Standard house rules

With increasing number of bookings from multiple vacation rental websites I’ve found it necessary to make some general house rules the guests have to consent to and sign when checking in.

I guess this could be useful also for others, so I’m sharing my rules below. Any comments on the wording (English is not my first language) or suggestions would be appreciated

House rules, draft:

All guests must consent to the following standard rules:

The guest is responsible for any damage / theft.
The guest is obliged to treat interior carefully and with respect. All stolen or not reported broken things (furniture, kitchen equipment, damage on walls / windows / ceiling etc.) will be billed replacement cost / cost of repair and a minimum of 100 EUR or equivalent.
This includes:

  • Any stains, scratches, holes on furniture, floor, walls, windows, doors etc.
  • Stolen or missing decoration items, remote controls, keys, towels etc.

No loud music, yelling or other loud noise between 10pm and 10am. In case of complaint from neighbors, the guest be billed the deposit and a minimum of 100 EUR or equivalent.

No smoking in the rooms, flat or in the common areas of the building. You may smoke on the balcony or on the roof deck on the 9th floor.

If the guest triggers the fire alarm, the guest will be billed the cost of emergency control

Please use the trash bins. Extreme littering or filth causing extra cleaning hours may be invoiced by a minimum 100 EUR cleaning fee.

It’s not allowed to bring more guests than registered on the booking without clarifying with management first.

The guest is responsible for keeping the apartment locked during the stay and locking the door properly at check out.

I consent to the above rules
Date and guest signature: ____________________________________________________

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Hi Jan;

The rules seem to be well thought out. Have you really had those kinds of problems with guests?

The English isn’t perfect, but it is very well written and understandable.

Personally I would not put the loss/theft rule as #1 unless that has been your biggest problem with guests.

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Seems a little harsh to me as a first impression, but I understand if you are constantly battling these issues. Definitely change the fire alarm rule to only charge them for a FALSE alarm. You don’t want guests to be afraid to pull the alarm if the place is actually on fire!

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Have you checked out with BNB that these rules are enforceable. ie financial penalties They don’t seem to be in line with how they operate.

How are you planning to enforce them if not through BNB?

@Helsi that’s another issue I’m curious about, but it seems fair to me that guests pay if they break something ? And as said above, I’m renting on many different websites including and Tripadvisor. I’ve had a couple of issues with Airbnb guests, and the response from Airbnb was to try to solve the issue with the guest directly before involving Airbnb. I’ve done some research and such rules are standard by most hotels in the area as well.

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@Asheville Good advice, but there is no alarm button. The alarm goes off automatically if there is smoke in the apartment, like if someone forgets food on the oven and it starts to burn etc. Is it better to write “if the guest causes the fire alarm to go off, the guest will be billed the cost of emergency control”?

I know it can across as a bit harsh, and 95% of all guests are treating the place in a good way anyways, the challenge is to try to commit those few “bad people” who don’t seem to care without “scaring away” the rest.

It succeeded in scaring me away.
I am no expert in this forum but as a traveller I would find these rules somewhat threatening and negative. Especially the whole DAMAGE/THEFT thing for the Welcome…


Me too. They seem excessively punitive. If I broke something by accident, I get charged 100 euros damage fee? I would pass right there.

I have guests who break things and tell me. If it’s something small I let it go.

I think you could only enforce them on Air if you got a second or cash deposit from them and that may be against the TOS. I would be put off by the idea of that personally if I were an Air guest.

Others who use Homeaway could answer better but I think they have a forum where owners have shared examples of their agreements. You might want to check for it.

I would write Quiet time instead of Silent Hours


@konacoconutz It’s not like I would charge someone 100 euros if someone breaks a glass by accident.

I’m actually a pretty fair guy if people are fair to me, and if poeple tell me and it’s something small I let it go too. But there must be a way to prevent people from careless behaviors, such as parents let their children climb everywhere or when guests are inviting a lot of people for a party or throwing food and garbage everywhere.

Any better suggestions?

I agree with all of Kona’s observations. Overly punitive. Small breakages should be part of the cost of doing business. And Silent Hours may have just been an translated from your native language, but Quiet Hours is what you really want to say. Silent Hours sounds like a silent retreat where no speaking is allowed.

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I would suggest just starting out with asking that people respect your home. That speaks volumes.

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As written above, I don’t charge people for small breakages, but when there are for example large stains on the sofa or large scratches on the floor because of obviously careless behavior (I can see how some people drag their heavy luggage on the floor), there must be something owners can do to protect themselves.

Thanks for the language input, I will change it to Quiet hours :slight_smile:

@CatskillsGrrl The majoirty of guests do respect the property, but as written above, the challenge is those people who don’t really care about rules or common decency at all, despite how many times you tell them.

I don’t see where you say you don’t charge for minor things at all.

You asked for feedback and my feedback is that the tone and length of the rules is quite authoritarian. It is a turn off. As a guest I would probably just skip to the next listing. It might have something to do with your numbering scheme as well. 1.1 through 1.7? Why use numbers at all?

But hey, if you get the kind of volume that necessitates this level of control all the more power to you.

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I have to say I am not familiar with the details of terms and conditions drawn up by hotels, but I wasn’t aware that they itemised charges for damages (excepting for smoking in rooms). Also their terms will have been developed with legal counsel.

Have you spoken to a lawyer to ensure your terms are legally binding.

I’ve never been asked to agree to such terms in any hotel, B & B or anywhere else I have stayed and if I saw them in advance, there’s no way I’d stay there.

I want to be treated as a civilised human being and that’s the way I treat my guests. If I had constant problems with breakages or noise or whatever I’d do something about it rather than impose rules that are only suitable for children.


I would never stay in a place that had these rules.

In your responses you say that you’re a reasonable person and that you wouldn’t charge guests for inconsequential damage, but if I have to sign a contract I believe that it will be enforced. It looks like you decide if there is damage and your guests don’t get to tell their side of the story. From your comments it appears that you plan to charge your guests for normal wear and tear like marks from rolled luggage. I believe that it is unfair to charge replacement cost for items that may have been used for years and not be worth nearly as much as when they were purchased.

I have no idea how noise sensitive your neighbors are. I would not want to have to pay 100 Euros because someone who dislikes the sound of normal conversation complained.

If cooking can trigger your smoke alarms, you have them too close to the kitchen and/or you need a fan over your range and better ventilation.


@CatskillsGrrl Rules are always explained upon arrival in a friendly tone :slight_smile:

@EllenN @jaquo Have you never stayed in a hotel before? Because when you check the “I agree to the terms” button, you automatically consent to similar rules

@jaquo What do you suggest to do?