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So… having read through loads of archive posts, asking others to share their rules etc. I’ve finally come up with the first version of my rules. I’d really appreciate if you could critique them and suggest improvements.
Please bear in mind this is a high-end 5-bedroom house in London located in a family-oriented compound (listing here) AND I’m 150 miles away with my mother for check-ins and if issues arise.
Many thanks in advance.
No smoking or vaping in or around the house.
No disturbance to the neighbours.
No parking outside of the allocated space.
No illegal activities of any type.
No touching the Ring camera on the porch.
No touching the wireless router.
Explicit in-advance permission, at the host’s discretion, is required for:
○ Having visitors and/or guests not officially listed in the booking.
○ Booking on behalf of someone else.
○ Logging out of the television Netflix/Amazon accounts.
○ Moving furniture.
○ Sleeping on sofas (except the sofa bed).
○ Late check-ins/check-outs (which may incur a £50 fee).
You must notify the host of any damage that you cause or discover straight away.
Although this is a premium property, please do not have the expectations of a 5* hotel. This means treating the property and the host with the utmost respect and care.
No, I don’t live there. It is an independent house. I see what you’re saying and I agree. But, here’s what I’m thinking…
You should be able to tell from my photo that I’m a nice guy (at least I think I am).
It is a premium house that’s about to get Airbnb Plus (link here).
To make it more friendly, I’d have to put in a lot more wording which will make it less likely that people will read it. My thinking was to try and convey personality and welcomeness outside of the House Rules so that the rules are where the seriousness of the rules is communicated.
I don’t think it’s physically possible. But it’s a motion camera, so anyone playing with it would get detected immediately and recorded. So being explicit would make them liable to being thrown out. Right?
I would leave out third party booking and deal with that on a case by case basis directly with the guest, as it is against TOS unless a corporate account with Air. Also might discourage corporate bookings to have to make an additional ask to you, if you anticipate those kinds of bookings.
Why can’t I take a nap on the sofa?
Maybe say something more general “Do not change settings on media or other equipment.”
Check-ins/outs – “if available, will incur a fee” (not may)
I didn’t check your link but is this something that might attract a photo shoot or other commercial activity? Add that to your list of in-advance permission items.
The last paragraph is unclear to me. Sounds like you’re saying “I’m not going to provide you the service level of a hotel, but treat my property better than you would a hotel.” Kind of a lose-lose for the guest! (Also implies they act like jerks at hotel properties.) I’m sure that’s not your intent. What are you trying to say? Maybe put up front:
“Welcome to our home and enjoy your stay. Please treat the property with care and leave it in the same condition you found it.”
Then add at the bottom “Daily housekeeping service is not provided.” And, if you want to “If you wish to arrange for daily housekeeping for an additional fee, please contact the host.”
And assume only a small minority of your guests will actually read this!
Looking at the photos of your (wonderful) but spotlessly immaculate, pristine place and reading your rules, frankly I would be terrified to stay there, especially with a family or friends (which I imagine would usually be the case if it sleeps 9) , for fear of inadvertently soiling something. Also, looking at the photos the first thing I would want to do upon arriving is to take of my shoes and lie down on that exquisite couch…after that the sleeping part would be a bit out of my control.
How do you deal with it on a case-by-case basis except during check-in? In my end of London, we get lots of unofficial “rental agents” who make bookings on behalf of foreigners and then make profit on the markup. If something were to go wrong, I’d have no recourse.
No issues taking a nap. The problem lies in them sleeping on them without mattress protectors and then spoiling them. One solution would be to provide bedding for the sofas, along with protectors and instructions. But then the cost of cleaning gets higher and higher. Any thoughts?
Not sure it would, but could be worth putting there in any case.
I know that many people can get quite entitled when they check into a 5* hotel. And so, whilst I’ve done a lot to ensure the house is of top standard, I’m trying to ward of the entitled attitude which might come with it. Any thoughts?
Yeah, that also fits in with @Joan’s feedback. My thinking was that the rules already kick off with the general Airbnb rules which are straight forward and I was trying to just continue their flow. I’ll give it a shot and see how it goes. I suppose doing that will also help to ward off the 5* entitlement thing.
Yeah! That’s another reason I was being blunt and straight to the point. More to do with upholding the rules in anticipation of guests breaking the rules without reading them rather than appealing to those who read them.
Yeah! Will do! I could perhaps even perhaps with a bunch of “Do’s”. Do enjoy the coffee pods, bla and bla. Do enjoy Netflix. Do enjoy the AC. etc.
Yes. Be afraid. Be very afraid. My mother will kill you! How does one balance between the 2 ends of the scale?
Would it be reasonable to offer sofa protector and sheets for sleeping, but then charge extra for their use? At the moment, it is 9 people on 5 beds and each bed costs about £15 to wash. Maybe I should just swallow the cost with the expectation that it’s an edge case scenario.
You know what? I have an upcoming booking of 8 colleagues. They see it as a 5 bed house which takes 9 people. So 5 colleagues get the beds and 3 will probably expect to get the sofas. Right? I think I better accelerate the sofa bedding.
I recommend keeping it short. People usually don’t read the information anyway and a big, long list of rules can seem imposing. Keep it to the most important ones, like no smoking, no extra guests without permission, etc.
Do you greet the guests or do you have self check in?
I have 14 rules, all listed with
They are overall not short - each a line or two.
But when guest says… I didn’t know… I can easily say…
" When you booked, you were accepted my rules. This is rule #6, which is also listed in the description."
That is exactly what I did. I sew and made my own to exactly fit my sofa. I bought a twin size mattress pad and cut it down to fit what I needed and made it all one piece. I have it in the linen closet with a top sheet in the zippered bag the pad came in and marked it Couch Sheet Set.
My (energetic) 71 year old mother greets them, though I’m trying to make it as easy for her as possible.
Frustratingly, Airbnb Plus is asking for 24/7 access which means using a key-holding service who can check the ID of the lead guests before handing over the key at 2am. I’d love to replace the lock with self check-in, but I’m scared of unauthorised 3rd party bookings. If I was dodgy, I’d check myself in at 3 am rather than be checked in.
You need explicit and in-advance permission to:
○ have visitors and/or guests that aren’t officially listed in the booking
○ book on behalf of someone else
○ move furniture
○ check-in/out late (which may incur a £50 fee)
○ use the property as a setting for a photo/video shoot
Please treat the property with love, respect and care. Please tidy up after yourself and tell me right away if you cause or discover any damage.
Please don’t park your car outside of the allocated space and please don’t touch the Ring camera on the porch or the wireless router.