House Rules vs House Manual

So in many of the discussion going on there is usually the quote “it is in my House Rules” and they didn’t comply. So my question is…do you just list it under the House Rules section, putting in your House Manual or both? And how many House Rules do you have other than the ones already listed such as No smoking, No pets etc? I also see quite a few people put in age restrictions? Do you put that under the House Rules also?

I no longer have additional rules. I don’t have a “house manual” but on my guest info sheet in the room I say things like “please turn off lights and AC when you leave.”


We put the rules in both the listing House Rules Section, and in the physical House Manual which we go over with new arrivals.

You can’t have age restrictions in house rules or elsewhere – that’s discrimination.

House Rules
Check-in 4-6 PM
Check-out 11AM sharp
No smoking or vaping on the property
No parties or gatherings
No visitors with prior permission
Swim at your own risk
We Recycle – use the blue bin for those items
Hot Tub is Off Limits
At Check-out place your trash in the green bin by the pool cage entrance

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I’m the same. The more rules you have, in my opinion, the more you’re going to get stressed when guests break those rules. Sure, I have a couple on the listing (no smoking in the apartment, no parties etc.) but they are just standard - nothing specific about taking the trash out or turning lights out or whatever.

In the manual, which probably very few guests read, I reiterate them but in a much more ‘guest-centric’ way - nicer.

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Thank you, I am in the same thought of less is actually more. I just have read so many that have this rule and that rule etc. that I thought I was on the wrong path. We only have a couple of strict rules No Pets, No Smoking. We have one kid specific home and one adult only home (private rooms) so we are pretty flexible other than no parties or events.

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I added rules after reading the forum. It supposedly helps to get Airbnb on your side if you have a problem. But then after seeing so many great Airbnbs with no additional rules and having no problems myself I decided to take them off. Some people need long lists of rules and they should have them if they believe it works for them, but don’t think you are doing anything wrong. We are all different…for now. :wink:

I added a few specifically because of previous guest behavior with larger groups (5-10 people).

No food or drinks (except water) in the bedrooms. The carpet is new, the bedding is new, the furniture is new, and the potential for damage or expensive/time-consuming cleaning is just too high.

At checkout, dishes must be either washed and put away, drying on the rack, or in the dishwasher with it running. We had guests that left with every single dish and most of the pots and pans in the house dirty and it just took too much time to clean them all.

No shoes on the furniture – because footprints and scuffs on the furniture can be difficult/expensive to clean/repair.

Don’t move the furniture – because it invariably scuffs the floors and walls.

We ask guests to be quiet from 10pm to 6am because it’s a city ordinance and we want to always be on good terms with the neighbors and homeowners’ association.

For the hosts without extra rules, I’m curious if your spaces are smaller because I just don’t think my rules would be an issue with only 1-2 bedrooms and groups of 4 or less guests.

Of course, the real question is do my additional rules work? So far, I think yes for washing the dishes, but it’s hard to say about anything else. I’m pretty sure the only group that obviously broke the rules knew it and didn’t care.

We have a small 2 bdrm/1 bathroom and a 5 bdrm/4 bathroom duplex that we rent out as separate private rooms. I have no issues really with the 2 bdrm cottage, on the other hand garbage and dishes seem to be an issue occasionally in the private room home because no one wants to take responsibility to take out the garbage which is no big issue for me to grab it on my daily visits. Once in a while someone won’t do their dishes or for some reason think we are there to do them but usually it is just a cup or plate nothing that doesn’t take more than 30 seconds to take care. I would rather do them myself if they are not going to do a good job of it, as in one cause were they just rinsed and put them in the cupboard causing me to rewash everything.

Just a thought (completely off topic but it might be helpful to new hosts). Our apartments sleep a maximum of two people each. So each is equipped with four forks, four knives, four plates etc. etc. etc.
Pans are kept to a minimum and we don’t supply any casserole dishes or things for people to bake cakes or whatever.

That said, during the house tour if I get the impression that guests are culinary-minded then I tell them that they can ask me if they need to borrow a colander or a garlic press or whatever. Very very few have ever done so. (We have also had guests buy paper plates, cutlery and those red disposable drinking glasses - their choice!)

By limiting what’s available we limit the amount of washing up we have to do, even if they use everything in the place.

@KKC said in another topic that if a poor guest-behaviour happens often, then it’s a good idea for the host to change something to avoid that problem - and this was our solution to the dishes thing.

Yes, I just have an ensuite room with private entrance a total of about 260 sq ft. Also I’m right here. It’s a guest room separate from my house but connected to it. If I don’t have the chutzpah to enforce my boundaries I shouldn’t be hosting.

I also use Airbnb as a guest and it seems that there are many hosts with large 5 star places and no rules list. And I realized I found the places with long rules lists to be off putting. Long rules lists say something about the hosts and it’s not really a positive. After I realized this in conjunction with the posts I read here I realized a long rules list wasn’t right for my listing.

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I list all my house rules in both the House Manual and House Rules section - along with associated penalty fees for breaking said rules - and then I remind guests of the rules in the welcome message after check in.

@jaquo That’s something to think about, but then I guess I would need to remove the extras when there are less guests than the max. I currently have a max of 8 guests, but I originally started with a max of 10, so I have 12 of everything (coffee cups, saucers, dinner plates, dessert plates, cereal bowls, pasta bowls, and silverware) except drinking glasses where there are 24 because I know that people drink a lot of liquids in Phoenix. I’ve had groups of 5 and 6 check out with all of glasses, all of the dinner plates, all of the forks, knives, and spoons, plus a few bowls in the dishwasher. I’m not sure if they were being frugal or lazy, but either way, all I had to do was put them back in the cupboards since they left with the dishwasher running.

It could certainly make a difference but I guess it also depends what sort of location you’re in. Because I’m in a vacation destination, people really don’t want to cook and there are loads of local restaurants.

I have house rules and a long house manual. My house is different in that I’m a remote host of a very large house with a private yard, pool, hot tub, washer/ dryer, lots of kitchen stuff, etc. I have information on how to use various things in the house. The rules are shorter and I try to keep some of that stuff more to a minimum.