No matter the kind of Airbnb space you are planning to rent out to guests, whether it’s a small or large property, you need to have clearly stated house rules. Every Airbnb host needs to have them because the house rules for your Airbnb space are just as essential as the Airbnb listing itself. Explicit and written Airbnb house rules can serve as the perfect marketing tool to ensure that your home is booked by the right kind of guests. In most cases, it also helps prevent problems, especially in terms of guests damaging your property.
But first, what exactly do we mean by house rules in the Airbnb business? Airbnb house rules are professional codes of conduct where you, as the host, clearly state what your potential guests can and cannot do in your house and the penalties they risk incurring if they disobey any of these rules.
The legal responsibility of establishing the house rules falls to you as the host and rental owner. So you could decide the kind of style you want to use in writing them. It could be serious and formal or maybe fun and relaxed. Now I know all of this information can be quite overwhelming because you have never written Airbnb house rules before. Fortunately, we have prepared a step-by-step guide that can help you get started as you prepare to write your own house rules.
Before we go into that, you must understand that in writing your Airbnb house rules, you have to consider your target guests and their likely demands. Remember, you did your research on your target market during your planning stage. So you can use the relevant data you have previously gathered as a guide when writing your house rules too.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, the next question is: “What things are you supposed to address when writing your house rules?”
– Check-In and Check-Out Times
One of the important things to include in your house rules is the stipulated times for checking in and out of the Airbnb property. We highly recommend that you state these hours very clearly if you want to avoid situations where one guest turns up for their booking way too early, only to find another guest on the property. Oftentimes, Airbnb hosts deal with cases of guests checking out later than expected. Such actions tend to disrupt the hosts’ cleaning schedules. However, if you can clearly state the check-in and check-out times for your property and the likely consequences for anyone who fails to adhere to them (like payment of extra charges for overstaying), then you will probably avoid such problems.
– Property access
When you write your house rules, outline the areas of your property that are off-limits to your guests.
One mistake many new Airbnb hosts tend to make is that they assume their guests are aware that Airbnb operates a no-smoking policy. For this reason, they don’t bother including the no-smoking rule in their official Airbnb house rules. But let’s not forget that your guests are going to have nationalities and cultures that are quite different from yours, so it is in your best interest to emphasize in your house rules what your guest must do if they want to smoke on your property. It could include smoking outside and disposing of the cigarette butts in any of the trash cans provided.
Nonetheless, you could even decide to ban smoking completely on your rental property. At least, a total ban would save you from having to remove the cigarette odor from your home.
Your house rules should also cover any restrictions regarding pets and pet sizes. Just like in the case of smoking, it is up to you as the host to decide if you want to allow pets in your Airbnb property or not. If you decide to make your property pet-friendly, you must consider the pros and cons of such a decision.
The positive side is that you are likely to attract more guests because nowadays more people are traveling with their pets. Also, having a pet-friendly space gives you the chance to charge a higher fee. However, here are some likely cons you should consider before opening your Airbnb property to guests with pets:
- Potential guests with pet allergies will not book your property.
- If your guests fail to look after their pets’ needs, your place can become quite messy.
- Some parts of your property, especially your furniture and carpet, would be prone to extra damage.
- Hosting guests with pets means extra cleaning as some pets shed hair and leave lingering smells.
- Some pets, like dogs, can be pretty loud at night, which could disturb your neighbors.
– Eating areas
Another essential addition to your Airbnb house rules is to let your guests know the designated eating areas. It is more advisable to restrict the areas where your guests are allowed to eat or drink. Giving them full freedom to eat or drink wherever they want can increase the risk of them staining your sofa and bed covers with food.
Imagine your guests eating stir-fry spaghetti while under your bed covers. It would mean more laundry for you. Thus, restricting the areas where your guests can enjoy their food is an effective strategy because it can save you hours at the laundry and money on stain removers.
– Unregistered visitors
As a newbie host, the no-unregistered-guests rule will help you cover a lot of bases. Then again, it could go both ways. In other words, you could decide to allow your guests to invite extra visitors to your property or you could enforce the rule that unregistered guests will not be allowed on your property at all.
However, even if you are comfortable with your guests bringing anyone along, it is better to limit the number of visitors, as such limitations can help protect your property from additional damage. If you enforce such a rule, your guests must agree in advance to pay extra fees if any visitors stay overnight.
– No parties
Remember what we said about the no-unregistered-guests rule covering a lot of bases for you as an Airbnb host? Well, this is one of those bases. To ensure that your guests do not turn your house into a nightclub, you must include a ban on parties in your list of house rules. Being very specific about the number of visitors goes a long way to enforcing this rule.
Generally, the party ban protects your property from the type of damage that usually occurs at parties when things spiral out of control.
– Noise and neighborhood
You cannot afford to have your guests disturbing the peace of your neighbors, especially at night. Your neighbors could destroy your Airbnb business with a simple call to your city council or even the police.
Hence, you must outline rules against making too much noise, especially late at night. Remember to be precise and clear when specifying in the house rules the hours your guests are required to keep noise to a minimum as well as the likely penalties they may face if they fail to adhere to this.
– Damage and compliance
Your Airbnb house rules will be incomplete if you don’t attach penalties that your guests are likely to face if they violate your rules. Let your guests know what will happen to them if they disobey any rule. Now, using the guide we have just analyzed, here is a sample that you can also use as a guide when drafting your own Airbnb house rules.
House Rules Sample
We kindly request that you read our house rules carefully and keep them in mind during your stay:
- Please treat this apartment with the same respect as you would do your own home.
- The maximum capacity of this property is four people, so no unregistered visitors or guests are allowed.
- Do not eat or drink in the bedroom.
- Smoking is not allowed inside the home, but you can smoke outside on the balcony. Also, please dispose of your cigarette butts in the trash can on the balcony.
- Pets are allowed in the apartment but, please, do not allow them on the bed or sofa.
- Parties and other kinds of events are not allowed in the apartment.