When to advertise room type as "Entire House" or "Private Room"?

New host and confused and want advice if I am offering “Entire House” or “Private Room”? Unsure to select and advertise my room type. It’s a one story 1950’s ranch home with walkout basement. Main level of home is what I wish to offer and advertise for guests. I live in basement level. At no time will any portion of main level be a shared space. There is a internal locked stairway between the two levels. Main level is your typical 1,100 sq. ft. 2 beds, 1 bath, kitchen dining and living room with front door and side screened in porch entryways. I live in separate entry and driveway walk out basement efficiency. Should I select and advertise “Entire House” has a room type? Feels weird to advertise “Entire House” because I live in the basement.

You are offering an entire house. Many people in the same or similar situation list as entire house. Just make it clear in the listing that you live in the basement. Put it in the house rules which they have to read and acknowledge.


Thank you for this reply. This makes sense. I just need to be real clear that I am living right below the space they maybe renting.

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Here’s a whole house listing with the owner living above and renting the basement apartment. He has fantastic reviews. It’s kind of like yours in reverse!


Airbnb has made this a little clearer for guests and hosts. I think you’ll want to choose “Secondary Units —-> Guest Suite”, which does fall under the Entire home category.

We rent out a studio over our garage, so we are listed as a “Guest House” since the carriage house is separated from our main house.

So, when guests look at your listing, they will see “Entire Guest Suite” under your main listing picture.

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Your setup is almost identical to mine except it is the ground floor I offer and I live on the first. I’ve also angsted over this in the past and when ABB increased the options for describing the space I went with “Entire guest suite”. Also on the first line I say: “Self contained 2bdrm ground floor apartment” and a photo of the house that says “Guest accommodation is on the ground floor”. I guess it might be different with a basement as many places the basement is rented separately from the main residence anyway and if in a city people wouldn’t care as long as it had a separate entrance. I noticed someone nearby offers “Entire House” by which they mean a private bedroom (without ensuite) but access to the “entire house”. I think as long as you make clear up front there is no real problem unless they turn up expecting something else. I did have someone contact me after they booked asking if they had booked the whole 2 story house but I told them “No” rather than “read the bloody listing!” even though it says it on the first line of the listing. He replied “I told my 4yo son we would have a view of the sea from the balcony” to which I replied “the view from the terrace is just as nice” though I really wanted to say: “you can use the fluffy white towels provided to dry your child’s tears when he realises his father is a rotten liar, an idiot, or both”. :japanese_goblin:


A friend & I had a conversation about this for his home a few weeks ago. I advised him to list it as “Entire House” and be sure to mention in the description that he would be staying on premises during guest stays in the suite over the garage (with private entrance).

He has a 4 BR 3 Bath home that he is advertising as 3 BR/2BA because he is locking off the Master Suite. Although he is blocking off part of the home, he will not be using the master suite, so the entire house as advertised will be available to the guest.

Airbnb could still do a better job of listing the variety of accomodations available on the platform. I’m still not happy with what choices are available for my kind of listing. I’m sure there are many guests who think whole house means the owner is nowhere to be seen. As more people sign up for airbnb the percentage of non-readers and picky guests will increase I fear.


I think another challenge is that guests don’t realize that they are renting someone’s actual home.

I helped another friend set up her listing for a 1BR/1BA condo which is really a 2BR/2BA condo with the master suite locked off. It is advertised 1BR/1BA with a queen bed & queen sofa sleeper, Max 2 guests. By her third guest, she’s had the question “why is the bedroom locked off”.

The simple answer is that “it is not included as part of the rental”

She locked of the master because she keeps her personal items (linens, clothing, toiletries, etc) stored in there for her trips to enjoy the beach at her condo. It is her vacation home. Plus she really doesn’t want more than 2 people staying in her unit.

I’m going to place some blame at Airbnb’s feet for this. It started as it was only in someone’s home and now they even allow hotels to list. “Belong anywhere” should not include in the host’s personal stuff. With what I read on this forum I would be so hesitant to rent my entire place on Airbnb.

We have just recently had the same question with our home. We list rooms in our primary home when we are there and rent it as a 2 bedroom entire home with the 3rd bedroom locked off when we are traveling. On rare occasions we rent the entire 3 bedrooms as a whole house listing when we are gone for longer. The 3 bedroom is twice the price due to number of people, wear and tear, etc. My most recent 2 bedroom whole house booking sent me screenshots of my other listing and asked me which listing she booked. Then asked me to give her the master bedroom based on her sleuthing, even after explaining that we keep our begongings there and rarely offer the 3 BR listing. Then she stated she thought she rented the whole house. I explained 3 times that the master bedroom was locked off and that was in my listing description. There were also no pictures of that bedroom in the listing she booked. I honestly wanted her to cancel at that point and invited her to look at other homes and we would give her a full refund. Of course her first request was for early check in, which causes me to cringe, as those guests tend to be the most memorable with endless requests :woman_facepalming:


I wonder while doing her sleuthing if she noticed she was paying 1/2 of the 3 bedroom rental rate.

I enjoy 99% of my Airbnb guests–this week has blown the odds. Similar to your observation of

I had a guest show up a day early. We shifted his original reservation from F-W to be Th-Tu then he proceeded to stay to Wednesday!!! When I billed him for the extra day, he left me a 3 star review and complained about double beds (unit has queen), poor internet, horrible TV channels with nothing but infomercials (155 channels on Dish TV including National Geographic, Discovery, History, TNT, TBS, AMC, etc).

I used to try to accommodate early check in. I’m starting to think like you do about people requesting early check in end up requesting more.

Yes, I agree. When you are asked for favors the guests don’t always appreciate it. How did yours somehow think a night would be free?! And all he did was want to watch tv and it was all your fault no good programs were on around the clock🤦‍♀️
What is funny is I will often offer early check in or late check out as we block after a whole house rental and we are usually out of town anyway. It’s the ones who ask right when they book that have an inflated sense of entitlement that carries over into their reviews.