Quietest Guests: 1-2 night, or 5-7 nights?

I successfully rented my first AirBnB for a year with great success. It is a 1 bed studio with a futon in my basement. Most of my guests are young couples and they come for 1 night, sometimes two. I rarely have a giant mess to clean up and they are typically clean and quiet. It’s in a highly touristed National Park town.

I recently purchased a condo that didn’t have any HOA restrictions on minimum night stays in order to rent it out as an AirBnB. As soon as my first guest moved in, the complex gadfly came over and told me the HOA does have minimum night stay of 5 days in the HOA rules and regs. This was never disclosed on purchase, so I called a lawyer and was told that the rules and regs that had been passed were nonpublic documents and not legally binding, and to enact a minimum night stay, the entire complex has to vote on it and it needs to be written into the declaration and filed with the county. And of course, everyone is now voting on it. I’m going to continue to rent it for 1-2 nights until these rules are passed because it appears I’m going to lose this battle anyway.

This new place in the HOA is a 2 bedroom condo that sleeps up to 6. To generate reviews, I dropped the prices to less than my studio. The guests at the new place are messier than my guests, and they are also much more particular. It may be that the kitchen is larger (my other unit is a small efficiency kitchen). I get weird complaints like “There are not enough amenities in the kitchen” despite it being completely stocked with all cookware, utensils, oils/spices/etc. I got a 4 star review because the guest couldn’t figure out how to operate the two button thermostat.

Anyway, from my experience, it seems like the most ideal guests are 1-2 nights and 2 people. Once we start seeing 3-7 night stays, the guests cook, make a giant mess, and tend to move in and take over. They have totally different set of expectations, and managing those expectations seems to me like a big challenge.

I have a few questions for all you other hosts…

  1. Do you agree that 1-2 night stays are less likely to party and cause noise?

  2. Do you agree that 1-2 night stays are cleaner and less work to manage?

  3. If I am stuck with 5 to 7 night minimum stays due to a change in HOA regulations, do you recommend requiring people to book it from Friday-Friday, or Saturday to Saturday? What is the best way to ensure it’s booked solidly?

  4. Do you agree that places with more bedrooms (or with longer stay requirements) attract a different crowd that are more difficult to please?

So far my little efficiency studio has been running like clockwork and this newer place has been a major headache to handle.


I’d agree that longer stays mean more mess and trouble. A couple staying a few nights is coming in, seeing the park and hiking and then heading out to the next stop or going home. Someone spend a week in one location is cooking, staying in to watch movies or play games and maybe party a bit. There just isn’t enough variety at the park to support an entire week, IMHO. Even a place like Yellowstone (aka Geyserworld) with all it’s variety gets boring after a couple of days.

I don’t agree when it’s companies staying several days. They are my best clients. Never at the place, leave it clean, making quick meals.

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As many people have observed, one advantage of keeping prices up is that it tends to produce a better class of clientele. Personally, I’d only consider doing this if you really aren’t seeing any activity.

As many people have speculated… OTOH, one can have low prices and 100% good guests as I have. There are so many variables and many are more important than price. I often marvel at the many posts from very much more luxe places than mine who have had multiple issues.

I think it’s the size of the group that can lead to damage.


Wow, how interesting that the condo has been a headache while the studio is easy. There’s a lesson in that. I just can’t figure out what it is.

I think this phenomena has been described often enough here (people drop their prices, and voila, problems) that it at least deserves the status of a plausible working hypothesis. I believe in it enough that I refuse to drop my prices from where they are. In any case, they are not that high compared to many of you folk. This “hypothesis” is probably the major reason why I’m not willing to move my prices significantly downwards.

One should also note that in some cases, people’s prices are already sufficiently high that moving it downwards a bit doesn’t really make that much difference. It’s still “high”.

Of course. One theory/hypothesis cannot explain everything. The world is a complicated place, and hard to explain. Even with computers and mathematical models.

Larger groups of unsupervised guests.
I am
Sure of that .

I have actually an opposite experience. My 2-3 days stays in a pool house usually left house in poor shape.
Becaus their main reason was to party.
Longer stays are always nicer as they come for vacation or work and it’s usually family of few generations or a group of workers.

I had groups that came for 2 night stays and all they did is cook, eat, drink and damages .

