Rules - hard copy, platform, verbal or a combination

Hi everyone

I am not sure if there are many hosts on here that host Airbnb in their own homes, as in while they are staying there too? I have been doing this for a while now, but have only recently started to really focus on it. I currently have three rooms that I let on Airbnb, and there will be four avaiable from the end of next month.

I am intersted in hearing how other hosts doing Airbnb in their own homes communicate ‘rules’ (I prefer ‘requests’ or somehting else) , and also general information, but mostly those requests.

Until now I have given guests information in their tour of the house. but I haven’t really included requests/ rules. Felt a bit awkward, and hoped I could rely on mututal respect and common sense. Of course, that was foolish.

Things that I would like to cmmunicate would be to leave the toilet seat down, not wear boxer shorts when on way to bathrom, regardless ot time, to keep the bathroom clean as they are sharing with other guests, to put away their plates etc after washing up, to clear up if you spill stuff. Who would have thought that needed to be said?!

Do others just say all of this tell their guests this kind of stuff (it has become too much now I think, I used to have very few rules but learned the hard way!), do you put it all on your Airbnb profile, or do you prefer a manual, or perhaps the latter two, or a combination of all three?

Also, does anyone have a hand written manual? Would that be nicer?!

I would love to know and even if you don’t host within your home, I’d be interested to know how/ where you set out these things.

Thank you!

There are several and hopefully they will see this. Some aren’t doing it now due to the pandemic like @RebeccaF. Some are like @casailinglady. I know there are others I just can’t recall to tag them right now.

I used to host in my home but only one room. You have different challenges when hosting several rooms because now you aren’t just responsible for your own actions, you are also responsible for the actions of your guests to a degree because someone may review what another guest did as opposed to what you did.

Not necessarily. Aren’t the vast majority of your guests fine. So often we focus on the problems to the detriment of everyone else. This was true in my career as a teacher. So much time spent on trying to avoid problems and deal with them as opposed to the great majority of students who basically get ignored because they are average.

Anyone who has dealt with a wide variety of humans. There’s billions of us and we are mostly different from one another. Just think of it as part of the job.

don’t overreact. Many people say you need to put things in your rules so Airbnb will help you. The less you rely on Airbnb, the better. Use them to bring you guests and get payment. Try to deal with problems directly with the guest. Don’t put a rule for every misdeed a guest commits. Too many rules don’t work and won’t be read or followed by the people for whom they are intended anyway.

Put the essential things in “rules.” Other things like “wash up after using the kitchen” put in the guest guide in their room. Finally, don’t be afraid to talk to your guests like they are people. Say to the guest walking around in their boxers at night, “Hey I need your help. Doris in room B saw you walking to the restroom late at night in your knickers and it bothers her. Could you avoid doing that the next two nights, I’d really appreciated it.”


Maybe say “please wear more than boxer shorts…” rather than “please do not wear boxer shorts…”


I’m a home share host, Bosty, although I’ve been closed to booking since March 2020 due to Covid. Plan to reopen in the new year.

I only host one guest at a time, so much less to deal with than your multiple guests/rooms.

I am quite laid back and really don’t have much of any rules. And the guests I have had didn’t really require them- they have been respectful.

And things that might bother others don’t bother me - for instance, I couldn’t care less if a guy walked around in his boxers. I live in the tropics- boxers are little different from surf shorts, which are standard male attire around here.

Also, my house layout is such that guests have a private outside entrance to their room and their own ensuite bathroom. So the only things that are shared with me are the kitchen and outdoor terrace seating. I don’t list my living room as shared, and guests don’t have to walk through it to get to the kitchen.

The things that belong in “rules”, as opposed to “asks”, to me, are things like “No overnight guests, visitors only with prior permission of host”. Or no visitors at all if that’s your preference.

You could also put under rules a general statement about guests being expected to clean up after themselves in shared spaces and show respect for the others who are sharing the home.

A nicely framed note in the guest’s rooms, outlining expectations would be an idea beyond what you have in your house rules on the listing. Like:
"Guests are expected to tidy up after themselves in shared spaces and be respectful of your housemates at all times.

  • Wash your dishes and pots and pans after using the kitchen. Wipe down counters and put away food.
  • Leave the bathroom clean for the next person. Check the shower drain to make sure you haven’t left a bunch of hair there.
  • Keep your personal items in your room, rather than cluttering up common areas.
  • Be conscious of others when talking on the phone- loud phone calls can be disturbing, especially after others have gone to sleep.

