House Rules—how to communicate them?

For those who have House Rules, I’m curious how you get them to your guests’ attention.

  1. Do you copy and paste them into your confirmation message through the Airbnb platform?

  2. Or link to them somehow in your confirmation message?

  3. Or list them in your House Manual—and then do you send that somehow to incoming guests?

  4. Or have them printed—in a book or hanging on a wall—for guests to see at your location?

  5. Or something else?

Merry Christmas to you.

The saved messages has house rules as a default. I paste that in my first message. Just last night I got a booking with the message, we will be arriving at 12… Uhm, no. My house rules states the check in time and that early check in, IF available for a $30 fee.

What i do is start the message, dear guest thank you for booking blah blah blah, just in case you missed this information: Then I choose the save message for house rules. It works well for me because fully half of my guests have no idea they are expected to clean up.


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And do the rules that get incorporated include all your House Rules from your listing?




We have them printed in our House Manual – The Big Book Of The Cabana. We don’t have many and they aren’t. complex. Biggest three are written plainly in the first “page” of our listing description: NO PETS. NO CHILDREN. NO SMOKING ON THE PROPERTY

Since we personally check guests in and show them to the Cabana, we also show them the book and highlight the rules: no outside visitors, no smoking, no parties, no delivery food (had to add that after a set of guests had pizza delivered), where to put trash when they leave, swim at your own risk, etc.

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@KenH, why no delivery food?


What a bummer, I live in the sticks and when I go somewhere where you can actually get food delivered to the door I like to take advantage of that! What is the issue for you, is the cabana out back so the pizza guy waking you up or?


Why no delivery??? We don’t care to be interrupted for other people’s munchies.

Guests did not tell us, and did not come out from the back of the house to meet the pizza-dude. I glance out and see the cabana lights are off sometime after 9. 9:45 PM, my partner is in bed asleep (she still works), and there’s a knock on the door in a neighborhood where that sort of thing just does not happen. I open the door, and there’s pizza-dude. I told him that he must have the wrong house. He shows me the ticket. Then it dawns on me – guests ordered. Tell pizza dude to wait then I go out back to the cabana and knock. Guest finally stumbles out and goes around the house to the front for his pizza…

I don’t do anything. They are presented to them when they book. I don’t have issues with most guests and have actually reduced the number of rules I have listed over time. One thing I added was that there was limit of 2 people and anyone showing up with 3 will be canceled on the spot. But I don’t need to bring it to anyone’s attention. If they don’t read it and bring 3 I’ll deal with it on a case by case basis.

I did not do anything either until I dropped my cleaning fee and created the expectation for the guests to clean, Fully half of my guests had no idea they were expected to clean up after themselves. So far over the last 10-12 reservations I have sent the house rules and I am getting 100% compliance. A few ask questions before they book, they are volunteering their ID as opposed to having to be asked.


Always include the House Rules on the description of your listing or “House Rules” that way, if you have complains, Airbnb can back you up and it would be the guest’s fault they are not reading

I do #1, #4 in op list, including verbal reminder about smoking on arrival/ greet, resulting in 100% compliance, starting with welcome note before confirming; partially added here:

"Before confirming your stay, please take the time to read all of the listing, including rules and cancellation policy. No smoking, vaping or parties are ever allowed.
Send us a reply and we will be confirming your stay after that:) Please include your traveling companions names.
Our location is off the beaten path, and feels remote. We are in a pristine natural wildlife habitat and there are wild animals. Please locate blah blah on a map and make sure it will work for you. You must have your own car or a rental. Sorry, but Ubering is not an option for this vacation rental. "

Needless to say, no deliveries, sorry, they do not get to or want to come thru the gate, even for us:)

The 8 most important house rules are printed out with the heading “Important Stuff to Know” and posted on the refrigerator door (whole-house rental).
I think konacoconutz gave me this advice.


So I just had a booking, sent the rules as described above and he promptly cancelled.

So it works for me, I avoided a bad match the way I see it.



I just had this happen. I don’t send the rules but I will, sometimes, cue them to review the rules and the location “to make sure it’s a good fit”.

