Help editing War & Peace-length house rules?

Oh, wise hosts - help me! My house rules are a lot longer than others and I can’t tell if they’re helpful (some guests say they like they know where they stand) or if they’ve edged into off-putting (BAN THE BOTTLE!).

I’m also trying to cover myself because I don’t entirely trust Airbnb to act in my best interest when guests play stupid human tricks that weren’t explicitly called out in my rules.

Could you look over my house rules and let me know your impression? Anything that’s off-putting? Anything that Airbnb wouldn’t allow me to enforce?

Of course, each time I take something out, inevitably the next guest violates the newly removed rule. Like I took out the light food prep rule; guests engineered some crazy pasta pesto dinner with nothing but a kettle and a large snack bowl. If we’d been housebound with a snowstorm I would’ve been impressed by their resourcefulness. Since it was summer and we’re within a few blocks of a dynamite foodie town it was just super annoying to scrub pesto off the walls and toilet (they must’ve tried clean-up by dumping the remains in there - a two-rule breaking whammy!):roll_eyes::laughing:

Thanks in advance for your input!

No help here haha! I have an entire short term rental agreement that I got from a legal site plus I incorporated my local STR regulation language, and I even included check out requiremnts down to thermostat reset temperature, with a clause that says the guest agrees to it all when they book. Hasn’t put anyone off that I can tell.


I would cut out anything in the section that is not a rule. It takes too long to read. Move items you think are important to other sections. You can state somewhere there is one parking space, no reason to clog up the rule section with this info.

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I would suggest you aim for 6-10 focussing on;

  1. Noise and any quiet time requirements
  2. No extra guests on the property that haven’t booked and paid
  3. How you want them to leave your property
  4. Anything particular to your property
  5. Anything around waste/recycling

As much as I enjoyed the tone of your listing, I found the lack of proper case consistency, the number of grammatical and punctuation errors, and language that assume cultural knowledge to be off-putting. How would google translate McGuyvierish into Chinese? Lithuanian? French?

The house rules were not all rules and were far too verbose. Again, imagine reading that on a 4 or 5" screen. People will agree to them without reading if they have to scroll page after page after page.

@Helsi has done a good job of outlining what should be said with succinctness.

Cruel to pets? what are you expecting?Shenanigans?

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I’ve read longer and more tedious rules. If you are getting all the bookings you want I wouldn’t worry about it. The space looks well thought out.


They’re long but honestly I found the tone makes it interesting to read. I don’t think you need to shorten them just for the sake of it.
The only bit I’d remove/reword is the smoking bit ‘plan on paying for the first night of the next guests stay if you smoke indoors’. I think it would be better to outright say ‘smoking indoors is not allowed’.

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I don’t know what "torrenting " is… I suppose I cold Google it but I wouldn’t take the time as a guest to find out. I suppose if I don’t know what it is I probably wouldn’t do it :).

Cute space - love your decor!

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I wasn’t put off by them. Like K9 said - I have read much longer rules.

Can’t really answer what Air would or would not enforce as it seems to sometimes be based on what rep. you get, and that person’s understanding of what is enforceable.

If you’d like to shorten the section, then remove some of the things like when you need to know their arrival time by, if there are any special requests for late/early check in/check out, fragrances, etc. UNLESS you are getting a lot of day before or same day bookings. If your guests book at least several days in advance then I would gather that info later.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have info such as you’d be happy to wash the dishes and refill water bottles, etc. I think that all can be part of a separate welcome email.

After I receive a booking I send an email letting guests know what basics will be provided, the check in time - asking if they will be arriving right at 4 p.m. or later in the evening. Confirm the best number to reach them during their stay. I also let them know I do need an ETA to coordinate work schedules. Another thing I learned was to put the arrival time request as the last piece of info in your welcome email. If you put it in the beginning, guests will forget to reply. If you leave the last sentence as a question then it works for me most of the time.

I would go through and see what needs to stay so Air can enforce it, and then break up the rest of the info into a welcome email, and then maybe another email sent right before they arrive.

All of my guests are greeted upon arrival so they are corresponding with me to keep me posted on their arrival time. Shortly before they arrive I let them know to help themselves to anything in the fridge, kitchen, bathrooms, etc. Location of the hard copies house notes docs and departure checklist that they were sent. And any other final reminders that may apply.

Break the info into chunks.

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Very pretty, clean, crisp and bright!
Unique touch to have the open suitcase on the luggage rack…and of course to have your cat in the dryer!

Under the heading of Interaction with Guests, I didn’t care for the phrase “but dislike making you work around my schedule or visa [sic] -versa.” Maybe it’s the word “dislike” that doesn’t sit well or maybe it’s because I’m not entirely sure what you mean by working around schedules.

