Must be a phenomenon

Recently, I have had more and more guests checking in early without asking. I’m not talking about 5-10 minutes, but 1-2 hours early! I explicitly state in my rules that early check-ins/late checkouts are not permitted without prior approval. Naturally, this rule is in place because I need to give my cleaner adequate time to finish. I wonder if people are not reading or just have blatant disregard for the rules.

Since this is becoming a problem you might start adding some communication with the guest beforehand. Make sure they know the check in time and make it clear they can’t check in early. Make it clear they will be outside the house waiting if they arrive early. They are probably not reading.


Take charge of this situation. Make sure they know you cannot accommodate early arrivals.

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I just had my cleaner call me today at 10:40am that the new renters were trying to check in. Check in is at 3pm! The old renters don’t even check out til 11am!

I now simply set my keycode to not accept their code til 2pm. They show up early- they can’t get in.


I don’t do this because I use Instant Book. But I do message the guests on the day before arrival specifying check in time. (Via the platform, of course).

I’m crossing my fingers when I say this, but I’ve never had a problem with guest arriving unexpectedly.

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I have instabook and I include the check-in/checkout times after the first sentence of the message I send on the guest’s check-in date. I truly wonder if it crosses people’s minds that there are guests checking in before and after them. Cinderella’s fairy godmother does not come and wave her magic wand to make the place clean in 5 seconds.


That sounds like a great system.

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I have had several guests gain and attempt to gain early entry when they were particularly informed it was not allowed.

I know more or less when guests can or will arrive, based on their flight time. If the condo was not rented the prior night, I allow whenever possible, early access, within reason. (It is, I admit, subjective to more than the availability.)

My arrival instructions and access information are emailed to the guest two weeks prior to occupancy, I reiterate their check-in/checkout times in bold text and let them know (again) that there is no flexibility because guests are departing that morning at the standard checkout time of 11 am and that the condo will be prepped and ready for their arrival at the check-in time of 3 pm.

I have already notified them in earlier correspondence that the housecleaner requires a 4-hr window to properly prep the place and they will not be able to drop off their luggage prior to check-in because she will not work around it. I suggest that they either store their luggage safely in the trunk of their car or use one of the luggage storage services while they shop, sightsee or have a bite to eat.

With such explicit instructions, I was very upset to hear from my housecleaner that the guests showed up and entered the condo while she was still working. It had never happened in the first 5 yrs. of my hosting and then it happened again about six months ago. I can only owe it to the evolving type of traveler who is more bold and feels entitled.

Since then, I have added a couple instructions to the housecleaner to halt the practice: She is not to change the entry code to the door until she is leaving, and she is not to answer any knocking at the door. If she meets the guests on her way out, she is to say that she had her earphones on and didn’t hear them.

There has been no recurrence so far…knock on wood.


I’m glad you said the last bit because I was just going to suggest it. I used to manage a busy beach house here and guests would constantly show up early, insisting they could and should come in and one time, even telling the housekeeper to leave and bill the owner for the full cleaning!!! I was furious! Future housekeepers were told to tell the guests they may sit at the picnic table or go to the beach until the house was ready. But under no circumstances were they to let the guests in before the house was completely clean. Luggage cannot be dropped off either. That’s like letting the toothpaste out of the tube. Once the luggage is dropped, they are then using the bathroom and blah blah, they might as well check in!

Guests who feel no compunction in bulldozing their way in early may also be the same ones who demand a refund because the house was not cleaned as it should have been.


When a guest books, either instant or otherwise, we send them a message on AirBnB to ask for their direct e-mail address, (because e-mail attachments do not always work on AirBnB system) we also state that we will send them a welcome and information package to their address when we receive a copy of their passport or government I.D. As most arrive by air, we include in the package, where we will pick them up, if they have requested this) and how much it will cost. We include blow by blow instructions, maps, gps co-ordinates of how to get there. We include parking instructions and how to operate the keypad lock together with their customized access number and clearly state the Times for which it is valid. i.e “you cannot access before 3pm” (unless we have arranged otherwise in writing, in which case we change the access time.) WE point out that when they leave at 10am, THE DOOR LOCKS. (again unless otherwise arranged)
Despite this, we still get calls from guests saying that they can’t get in, to which we ask, “what time is it?” We also have guests who leave their luggage in the apartment on leaving day and go for lunch. Obviously when they return they cannot retrieve their luggage. There is a notice on the inside of the door…"Do not leave your luggage in the apartment it locks at 10am."
We are really good with communication, normally respond to anything within a few minutes as we are not at the property. However, on the odd occasion when a guest has found themselves locked out despite all the warnings, they invariably get angry, one tried to break the door down, instead of contacting us and then we end up with a poor review. We feel that we are very fair with our responses when guests put up a poor review but answer truth of all complaints.
Incidentally, we get about 65% of our bookings from BnB and the rest from our own website and other agents. We are 85 % occupied throughout the year and 95% occupied in the 4/5 month holiday season.
Despite everything you do, there will always be guests who will find fault. When looking to book a place for myself in Europe, we look at the reviews, and if the majority are good, we ignore the moaners and groaners.

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Am on my 3rd query this week alone. All have booked and it’s in my house rules. One was 5.30 am (7 1/2 hours early ),next one was 5 hours before check-in and today 2 hours before check-in. In almost a year no requests and 3 in 1 week

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Because guests don’t read (long emails or property descriptions) maybe instead chat with them (skype, SMS text or so). This way you would have more of their attention.
Honestly, can you really expect someone to read long emails?That’s like the fine print on the back of a car rental agreement. Did YOU ever read that?

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What did you do about the early morning check in requests?

Well, as I said before, it’s NOTHING like the legalese in a car rental agreement whatsoever, so that is a ridiculous comparison. A chat via Skype is completely unnecessary. And you cannot do that before it’s confirmed anyway.

In my RULES, I ask that the guest make sure that the house and location are a fit before booking and to ask questions now if anything is not clear.