What would you do?

If you thought that something against your house rules was going on in your house, would you go in when your guests were out of the house? ie, smoking, smoking pot… Do you put that in your ‘house rules’?

Smoking is against my house rules and if I thought someone was smoking tobacco I would message them. It’s kind of hard to imagine them doing that in my house since their room is attached to my house. I’ve been both surprised and at times dismayed at how well I can smell things in the guest room. I had one couple who I could smell a strong smell with but it wasn’t tobacco. I wasn’t sure what it was and I didn’t have a rule about smells other than tobacco so I didn’t confront them. I did give them private feedback at review time. They left an unburned sage bundle as a gift to I suspect they smudged the guest room.

After that I put a rule about burning anything or using scents or perfumes. In my experience weed is much less noxious than tobacco so tobacco is my one thing I’ll be busting down the door for, so to speak.

You’re not supposed to go into the listing while the guests are there. If you suspect they’re breaking your rules, I would say something. Let them know smoking is not allowed and if you find cigarette butts around or the room smells really strongly of smoke, they may be charged extra for cleaning.

I certainly believe that. And I strongly feel that the guest room shouldn’t be entered while the guest is “checked in.” Once I absentmindely entered the guest room and the guest wasn’t there but when I opened the door and saw their stuff I gasped and pulled the door shut again! LOL. I’d heard a noise out front and rushed to look out the guest room window to see what it was. After that I put a lock on that door so I wouldn’t be absent minded again.

But to repeat, if it’s a serious violation I’m going in anyway. Take for example tobacco smoking. Tobacco smell is horrible and if someone smoked in that room I would lose out on the next few reservations which I would have to cancel as I’m booked back to backs most of the time. And if I get kicked off the platform, I get kicked off. I am not giving up complete control of the home I live in for the sake of Airbnb guests who violate my rules.

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I have admittedly peeked in before too. We recently had some people whose children caused some minor damage like spilling food on the wall/carpet. We couldn’t do anything about it at the time but we were at least prepared to charge them for it which of course they refused to pay because “we already paid the cleaning fee”. At the end of the day it is your home and you have control.

I would generally respect people’s privacy but if I suspected anything like smoking I would definitely go in. If you give a tenancy there are rules about giving 24 hours notice, but a B&B room in your own home has no such rules whatsoever. After all most hotels have cleaners go in to make beds etc. so what’s the problem?!
Airbnb has only refunded people because they’ve said they didn’t like it and Airbnb wants to please, that does not mean there’s a rule or law about going in a guest’s room. It’s your home and your responsibility, so if you think there might be a problem it’s your duty to go in - you’d soon be blamed if a fire from smoking affected other guests etc…

Although I’m a firm believer in recording everything in the Airbnb message system, I am also a believer in taking the bull by the horns in person.

Pussyfooting around - sending texts, emails, sneaking into the rental when the guests aren’t there - these are not addressing the problem and making the guest aware that the host is somehow bottling face-to-face contact.

Whether it’s a separate place, a house in a shared room or whatever, the best solution if hosts suspect any sort of problem is to march up, knock on the door and deal with it face-to-face.

When I was a guest at an Airbnb last year the host entered the attached MIL suite to open and close windows while we were out. Although she was a nice, trustworthy person, it did feel like a violation of our privacy. I felt like we should have been warned in the House Rules or a posted sign what her policy was regarding space entry.

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I have to say sometimes it is necessary to enter a room to deal with windows. I ask my guests not to leave the shower room Velux wide open since British weather changes so quickly and rain would flood the room … A couple of times I have had to run up to the loft to mop up the water in a storm.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your kind feedback. I don’t know for sure they are smoking in the room. I hope not. I was wondering if anyone has put it in their house rules that as the host, if a rule such as that is suspected to be violated, that you had the right to enter the premises. It’s a MIL suite so I could poke my head into the hallway if I was certain. But I’m not certain. Please pray that they are not smoking in there. I have back to back bookings and I’m a new host. Only have 3 reviews so far!

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Have you tried asking them? I would add a policy for an extra cleaning fee if you find out that people have been smoking in the room. As has been mentioned, the smell of smoke can be hard to get rid of.

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I would NOT go into the space until they have checked out. If you discover that they were smoking, then I would penalize them and keep part of the deposit. Explain to them that you will need the extra funds for cleaning supplies to get rid of the odor.