Wanting to visit & inspect property whilst guests stay

Our apartment is maximum 4 guests but we have very good reason to believe there are more than 4 staying there (long term rental). We can probably let this slide so long as they keep the place clean and tidy but we would like to know for sure if there are more than 4 and if its being kept clean.
Can I turn up unannounced and have a look around? Please, Im not after an “its not very nice for your guests!” answer - these are grown men that are drafted to the uk in their thousands from less-affluent overseas countries to work on building projects, they know exactly what they are doing and its a known ‘issue’ in our country that they bring extra people in to properties to save rent money. I get that. Yes, they are nice people. They are not going to cry or get angry if we turn up, i dont think they would even leave a bad review. I just want to know what my rights are as an airbnb host - can i inspect periodically? Is it different to a ‘normal’ tenancy where you have to give notice of an inspection. We want to do it unannounced as they will very rapidly hide air-beds and clear out extra guests if they know we are coming. Thanks.

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Certainly it’s within your right to inspect your own property. There’s no Airbnb rule against it. What you have to ask yourself is what will you do when you find too many people or it being messy. You already said you would let it slide if they have too many guests. Personally, that would upset me more than a mess. We have many guests who have a messy room but clean it up before they leave. However, too many people is a bigger violation. It can be dangerous in case of a fire. It can be against city codes to have over a certain amount of people. YOU could get in trouble for that. You say it’s long term. How long is long term? It sounds like you’ll need to install cameras to monitor how many people are staying there.

Hi Mike. They have booked for a month but say they probably will extend it to 3 months. I want to be sure there arnt 6 of them in there and the place isnt a mess before i agree to the extra 2 months. I visited the place yesterday and there appeared to be a 5th guy hiding in the garden! :rofl: on one level its comical but like you say, its also potentially dangerous hence me wanting to inspect. They are nice people but they are here to make as much money as possible so sneaking extra people in is what they are known to do. We’ve rented a non-air property to similar people a few years ago and ended up with extra guests but it was a big house so there was space, this one is a small apartment. I also dont want to annoy the neighbours as 5 or 6 burly foreign labourers in the building is going to be quite a noticeable presence!
So you think I can turn up unannounced and walk right in? Just wondering if its worth phoning air for clarity…?

That is exactly what you should do. I would also message them through the Airbnb system asking for clarification of the correct number of guests. Air will get in touch with them if they are breaking your rules.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask the guests to sit down and have a conversation with you in the listing about extending the lease and rules and expectations around doing this.

I don’t think it isn’t acceptable to walk in unannounced. If a host did that to me I would ask Airbnb to cancel the booking and report them.

I think anyone listing a property where they aren’t on site should have CCTV. This would have help you pick up issues around people staying who haven’t booked. Why not say if they want to extend the lease it is on the basis that a maximum of four will stay and that they accept a new house rule is that the property is monitored by CCTV.

You are quite contradictory in what you say. You say you can let it slide if they have more people than have booked as long as it is kept clean, but then say you don’t want to annoy the neighbours by having 5 o 6 burly labourers (why this should annoy them more than having four, and why them being ‘foreign’ would be more annoying I don’t know).


I agree with Helsi. Security cameras will solve this problem. That would be a good way to nip this problem right now. Tell them you are having cameras installed before you extend their stay. That will probably cause them to either find another place or keep to the limit.

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As @Helsi stated: “You are quite contradictory in what you say.”

I wonder whether you even read over what you wrote.
When you get off the fence, restate what you want answered.

I’m not sure that security cameras are as prevalent in the UK as they are in the US, as I’ve never seen them in a private home.

If you had a long-term tenant, then as Mike_L says you would only be allowed to enter the property (except in case of emergency) with the tenant’s permission and with 24 hours’ notice. However, an Airbnb let is not a tenancy in the eyes of the law and in the UK there is nothing to prevent a host from entering any place that a guest has access to. Furthermore, if the host actually gives up the right of access somehow, then he/she is in danger of handing a tenancy to the guest/tenant/lodger. An Airbnb let is much more akin to a hotel or B&B in this case, where it is usual for cleaning staff etc to have regular access to guests’ rooms.