Stuff like that. Don’t get too lengthy. You don’t want to come across as a control freak.

Then, to echo what KKC said, just talk to your guests if they are doing something that’s not okay. Humor can soften things, but of course you have to guage each guests personality as to how much you can joke around with them.
“Hey, XX, do I look like your mother or something? Cause there aren’t any little elves here to wash your dishes, kiddo. And if you hate washing dishes, I can assure you I’ve never met anyone who actually enjoyed it” might be just fine to say to some easy-going18 year old, but an inappropriate approach to someone older and more formal.

Also an “ask” can be worked into another casual conversation so it doesn’t come across as some big criticism.

“Hey, how was your day? Did you get a chance to check out that nice little café I mentioned? Oh, by the way, could you use the cloth that’s hanging under the bathroom sink to wipe the bathroom counter after using it? It seems to be awash in water and shaving foam after you’re done in there. I’m going out for dinner with friends tonight, so if you need to get ahold of me, just shoot me a text.”

I guess your expectations are higher than mine, I was going to say, “Please wear clean boxer shorts…”.


This gave me the loudest LOL ever uttered from a post on this forum!

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I host the guest room of my home, but don’t share the kitchen, except for microwave. The guest room has an en-suite commode & sink, but guests share the shower with my partner and me. My House Rules are few, but include a reminder that only the shower is shared (added after guests used our sink & commode no showering after 10 pm, because of issues of noise for us and for a downstairs LTR. In addition to the House Rules, I also leave a small but prominent placard

…oops! Why am I the only one hitting reply prematurely?:grin:

I was adding that the 2 rules - only shower is shared and no showering after 10 pm are on a placard that I remove after the first night.

A tour is basically just escorting them to their room, calling attention to the guest book (whose first page reiterates the House Rules) and showing them the “shower room”. I find that tired travelers appreciate brevity- I know I do. Whatever I forget to mention, or whatever immediate questions they have, is quick to text, and any further communication happens the next day.


Mine are a bit lower…”Please wear shorts”


That’s exactly my approach. They get the “This is your room and bathroom, here’s where the light switches are, the hot water takes about 30 seconds to work its way through the pipes” intro, then “I’ll leave you to get settled, and show you around the kitchen and how to lock and unlock the main door when you’re ready”.

Pointing out to someone where the pots and pans and kitchen utensils are kept is not going to really be paid attention to or retained if the guest is dying for a shower and a quick nap.


I have a few deal breaker rules on the platform - no pets, no unregistered guests, age minimum, etc. 95% of my guests are greeted in person and given more of an orientation than rules. I have little rules posted near the microwave/refrigerator and in the bathroom. The latter tend to be more toward advice than rules - things like not overloading electrical circuits in our old home. I generally see most people daily and ask if they have any questions or issues. If either of us is not at the house texting has been effective. I used to have a message board but everyone ignored it. People seem to read in small doses these days.


So good! Still laughing!


We only host in our home, in which we reside. We have self check in with a smart lock that is scheduled to have a valid code for each guest from check in time to deleting the code at check out time. If they need to get in sooner like a couple hours sooner, we reset the code for them.
Our 2 bedrooms for guests are on the other side of our house so none of us share a bathroom. We do not give access to our kitchen as that has proved disastrous in the past at our previous home for room rental.
We have a boutique and small cafe and guests can use the full size refrigerator/freezer, microwave and Keurig or full size coffee maker. Our experience is that guests prefer privacy and they never have to see us unless they need something or want to chat. We enjoy our guests and enjoy hosting. If it ever got to be a nuisance to hoist, we would stop hosting.

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H, yes, saw this and was slammed yesterday and wanted to reply with something more than “here’s my listing, etc.”

I have a split configuration 3/2 with the guest room, guest bath, and my office off the great room and a pocket door to that hallway. My master suite is on the other side of the house and I move my computer to my bedroom (it’s big) if people will be around during the day, in order to give me and them privacy. I only rent the one room and so far, it’s been great. I do thoroughly vet my guests first through conversational messages - especially if they don’t have any reviews. I want to make sure it’s a good fit for them and that they’re OK with a Bengal cat being bossy.

