Unspoken host rules/ entry while occupied

Hi all,
We have a nice couple staying at our hideaway. Yesterday evening the bathroom light bulb went out and I came over to exchange it. Today I bought the proper type and wattage of bulb to replace the one I put in last night.

My question is: Is it ever ok to go inside the rental when guests are not there for reasons similar to this? Tell us instances…

Not as far as I’m concerned. I’ll only go into the rental with the guest’s permission and hopefully I have that permission in writing in the message system or a screenshot of the text.

If there was an absolute emergency, for instance if I could see smoke coming from under the door or something like that, then of course I’d go in.

In the past I’ve had to go in for all sorts of reasons. Mostly to change bedding and do a mid-stay clean but sometimes with the handyman or plumber or similar in order to fix something the guest has mentioned.

Once or twice I’ve had a workman booked to go in just after the guest’s arrival. For example, I was once just putting the finishing touches to the turnover - and the guest was expected any minute - and the loo wouldn’t flush. It wasn’t just that the arm thingy had come loose, I’m used to that, but the whole mechanism had collapsed. When I greeted the guest, I told him that the plumber was hot on his heels and sure enough, the guy was there within a few minutes.

With the lightbulb scenario I would have either left one for the guest (when I have to leave things I put them in a bag hung on the doorknob) or asked them when they got back.

I’ve found that if you let guests know, they’re fine. I’ve never had one object.


All the time…if you let them know. Depending on what it was I’d ask or I’d tell. If it’s work that needs to be done and there’s just no getting around their booking I’d tell them. If it’s not time critical I’d ask them.

I had a guy booking my room during the week most of last fall. He would go home on the weekends. I needed to have my TV tech guy come do some work with new TV/Direct TV in the room so I told the guest what day the tech would be here and assured him the tech would not be left unattended in his room. If I’d asked permission and he’d denied entry I would have had to put off the work and it would have negatively affected my other guests.

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Yes, it is STR.
Like with cleaning in a hotelroom you are allowed to go in, guest will never make a problem of it.

Small repairs are never a problem, normally a guest even expects you to do it when they are gone. If a guest reports a broken bulb, or shower where the water is draining slow, they expect it to be solved by the time they return.

We even go in to water the plants on the balcony, change towels for new ones.

It is in our house rules that we can go in for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance, but that we will do this in a reasonable manner.

My opinion is that the answer is no, unless you get permission.

Here are some instances:

  1. Guest messaged me that internet went out in the morning. The cars were gone so I knew they weren’t home, so I asked if I should go in and look at it while they were out or wait until they got back. They said to please go in while they were out.

  2. A guest messaged me to let me know his son accidentally pulled a towel bar off the wall he actually understood that it takes time for drywall mud and paint to dry and suggested I come in while they were out. I told me it would be a 4-day repair (i.e. I needed a few minutes 4 separate days to repair the drywall, texture the drywall, paint, and attach the towel bar… because of the drying time between each step) and the guest was familiar with the process and just said come in.

  3. I needed to get a tool from the outdoor shed in the backyard. I messaged the guest to ask them if it was OK if I quickly went in through the side gate and got my tool. They messaged me back a couple hours later and said it was no problem. It took about 15 seconds to get the tool. I considered just getting it without asking because the sheds are off-limits to guests and I just needed walk a few feet inside the gate, but it wasn’t an emergency.

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hot mud is your friend! (20, 45 or 90 min. setting time)

I tell guests they have complete privacy other than if something urgent arises. Most often it’s that we get a thunderstorm and they’ve left windows open causing water damage to the walls and floors. I’ll message them before entering, but do so without waiting for a response.

If it’s something less time sensitive, I ask if they’d like me to enter while they’re home, gone, or just wait till they’ve checked out.


NO. Text them. Tell them what you want to do and ask if this is OK. or wait for them to come home. please respect their privacy.

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Yep I also reserve the right to knock and close windows if no guest is present during thunderstorms, to avoid sill/wall/floor damage.


I would contact them and ask for permission. It’s not an emergency.

Thunderstorm, floor damage, that’s emergency. Still I would text the guests after closing the windows saying why I needed to close the windows. changing bulbs is not an emergency. it can wait, actually.


Thanks so much all for your kind replies. I never did redo the bulb change. I was just obsessing about potential electrical baddies due to (wiring semi updated ) on our 1954 trailer!

I really think the guests were the types that would have preferred to let me not see how sloppy they were with all their stuff!

Sometime when I’ve had to go down I’ve pointed out to them that I don’t plan to snoop around and they should leave the place as they normally would. Which is quite a shock but you can’t mention it.

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