How Are Rules Presented to Guests before They Book?

It’s been about 18 months since I was last a guest. I don’t remember what the process was then for a guest to acknowledge rules. Since Airbnb often changes things, I don’t know if that process has stayed the same.

Questions: How are rules presented to guests before they reserve? Do they have to acknowledge the rules online before they book? Does Airbnb make the rules obvious to guests—as in displaying them on the screen with an “I acknowledge that I have read these rules” checkbox, or something like that? Is it the same on a computer and on the app?

A wild idea: I know there is technology that can track a person’s eye movement over the contents of a screen. Wouldn’t it be a rush if Airbnb would require enough eye movement on the rules to at least sort of ensure a guest has read them? A nice dream, I’m sure. I don’t see Airbnb doing that.

Another wild idea: I’d like Airbnb to create a mockup for hosts of exactly what guests see when they book—screen by screen, message/email by message/email. Some guests contact me to say “Where will I find” this or that during the process. And I can’t really tell them.

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@RebeccaF You can go through the booking process all the way up to “confirm and pay” to see what the guest sees. This is what I get when I go through the steps to book a (random) place:


As a guest, I have to agree to the House Rules on Page 1 and again on Page 3 when confirming and paying.


Thanks ever so much! It didn’t occur to me to do what you did!

One more question: At what point—and how—does the guest get confirmation of the booking and receive the host’s address?

@RebeccaF It has been about a year since I have booked (not coincidentally also about a year since I started hosting = no time ,) but I remember I got the address with the confirmation email before. @KKC traveled this summer - I bet she knows for sure!

I’ll also note that it would not let me continue from page 2 to page 3 without writing the host “a little about yourself and why you’re coming”. So, guests who just say “I’ll be there at 2:00” or “thanks” are being as obtuse as suspected.

Good to know. Thanks again.

Is all this the same with IB and with regular booking, do you think? (We’re set for IB.)

I think I got the address right away but since I booked well in advance I didn’t even really look for it until close to the trip. One thing I do know is that is could be more obvious. I’ve had mulitple people ask me for the address after they book. I just reply with the address I don’t bother telling them where they can find it, etc.

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Thanks, @KKC. I respond with our address, too, when confirmed guests ask where the address is. But each time I do that, I wonder if they’ll miss something else they need if they don’t find the confirmation email. ’Tis a puzzlement.

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It depends what settings you have chosen for your listing @RebeccaF

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@KKC Yes, me too. It has seemed odd that they don’t have it but I just send it to them. I got 4-Stars on “check-in” from a guest and she noted “difficult to find address in reservation papers”.

This was interesting to me. I wanted to see what it looked like for the process of a Request as opposed to an Instant Book. It used to be that on the listing page, it would say “Book Now” or “Request to Book” and I’ve noticed that it always says, “Reserve” recently.

I searched different areas and cities and it appeared that no one was going to make me request because it always said “Reserve Now”. I thought, oh, what a success, IB is everywhere! (though I do have all of the things hosts would check-off for IB qualifications, but still…)

But, then I toggled the IB button at the top of the search page and looked for a listing that disappeared when I put it on. When I went to that listing, it let me go through all 3 of the pages before it told me that I would have to Request to Book - not until I thought I would be completing my booking!

This seems like dirty pool to me and I would not like it as a guest at all. As much as they have pushed hosts to use IB, they seem to just be working around it at this point. My IB requirements are minimal (welcome questions and verified ID only) but I do have to coach a lot of newbies through the ID process, so I can’t imagine how many guests might just bail at the last page. I think I might.


I’ve started including the address and my phone number in my check in message that I send on the day of the reservation. The message thread is just the easiest place to access all info for a simple small place like mine. Other info like how to operate the TV or AC is in the room and all that doesn’t need to be online.


Yeah, I started including the address in my welcome message after that review. It was clearly not my fault (and that particular guest received a 2-stars on communication from me) but was enlightening all the same. I don’t include my phone number because I don’t want to encourage off-platform communications. But I probably would if I were in your area, there’s a lot of remote area around you.

Isn’t your phone number on your account? I started including it because the app lags so badly at times. So if someone is standing on my porch having trouble with the lock I don’t want them waiting the 15-1.5 hours it takes for the message to arrive via app.

Yes but I feel like by providing it in the welcome/check-in instructions message I’m implying that it’s okay to use it or that I’d like them to use it.

I’ve not noticed that lag on the app but have heard you mention it before. I really think it could be worse in your location (I’ve spent a lot of time in that area). I’m in the middle of a bunch of cities, maybe that makes a difference? I don’t know. Maybe I’m living dangerously but I’ve just not had that lag happen. Besides, 99% of the time I am home at their arrival so are either meeting them or could run downstairs if there’s an issue. My locks are pretty simple and no one has had trouble yet (170+) but, again, perhaps I am wrong and will learn the hard way ,) I just really don’t want people using my phone number if possible.

Edit: for background: I think I have told guests to text me if needed, on the rare occasion that I am out of the house when they arrive. Phone calls are a little bit anxiety-ridden for me because I have a hearing deficit. Not enough of a deficit for people to understand but just enough for them to think I’m rude or stupid. I generally avoid phone conversations, if possible.

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I have also started to included it, but I send my codes and this information 3 days before reservation unless it’s for a booking just a day or so away.

Also one of my pet peeves is this 48 hour free cancellation policy. I don’t think our addresses should be given by AirBnB until this period is over. I have had people cancel then Google the address and call us to book immediately after they cancel. Repeat guests I don’t mind booking off AirBnB or HA/VRBO, but cold calls bother me though I know a lot of hosts do take the bookings.

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And danger is relative. One of the worst recently was a message from a guest saying “I’m your Airbnb guest for tonight…blah de blah” It was a same day booking that was made about two hours before check in. I had NO IDEA I had a booking. No notification had come through on the app. Luckily the room was ready (as it is 99% of the time) and I was able to get home before they arrived. I’ve now got push notifications on my email on the phone and that’s more reliable. But with hundreds of notifications a day from text, app, when my item was shipped and delivered and who paid via Venmo and on and on, it gets to be annoying.

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There’s a setting for this!
Listing Details -> Location -> Visibillity for Booked Guests


@KKC Ok. You’ve inspired me (once again). I’m going to include my phone number with the check-in instructions but use some creative wording to encourage a text more than a phone call and only if needed with preference of the messenger system stated.

I have it checked and have had 3 guests tell me they still get the address when they booked in their confirmation, so I don’t believe it works right. I have complained to AirBnB about it, but get no results.

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