Use of common areas when co-hosting

Hello dear community,

This is my first post here, but I have been an Airbnb host on and off for 10years. I have enjoyed reading your posts and comments.
I currently rent an ensuite room in my house. I always say that the guests can use the kitchen and i leave an empty shelf in the fridge. I mostly meet respectful people that come here to enjoy what London has to offer, they typically have breakfast and be out of the door or make an evening, hot drinks, etc.
At the moment I am hosting a young couple from overseas who hasn’t left the house in 2 days, they hang out in the kitchen, living room, they ordered a takeaway and watched videos at my dining table all Saturday, while we are in a big city and they can just walk around to eat out and be entertained. They leave tomorrow, so no point for a confrontation now.
I would like to give access to the kitchen for eating/drinking convenience, but not for entertainment purposes. How could I phrase my house rules to say this, without sounding bossy/military?

Thank you for your help


Does the ensuite have a private entrance? Is there enough space to put in a mini fridge, small microwave and electric tea kettle? If so, place those items in the ensuite and indicate that the rest of the house is off limits.

In Spanish there’s a saying that translates into “you give an inch and they take a foot.” That’s what is happening now with your current guests and will happen again unless you make sure to indicate that there is no common space, only their ensuite.


One thing you could do is only make the kitchen available to guests. I am also a homeshare host but don’t list my living room as a shared space.

And as you say these guests are not typical of the behavior of your past guests, you might not need to be heavy about guests just hanging out all day, since it seems to be a one-off.

You can advertise that you prefer guests who have things planned and are out and about during the day, but beyond that, and making some areas not offered to guests, guests are entitled to use whatever spaces you make available and you can’t restrict them from staying home all day.

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It’s a shared entrance.
The thing is that I don’t particularly want the guests to eat in the bedroom even if it is quite big (for the area). I think in this instance, it was more than just eating, they spent all day in my living space getting takeways and watching videos (there is a big tv in the room).

But yes I will definitely update the house rules. Thank you for your reply

Yes I will say that
"You are welcome to use the kitchen (there are 2 bar stools at the kitchen top), but the other living spaces are private areas.
I was surprised to see this young couple from abroad stay in my living room all day watching videos on their phone, while we are in a busy bubbly city. They are not bad people, just a bit invasive

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This is always the trick with shared spaces. There are hosts who literally just say in the listing that they don’t want people hanging around in the common spaces. That always rubs me the wrong way, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it as well. You will always have some people who hang out all day in your apartment, regardless of what the rules say.

The only way to prevent it is to have doors that can be closed and locked. For example if you have way to put a door and only allow kitchen access from 6-10 am, like many hotel breakfast buffets, and again in the evening for a period of time. If you simply can’t put a door, perhaps a curtain and curtain rod and draw the curtain closed and put a sign on it. Sure they can look at the sign and push the curtain aside but then it’s not an oversite or lack of reading the listing, it’s a purposeful decision to be disrespectful. Put a picture of the door or curtain in your listing.


That’s a good idea.
But I don’t think it would suit me. I only host irregularly and prefer my house to feel like a home, rather than a lodge. I have been fortunate with my guests in general before that.
I think I will be clearer in my house rules, I was guilty of being too vague and welcoming, they are not breaking any rule here.

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Perfectly understandable. No point in overreacting for the one out of 50 bookings.

If this is a new type of guest behaviour in ten years, then I’d just accept it as a one-off.

Here, if guests are out and about most of the time, then it makes me think that they aren’t enjoying the lovely apartment as much as they should be.

If they mostly stay in, I think that they should be out and about enjoying everything the local area has to offer.

They just can’t win. :slight_smile:

Did you ask these guests? And what did they say?

I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to stay in an area for a few days (once was in London waiting for a passport or a US visa, I don’t remember exactly.)

When I hosted in the UK (in-home) I simply used to point out the no-go areas when I met and greeted the guests. This was never a problem.


It’s funny- the only guest I have felt somewhat uncomfortable with was a guest who only used my kitchen to stash a couple beers in the fridge and get drinking water, and other than that was either out and about or holed up in his room all the time. It felt like having some ghost in residence, as I’m used to guests who I have at least some daily interaction with- either some easy banter when we cross paths inthe kitchen, or chats over coffee or a bottle of wine. (He was perfectly pleasant when we did cross paths but seemed uncomfortable with social interaction, beyond “Hi, nice day”, and not at all objectionable, and I’d accept him again, it just was not what I was accustomed to)

But I’ve never had a guest who just hung out all day in common areas watching videos, which would probably also annoy me.

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I was thinking that, maybe they need to stay in London for a Visa, or flight stopover. But regardless if you are in your 20`s and in London for 2days, especially if you don’t live in Europe, you go outside, a bit no? I feel like having 2 teenagers in my living room back from Uni :grinning:

At this point I prefer your boozy ghost :grinning:
Friday night, all day saturday AND saturday night they stayed in, they are max 25y old. It’s bizarre. Maybe they are on a secret mission and have to hide somewhere?

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My guest suite is separate from mine with it’s own entrance and I don’t even like guests who hang out in the room all day. That’s why I prefer one night bookings. They work for me, but probably not in a destination location like yours unless you are by an airport.

There could be many reasons. But I’ve had plenty of guests who have hardly ventured out of the apartment during their stay.

To be honest, they’ve rented the place so it’s up to them and not really my business what they choose to do with it. :wink:


A lot of young folks these days who are in their 20s or even 30s act more like they are 18, compared to when I was growing up. :wink:

But seriously, some young people are super energetic, outdoorsy types and others have grown up in the “screen age” and just seem to sit around vegging out. Of course, that could be said of any age group, it’s just the difference of being a TV couch potato or a cell phone addict.


Did they book right before they arrived? If so, maybe their flights got messed up and they are hoping they’ll get on an earlier flight than scheduled. That would explain staying in instead of being out.

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They booked a month prior to coming in.
I was under the impression they were doing a tour of Europe but i must have misunderstood.
I live in a touristic place, so many things to do walking distance around the house.

Once i had a gentleman who stayed for a week because he was separated from his wife. He stayed in his room the whole time, watching tv. This is fine, I hardly saw him. It would have been different if he had spent the week being miserable on my sofa.
As someone said, I don’t mind what they do in the ensuite they have rented. It’s living a full day in the common area as if they had rented a whole house that I mind.
But it’s my fault, i never explicitly said they couldn’t.

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You might tweak your rules/description, but if this is the only time it has happened in 10 years I wouldn’t get excited. We have done this for over 12 years with shared spaces, but no cooking privileges and once or twice a year we get someone who hangs out more. We just work around it. on the flip side we got a guest in May who wanted to stay through the Fall. It’s a blessing. We never see her and she pays cash. So lucky!


Limited use of kitchen for food prep during mealtimes only (breakfast, lunch, dinner). TV in ensuite is for Guest use; other common areas are not available for guest use.

It’s not perfect (@KenH), but I use something similar so that they’re not hanging with me in the living room 24/7 and I’m not hiding in my room. I’ve had lovely guests who have run of the entire place except my side of the house because they’ve stayed for a longer period or we’ve just gotten along fabulously and had fun. I’ve had guests where I’ve avoided the kitchen and dining areas because I couldn’t wait for them to leave and have had to say “please use the TV in your suite” so I could get some peace and quiet.

You could just hoover the floor three or four times a day. They might decide it was better to go somewhere else.

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