"Yes, I’ve read the rules…but can I check in early?"

I am so sick of guests trying to break the rules that they acknowledge they have read. The last two guests specifically told me they read my rules (which is not that long of a list, and nothing unreasonable…basically no smoking, no visitors, no third-party bookings, no early check in), but then immediately ask to check in 3 hours early. I previously tried offering early check-in for a $25 fee, but then I felt like I might get bad reviews for value or complaints about extra charges, so I removed that clause and just said no early check in allowed. In order to reduce the number of requests I get for early check in, I even specifically say “Please do not ask for early check-in as I cannot accommodate you due to the time needed to get the room ready between guests”. Clearly people don’t read or don’t think this applies to them, because I keep getting these requests. I could allow them to come early if I wanted, as the room will be ready anyway, and I feel kind of mean saying no since they’ll have to trek around town with their luggage until check-in time, but I feel like I need to stick to my rules or else they’ll start making more requests if I give in.

I suppose I’m trying to balance the humanistic side of me with the business side, but don’t know how to make it any more clear that I do not allow early check-in. Perhaps I should reiterate this in my acceptance message (“please remember I do not allow check in before 3 pm, so plan your flight times accordingly”). Or suggest a coffee shop in the area for them to wait at? Or maybe I should just get over it and not feel bad about saying no?

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Are you able to decline but say they’re welcome to drop bags off so they can go exploring & come back later?


Put it BACK IN. I’ve got $15 and it works like a charm.

Also EVERYBODY tests limits these days. I had a PHENOMENAL guest just leave, but even she read my house rule:

Only you and anyone else you officially booked in the original reservation are permitted to enter my house. Anyone else needs to wait outside for you. This includes parents, siblings, children, in-laws, conference colleagues, friends from college and anyone else. This is important both for insurance purposes and to respect the privacy of my home. If you need a different arrangement, please book an entire place for yourself, vs. a room in a shared home. Thanks in advance.

… and still asked, could her friend from college come by to “see where she is staying.”

I gently said, “no, this is my home, and i value my privacy.”

She got a laugh out of me when she replied with absolute genuineness, “OK I wanted to see if that was a rule we had to obey.”

And then I met 2 of her friends, who did not come in, but I walked them “home” from my front steps to their rentals, accompanied by my dog for safety, as they call get ready for their terms getting business master’s nearby as foreign students.

ANDDDDD when the request evolved from “can my friend come by to see where I’m staying” to rather “me and my friends can come make jiaozi (dumplings) for you and your other guests,” we had such a win/win – all the other guests raved “I’ve told EVERYONE I know about that meal,” and my guest Maureen :heart::heart::heart: both respected my boundaries AND made for an unforgettable meal.


Get over it! The once word answer to anyone wanting to break your rules is NO. Followed by “if you persist, I will be forced to cancel your reservation.”


Eventually Airbnb will let guests filter for a convenient Check In time, one that works for them.

Especially when I read ‘the room will be ready anyways’, I cannot help but think: you are in the hospitality business; so are you so un hospitable?

The rules are only in your head. Get over them.


Until then, it’s pretty simple for them to read the description and check in time themselves.

People say no early check-in for many reasons. For all we know the OP may only have a three hour cleaning window.

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This, 100%.

What is it with some hosts, is it a power thing? We often get requests for early check ins, and the occasional demand. Demands get nowhere, however polite requests are dealt with on a case by case basis. If an apartment is empty the night before, or a guest checks out early enough to have the apartment cleaned and prepared, then no problem. In some respects it makes life easier for us, gets the check ins out of the way and lets me have my siesta a bit earlier :slight_smile:

I understand that some hosts have work/family/etc schedules that prohibit check in/out outside their set hours, but if its a polite request and “the room will be ready anyway”, then I simply don’t understand a host saying no; simply because they can.



Not in this case …

We are almost always booked at 100% . If anyone asks to check in early I just tell them sorry
but the cleaner (me) won’t be finished before check in at 3PM. Problem solved.


If unoccupied and I can manage an early cleaning, I offer “I can accommodate an early check for a fee of $25.” Nobody complains; they are grateful.

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When life hands you lemons…

I’ve read many times here of various ethnic groups stinking up the kitchen with their pungent spices and I’ve thought if my guest did that I’d invite myself to dinner and a cooking class. Of course, cheap talk from me since they have no access to my home or kitchen now.

As for testing if the rules apply to everyone, that’s human nature because we all know “the rules” get broken all the time. It’s like the rules we agree to when we sign up with Airbnb and then complain about on here.


I’m pretty easy about early check in but if I can’t my standard line:
Regrettably, due to a “home maintenance issue” I am unable to offer you an early check in.
In my mind the “issue” is getting the suite ready, but at least they don’t feel like I’m unreasonable.


Yes, I see your point, but I still think a three hour early check in without any compensation, especially when it’s requested immediately after booking doesn’t necessarily bode well.

I think if you are going to put an early check in fee in your listing you should be explicit in how early you will allow it. I can often do 1 to 1 1/2 hours early for an additional fee (which I say is paid to my cleaners for “priority cleaning service” - I think that makes the additional fee more palatable).


