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Weighing the costs of enforcing rules vs getting a bad review


You don’t need to excuse yourself. Who else hosts throughout such a long and varied festival season? I’d be on my knees by now, although hopefully at Malagachica’s, !


The majority of my bookings are also one night stays, and I think that contributes to how popular my villas are. If the guest is happy to pay the cleaning fee for one night then everyone is happy.


Well, I invested in a LOT of amenities for infants and kids + provide toys I kept from when my own kids were little, to justify the fact that there is no discount for kids. But, the fact is, there is more prep when people bring kids and more clean-up. If a child sleeps in a bed, you still have to launder those sheets. I had people recently who came with a toddler and despite me giving them a pack-and-play with bedding for the child, they also used a bedroom and its bed for nap-time so, in essence, that single 20-month old child used two beds!

They invited another family of three for one night so I said the 4th person could stay for free (I have a 6 person maximum but charge extra after 4 people) but the other two guests would have to pay $70 each (on Airbnb, if registered, they’d have had to pay $45). The guy said “Even the four-year old has to pay?” I wish I’d been quick enough off the mark to say that the 4-yr old was the free one, but I said yes, even a four year-old is a person, and that normally I don’t accept people for just one night as it’s not worth the work. Upshot, despite being at the property every day and at the pool from dawn 'til dusk, which they had exclusively from 11 am on, they gave me a “4” for value for money. When I saw that I regretted not charging them $70 each for each of their guests since it was ex-Airbnb.


And most likely they gave you a ‘4’ for value precisely because of it.

You suddenly made their holiday more expensive and the deal factor went down for them. They probably thought you would not notice the extra people.


Sorry to hear this.

It really helps to greet guests or let them know that someone will be greeting them. That way they are less likely to bring extra people into the mix. If someone brings in extra people, make it casual at first. “Oh, looks like we need to modify your reservation. I know how hard it is to get a head count when you’re trying to get other people organized.”

Charge a cleaning fee. We didn’t have a cleaning fee at first, then tossed in a $5 fee to pay for wear and tear on the sheets and cleaning products. Now we charge a very reasonable $15 for our room, and the same for our glamp tent. For us it makes the single nights more equitable, and people expect cleaning fees, I think, depending on location.

And yes, if you’re in this business, you’re going to get a stinker review now and then. Most smart travelers can read through that if you have consistent reviews to the contrary. We have something like 120 reviews on our room and we had been very blessed with good ones. But all hosts will tell you that the shoe will drop, and it did for us a couple weeks ago in the form of a passive-aggressive diatribe about hot water (and yes, we have several mentions in house rules and manual, as well as a sign in the bathroom, about conserving water, so running out of hot water should never be an issue.) I freaked out briefly but lived through it, and our wonderful bread-and-butter guests have shored us up with excellent reviews. Our guests are an amazing part of our life.

You’re going to do just fine. Deep breath. Ahhh.


If I can make a suggestion, I always let my guests know there is camera outside, but I also put these two things in my listing,
HOUSE RULES - Must be 21 or over to book. If a guest brings more people than were booked, the reservation will be cancelled with no refund. No smoking, pets, candles or parties.

In addition, I have this for all my house rules:
Breaking on any of these rules will result in $200 fee assessed and immediate cancellation of reservation with no refund.


I like that rule. But I think you would have a really hard time actually enforcing that fee. I don’t think Air is going to back you up in charging $200 and cancelling the reservation without penalty if someone “forgot” to put their kids on the reservation (as just happened at my place.)


I agree. Funny thing is… been a superhost for three years now and never had to enforce it. That to me means it’s a pretty good deterrent.


I’m sorry you are not correct on this @Sarah_39.

As Airbnb says on the link I provided earlier on this thread.

"Why does Airbnb allow hosts to discriminate on the basis of age or familial status?

Airbnb is committed to developing an inclusive and respectful community that is welcoming of all people, but some listings have features that may be of concern to families travelling with children or infants. Where the law allows, hosts can place some reasonable restrictions on use of their listing, but if any guest feels they have been discriminated against because of their age, we will immediately investigate and help the guest find a place to stay".


This is just one of many very vague and confusing policies that Air has. In the same paragraph, they tell you that hosts are allowed to discriminate, but that you can complain if you have been discriminated against for the very reason that we just told you they can discriminate.

Also, “where the law allows” puts the onus on you to research laws in your area, so this may be different for each person depending on where you’re hosting.

I think it’s just going to depend on the customer service agent you get and how that particular person interprets the rule. Obviously, people on this forum have had experiences both ways- being allowed to discriminate based on age and being punished for discriminating for age.


I’m sorry that you got dinged on review, but even though I don’t know you, I’m proud of you for getting the extra guest fee!


To be honest I think it’s quite clear.

  1. Where the law allows - is I believe most places outside the U.S.

  2. Airbnb says if there are features of concern to families - so in my case a pond, log fire and open plan kitchen, hosts can place restrictions. Which I do.

  3. Airbnb go onto say if hosts discriminate on the basis of age, where there are no safety or other concerns or restrictions (say accommodation where guests have to be over 21) , then guests can contact Airbnb.


Same here. So far we have had been asked 3 times and agreed 3 times so 3 lots of kids and they have been terrific but good to have a little bit of control - I think under 4 would be too hard for example. The last lot were amazing French kids 6 and 8 who both spoke reasonable English (both parents French too) and we had a ball with them. This process seems to work well enough for us.


Sometimes the families with kids surprise us. We had a family with six children stay with us and I was so nervous but the mother did an excellent job of managing them and they were very well behaved. Usually kids cause more messes/break things which makes me dread them.


Write a reasoned response and potential guests will understand. There are such things as bad guests. We get a handful each season.


One of my listing specially indicates not suitable for infants or children under 12 however I did learn after a lengthy decision with Airbnb is that unless it also states it in your House Manual you have no recourse but to accept them. However, if you put it in your manual they are breaking the house rules and there fore you can cancel the reservation.


I wouldn’t take their word for it. They also told me that as long as I put information in my listing about my dog allergy, I could prohibit service dogs. And then they shut down my listing for discrimination.

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