Also I am in 1% of prices on a very low end and most of my guests were excellent .
Lately though I get a bunch of jerks but percentage wise it’s still very little

Firstly it seems logical that a much larger space, fitting 6 with you offsite will be much messier.

Given the feedback, is your kitchen really as stocked as you think? There should be a tonne of plates, bowls, serving dishes, all the basic cooking utensils and lots of cultlery for 6 people; toaster, kettle, sandwich grill; alfoil, paper towel. Assume they are staying a week and cooking full breakfast and dinners for 6- what would you need?

I would not recommend this restriction. You are already concerned about loss of bookings due to min nights, why limit your market further.

I would recommend if you must have a 5 night minimum you offer great weekly and monthly discounts. Adjust your listing to plug the benefits of longer stays to your area, nearby day trips, breakfast hamper on arrival, free weekly clean etc, your must work hard to secure longer bookings when the tourists drawn to your area seem to be looking for short stays. Your listing designed for 1-2 nighters may not be enough.

Others on the forum have expertise in writing and marketing on multiple platforms and may be able to assist with ideas.

Totally agree, 1-2 nighters are the best. If Longer than that, the guests tend to have finished their sightseeing etc and then lie around in their accommodation. Therefore using all the amenities. They bring home snacks and watch movies on the bed. Not what I encourage and then it is more mess after checkout. It is more work being a short turnaround, but, I’d rather change sheets more often than clean up food leftovers.

You need to distinguish a shared room vs whole apartment/ house accommodations. You will get different responses.


Very true. Without this distinction, the whole discussion is pointless.

Yeah, sorry for not making the distinction – these are not shared spaces. One is an efficiency studio with a small kitchenette (2 burner stove, no oven) and the other is a 2 bedroom home with a large kitchen.

I like this idea of tweaking my listing so it caters more toward 5+ day renters. I don’t really want to have people longer than 7-10 days in there though. It’s kind of frustrating because there are two vocal condo owners in the complex who are pushing for longer minimum stays, and they have no experience with vacation rentals, and they’re absolutely convinced that everyone who stays for a short period of time is a nuisance, and that longer stay guests are not. And unfortunately it’s just the opposite.

Anyway, one of the things I’m worried about moving forward is having large gaps in my calendar due to any minimum night stay regulations. I just really want to make sure I can keep the place as booked as possible… I know there are plenty of places in the town that require 5-7 day minimum rentals but I just don’t have any experience with that and how it works, and how to minimize calendar gaps…

I think you will find things easier and better guests with longer stays. Avoid the possible bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday parties, weekend benders. You also don’t have to turn/clean the unit as often.

I find short stays screw up my calendar as usually they are over a weekend and make the weekdays hard to rent.

Wow, that’s interesting but totally the opposite of my experience. Brandt, how do you keep gaps to a minimum?

In my studio, where I’ve got no minimum night stay and an average stay of 1.8 days, I haven’t had a vacancy since May…

I don’t mind a few days off to allow for minor repairs or other items i may need to be on site for without guests. But if you want to be close to 100% occupancy you can have dual minimum stays. For example have your minimum stay be 5 nights. You could override this if you have some gaps, have the minimum stay be 2 nights for the up-coming 3 weeks for example.

OP where is the listing located? It all depends on your location and typical clientele. For my separate apartment rental in downtown Toronto I’ve found longer stays (i.e., 3+ nights) are the easiest and 1 night stays are the worst, because people staying longer tend to be out sightseeing or here for business whereas the single night stays are here for concerts/birthday parties/etc. If you live in an area that caters more to people passing through then 1-2 night stays might be easiest because they’re less likely to cook. Hard to say.

OP, I’m in an urban location with a 1-2 bedroom entire apartment and in the past year, I’ve often set my minimum at 5 nights. I’ve had over 100 bookings over the years and these longer stays have not been a problem for me at all. They do generate much more garbage (and it takes the cleaner an extra few min to throw out leftovers) but I have not had a problem with parties, noise, or complaints. (I’ve maintained a 100% 5 star rating for the past year).

My only issue with longer 7+ night bookings is higher utilities as they are not in a rush to get out sightseeing from morning to night. But even my tourists who are here for 5 nights are largely gone for much of the day and night although that might be a function of there being more to do in a big city.

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