That is, as I understand it, the legal position in the UK and Airbnb cannot prevent you doing this as it has to abide by the laws of the host country. Whether it’s a good idea or not is an entirely different matter and only you can decide whether it is worth it to you if they decide to leave after the month. I understand why you are dithering over this, as you know that Eastern Europeans (I am guessing here!) often find it difficult to get temporary accomodation while working in the UK and you want to be accomodating and not have a showdown. However, if you allow this situation to drag on you will just become more and more stressed - I think you need to deal with the situation now.

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Quite the opposite…I think the U.K. is CCTV central…



Thank you for your straight forward non-judgemental answer, you understand my situation :slight_smile:
Ive never seen CCTV at a UK property, very uncommon over here. Maybe more so in cities, but I dont live in a city.

I don’t know if CCTV is as prevalent in the UK as in the US, but my experience of living in cities in the UK is that people do have them installed and I have family that live in more isolated areas in the country that also have them.

My point is that this would be a good solution for this host who is concerned about his guests having additional guests who haven’t booked and paid staying at his/her listing.

There is a huge difference between a host giving a cleaner access when it has been agreed they will have regular access for cleaning or for someone to come in on a pre arranged basis to carry out repairs and a host turning up announced.

You will know from your visit yesterday whether they are keeping the listing in a good condition.

Once you accept over 30 days, you now have tenants, not guests. Tenants have rights. Surveillance cameras are certainly not okay whether they are long or short term guests. You just cannot do that! As far as showing up unannounced, that is not okay either. You need to give 24 hours notice and it has to be at the tenant’s convenience. You can’t just go into the house to inspect the property without reason.


As far as I am aware there is no right of inspection with ABB, one of the problems of not using a proper lease for longer term bookings.

Our house rules state that we have the right to enter the property for purposes of inspection, maintenance, or cleaning, but we will exercise this in a reasonable fashion. No one has asked what “reasonable” means, and I think I would decline them if they did.

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I am sorry you are wrong on both counts.

This host is in England, we don’t have the same legislation as the US. And Airbnb says in its policies that you can use CCTV as long as you declare it.

They are not tenants they are guests.

You are wrong. You certainly can do that. What is not allowed are cameras indoors where there is an expectation of privacy, i.e., bathrooms/bedrooms. I wouldn’t have one indoors, but I don’t need to. Some people have them in an entry pointed towards the door. I wouldn’t want to stay in an Airbnb that had them anywhere that it was watching my movements in the house but if people want to watch me come and go, that’s fine.


I don’t know about cameras in private homes in England, but England is well known to be the country with the most CCTV cameras in public places. Try googling, “What country has the most CCTV”.

As an American, when I watch English procedurals, it stands out for me how the detectives can track their suspects movements throughout the day via CCTV.

I am not wrong. The tenant has rights. Airbnb’s policy is not a law and by no means can be be enforced. I too, like the word ‘guests’, but I am also aware that really, my ‘guests’ are tenants who are occupying my property.
I also do not have an airbnb property in the U.S. my properties are in Canada.


I am not getting into a tit for tat here.

I don’t know about the laws where you are.

In England and Wales if you list through Airbnb they are NOT tenants - they need a tenancy agreement for an assured shorthold tenancy to have tenant rights in a whole listing. If they are in shared accommodation with the landlord then they are a lodger. I don’t know about Canada but would be amazed if the simple act of booking holiday accommodation for a few days gave you tenancy rights.

Furthermore with Airbnb as long as you declare it you can use CCTV inside and outside of the home except spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms.



In the US, the guests may acquire tenants rights after about 30 days in many states. Different jurisdictions may have different rules. I’m not sure what carries over and what doesn’t. That may be for a court to decide.

I think it’s playing with fire to allow stays over 28 days. If you plan to have longer term guests, try them out for 21 days and then have them sign a standard lease agreement, and collect a deposit outside the system.

Air will be of very little help should your guests decide to squat.

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