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House Rules questions

What are the most important house rules you have posted and printed? Please share. I am new to this.

I have hardly anything in the way of house rules myself, because my listing is a private room in my home, so guests can’t get away with much.

But some common ones are:
No parties or events
No unregistered guests or visitors
No pets
No children
No smoking (or smoking in designated outdoor area only)
Quiet hours XX-YY

Of course if you do accept pets and/or children or allow smoking you wouldn’t have those rules, and hosts also have rules that may be unique to their listing, like no parking on the lawn, no outside shoes in the house (if a host has carpeting) , etc.

And house rules often get added to as time goes on, as hosts can’t anticipate everything they may need to make a rule about, assuming that they wouldn’t need to tell guests that, but find they do.

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I have only two - no smoking and no parties.

People tend to act like civilised human beings so don’t need extensive rules in my experience. I’m right on the spot though.

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Do you have this in print as well? Or just on the listing?

I appreciate it!

Not sure what you mean “in print”. But it’s always a good idea to make sure that prospective guests have read and agree to your house rules, which is something you can do through messaging with the guests when they book or request to book.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a reminder house rule sheet in the unit itself.

Some hosts have a huge list of house rules and say it has led to better behaved guests, some hosts have very few rules and feel it’s a turn-off for guests to see a lengthy list of rules.

Personally if I saw a really long list of house rules, I might pass on that listing, not because I wasn’t willing to comply with them, but because it would seem like the host was intent on micromanaging everything about a guest’s stay.
But as a host myself, I would also have in mind that the host probably added to that list over time, after having guests who didn’t display any common sense and had to be warned about doing things that most of us would never consider doing.

Try to make your Airbnb as bulletproof as possible, so you don’t have to have a huge amount of rules. For instance, it’s far better to put a glass top on a wooden table than to make a house rule about using coasters, which many guests won’t pay attention to anyway.

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Why don’t you do a search on Airbnb for comparable places in your area and make a note of their house rules @AndreaMiles

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I have a printed booklet which has all sorts of useful information for guests. I have a section called ‘Florida living’ (or something like that) in which I explain things like taking garbage out promptly (or it smells), not leaving the door open (or mosquitoes fly in), to not be frightened of the iguanas on the dock (some people are), not to leave food out (it encourages ants), to be sure to use sunscreen etc. etc.

It’s written in such a way to be ‘helpful hints’ about local living, rather than ‘rules’. I also explain ‘rules’ during the house tour but without calling them that.

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I only have two special rules aside from the default Airbnb has:

Pets must be disclosed at time of booking.

No unregistered guests. Limit of two overnight guests. Anyone showing up with 3 or more will have their reservation canceled on the spot.

I will say that last rule is in response to someone who booked for two (my limit) but was traveling with three. I guess they brought in sleeping gear from the car and someone slept on the floor. Or 3 in a queen bed. I probably overreacted by making it a rule because that has only happened once and I’m in the camp of “don’t make a new rule for everyone just because of one instance.”

I’m NOT a fan of long rules lists and avoid those kinds of listings if I can. That said I’ve seen good hosts here with lots of rules.

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We provide a detailed Stay Guidebook - lots of stuff about our area - places to go and things to do. But there is nothing about “house rules”.

We communicate with each guest prior to check-in, so that we have full name, address, and age of each registered guest (also helps to avoid “visitors” - but our stay is not sized for larger parties regardless).

The only thing “extra” per se is a small bit on the cover that is informational about the Air rating system - to help avoid guests from mistakenly thinking that “good or 4 stars” is not harmful to ratings.

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Since we do accept children - Children must be supervised at all times.

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I was on the beach in my town one day and a disoriented iguana ran out on the beach and under a tourist’s lounge chair. Other tourists grabbed their phones and cameras and started crowding around taking photos, which of course freaked the iguana out even more and he wouldn’t budge from under the chair. Meanwhile the woman who was sitting in the chair froze and it was obvious that she was totally terrified, as if she thought the iguana would attack her.

I think it’s so weird that people don’t bother to research anything about the endemic animals in a region they are travelling to if it’s quite a different climate or part of the world than their own.

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Yes, a little research goes a long way.

Helsi - this is a great idea. House rules tend to be “customized” to the type of listing it is and the type of guests they tend to attract. We just might win the award for the most house rules on Airbnb, but we started with just two and the rest became necessary due to the nature of our listing, (we have a pool, hot tub) and the repeated behavior of many of our guests. Especially local guests. We would love to have minimal house rules, but that just wasn’t possible for us.

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I think it is very useful to explain WHY you have a certain rule. Studies have been done where saying because causes far less problems: Example: saying ‘because I need to catch my plane as you cut in line at the airport’

Did you “steal” your Florida living from Konacoconutz like I did? I titled mine “important things to know” about living in an open-air house in the Caribbean and posted it on the refrigerator.
10 one-liners in two alternating colors in a pretty font (half house rules and half helpful advice), the WiFi info, and a couple of important phone numbers fit nicely on a 8-1/2 by 11-inch piece of paper.

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I was sitting on the beach in Bonaire, dozing in the morning sun with my eyes closed, when an iguana jumped up on my lap looking for food. You can bet I jumped three feet in the air!

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I can’t remember. :slight_smile:

Ours is an attractive booklet with several photographs of the local area. I encourage guests to take it home as a memento. (Mainly because it has my phone number, email address and website in it :wink: )

I’m not sure why you’re replying to me as I said above that I’ve only got two rules. I don’t quite understand?

Hello Jefferson,

I’m interested in learning more about your “Air-rating” system. I have been having trouble with guests stating everything was great and leaving 5 stars in all categories except over-all category that they leave 4 stars. How have you been able to guide your guests?

Laura

Sorry, meant to post on the entire thread about this.

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I have people go on and on in my reviews. I think it is due to the amenities I offer, which is silly in a way because they are so simple. But, everyone mentions them in reviews. Those amenities are: individual makeup wipes and q-tips in small containers on bath counters, individually wrapped toothbrushes and small toothpastes (handfuls) in drawers in bathrooms, extra tampons under bath sinks, extra towels under bath sinks. Basket of local potato chips (small bags) so people have something to eat right away if hungry. I think these things make people feel cared for!

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