Rule regarding guests of guests?

I apologize if this has been discussed a million times. I did a search but still have questions about having a guests of guests rule. I haven’t been hosting long and had not given any thought to this until my most recent guest because it hadn’t been a problem yet. In fact, the guest I had before this last group was in town visiting family and had several day visitors and I thought nothing of it. She followed all of the rules, left the place super clean and tidy, left a glowing review, and was just nice and an all-around perfect guest. Also had people in town for a softball tournament over 4th of July who asked if it was ok for them to have friends over to watch fireworks on the lake one evening (because we have the best view for that) and I had no problem with that either.
But then our last guests arrived and were traveling with 3 or 4 other families who were all staying in another complex with no pool or swim dock, so they all gathered each day at our complex to hang out and use the pool and swim dock, which is against the rules—there are “For (complex) Residents and Guests Only) signs posted at the swim dock and at the pool. And they all used my condo as their public restroom the whole week.
Anyway, is it best to have a blanket “no guests of guests” rule? To me there is a big difference between normal visitors (people who knock on the door and visit), and people who are breaking rules and giving many people (including kids) your door code to come and go as they want even when none of the registered guests are in the condo, but I can’t think of a way to differentiate. Just wondering how many of you have a no guests of guests rule and your thoughts on the subject—I can’t decide whether or not it would seem unreasonable to people who aren’t out to take advantage.
Also, does it go in your house rules with maximum occupancy? Thank you.

No apologies needed. Visitors of guests is a grey area, so it comes up a lot.

Yes, put it in your house rules.

One option is to give boundaries:
“You’re welcome to have up to 4 daytime visitors until 9pm, but they are not allowed to use community facilities (pool, swim dock, etc.)”

Another is to give permission on a case by case basis: “No visitors without prior written permission”. (And hope that they’re honest in describing who the visitors are/why they’re coming)

With any house rule you also have to consider how easily you can enforce it. How are you able to tell that they took their visitors to the pool? Do you have exterior cameras? Will you charge them more? Kick them out?

In making your house rule you might also consider your insurance. The STR rider on my HO insurance only covers paying guests, so my house rule is “Only registered guests allowed on the property”. This might be too strict for some people, but works for me on a shared property.


We stipulate that guests can have up to four visitors during daylight hours only. The apartments sleep only two people and I let guests know that I don’t like people in and out because our building was erected in 1949 and has old plumbing. In an apartment that sleeps two, four extra people for a few hours are putting extra pressure on the plumbing that I don’t want.

If the world and his wife were using our apartments as public loos I’d warn the guests that they would be liable for any plumbing damage, but that’s due to our older property.

I believe that we mention this in the listing but not as a house rule, as such.

It’s only happened very rarely that guests have had people round and they’ve always mentioned it to me beforehand.

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Easiest to say No Unregistered Guests right up front. Saves the hassle of enforcing things when the Guests naturally don’t read and heed…

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I allow guests only if they are pre-approved, (photo and full legal name, age and address) show govt. Id upon request and leave by 9 pm. NO children under 12 or babies. No one ever asks.


I’m staying in a large house this week. This is what that superhost says about guests in his message he sends a couple of days before arrival.

"Please remember that only registered guests (the list you will send to me) are allowed at the house. You may not invite other people over to the house, or use the house for gatherings without my express permission. Even if you are well-intentioned, and your guests are well-behaved, there is additional liability, risk, as well as wear and tear on the house. Thanks in advance for your understanding. "

He also says this in the house rules:

5)Only registered guests may occupy the house. Thank you for providing all guest names prior to your arrival.
6)Parties or planned gatherings (anyone other than the guests in your reservation) are strictly prohibited without my express permission. The rental is for sleeping accommodations and the sole use of registered guests (the list of people you will send to me). You may not invite anyone else to the house. You and your guests will be subject to immediate eviction if you violate this rule.

Note it does say that with express permission an exception might be made. So I might ask him when we get there if my friend who lives about an hour away can meet us there at the house for drinks before we go out to dinner. But if he says no, we are cool with it. This guy hosts right across the street from a major university and he has nipped parties and events in the bud. It’s also an expensive place.


I once had an apartment overlooking the pool area and there was a clear rule that only 2 guests max per apartment were allowed. On summer weekends and holidays some people would set up for a party with a sound system and a dozen or so friends from outside. One particularly busy day I got sick of the noise and so I called our security service who came around and started asking people if they lived there or not. It was a large complex, maybe 4 buildings, so a lot of people lived there. I watched the whole thing from my balcony above. One woman took exception to her 4 guests being asked to leave and got quite shouty and decided to tell the brown skinned security guy to “go back where he came from”. The police were called and she was evicted from her rental apartment for being racist. Pity you can’t so easily evict other people who think that is an acceptable thing to say to people of colour just doing their jobs :smirk:

So maybe have a notice inside saying that guests of guests are not allowed to use the facilities under any circumstances and if they do you will charge a $200 “resort fee”.