If you are not family/kid friendly (you have that option as a strike-through), why are you even specifying 5yrs+. That’s the only one that I can’t see Air enforcing if someone had younger children in their party.

I don’t want (or allow) kids and state in my listing that I am “unable to accommodate infants/children” - never had a push-back on it. I find that people don’t foist their kids on you if they know they’re not welcome.

I think the pesto pasta creation was a one-off and they could have made a similar mess dumping anything in the commode (cereal/milk, cup of noodles, etc.). Just make sure you have a small (lined) container on or near your breakfast bar with a sign specifying its use for food scraps and wet garbage.

Rather than stating there’s no “full” kitchen, state that there is a mini-fridge and microwave available for reheating leftovers but no kitchen facilities (or sink) to prepare meals.

BTW, I love your life mottos!


HA HA! I have to say your thread title cracked me up. ANd, I agree that the tone of your rules is playful and conveys a positive vibe that the type of guests you are probably seeking will be attracted to.

If you are looking to trim though (and I agree you should), here’s my take: you are offering up too much. I’d remove the bits about let me know if you need special accommodations, parking, what kind of wine/chocolate would you like to greet you. Those aren’t so much rules as they are messages to prospective guests saying you love catering to their every whim.

Here’s the problem: you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk. Trust me. Guests will definitely let you know if they have special requests. Then you can always accommodate them or deny on a case-by-case basis. Don’t set them up to expect extras. It just changes their view point coming in and then they are more liable to find reasons to be disappointed. Cynical I know…but, such is the nature of our business.

I’ve tried very hard to keep my rules short. I’ve mulled over things like ‘please don’t slam doors after 10 p.m., keep conversations to a reasonable level, etc.’ But, I have continued to resist. Partly because I like to think of myself as pretty laid back and don’t want to come off like they’re staying at “Grandma’s house.” But, mostly because the kinds of guests who have to be told what amounts to common courtesy are not the kinds of guests i want to host anyway.

Alas…I continue to get the door-slammers and bathroom flooders. For the most part I let it go, but for things that are just downright ridiculous (I had these two gals last week who consistently used their hair-dryers at 1 a.m. … that’s insane) then I ding them in the reviews and explain exactly why.

So…how is that for a ‘War and Peace’ response? LOL!


…I love that word.

Oh my gosh! I love you guys - this is so helpful and I’m taking notes!

I have same day flips all summer and if it smells like smoke, I imagine I’ll need to discount the next guest’s stay. I’ve heard Airbnb generally won’t pay out for smoke, and hoped if it was clearly going to the next customer they might. :wink:


Yes you definitely need to charge something, but 1 nights stay won’t be enough! I think you come across too lenient. I would say ‘expect to pay 1 night of the next guests stay plus a $150 fine for specialist cleaning’ (or however much specialist cleaning is)


It’s high volume wi-fi traffic from people file sharing on the internet, often movies which can be copyright violations. It’s popular among my friends, :nerd_face: but perhaps too small a population to be rule worthy.

And thank you - it was a lot of fun to put together.

Ooo, do tell where you got that.

Allison, what a darling house. The kind I always pictured myself living in in my old age… which is NOW, according to my sons, LOL.

But back to your rules. Yes, I think they are just fine as is, as they convey your personality. ( I am a professional advertising copywriter and we use the conversational writing style, which you have in abundance.)

I’m going to agree with the others… limit the special extras for guests… they will take advantage of that and then even possibly crack you one for not having more or the right kind!

I would leave off the fragrance thing. In all my years of hosting only one person has asked for fragrance free. So don’t borrow trouble.

Don’t be ambiguous about the smoking thing. It might be worth it to some tobacco addict to pay a full night to smoke. :rofl::rofl: Just say absolutely no smoking in the home please.

I do like how you’ve put in some hardline stuff about what happens in the event of misbehavior. But something tells me you don’t get too much of that going on.

Again… your house is a cream puff! I’m jealous!

Where is Traverse City? I looked through the whole thing, including the maps and never did see where it is.


Regarding internet behavior, I just say,

Please keep your use of our house WiFi legal. Neighbors on our own street have been busted, yikes!

I agree. I think I was trying to address the check-in scheduling which doesn’t even belong in this section!

Updated to this:

Guest interaction
Stop by or message if you need anything during your stay - I’m usually home or just a stone’s throw away. Your upstairs suite is private, but you may see/hear the cat and I downstairs or in the yard.

The ages I don’t want staying here are split by Airbnb’s arbitrary age rules.

It’s an old house with a laundry chute (plus a couple other hazards) which seems incompatible with a toddler’s extreme curiosity. “Babes in arms” and older kids do just fine, but 1-4 seems iffy.

Should just let the Airbnb rule stand and only take 12 and over?

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