My HR are simple:
No smoking, drugs, children, pets, more than 2 ppl.

No parties or 3rd party bookings except Air work ones.

I have rules for early check in/check out as well with additional charges listed.

Friends/neighbors can swing by with prior approval; however they’re not welcome to use the pool or hang out for hours.

I put this more elegantly (I hope!) in my listing. I used to have a hard copy binder but that seemed excessive so I now have a 1 page in a plastic sleeve that I drop on their desk the night before checkout, if I feel that’s necessary.

So far, except for 3 entitled guests out of over 60 guests, it’s been great.

EDIT: I also have zero problems drawing boundaries and saying “No, that’s not acceptable,” or “I see you have a cooler and are heading to your room. There is room in the kitchen (fridge and cabinet space) and no food allowed in the bedrooms. I’d hate to have to charge you for the exterminator visit! Let me give you a hand.” Guests who pull sneaky stuff get dinged on stars because I ask for permission to turn on their lights if they’ll be coming home late or to change their towels or drop that extra blanket or pillow they asked for.

YOUR shared home; YOUR rules.


Hi everyone

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who responded to my request for advise re rules. There was some really useful stuff there, and the overall message I got was that my gut instinct of minimal rules was not wrong, and that others shared similar views re having too many rules. I had lost sight of that, after a recent not great experience.

To the poster who said the vast majority of guests, or people, are great…I would like to offer a little insight to what it is like to host in your home. Most are great, yes. But the ratio of not so great is higher than you might expect if you do not host in your own home. Or, if you are lucky to have these great set ups where you are able to keep things much more separate.

To the person who suggested I was being over dramatic…maybe! But that day a guest had shown me an offensive picture of his genitals. Probably a mistake, but who knows. Same guy (clean cut doctor working at a top hospital here), seemed lovely but in reality took advantage throughout his stay. Obviously the photo thing couldn’t have been included in the rules, but at least I wouldn’t have been looking back at a week of this guy taking advantage.

But overall I agree less rules is best. And reconsidering was perhaps just an in the moment thing that resulted from the shock of what happened with the photo.

Thanks again for everyone’s contribution re y request for advice on rules…

I don’t know who does that by mistake. I don’t even know why men take dick pics but that’s a different thread. Point is, I’d report that to Airbnb. That is absolutely 100% unacceptable.

Just another example of what someone looks like being completely irrelevant. He’s going to be one of those doctors we read about in the paper who rapes his patients.

Please flag him to Airbnb.


I’m not sure why you think all the other hosts here rent out entire places- many of us are home-share hosts. My guests share my kitchen and other areas with me.

I’m sorry you’ve had some crappy guests, but “the ratio of not so great is higher than you might expect” isn’t some fact true of home-shares, just your own personal experience.

While I’ve had a total of 2 incidents with guests that I had to talk to them about, we worked it out amiably in the moment, and I have never had a “bad” or objectionable guest. The vast majority have been truly lovely people.


Similar to @muddy’s experience, all but one of our hundreds of home-share guests has been great. For the one who wasn’t, no amount of online, printed, or framed rules would have made a difference to him. He was the most immature 25-year-old college student we’ve ever known.


This is at least the second if not the third host that has reported getting a dick pic from a guest. It’s got to be reported to Airbnb. But I can see their solution right now, right there in the standard house rules, between No Parties and No Pets, No Dick Pics.

I was trying to make a joke but it’s not funny and honestly, it could be reported to the police as it is a form of sexual harassment and even sexual assault in some states. Even our home state there has a law against dick pics. If I get one, I’m making an example out of that guest.

@Bosty64 It’s probably not too late, if it’s been less than a year, longer in some places. The burden of proof is not on you to show it was on purpose or not, I’d report it to the police.


I would have bounced him out the door on his dick if that had been sent to me. Was it via the Air messenger platform or your mobile? Call Air and send the evidence.

I don’t want that pervert in my home. NO host needs that crap.

As for taking advantage - they can only take as much advantage as you allow. You may get a low star review, but you can rebut that in your reply “I see that your star rating for my listing doesn’t reflect your comments; however, during your visit there seemed to be no line you didn’t want to push past.” And review them honestly, ding them on stars.

We women in home share listings have to be firm and kind, but mostly firm and willing to take the hit and use the Air CS reps.