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Weighing the costs of enforcing rules vs getting a bad review


I just added a small cleaning fee to discourage the one-nighters (a cleaning fee for one night makes the per night cost feel high, but spread over multiple nights, not so much so was hoping the one-nighters would book elsewhere.) Unfortunately, it hasn’t made a difference - lol - still getting the one-nighters, but at least I don’t feel so bad now having to do all that laundry.

So I think the advice @KenH gave you is pretty sound regarding adding a cleaning fee. It would be worth a shot, I think, to at least try it out. If it doesn’t work, you can always change it back.


I agree with everyone that says you MUST enforce your basic rules. I completely understand what you mean about fearing a bad review when you’re new but - you have to start as you mean to go on.
Guests will not respect you if you let them get away with things like this. You will create more trouble than any review is worth.

I am a big believer in checking people in personally. Is that at all possible for you? It can make a big difference to how people treat your place.


I gave up worrying about how many people. My place sleeps 6 just do not go over it’s all the same price and IT EVENS OUT. I have more 2 people reservations overall, a few 4 persons and yesterdays 4 person turned out to be 5. I said nothing I do not care it all comes out in the wash.
For me it is :
Let. It. Go.



seems to me that by placing this in the title of your listing - that you don’t charge extra fees for cleaning - then you are more likely to attract the “cheapskates”…and it could be that the problems you are having might support my theory.


Perhaps you dont want to attract those who are new to airbnb…rather you would be better off attracting experienced guests, with good reviews, who understand that they must read a listing thoroughly and obey the rules, and be honest.
Something is going wrong with your theories, your concept, your thoughts, and the system you are attempting to apply.


The thing is, though, that experienced guests are not necessarily the best, There have been many cases cited on here, and other places, where “experienced guests” with a few good reviews have become complacent and imagine that rules don’t apply to them anymore or that they can do whatever they want because “their last host didn’t mind”.
It’s unfortunate but that can often be the reality. I’ve certainly experienced that attitude more than a few times.


Although I’m not an experienced host, I thu k there’s a difference between undisclosed kids versus a bunch of adults who are turning a house into a camping site. I’d personally forgive the former as a value-add much like I’d appreciate a buffet restaurant generously letting my kids eat for free. As for adults, that would have to be enforced.

With regards to checking guests in personally, what about situations where its only the lead guest is there for check-in? One of our bookings was a corporate group where only 1 of them checked in and the other 2 followed later on (they came on different flights).


The thing is that kids can cause a lot of damage to a home. They make messes and they break things because often the parents are in vacation mode and aren’t watching them very closely. We had to fight to be paid for extra cleaning when a family with four small children got food all over our walls and carpets. We had to paint the wall to cover some of it. The guest refused to pay but luckily Airbnb covered it. It’s a big mistake to let people bring children for free.

That same family also lied about how many children they had. They paid for two but actually brought four. We almost had to kick them out because they wouldn’t pay it at first. We made a deal with them to only charge for one extra child but I wish we would have charged for all of them.


Exactly. This family left the house is pretty good shape, but they were there for less than 24 hours. And in that time, one of the kids managed to smash a fruit snack into the crack of a brand new chair, and a washcloth was put into the washing machine (just put in there, not washed) completely covered in food.


Wow. That’s a really good point.


That’s a good one. :rofl:

Having been an Airbnb host for more than 5 years, I can assure you that guests never ever read the description. There have been exceptions to this general rule, but they are few and far between.


I don’t know about camping adults, due to our setup it wouldn’t even be possible, but kids? Our place was brand new, freshly painted, right before putting it out there for the grand public, when we decided to accept one 4yo from friends of my sister-in-law. I will only say that it were the most stressful days of my life. Oh hell !

All praise for those who want to sacrifice themselves or their listings to kids. ALL PRAISE !


:joy: :joy: :joy:

I suppose I need to uncheck the “suitable for small children” box for my place before it’s too late!

Has anyone done this and suffered the consequences of less bookings?


you have to make your own decisions. You know the answer to that question.
If you want more bookings, lower your standards and your rates and accept everything that comes along.
You will suffer the consequences for that too.
It is all a personal decision, and a balance of your needs and financial goals.



A lot depends on what type of listing you have and what your market is like.

The interesting thing about running an Airbnb is being an entrepreneur, learning how to maximize your business given your market. We all benefit by reading the variety of responses on this forum and determining what we think might work for our own listings. There’s no “one size fits all.”

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned here was from @K9KarmaCasa when she said (paraphrased), “Try it. If it doesn’t work out you can always change it back.”

So try stuff and see what works.


This. This. This. All day every day!

I feel like I type this every day. I’m sure everyone is giving well meaning advice based on their personal experience. Someone else promoting an airbnb service (like air gms who was posting here this week) will give advice on data they acquired. It might be two different bits of advice and neither may apply to you. We know precious little about this listing or the kind of guests that it attracts. And the guests attracted to a new listing aren’t the same as the ones attracted to an established listing, imo.

I am going to say (very humbly) that I am one of the most successful hosts posting on this forum. And yet my advice might not apply to your listing. I have hosted almost 500 guests and I have violated many of the guidelines given here.

My prices are low, I don’t charge a cleaning fee, I allow pets, I almost always review the guest right away and before they review me, I take 3rd party bookings. My stock in trade has been one night bookings (though that seems to be changing as Airbnb becomes more well known) , but most hosts don’t prefer them. Does that mean the other hosts here are wrong in their advice? No, it means they are managing their listing, not mine.


We’ve never allowed children. (I think I say in the listing something like over 12s are allowed with prior permission or something). The reasons that I give (although the fact is that I just don’t want kids around the place) are that it’s too dangerous. And it is - open water, outside staircases, balconies, hard tiled floors, glass cabinet doors at kid level, glass-topped coffee tables … it’s a parent’s nightmare.


And it’s worth reminding people that you really can’t discriminate against people with kids, you have to accept them and try to convince people with kids that their kids are probably going to die if they book your place. :slight_smile:


So, I’m still reading airhost 1 year after I quit.

I want to chime in that bad reviews when you’re new can absolutely have terrible repercussions:
One problem is that you don’t, yet, have enough 5 star reviews to balance things out and if your average goes below 4 stars Airbnb might suspend you, as they did with me. All it takes is 1 retaliatory review (I woke people up from deep sleep at 11.30, when check out was 10am) and someone who might not have liked the location (wife read everything and only showed pics to husband, who ended up not liking neighborhood (even though described) and since he was paying, they decided to leave).

So, it may not matter to all of you long-term hosts, because a 1 or 2 star review won’t bring your average down, but it can be devastating to a new host.


I don’t allow infants or children in my listing, and I can’t tell if it means I get less bookings, as I have never allowed them.

However I do get all the bookings I want, which is all I need to know :slight_smile:

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