She booked 4 days prior to arrival, within the 5-days of the moderate cancellation. After I cued her to review the rules and location, she then told me “Oh, by the way, we’re bringing our Yorkie with us, hope that’s okay” (because she then read the rules). However, I have that pets require pre-approval prior to booking in the house rules. We have insurance and a city ordinance that limits how many pets can be on the property at one time but we have 3 listings. We don’t tend to hit the limit but I do have to be compliant with it. Unfortunately we already have pets in the other units for those dates. I told her she couldn’t bring her dog so she cancelled, almost 24 hours later.

So now, of course, she wants a refund. I told her I would refund if it re-booked but I doubt it will at this point (it’s for tonight and tomorrow night, with a 2-day min). The day she had it blocked off with her booking was the best chance of booking it.

CS keeps “checking in” with me to see if I’ve gotten a booking for it yet (which seems daft because surely they can look and see for themselves?). This is my first go-around with this situation but I am hopefully doing it alright from all I have learned here on the forum.

I feel a little hinky about it but they were welcome to come without the dog and they only live 2-hours away so it’s not like they’re traveling across the country or something. She could have read the rules when she booked as she was supposed to or she could have cancelled sooner so that I could book those dates otherwise. I’m sticking with it and not refunding (unless it books). Does this seem reasonable?

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Either that or it’s a message to those hosts who only use Airbnb and make no marketing efforts of their own or use any other services.

I’m not sure I understand. Why would Airbnb CS call about that? I’m assuming they told the guest that they would check with me to see if it re-booked so that she can get some further refund.

Personally, I am already too busy and too tired. I surely don’t need more work by having to do marketing efforts. I’m not much for marketing or sales, that’s why I like Airbnb. They do it for me for a very small fee :wink:

And actually we’ve been invited to dinner tonight and I’d prefer to just block off the dates and not have to flip the apartment today. It would be a good chance to wash my hair instead, it’s been awhile :flushed: However, I think if I block off the day, it will look like it booked and then I’ll have to deal with the guest that cancelled. And, ethically, I know I can’t block off the day since I said I would try to have it booked. The cancellation fee is not without its own work, though technically this whole re-booking thing seems like a big game that I shouldn’t really have to play. Path of least resistance!

Edit to add: I just thought of something! What if I re-booked but not on Airbnb? That could be tricky, I guess.

That’s why I do too.

But I have to keep two apartments at 100% occupancy (or near enough) in an area that is traditionally very seasonal. It’s harder to get clients when there are hurricanes and tropical storms messing up our weather.

That means that I can’t rely on Airbnb (or any other single service) and I use other methods as well.

I agree that the Airbnb fee is excellent, especially with the services they provide. I’m not an in-this-for-the-moment host though. I’ve been doing this a long time and will continue to do so. If Airbnb goes under or if I can’t use them for whatever reason, I know that I have control of my own business.

I know that’s just me though.

It’s probably me not understanding (it wouldn’t be the first time). I thought you meant that Airbnb reps were calling you to see if you had anyone booked in for certain dates. They could see if someone had booked via Airbnb, or if dates were blocked, but if you had a stay pending (from another source) they wouldn’t know that.

I understand, it’s different. I don’t think I would have ever gotten into this if it wasn’t for how easy Airbnb makes it. I really don’t have the skill set to market and call and create relationships like you do. I couldn’t be a pro like you are, I don’t think I’m cut out for it. I’m a hell of a cleaner, designer and decorator and my hospitality is top-notch but couldn’t get the guests and run the business without airbnb. I mean, I guess I could with enough diligence, but I know I don’t really have the skill sets or the aptitude for it. I do admire you for your skills!!

Maybe. But it’s only because it’s so extremely daft, it’s not you, it’s just that stupid of a game.

Yes of course and that is my point. However, “Jillian” continues to “check-in” with me to see if I have gotten a booking. I really want to say, “surely, you can see that I haven’t ?” but it’s like a game that must be played so that they don’t hassle me to refund this guest. I really don’t think I should even be obligated to re-book the dates but it seems the easiest course as I don’t want to refund this guest. They waited almost 24 hours to cancel. It seemed they thought they could bully me into breaking my own rules and going against terms of insurance and city law. It irked me, that’s where they went wrong :wink: