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Overcapacity eviction

First-time poster here. If this post is duplicative, I apologize. I’ve tried to search the bowels of the forum to find this answer but have so far been unsuccessful.

I have a small studio condo that has a two-person maximum occupancy per my city’s ordinance as well as per the HOA Association’s rule.  The complex has cameras, and recently the manager called me to tell me my condo was over capacity because someone that made a two-person reservation in actuality brought two extra people.  She requested that I evict the tenant. I gave them one extra day to find somewhere else to rent, and I evicted them.

That particular incident was a VRBO booking, and I now know how better to handle that situation when it’s booked through that particular platform. It’s only a matter of time before this happens to me again, and my question is what’s the best way to handle it through Airbnb? VRBO told me I should have formally canceled their reservation in the middle of the stay and they would not have gotten a refund and would not have been able to give me a review, and of course the lady left an ugly review because she was mad and VRBO won’t remove it.

85% of my bookings come from Airbnb. I thwarted an attempt for a three-person occupancy this weekend when I confirmed in the messaging system that it was only two people, blah blah blah. I’m not interested in extra money for an extra person; an extra person is simply not allowed. So the next time my HOA manager calls me and tells me I have to evict someone, what is the best way to handle it, please, through Airbnb?

I do not live in the town where my Airbnb is, so meeting them in person to let them in is not an option for me.  Also the two-person maximum capacity rule is listed in three places: the description of my listing, the photographs of my place, and in the rules they have to agree to abide by when they instant book.  I also message everyone that books and remind them of the two-person max, but some people simply feel like they are above the law. 

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Confirming via message before they arrive is best. Some people here ask for the names of all the people on the booking. So you are directly and pointedly asking them. Make it clear that anyone arriving with extras will have their reservation cancelled on the spot with no refund. And then do it.

If they don’t reply with the names of the two people on the reservation call Airbnb and ask them to cancel without penalty to you. Violating the HOA rules should be non-negotiable.

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Is this enforceable on Airbnb? If a guest doesn’t want to provide names, I know that Airbnb won’t make them. A host could still cancel a reservation before it starts if a guest doesn’t provide the names, but that’s a slippery slope with Airbnb’s history of penalizing hosts for cancellations.

Again, how can you enforce this? As a host, you can’t just cancel without the guest getting a refund and there is no evidence I’ve ever read that says Airbnb will do it for you without refunding the guest.

Putting this kind of wording in your listing and house rules probably will help. However, if you still get a guest that tries to sneak in extra people, don’t count on Airbnb backing you up on your rules or not penalizing you for enforcing them.

Thank you. And if I do all that and it still happens because they lied, what then? Are the rules the same with Airbnb as they were with VRBO as stated above?

I don’t count on Airbnb backing me up. Ever.

I’ll attempt to get them to do so but it doesn’t really matter if they don’t. The only thing I fear Airbnb doing is delisting me. If they do that then I would have to look into advertising on other platforms. That would be a real blow to me but not so much for someone with a whole house.

I have the rule since someone showed up about 2 years ago with 3 people. No one has attempted it since. I did have a military guy here last year for a month and he was having buddies stay overnight and hanging out and I told him not to do it and he quit. He was paying me directly though.

There are multiple people here who claim they do this. I don’t recall any of them saying they have trouble with it. I don’t do it so I can’t address that from personal experience. If the guest refused to provide me with names then I would ask Airbnb to cancel as “uncomfortable with reservation.” As an IB host you get penalty free cancellations. I don’t know if the HOA rules would give you leverage with Air or not.

Bottom line for the OP is that if she can’t enforce the 2 person rule she’s going to lose her Airbnb business completely due to the HOA shutting her down.

Do you mention the strictly 2 only guests in the listing title? As we know, guests don’t read, but it is pretty hard to plead ignorance when the information is in the title.
“Just for 2”
“Couples Only”
“Limited to 2 guests”

Exactly. I know only too well the powers that HOAs have. :roll_eyes:

Some years ago I had to prove to our HOA that I was a responsible and conscientious host. A previous owner had been running a couple of STRs at long distance and they had been a disaster for all concerned.

I asked for a six months trial and it was agreed after that time, that everything was okay but from then right until now I have to be very careful, very vigilant and very willing to deal with any issues as soon as they occur.

Guests bringing extra people is probably the number one issue that hosts complain about. But it’s no good expecting any advertising platform be it Airbnb, VRBO or any other to ‘deal with it’. It’s up to the host. If the host isn’t local then it’s essential to have a co-host.

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Maybe because we’re home-share hosts, no one has ever hesitated to tell me the names of all who’ll be here. I also ask if anyone is under 18; if so, I ask for ages. We don’t allow anyone under 12. No one has ever declined to tell me.

I wouldn’t count on Airbnb, either—especially not now. I believe they were somewhat more host-supportive in the past. But I also won’t allow children here and definitely no “infants.” I have made exceptions once or twice when a parent has traveled with one well-behaved teenager who is an experienced traveler.

It has always worked out for us as hosts. Who knows what the future will hold, if we ever reopen.

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You will, maybe not next month, but we’ll all get there. Eventually.

JF

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As another host suggested, for this reason you should find a LOCAL co-host if you really want to have a plan. A co-host who will agree to go over in a situation like you describe and tell the guests they’ve violated the house rule that says any guests over two is an immediate cancellation. (be sure it’s in the house rules, worded like that.) You can’t count on Airbnb do to anything so don’t even try.

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Thank y’all. Yep, Southerner here.

I can hire a co-host that lives full time in the complex to help; great idea. I’m only an hour or so away, but nonetheless, a co-host is a great suggestion.

So we kick out the problem tenant mid-stay and I cancel their reservation citing that they broke the house rules, would they get a refund and would they still have the ability to write a review?

They may not get a refund if it is in the house rules connected with this booking.
Yes - they will be able to write a review as they stayed.

I’ve been quite successful in asking for this information, including a screen shot of a Driver’s License or passport. I say - truthfully - that I need it for insurance purposes. So far, so good and no issues with Air.

Message the guests through the Air platform. Tell them they have violated not only your rules, but also the rules of the HOA and your insurance. Then immediately call Air and cancel their stay, referencing your message to them about the HOA rules.

I have done this with IB guests who have 0 reviews and have not answered specific questions and then tried to book with children or pets. Air has canceled penalty-free.

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When someone books, he/she has to put the number of guests.

Doesn’t mean they put in the correct amount guests that they intend to have stay! Many first timers think that they can book for one and arrive with 10!

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Then it is preferable to ask the person who books to confirm the number of guests he/she has put. When there are more guests than the number indicated, we have the right not to host them.

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