Sneaking in extra guests

Recently this has been happening more and more at one of my listings.

My guest who just checked out yesterday booked for 3 people. When I went over to the house on check-out day to work in the garden (bi-monthly weeding and mulching etc), I met 5 people staying at the house.

While they were all very nice, it was extremely frustrating to get the run-around with sneaky guests.

My listing includes up to 4 guests. Additional guests are $30/night.

My question is this: I am thinking of making a House Rule that unannounced extra guests will be charged double the extra person fee. In other words, if a guest doesn’t mention that extra people will be staying, and I find out later, I will make a claim of $60/night/guest against the security deposit.

Has anyone else tried this? What other methods do you have for discouraging sneaky behavior?

(I do not live at the listing, but I occasionally drop by to put the trash cans out etc, so I rarely meet my guests unless there are obvious red flags).

What about providing towels, bed linens corresponding to the amount of people that was booked?


Get a security camera you could check on your phone mounted outside the door(s) “for safety.” You need to clearly disclose it and I think if you try to sell it as a bonus, not a deterrent to guests it will be fine. Maybe also lower your extra person charge. That seems like a lot per night. BTW, If I did not live onsite I would absolutely have cameras on the outside of the listing so I could monitor.


And you hit the guest with a charge for the extra people through resolution center, reported them immediately to airbnb, and will leave this information in your review, right?


I put that they have to book the correct number of guests in my rules. And airbnb allows you to cancel any reservation without having penalty and you get paid in full if any guest breaks your rules.

you can tell them "please don’t take stranger to the room coz they may break something expensive in your house so that they don’t get their deposit back"or ask them to pay.

Assuming you are not on instant book - let’s say guest puts in a reservation request for 4 adults. I respond with this:

"Hi Guest,

Thank you for your reservation request. Before accepting your booking, please let me know the relation of the adults in the group, and the ages of any children/infants. Also, how many visitors will there be?"

Even if guest has entered in my max number (which would then not allow for any visitors) - I always ask. Then the guest will usually spill the details. Since I have done this, only one guest kept insisting one of the people would only be stopping by for the day. But he was forced to pay after they all showed up in one vehicle. But I weed out so many of these types just by asking about the number of visitors and ages of all children/infants.

EDITED: Another thing is don’t ask how many visitors they “plan” to have - Ask how many there “will” be. Because then guests will say at the time of booking they didn’t plan to have any; therefore, they did not lie.


also, do you know that 5 people actually stayed and it wasn’t a relative or friend just popping in for a cuppa??

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Clever. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

I remember when I had double booking.We have 3 bed rooms and it was 2 different single men for one night. Everything was full in the city so I gave the possibility to give a discount of 70% but of course I got a bad review of one of the guest…

How did you double book ??

We had a client from and an other client that called to book the place by phone (they had very similar first name and I thought it was the other one…). It was in the beginning of our place, now I get more control on it

No… Don’t chance it. If you don’t want this to happen don’t be wishy washy.

I avoid the entire scenario by stating very very clearly–

Only your registered guests allowed on property or in apartment. Absolutely no unauthorized overnight guests.

If it is happening a lot, I would respond with a reiteration of this rule upon inquiry and acceptance. Also put in your guest info document. State it in your house rules. An outdoor camera is an excellent Idea. They are so very cheap now.

Leave no doubt that extra guests are not allowed! Even ones coming by for a cuppa. That person has no authority to be on your property and presents a liability. Just say no to additional guests!

And I think a picture of a camera clearly pointed at the entrance to the guest quarters and a mention of it in the house rules will prevent anyone from even trying it again. On another thread @Gail_Dedrick mentioned discovering some nefarious use of her property via security camera. I’m wondering if knowledge of such camera would have prevented the mis-deed in the first place.

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I don’t allow unauthorised overnight guests. Because we have a lot of guests who are visiting relatives in the area, I say that they are allowed to have no more than two guests, only during daylight hours.

Sometimes they want to ‘show off’ the place they are staying to their local relatives :slight_smile:

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Immediately go to the airbnb message thread and send the guest a message “I am submitting an alteration form to update the guest count to 5”. No need for additional discussion. Then submit the alteration and if they don’t accept it, contact customer support.

There IS a rule (couldn’t find it right now) on Airbnb that undisclosed extra guests are subject to double guest rates or something like that. Also it is one circumstance under which you can cancel an instant booking without penalty (if you used instant booking) AND keep the cost of booking.

It’s a huge problem, and one that I just don’t play with anymore. If there are extra guests and they haven’t paid, I don’t discuss or ask if they are staying the night, I go right to the message thread and then alter the booking.


I’ve also found people bringing in pets without permission - in fact the scammer’s sub-guests did that, to boot - plus extra guests not mentioned or agreed upon. In the case of one guest, he brought friends he said were only staying one night and a dog! I had to contact him and say, “look it says in my listing and the sign on the garage, that I have a security camera and I can plainly see you brought your friends early and a dog. I accept pets, but for a fee, so I’m am going to have to charge you.” He was a big douche. He also left a long weekends worth of dishes and food waste in the sink. Never washed a single dish. Ugh. But he was the worst one, really. Most folks are honest and responsible, or I wouldn’t still be doing this.


House Rule #12: Unathorized guests will be taken deep sea fishing – as bait!


It’s funny when the extra comes knocking on our door instead of the rental. I dare say the extra isn’t just stopping by for a visit with out of town plates and a suitcase in hand…


Back in February I put up a cheap WiFi security cam right next to the front door aimed at the front steps and out to the parking area. It’s mentioned on my listing and you can’t miss it when you walk up the steps. It has adjustable motion detection that takes 3 time and date stamped snapshots and emails them to me which I can check on my phone (if I’m out). Also live monitoring online with pan and tilt control. You can set it up to send video (and audio) to the cloud but I think that is overkill, I am not a spy! So now I can tell when guests arrive and depart and I know exactly when cleaning and service people come and go. Important to note, the cam cannot see inside the house. So far I have not noticed a problem or had a complaint but I feel more in control in case a group tries to pull something.