Is this allowed and is it rude?

I’m new to hosting since May. Whole condo rental in a nice quiet complex with both vacation rentals and full time residences, so there are POA rules about max occupancy to keep traffic low in shared areas like the pool. I have in my house rules “max occupancy 4, strictly enforced” and also that I have a Ring Doorbell at the front door. I also repeat Max Occupancy rule in all caps on the check in info I send a few days prior to arrival. Today is the 2nd time this month people have made their reservation for 4 but have shown up with extra guests. The last time this happened I reminded the guest about the max occ house rule and got no response so I contacted Airbnb, who had them remove the 4 extra guests (it was a group in town for a softball tournament. I assume the extra family got a hotel room or something). Anyway, this resulted in hard feelings and ugly gestures made to the camera, and no review (I was relieved that she didn’t leave me a bad one in retaliation). So today there are 2 adults and 4 teenagers, and I feel like I have to let it slide and hope for the best as I am new and can’t afford bad reviews. The only thing I can think to do going forward is to turn off instant booking and respond to requests to book with a message stating that “you will not be permitted to stay with extra guests and I will know because I have a ring doorbell, which is a camera”. Will this work? And is it rude?
I’m disgusted with people lying and sneaking in extra guests. Besides the POA rule, I don’t want people sleeping on my sofas. Also, I clean it myself and don’t want to clean up after a large group. I just don’t know how to make it anymore clear other than sending a very blunt message before approving requests. Can I do that?


Stop this line of thinking and enforce your rules.


I completely agree. That’s what I did a few weeks ago, but I feel like I dodged a bullet when she didn’t leave a review. Someday when I 50+ reviews a bad one will be easier to overcome and worth the risk.
Also, it’s not like enforcing my rules benefits me at all. There’s no record of that. She’s not going to go tell all of her Airbnb friends and spread it around the globe, “hey, don’t mess with that lady. She doesn’t put up with extra guests”. The only thing that can happen is an angry guest and a bad review. I’m trying to figure out how to keep it from happening again.

except not strictly enforced apparently because you said:

Leave instant book on. After they book send a message making it clear there is limit of 4. If they don’t respond or you aren’t comfortably assured they will honor it, use one of your penalty free cancellations. Establishing boundaries doesn’t have to be rude. Simply state that there is a limit of 4 and anyone violating that will have their reservation canceled without refund. Put it in your house rules and Airbnb will help you enforce it.

Don’t be held hostage to the bad review. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will either.


Have you called AirBNB CS to have the booking cancelled?

  1. You have proof that they are breaking your house rules.
  2. This has direct impact on your standing with your Condo Association POA

EDIT: I’d also add, that by doing this, you will have documentation for your POA that you are doing what you can to address the situation; I’d guess that it’s only a matter of time when other Condo residents start filing complaints.


I can say “without a refund” and Airbnb will enforce that?

You already have it written. Writing it differently, more forcefully in tone, and in more places is only going to turn off the vast major % of people who intend to abide by your rules in the first place.

And it’s not going to stop the turds who will not abide by the rules. Only YOU can do that.

If you are so worried, might I suggest renting to friends and family at a sweetheart rate for the next few guests in exchange for their honest reviews?


I realise that you’re new, but why are you tolerating this behaviour? Why say something is strictly enforced when you’re not telling the truth?

Is your rental too cheap? Often when guests are sneaking people in it’s because they’re cheapskates looking for a bargain. Be sure that you’re charging enough.


My rent is the same as the other rentals in our complex, and not cheap.

Forget I asked. I was looking for advice, not criticism. If it was a group of frat boys it would be different, but I am not interested in kicking out this family who has looked forward to their trip and travelled a long way.
I was wondering if anyone had an idea about how to make the rule and the fact that there’s a camera more clear. Apparently not. Thanks anyway though!

It isn’t criticism. It’s honest feedback.

You let the guest walk all over you, you are training them this is acceptable behavior on platform. That impacts their behavior with the next host.

I offered constructive alternatives for you. You seem pretty conflict averse tbqh. Best of luck.


Rather than just making it clear on your end, I would suggest that you also:

  1. Ask the guest to confirm that they have read and will comply with all house rules. … Do this upon booking. If they do not reply with a confirmation, then cancel the booking.

  2. Prior to arrival you can reiterate that the maximum quantity of guests = 4 persons. This includes

  • those staying in the condo,

  • children,

  • any guests (not staying in the condo) but visiting onsite.

Total persons can not be greater than 4. If # of guests is exceeded, AirBNB will be notified and the booking will be cancelled.

If you feel you are being rude, add that the condo association has strict rules that you need to adhere to.

