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I’m curious of your opinion of what’s acceptable as a host in terms of having friends over when a guest is staying with me. As background, I’m 32 and live in Chicago with a great patio space. Outside of the summer I rarely have friends over when guests are booked but last week my cousin and his wife came over for dinner to meet my girlfriend. I informed my guest they were coming over for about 2 hours and he didn’t seem to mind. My review wasn’t bad but his wife (who wasn’t staying with me) made a few comments about how it’s unacceptable to have anyone over during a guest’s stay after he checked out. Is this acceptable?
Also in the summer I do host BBQs for a few people up to 30 for my 2 bigger parties of the year. When I have the larger ones, I inform my guests once they book and give them a chance to cancel. My demographic of guests is typically 20-40 year old and they have enjoyed my parties, free food and beer as partial compensation. Do you think this is fine? And also when I just have a few friends over for a BBQ and we are staying on the patio space without informing the guests?
My wife and I (ages 63 and 68) both agree “paying guests” have priority in any home. That means, the host and his/her friends should keep their gatherings small, quiet and non-intrusive.
We would never host a large, private dinner party in our house’s upstairs living area, while our “paying guests” are downstairs in our two-bedroom rental unit.
"Also in the summer I do host BBQs for a few people up to 30 for my 2 bigger parties of the year. When I have the larger ones, I inform my guests once they book and give them a chance to cancel." — My wife and I found this extremely rude for booking guests, who might have taken much effort to research and choose your home rental. Then, you surprise them with a notice of your huge barbecue party during their stay.
If we were planning a large gathering of friends, I would block-out that date on our Airbnb reservations calendar and not risk a bad guest-review later.
I have read many Airbnb Forum postings of hosts calling the police to break-up loud and out-of-control parties by their “paying guests.” But, it would be different if the guest summoned the police on the partying host.
I agree that big BBQ parties are a bit much. Many guests just want to relax and be quiet and a noisy party in the next room would be a bit much.
On the other hand I think that if the host wants to have a dinner party for a table full of guests, and it’s after the guests “kitchen privilege time” if any, then that’s alright as long as it doesn’t get noisy – see above.
When I started hosting guests had access to my part of the house and I sometimes had friends over including a super bowl party one year. My access to my home came first, guests came second. I had no problems with this but I only did it for 1.5 years, now guests are separated. If I’m having friends over I mention it to guests but I make sure they have their reserved parking spot in the driveway clear and that it’s quiet after 10 pm (unless my Airbnb guests are away from the house.)
We’re trying to figure our our approach to this, as well. I plan to block off the dates for our detached apartment any time I’m having a party we plan well in advance (those tend to be the bigger ones). But when we have a couple of families for dinner or randomly have some neighbors over, I don’t think it is unreasonable for the guests to see/hear us using the backyard. My listing notes that I have a dog and a 2nd grade boy, so they should expect some noise. Of course, I would never have personal guests outside late at night if I have a paying guest in the apartment. We’re actually having a few people over on Saturday at the same time there is a paying guest…we’ll see how it goes.
Even if some hosts think that their Airbnb business is just a side gig, it is a business. You’re taking money from people to provide a service. Unless a host is offering a real bargain-basement cheapo doss place then I think (as do most guests) that they are paying for an element of peace and quiet.
When you’re running a STR, then it has to fit around your life, that’s for sure, but there is also some give and take. To provide the best service to your customers, it’s only good sense to minimise the noise and activity on the property.
Just to be clear in my examples people are only over til 10pm at the latest so it would never be affecting their sleep and no one is in my home other than to use the bathroom. Typically the large parties are from 5-10pm and then we head out to a bar or home. The other cases would be 2-6 people for dinner or a board game. With the patio space, you wouldn’t even know we were at the property with a few people over.
This may sound bad but I’m a superhost with over 100 reviews so if I give proper notice about a large BBQ then I feel that’s acceptable. Also I try to host these events when I have a person or couple staying around my age. I’m typically booked 2-4 weeks out in the summer so the last minute bookings don’t happen too often. Blocking a prime Saturday would be a disruption as I typically get 3-5 day stays over the weekend and would lose the business. And in my history guests tend to enjoy it. I’ve had some more memorable guests during those times in positive ways. It’s also pretty rare for guests to be in my home and not exploring Chicago in the early evening. And it’s also rare that guests use the kitchen other than storing leftovers.
It sounds like the majority of hosts agree, give priority to your patrons. I agree. However I don’t know if this is a shared space, separate guest suite, nor the price point/description of your space. There are also a lot of other unknown details such as noise level, music volume, if you were playing cards or a game of charades, etc.
If your listing is a shared space, then perhaps you should not have scheduled it when you were hosting. Guests may want to use the shared space or just have a restful, quiet evening after their travels.
If it is a separate Guest Suite, then 4 adults eating dinner for 2 hours seems fully reasonable to me. Again I don’t know how loud you may have been, but in multi-family dwellings you will hear neighbors. However, the party I would definitely say that is unacceptable when hosting.
I have a fully separate English Basement Guest Suite. I block off my calendar for parties and have quiet hours (11p-6am) for the entire house.
It is a 1100 sq ft simplex in a 15 unit condo association. It’s an open layout with the bedrooms in the back away from the kitchen and patio. It’s more likely you’d hear the neighbor above mine’s squeaky floor than you would hear anyone outside.
I do think where you’re located and the type of guests you attract should figure into how social you make your house.
We’re in a big wine and microbrew town. I’d guess 80+% of my guests are at least mildly intoxicated on any given weekend evening. The town feels abuzz with parties and social things. We fit into that atmosphere when we have an occasional dinner party or few friends by for a drink. (Anything bigger we save for the off season or block the calendar)
If your listing caters to doctoral students near a university and they describe your house as “library-quiet”, a party or get-together might feel more jarring.
Perhaps if you do this often, you could consider duplicating your listing as your “EVENT DAY!” calendar? Open it to only the dates you’re having parties and price it less with up front warnings about “This is my regular awesome listing, but on a day there will be more noise and activity with friends visiting”.
Why block it when obviously most of his guests have enjoyed it? One caveat though instead of making the guest cancel if they don’t want to deal with it would be to postpone the 30+ or relocate. Options.
It sounds as though you’d already made your mind up when you first started this thread. I know that it’s probably a disappointment but most experienced hosts here disagree with you. I know it would have been nice for you to have your opinion validated but hosts here have simply been giving their opinion - as you asked. So just carry on with what you’re doing if it suits your hosting style.
I have quiet dinner parties downstairs when I have guests upstairs, but when the rooms above the kitchen and living room are occupied we usually end things when my quiet time starts at 10pm. No problems so far. I’m not going to give up my social life just because I’m renting rooms, and feeding people is how I like to entertain.
Like every other stereotype, unsuitable for individuals. I’m 61 and if I got up early and I’m not doing anything else, yes, I’m frequently in bed by 9 pm. That was the same when I was 31. Now if I’m out vacationing I can be up later than many people half my age.
As for the idea that if someone rents a room in your home you have to turn over your entire home to them for the duration of their stay is discouraging. Sure have quiet hours but avoid entertaining while you do Airbnb? No.