I’d limit the time to a few hours.

Our listing says that our guests are allowed to have visitors as long as a) they number only two and b) it’s during daylight hours only. I’d waive this a bit for a special occasion (three people and up until nine at night. Goodwill to all men or whatever the saying is…

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The guests are visiting locals. Whole house listing or not, why are the locals not inviting the guests to Holiday dinner? Doesn’t sound quite right unless it’s “Let’s have a party and trash the rental place!”


Exactly my thought. Even if they don’t “Trash” the place, it could be let’s cook up a storm, use up amenities, etc etc on someone else’s dime

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I don’t get it. Isn’t it the point of booking a whole house rental so that you can use the kitchen and amenities? Why is cooking a large dinner unacceptable? Hosts really don’t allow guests have have people over for a meal in a house whole rental??? I can totally see if this was a shared space, but I don’t understand limiting day visitors when someone is renting an entire house.


We rent out our whole house (vacation home). Our rule is no visitors without prior written permission from us. If someone asked to have four people over for dinner one night (5 pm to 10 pm), we’d say yes. But we have staff there to keep an eye on them. Even with staff, guests have taken advantage of us. Like the group that had six at our house and four next door, and the four from next door spent 16 hours a day at our house for a week.

Hosts with whole house rentals don’t usually mind there being a few people over for a few hours or dinner being cooked for those people. The reason we get picky about it is that “a few people for dinner” is all too often 20 people and six kegs and 12 pizzas.


If I was going to rent a whole house and someone told me that I could only have family over for dinner if their “staff” was there watching me, I would run far, far away.

(Disclaimer- I do have a whole house rental. I have never had people even ask to have people over for dinner, but I wouldn’t expect them to ask for permission to do that. They are renting the whole house. Now, if they wanted people to stay overnight, that’s a different story, and they would get charged for that.)


@jkamm - our staff is there most of the time. They aren’t there specifically because guests ask to have people over for dinner. On our island, all the larger private homes have staff. It’s a way to keep people gainfully employed where jobs are almost exclusively in the agriculture or tourism industry. It’s a cultural thing.

And our guests don’t have family in the area. We are in a vacation area. The people they would have over are other members of their traveling group or strangers they meet on island.

This is a “once bitten, twice shy” thing. In addition to the four people that effectively lived at our home, there was the mother of the groom for a destination wedding that invited 24 other guests over to our house for a “buffet” dinner after I told them they could not have 40 people over for the rehearsal dinner.

I suspect you would feel differently about letting your guests invite others over after you have guests that have a kegger when they told you “quiet dinner party for four”.

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I have no problem with guests having friends over. But like Piton indicates it needs to be in some moderation. I think it is somewhat nanny state to require anything extra for a handful of people. There are extreme cases where they want to have a huge event.

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Often, if we have guests who are visiting friends or relatives in the area, they want to entertain them in the rental. That’s why we have the two guests/daylight only rule. Often our guests want to ‘show off’ the place where they’re staying. We’re lucky though because both apartments are small so guests aren’t tempted to cram lots of people in - it would be much too uncomfortable.

We always bump up the nightly price quite considerably for holiday dates so if they are cooking and using extra electricity, that’s no problem.


Hi @jkamm: Airbnb TOS indicates that they only cover the Registered guests, and generally speaking they are the ONLY ones that should be in the rental, shared or stand alone. I don’t have a real issue with a friend or family member or two stopping by to visit for a time. However, my home is in a quiet neighborhood and while the neighbors are aware that it is an Airbnb home, I try to keep it low key. If they are there to see local relatives, why do they need my house to host them for a holiday meal?

Like other hosts have stated as well, it can quickly get out of hand, just add alcohol for example. At the holidays that can be an even bigger issue than other times. Add to that, if they get the green light, for example, for Christmas dinner, well that just might mean that Christmas Eve is ok as well, and well why not have another get together, etc. See where this can go very quickly. All those extra people putting wear and tear on my home, bathroom usage, extra electricity for cooking, etc, that are not included in the booking and therefore costing the host money. Not to mention all the extra cleaning that goes with extra people wandering about and in and out for a few hours. there is a good chance that the guest will not make their visitors aware of the House Rules either. I know many people don’t think this far ahead and this many possible scenarios. I have had a business where I deal with the public for 12 years now, a Children’s Play Place. Believe me, as soon as I think I have seen it all, someone proves me dead wrong.

Hi @jaquo, the reason the discount was a red flag is because I already have a built in discount for week long stay. I was probably presuming too much thinking the guest should be able to do some simple math and figure out the price quoted was lower than if they paid the daily price. :confused:

I’m fine with a family holiday meal in my whole home rental. I charge a premium for the holidays.

There is dining seating for 6. Plates & stainless for 8. Two large social/living areas -4 couches 1 recliner, so plenty of comfy seating. The kitchen is equipped for meal prep. I don’t mind if they need something extra, let me know if possible they may borrow from my kitchen.

For the past two years I’ve had a grandma &grand pa travel to see the kids & grand kids. The condo became meal central. I understand, it is easier and less hurt feelings than going to one of the kids’ houses. (You know the tiff—“they always go to Bob’s home. I guess ours isn’t good enough”. Oh ppplllleeeeaaase).

Parking is the challenge we must work out. Leave it messy, expect a cleaning fee. Everybody out by a reasonable time. I live two doors down and have that bravery that comes with being a middle aged woman rather tired of other people’s crap, so I will tap on the door and let them know if something is disruptive.

I’ve scored some yummy leftovers and met some nice people. YYeeeHah!


I completely understand that for people who are staying the night there. They would be considered guests. But someone that comes over for a visit during the daytime would not be considered a guest. I don’t think they have that level of detail covered in the TOS, as far as daytime visitors, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

I would never make the assumption that a big business like AirBnB would ever give the “little guy” like us the benefit of the lack of detail. I always protect myself by assuming they WON’T cover anything they don’t explicitly say they will cover. So I hope you don’t ever have test your position by having a daytime guest destroy your expensive dining table and then have your official guest deny that it was them and AirBnB refuse to cover that cost because the person that destroyed it was not booked through AirBnB .


You don’t think the burden of proof would be on the registered guest? I would assume the responsibility would be on them. If they are bringing visitors in, they are assuming responsibility for them. There’s no way that Air is going to deny a claim saying that the guest that they have on file is not responsible because some other unnamed person, NOT registered with Air or on the reservation, came over and damaged something. Otherwise, every guest could use that excuse if they left damage.

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People have been renting STR long before Airbnb. The host guarantee can be a close to impossible to collect on. IMO this should not be driving decisions of hosts.


Hi @Brandt, it isn’t driving decision, it is one of the considerations. For me it is mostly going to be about how I feel about the guests during conversation. If I feel like they’re sincere and will respect The rules, having daytime visitors, even family or friends for dinner, within reason of what the house can handle, it’s probably going to be fine. “The insurance doesn’t allow it” is just a good way to get out of it when you’re getting a hinky feeling about a guest but you want to remain polite. I posted about it here just to get a feeling from more experienced hosts who may have already dealt with this. Since I just started in May I haven’t been through the holiday season yet. We’re actually getting more bookings than we expected. I’m just trying to be prepared.