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Welcome, Blatant RULES Violators

I’ve read a number of threads on the forum but am still unclear as how to deal when confronted with an unacceptable guest. Unacceptable, as is not conforming to the RULES as stated on my AirBnB listing.

The RULE that I can picture being a sticky issue is the number of guests allowed is a maximum of two, per the county permit.

When they booked, they agreed to the RULES as listed, right?

Thanks for your suggestions on how to deal with the family of three+ arrives at my place.

I always have the guest explicitly confirm guest count right after they book, and again a couple of days before their stay. Doing this might help you prevent the problem in the first place.

If they arrive with extra guests, you have to decide if you are not willing to host them at all or if you will just charge them for the extra guests. Then either don’t let them in (if you are there to greet them), have them leave, or allow them to stay and pay the extra charges through Airbnb.

Sounds simple but I know how hard it can be to confront people sometimes, which is why I try to prevent it from happening instead.

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If they break the rules you contact Airbnb and ask them to relocate guests.

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One thing you have to be careful about is a conflict between your county regulations and Airbnb’s infants rule. Airbnb doesn’t count infants, but your county regulations would override that, so if the county regulations don’t exclude children/infants, then you either need to make sure your listing “not suitable for infants” or make sure that is clear in your house rules that the county regulations limit it to 2 people including infants.

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Does the family of 3 include a child? And is there any possibility the child is an infant under Airbnb’s definition? (Under 2 years old)
If so, Airbnb doesn’t count “infants” in their guest count. A guest can bring up to 5 infants on a reservation. If that’s the cause, you can’t cancel them. You can add something to your house rules that says “Due to local regulations, ALL people are counted toward maximum occupancy, even infants.” to avoid this situation in the future.

If it’s an older child or adult, then the rest of advice here is good…

I have a house rule that only registered guests are allowed on the property.

When they reserve, the guest has to confirm the count and give me first and last name for each guest.

The week of their stay I send a welcome message “We have you down for X guests. Please let me know if there are any changes to your guest count or list”

I have a Ring video doorbell, so I know pretty quickly if they’ve arrived with extras, and I can use pictures or video as evidence.

Like @georgiahost says, at that point you need to make a choice on how you want to handle things.

Since you’re trying to operate legally, I’d get in touch with the guest ASAP. “Hey, guest! I noticed you arrived with 3 people. The legal limit on our listing is 2. You can either reduce your numbers or I can ask Airbnb to cancel your stay.”

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Ah, I missed that you are legally restricted to only two guests. In that case I would state clearly in your listing, and again through a message after they book, that any guests beyond the maximum of two will be refused entry/required to leave. The clearer you make this beforehand the less likely you will have to deal with it actually happening to you.

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The permit I have with the county allows up to two individuals. One bed, two people max. I am 100% legit and will not violate rules of my permit.

MY RULE is no guests under 25 years of age, No suitable for infants/children is checked.

I meet all guest upon check in and have yet to encounter this situation, but I want to have in mind how to handle it when I meet a large family at the door of the rental.

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You can’t specify no guests under 25 @Skai on Airbnb unless it is a requirement of the accommodation you live in.

I would definitely mention 2 person limit up front in your listing.

As others have said you would need to ask the guest to keep to two people or ask Airbnb to cancel the booking.

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I suppose that is age discrimination, eh? Listing has been corrected.

Odd that Air allowed that to be mentioned.

Thanks all for the input.

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I thought you could set a minimum age. The legally-protected class for age discrimination in the US is “old” people, not young people.

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That in itself seems discriminatory!

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No, I have it in writing from Air that I cannot restrict renters to 21+ like I do on other platforms. The only way is if your local rules, insurer, or HOA sets an age requirement, e.g. if it is a 55+ community, you can require the primary renter to be 55+.

I learned this and had to remove the 21+ language from my listing, and the beer from the refrigerator, when the first guests ever to arrive were aged 18 (primary renter) to 20 (only non teenager in the group of 7).

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Simply don’t let them in. On check in day, message the guest and tell them that you’ll meet them to hand over the key. That way, they can’t get access until you’ve seen them. If more than two people turn up (bearing in mind the infant thing that others have noted) just tell them about your local rules ‘as mentioned in the listing’.

There’s no need to be at all unpleasant with them. I always have my phone with me when greeting guests so if you do that, you can say to the guest 'let me help you, I’ll call Airbnb and see what we can do to find you somewhere…"

We all know that guests don’t read and that’s especially the case when listings are long-winded and/or the guests are using their phones rather than a laptop. Put something about the rental only being suitable for two in the very first paragraph.

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My insurance won’t cover 18 year olds, but I must scare them off - never been asked.

I did have a cute 19 year old for the summer who loved ice cream. Turns out he was here on one scholarship after another and from all accounts is a genius!

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Airbnb’s rule on ‘age discrimination’ is different than their rules on other types of discrimination.

For other types of discrimination, the TOS mandates that you cannot discriminate (religion, race, etc).

However, for age and familial status/kids, the TOS states that you cannot discriminate “where prohibited by law”. It is not “prohibited by law” for hosts in the US that live in their house that is ‘4 units or less’. It’s called the Mrs. Murphy Exception and it exempts you from the FHA discrimination rules. I can and do disallow children under 10 years old in my units and have always had it upheld by Airbnb when I have had to call it in (usually I just talk the guest into cancelling or withdrawing their request).

The caveat is that even though the Mrs. Murphy exemption allows you to effectively discriminate, you are not allowed to advertise your preference. That means I can put my apt for rent on Craigslist and I can decline to rent to people who show up to apply with kids (or any other thing that is usually protected by the FHA) because I don’t want kids living in my building BUT I can’t put in the Craigslist ad that I won’t allow kids. So @Helsi is correct that you can’t specify it in your listing. But you can still decline them for their age.

I believe that this is exactly why Airbnb changed the wording a year or two ago for the children and infants rule to “Not Suitable for Children and Infants” - that way no one is advertising “no children or infants”.

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I would like to add: I understand you likely have a completely different situation than I do but the 18-23s have all been some of my very very best guests. They are my favorites lately. This is a whole different generation of kids that are this age right now and they seem generally exceptional.

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So just an hour ago, I get a request to rent my place to ‘1 adult, 1 child’ with a note which reads, ‘Hi. I noticed the description states not suitable for kids. Are you opposed to a respectful 10 yr old?’

I am. Thats why my listing says, ‘Not suitable for children (2-12 years) Not suitable for infants (under 2 years)’

I accept Instant Booking unless the potential guest has no reviews, etc. This person has zero data in their profile. 0 reviews, Joined Sept 2018. That is it.

To be clear, I’m good to decline this? It’s not a cancellation, so no penalties. Sorry to be slow on this.

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I always prefer to avoid declining. Too many declines and airbnb will drop you in search rank. And there’s always the chance you get someone who is going to claim you are discriminating. Sorry I don’t recall what kind of listing you have.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/433/can-children-travel-on-airbnb

What are the features of your listing that make it a bad fit for children? I’d message back and say “sorry but I can’t host children because _______.” Try to get them to withdraw their request, that’s safer.

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I’d like not to host this guest based on two points. She’s (her child) special, so I am to make an exception. And she has an empty profile. I like to keep my place full, but I’d rather have a feel for who is about to occupy my attached apartment.

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Many hosts require more information or prior reviews. You should perhaps change your settings?

Yes you can decline and hope for the best. Keep us posted on if this results in them dropping you in search.

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