Off Topic: You state you are “new to hosting”, yet you give the impression that you are closed to any additional suggestions. When you post here for insight, you are fortunate to have many experts (hosts with years of experience) provide just that. It’s not that you have to agree with everything said, nor implement any, but I suggest you be open minded and grateful. If not, then many will be reluctant to comment in the future, if when you reach out for more assistance.

Good luck with whichever strategy you implement.


Or you know it might benefit future hosts if you put it in the review and make sure it says “Do not recommend” in the body of the review. If you haven’t brought it up then they will think they have gotten away with it and so will probably leave you a good review. Win win.


Thank you. This is the advice I was looking for.

I am not ungrateful, but I do respect myself and am the opposite of conflict averse. I am new to hosting and realize that perhaps I haven’t made myself clear enough about my rules, and that some guests maybe don’t read/take to heart the house rules as they should, so I was asking for advice on how to remedy that with future guests, because I do realize that you all are far more experienced than I. I’ve been doing this since May. It’s possible that I don’t know everything just yet, and maybe could have made myself more clear. It seems to me that a lot of guests are brand new to Airbnb—they signed up to book my condo, and maybe aren’t as aware of all the rules as they should be. I just want to make sure I’ve been perfectly clear on my end before I go kicking people out—not because I let people walk all over me, but because I have a conscience.

Thank you. This is what I plan to do with the current guests. I also did the same in the last guest’s review that tried to sneak in 4 extra people.

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To the extent that they enforce anything, yes. Having a limited number of guests allowed is standard procedure so they should back you up. Also making it clear this is a POA rule so when the CS agent tries to convince you to let them stay, you say “no way.”

Part of any rule is deterrent effect. Obviously you don’t want to make threats you can’t carry out but this is in line with standard procedures.


Have them sign an agreement ( contract ) with all your parameters and the painful cost of a violation.
Have contract signed initialed and returned each time within 24 hours of a booking. Put this in your rules so you can cancel without penalty if they fail to sign and initial.
Stop relying on ABB to enforce anything…they dont care about you or your property or your POA.
They care about guests bookings, avoiding guest conflict and any guest unhappiness, and they intend to make as much money as possible off your ( our / my ) back. Their goal is to collect booking fees, and not to stop overcrowding or stop a booking.
You have to protect yourself by being assertive, upfront, and proactive.


Under guest requirements, you have the option to write a welcome message which prospective guests will see prior to booking. Mine says:

Thank you for booking your trip with us in Portland, Maine. Would you kindly confirm that you have read the entire listing description, including the House Rules? Thank you!

Once they have made the reservation, they receive the following automated reply:

Thank you for booking your stay with us! I look forward to your arrival here in Portland on Mon, Jul 15 .

Number of guests: 3 (includes any children 2 years of age and older)
Number of nights: 2

Please confirm that the above information is correct. Thanks again, and welcome to Portland!

And again, three days prior to their stay, I reiterate the number of guests on the booking. At this point, I have documented THREE guest interactions on the Airbnb platform. If a guest were to attempt to check in with more guests than they have disclosed, they really have no excuse if I choose to have Air cancel the reservation. They have been duly warned.


Hi Dawn – around here the saying is Guests Do Not Read. You can never depend on them reading and comprehending anything written in your listing. You absolutely must be “tough love” with Guests – new or old… New because they are new and need educating; Old because they need to be stopped if they are abusing the system.

Do Not be intimidated by the thought of bad reviews. They happen. To everyone. One or two bad reviews will not get you kicked out of Air. Always write your reviews for your fellow hosts – not for the departed Guests. We are the ones who need to know how good or bad your Guests were.


Sometimes the advice we give here can be a little abrupt or blunt, but that’s because we keep hearing the same things over and over, especially from new hosts. You conscience should be clear if the guests did not adhere to your clearly stated rules.

Reminders will help with some folks, but unfortunately there are far too many folks these days who think that rules don’t apply to them, that the host will never notice, or (especially if you are a new host who thinks they have to worry about negative reviews) that they think you won’t either enforce the rules or give them a bad review.

A year ago, I was really worried about bad reviews, but I got over it about 2 months in. I have now stopped worrying about reviews, and just try to do my best. If you have a lot of problems with guests like this, you should try to figure out what about your place attracts these scofflaws.

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You have every right to set up boundaries in your own place. This is a classic. You can pull the reservation. Maybe… What you cannot do is prevent a revenge review. And this early in the game, that can have serious consequences for a new host. If someone knows something I don’t I am all ears. But as civil as you may be, they can retaliate just for being told no.

This forum can seem harsh. It has taken me a year to start posting after my first tongue lashing. However, the information gleaned is worth it. It has saved me tons of time, money, and grief. I would even go so far as to say that this forum is responsible, in large part, for my 100% (so far) five star reviews.