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Suggestions regarding my "house rules"

Here are my house rules. I’m looking for experienced hosts to look it over and make any suggestions. Thanks!

"Please leave the apartment in the condition you found it. While I always straighten up, clean linens, and wipe down surfaces between guests, I charge a very minimal cleaning fee for the time it takes me to reset between stays. I provide cleaning supplies under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and a vacuum and broom are in the closet.

I do allow children, and as a mother of 4 I appreciate an affordable and homey place to stay with my family and am excited to provide a family friendly place to stay with AirBNB. That being said: I offer no “child-proofing”. You are responsible for your children and must watch them and keep them safe. This is a small space and there are cleaning supplies under the sinks. The apartment is up a flight of stairs. I have an in-ground pool. So while I welcome your family and invite your children play in my large yard and swim under your supervision, please keep them safe. Children under 14 must be supervised by a parent on my property at all times.

In your reservation, please count all children in the guest count, and please let me know the ages of the children in your message. If you are bringing pets, please count them in the guest count as well (and notify me in your message). I have a $5/additional guest fee to account for the food I provide, the linens needed, and cleaning required to account for larger groups and pets.

Only confirmed guests are allowed on my property, so be sure to list all those staying in your request. Thank you for understanding!"

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Sounds perfect to me!

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Is the pool secured in some way?

Legally, I’m not sure if it’s enough to warn the parents about it in the listing or if you have to actively prevent guests’ children from getting into it. Maybe check with an attorney.

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Minor wording suggestion:

How about

please include all children in the guest count

?

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I agree with Garden1Gnome. You should consult an attorney about the pool. Here is a link to the definition of an “attractive nuisance”.

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You sound like a lovely and friendly host! However, the experienced hosts here will tell you that guests rarely read the house rules.

So it could be an idea to make it short and sweet, summarizing each point with a bullet. For example:

*Please leave the apartment in the condition you found it.
*Children under 14 must be supervised by a parent on my property at all times.
*Please count all children & pets in the guest count.
*Only confirmed guests are allowed on my property.

It might make it more readable and you can easily add to it in future. Just a thought … :slight_smile:

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Yes, (it’s in my description) but the pool is gated with a 6 ft fence and we lock the gate at night.

And we have signs posted with “no lifeguard on duty” and rules about under 14 must have an adult present, and no glass/food, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion! I changed it and then updated my descriptions a bit instead of having it in the rules.

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We’ve been Superhosts for two years now. We change the way the listings are written all the time. We get a lot of people who really like to read our listings and some who don’t read them at all.

If I can tell someone is going to be a Princess, (and we do get them) and that they are not reading the listing, I will go through our most important rules with them before I let them book.

No smokers. Not just “no smoking” but No Smokers. If you are a smoker you need to book elsewhere. I don’t care where you do it, I don’t care if you’re quitting for the time you’re with us, we don’t host smokers.

I also remind them of check-in time, remind them we do not offer early check-ins and ask them if the guest count in their reservation is accurate. If I think they might be bringing a child, I double check.

We require they use the Airbnb app for all communication and I suggest you do that too. If they communicate with you any other way, you have no “paper trail” if anything goes wrong.

Get them to agree to your rock-bottom requirements before they book. That’s my suggestion. And if we did have a pool, I would certainly make sure that was discussed before you accept the reservation. Ignorance is always a bad guests first line of defense.

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Please consult your insurance agent, and airbnb or any booking site you utilize, and make sure that you are totally protected and insured for any unforseen situation that could arise, including the pool

We also tour them through the suite when they arrive and at that time, we remind them of our expectations. Point out the amenities, give them tips about where to go, show them where the brochures are, things like that. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t understand something you assume is really basic so I tell them, “I know some of this is going to sound so basic it’s practically insulting but everything I am telling you is based on our experience.” You can usually feel if they’re listening or not, if they’re not listening, sometimes I will just give up on them but usually, I can be funny enough to draw them back in. Humor helps.

Most of our guests are really happy to have the parameters clearly laid out. I believe our five star rating is up around 88 per cent right now.

You are always going to encounter a few people who don’t like you - Lord knows I encounter plenty I don’t like. I don’t expect them all to like us.

We also have what amounts to a bunch of “easter eggs” by that I mean, there are rewards for guests who listen. They get better breakfast treats for starters, and while everyone gets the same towels, we do have a range of bed linens, fine - better and best. Guess who gets “best?” Listen better, get nicer sheets - it’s pretty direct. Sometimes there are bath salts in the bathroom, sometimes not.

This is our home. It’s precious to us. We are not a hotel chain. Keep that in mind, there is no quality control that is going to swoop down on you because one guest got fresh raspberries and local yogurt and the other got bananas and cold cereal, or one got the vintage percale sheets and the other got the sheets you bought at costco - you do not have to offer everyone, everything. It’s a good idea to get a feel for your guest before they arrive and tailor the room accordingly. If they’re traveling with small children, for example, take that into account when you’re choosing linens etc. There have been times when I have even removed certain items of furniture before a guest arrives because I just do not trust them to leave it intact and undamaged.

Groups of college students for example - we’ll even swap out some of the art if they’re undergraduates.

Unless their bedroom is somehow attached to the pool, I would probably not even let most guests see it.

We are as generous and positive as we can possibly be in our reviews. However, I am absolutely frank in our star ratings of guests. I would say we’ve had about 40 per cent who would qualify as “super guests” and most of the time it’s not because they left the suite in a mess, Most people leave the place pretty tidy. it’s because they simply could not, or would not, listen.

We get a lot of folks wheedling to come early, ask me once - fine, it’s understandable. Ask me three times or more and your communication rating starts to drop through the floor. We probably won’t say anything about it in our review, but if guest star ratings ever come into play, those folks won’t be making it into the upper ranks. I do not appreciate being waylaid repeatedly to answer questions I have already answered, and quite forcefully at that. We have very busy lives, all this chatter takes time.

I added it up once, it took three hours of explaining why they could not check in early over the course of a week. If I were charging them for my time, they could not afford to stay here.

I’m sure most of these people are completely lovely, wonderful people in their day-to-day lives but that is not always reflected in how they are when they travel. One recent guest expected to be able to check in half an hour before the previous guest’s check-out time.

All I can think is, they get into this holiday-brain thing and they can only think about themselves.

Anyway, all too often talking to “holiday brain” is like talking to children so I try to make everything as clear as I would to a four-year-old without being condescending. That gets the best results. Simplify everything you say and when in doubt - leave it out. Do not grant access to things that might cause you problems later.

It sounds complicated but it becomes instinct pretty quickly.

That’s my best advice - for now anyhow.

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Sounds Great to me also - clear and to the point.

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