Our check in at our large whole house is 4 PM on Saturday.
The house has a pool. On summer Saturdays, when the weather cooperates, I am in the pool, with my lovely neighbors, and the cleaning woman’s son. They too appreciate the use of the pool when the house isnt rented.
The house is paid for starting at 4PM on Saturday, but until 4 PM it is my house to use.
I am asked nearly every single week for an early arrival.
I send out reminder arrival instructions monthly. Some guests get the arrival instructions 3 or 4 times during the year and then still ask to come early. Still NO.
If the weather is lousy then thats a great extra time for me to scrub baseboards and deal with any details that they might decide to complain about. ( dust in corner / cobwebs / dust behind furniture ). I am more detailed then the cleaning crew.
We sell TIME and Space. The hospitality we provide is top notch…during the paid stay.
At my other large house, like many of you, I live on the property. When guests are present there is a natural loss of privacy and I am quieter and aware of being extra courteous. Again, I dont want them here until the paid time.
Let me also say that we are flexible during off season and winter by an hour when occassionally possible, but otherwise we stay with the program.
Thanks for allowing my rant. Pet peeve.


We say no because we need a break and some time for ourselves.

We get up at 06:00 in the morning, and start working and cleaning. Hopefully all checkouts will be done by 10:00 so we can start on the last rooms. (Late checkout rooms are generally the dirtiest).

After everything is finished we have 2 or 3 hours for ourselves, take a shower, have family lunch, take a nap, go out and have swim in the lake etc etc. This year we even introduced a break in our guest contact hours, we are unavailable between 12:00 and 15:00.

From 15:00 until 21:00 we are full time hosts again. Doing check-ins, answering questions and solving problems.

So yes, rooms are ready, but guests will have to wait until 15:00.


This week I had someone ask about flexible check out time. I said no, I need the full 5 hours for turnovers since I am here by myself. This was the guest’s proposed solution:

Understandable, with check out being at 11a and my child being released from school at 3p, what are the chances for a discounted rate for assisting you with the cleaning of the residence?

This is annoying of course but the man is clearly a nice guy, trying to do right by his kid and figure out his day as well. (backstory, he’s coming from out of town for his child’s first day of pre-K, apparently won’t or can’t rent a car and my airbnb is the closest one to the school). So I breathe deep and after getting him to give me more detail about what he is trying to do I explain the situation like this:

I’d walk to and from the school. It’s a half mile from my home. You might also check into renting a car, that might be cheaper than a minimum of 4 Uber rides in what sounds like about 24 hours. And then you have it to go hang out at the mall or a coffee shop. I understand that renting a car is not an option for everyone though.

I can’t wait until after 3 pm to clean even with your help if I have someone who wants to check in at 4 pm. Even if I clean and you just hang out you’d be using the bathroom, maybe dropping hair here and there. I’d have to go in again after you left for good. It’s not about a discounted rate or needing help it’s about the realities of my schedule. I can book all the nights I want to at full price and there is no upside to me at all to offer you a half day for free.

I know that right now my calendar might not look like it’s booked up all the time but I assure by the end of the month I will have had mostly back to back one night stays. I get lots of same day and even late the same day bookings. So I can’t even say you could stay until 3 if I don’t get another reservation because someone could book at 3 and say “I’ll be there in an hour.” It’s happened multiple times. So really all I can offer is proximity to the school and a noon check out.

Someone like Chris has too much turnover to explain to each guest why they can’t do schedule accomodations. Most of us are too busy to mess with this. But the fact is that a lot of people still need to be educated about Airbnb. I’m sure this guy looks at my calendar and thinks my schedule is wide open.


My guest checking in today has asked for a late checkout at 3pm (normal checkout is 11am). I’m still deep in the offseason and don’t have another confirmed reservation for a couple weeks and there’s almost no chance that will change, so I’m going to allow it.


Don’t feel badly for saying “No.” No explanations needed and don’t offer coffee shop, bar or restaurant recommendations unless asked and then only give them “on the way/explore the area” ideas. Otherwise it opens a dialog that will most likely end in tears (don’t ask me how I know this).

The “Rules Don’t Apply to Me” request happens to me at least once a week. Just had a local tell me I have a "Pets Allowed policy even though my strict “No Pets” policy is stated at least 3 times in the first 2 paragraphs. My listing is for a private room and bath in the home where I live and work. I have a cat and work from home - I’m not a paid dog sitter and I can’t risk the disruption from a crated animal while I’m on a call. Or my Bengal deciding she needs to knock down/open a door to get at a playmate. Bengals sound like leopards in the wild when they get going…


Pets are the worst as far as people asking for exceptions, in my experience. Everyone thinks that their Fido or Fifi is the best-behaved animal on the planet, and it’s possible they are - when they are AT HOME. In a strange environment though…all bets are off. :scream_cat:


No one gets in early if I don’t know them. If they are pushing my buttons at this point then Lord knows what the rest of their visit will be like. Obvious exceptions are bad weather and overseas arrivals.