Yard not for use

Hi everyone! Our airbnb suite is in a beautiful area with a lovely view that guests can enjoy from the inside of the suite. We do have a yard, however the gate access is locked as we do have 2 dogs. We have previously had to pay fines to reclaim them due to the gate being left open by guests. We have also had guests wandering around the back enterance to our home (also where our daughter’s bedroom window is), asking to use our personal hot tub and bringing the dining chairs out to the grass, then bringing grass litter back into the suite. So we made the decision to uncheck the yard access on our listing. What I didn’t realize is that it doesn’t show in the listing that the yard is not accessible and it has resulted in a couple of negative reviews. I’m hoping for some help with polite wording to include in the house rules to indicate that the yard is not included in the suite.
Thank you!!! :slight_smile:

“Yard access is not included in the suite.”


Thanks Rolf. I tend to overthink and want to explain why but “short and sweet” seems to be a better option.


In addition to the wording, make sure there are not any photos which show the yard.
Would it be possible to erect a fenced area adjacent to the guest quarters, so they have a bit of yard to enjoy, without encroaching on yours? I can see it being a strange situation for guests to have no outside area to enjoy in nice weather if you live in a beautiful area with a lovely view.


I think it is difficult to disallow the guests from the yard if they have direct access to it, and dissuade them from making inquiries about a hot tub in view and accessible to them.

I would consider a fence to put the yard off limits.

If not that, is there any way you can guest-proof the yard and allow some use? Split the yard with a fence midway and share? Fence off your hot tub and back entrance? Leave outdoor furniture in the yard?

Regarding dogs, I had a smaller separate fenced area for the dogs for guests who were afraid of dogs or when guests seemed irresponsible, leaving a gate open on day 1 for example. For other guests, I would send a message that my friendly dogs would be roaming in the backyard from such and such time, please keep the gates closed, and would that be a problem? 100% of those guests had no problem, and 20% would enjoy playing with the dogs. My dogs were cheap dates who wanted a belly rub from everyone, not watch dogs; your dogs may vary.


We didn’t include any photos in the listing, for that reason. Unfortunately, the actual grassy area is quite small which is already limiting to our dogs. There are oodles of hiking trails steps away from our property, which the guests seem to love.

Then you’re likely getting guests who want to sit outside. Is it possible to put a bench or a couple of outdoor chairs in the front or side yard? Maybe if they had somewhere else to sit outside then it would distract them from the backyard.


Good idea! We have talked about adding a small table and chairs in the entrance to the suite for guests to sit outside.


The safest and least disruptive way to get someone to stop doing something is to redirect them to something else.

It’s something I learned working on the locked wards of a state hospital. And if it works there…


Absolutely good idea. I just can’t see a place which is in the sort of area you describe having no area to sit outside, which is something I would only expect if I rented an apartment in the city, and even then, many at least have a balcony.

While I have no reason to object to my homeshare guests wandering around my yard, there is a chair and side table on the balcony outside their room, and guests seem to sit there a lot.

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I would mention it on the house rules and also when responding to booking requests. Something like “please be advised that you will not have access to the yard because that space is used by our two dogs and they don’t like to share it, not even with us.” I would even add a picture of the two pups in the yard and post it on the listing also mentioning that the yard is not an amenity being offered because it’s used by your pets.

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That is a trick all parents of toddlers know to use, if they are smart. :wink:

“But I’m not sleepy, I don’t wanna go to bed!”

“Oh my goodness, look at that- Pink Bunny fell off the shelf flat on his face, poor thing. We’d better give him some kisses and tuck him up in bed. Do you want to wear the green stripey pajamas or the new ones with the dinosaurs?”


The yard is fully fenced and prior to us adding a lock, guests would wander through our yard and behind the privacy screen where our hot tub is located.

We have had guests ask to visit with the dogs, which I have no problem with at all.

Unfortunately the grassy area is quite small, leaving the dogs with no room to play or toilet if we were to cut it in half.

I have to say, I’ve had dogs off and on all my life, and I don’t understand dog owners who let their dogs use their own yard as a toilet, as opposed to taking them for a walk. Given a choice, a smart dog doesn’t s**t where they live. My dog, who was free to roam around my countryside neighborhood, used to trot off to the back of a huge field behind my house to do her business. She wouldn’t even pee in my yard.

You might want to add pictures of the nearby hiking/outdoor areas that are accessible. If there is a park or picnic area, you might lend guests folding chairs to bring to those locations.


Your response is not what the original post was about and we all can’t live in a countryside neighborhood where they can “roam around”, plus you are assuming we don’t walk our dogs. But thank you for the input, I guess?

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Sorry that I offended you and of course most people don’t live where their dogs can roam around. I just know a lot of people with dogs and have found it weird that they consider dog poop all over the yard to be normal if one has a dog.

I too have a larger yard were my dog hangs out. Beside stating that the yard is not for use, I also bungie cord the gates from the inside so they are not easy to open and have added signs that say Dog inside - do not open gate. I’ve had no issues since I’ve done this.

For a while I offered a side yard for their use and put out a table and chair set but guests never seemed to use it so when I put it away for the season, I never offered it again.


No offense taken. I would find it weird as well if there was dog poop all over my yard as well. It takes 1 minute to pick it up from the yard if they don’t go while on their walk. I would hate to be a guest and have to look at that while staying somewhere.


I don’t allow dogs. I do have a yard but it’s totally a garden so no access except to walk past it on the way to 17 steps to the porch. The porch that I’ve advertised day one as a place to hang out, watch birds and just relax. Two chairs with small table and wooden swing on the other end. They can look at the garden from on high.