For people that have been doing this a long time and have a lot of reviews, this thread probably won’t apply to you. But for a new AirBnB-er with less than 20 reviews, getting a bad one can HURT, so I’m really on the fence about pushing back about guests that take advantage because I know it will end with me getting a bad review.
I have a per-guest fee on my listing for more than 3 people. It’s not a big fee, but it does help with the extra time that I have to spend cleaning. When there are more beds used, there’s more laundry to do, etc. Because I don’t charge a cleaning fee, and we have a very narrow profit margin, the extra guest fee is important. I also feel that it’s a potential liability issue for both me and the guests if all people are not listed on the reservation. An example that I gave to someone was, what if someone got hurt during their stay or something and we needed to file an insurance claim? We would have no coverage if they didn’t disclose that guest on the reservation.
But in just a month of hosting I’ve had at least 3 parties of guests (that I know of) that have brought in more guests than registered. (I ended up losing a large Labor Day weekend reservation because the guest “forgot” to put her 3 children on the reservation and decided to cancel rather than pay for all the guests.) So I recently added to my house rules that ALL guests must be on the reservation, including children (which is also Air’s rule now, even to list infants on the reservation) and that I would be charging a $50 fee per person, per day for unauthorized guests. I thought this would encourage people to be honest about the number of guests on their reservation because my extra guest fee is WAY cheaper than my unauthorized guest fee.
Guess what? Didn’t work. Had a guest this week that left one person off their reservation. When I asked about it, they said, oops, it was a mistake when they made the reservation. I said that was fine, but could you please update your reservation to indicate the proper number of guests? At this point, they had already checked out, but the payment hadn’t been processed yet, so they still could have added that person. They suddenly stopped responding to my messages. I was trying to give them a chance to do the right thing and pay for all their guests. Had they changed the reservation then, they would have only had to pay an extra $10 for that guest, but now they’re getting charged $50.
I’m tired of people taking advantage and being dishonest, but I also am terrified of getting bad reviews! Any words of wisdom on getting through this new-host phase where every review can make or break you as a business?