Airbnb House Rules: Best Examples and Free Template
If you’ve found yourself asking “what are house rules for Airbnb?” then you’ve come to the right place. Airbnb house rules are there to provide the visitor with what they can and cannot do inside and around the house. This is to ensure that not only do they follow what is expected of them but they are aware of these rules prior to showing up.
These rules would include everything about smoking, drinking, pets, visitors, going into places of the house that are off-limits and more. Without going too deep in borderline cases included in the Airbnb insurance, whatever you feel that the visitor is not able to do or what they should know about should be included in these Airbnb house rules and posted with the listing.
Why do you need Airbnb house rules?
Typically, guests want to know what they’re allowed to do just as much as you want them to follow it. When everyone is on the same page, guests have more fun and owners feel more at ease. Implementing Airbnb house rules sets the stage for a smooth rental experience for both parties.
You’re setting an expectation in advance, but by applying house rules, you also safeguard your business from future liabilities. If guests break a rule, you’ll have the agreement to fall back on that explicitly states what is or isn’t allowed. With this, if something goes wrong or breaks, you’ll be covered.
What to include in your Airbnb house rules template
There are many things that can be included in the house rules, so consider what you would do inside the home and what you would not like someone else to do if they show up.
Many people put their rules on smoking, drinking, security deposit, visitors that can come and go, shoes on or off and some even have spots around the home that they wouldn’t want visitors to enter. Some even put rules as far as illegal downloading, parties, excessive noise, breakage and more. The list can go on, but whatever you feel the most comfortable adding should be added.
The additions that you make to the Airbnb house rules are important, as this is what is going to determine not only what the guest does, but also what they are expected to do while they are there. They are able to see these rules when they book the room and some people may not want to worry about smoking rules, while others may enjoy the fact that the inside of the rental is smoke-free.
Every guest is different, but renting a property to someone means that you have to ensure that your property is taken care of and that you have respectful visitors coming and going from it.
Your house rules can be expanded upon as much as you’d like or you can keep it simple. Some people enjoy just creating a small list of rules, such as keep shoes outside, smoke on the balconies, no loud music and enjoy! Others have a chapter full of do’s and don’ts.
Your vacation rental will determine the length of the Airbnb house rules you have. Rules are crucial as you need to make sure you cover the important information that keeps guests safe and maximizes satisfaction.
Best examples of Airbnb House Rules
When creating your own house rules, it might be difficult to get started. What do you want guests to know? What is off-limits and what is okay? Oftentimes, hosts don’t make certain house rules until they’ve learned a lesson from previous experiences. To avoid experiencing these problems for yourself, we’ve compiled a list of Airbnb common house rules that you can add and customize for your own use.
Even if you rent out the entire property, there might be certain areas that you want your guests to avoid. It’s important to be explicit about this so guests feel comfortable using the proper spaces and also avoid damaging the restricted areas.
What areas might you want your guests to avoid? Any areas that are under construction, are for personal use, or just generally aren’t intended for the guest should be mentioned in the list of restricted areas. Here’s an example:
“Guests are prohibited from entering and using the outdoor shed and upstairs attic. Under no circumstances will guests be allowed to enter these areas.”
Fortunately, most guests understand that smoking isn’t usually permitted inside the house, but just to be safe, you’ll always want to be clear about this in your Airbnb house rules. If you have a designated area for smokers, detail where the location is and any rules surrounding usage.
We suggest something like this:
“Smoking is prohibited inside the home and within a 50-foot radius of the house. There is a designated smoking area on the back patio with ashtrays provided.
Smokers are only to ash and dispose of cigarettes in the ashtray provided.”
Parties and social gatherings
A major fear for hosts is parties. Parties and gatherings always run the risk of broken glasses, spills, stains, and a general mess that you want to avoid at all costs. To eliminate this problem, the best thing you can do is to prohibit parties entirely. If you do allow gatherings on your property, the amount of guests and specific rules surrounding parties needs to be entirely clear to avoid potential confusion.
If you’re planning to ban functions, we recommend something along these lines:
“Parties, gatherings, and functions of any kind are strictly prohibited on the Airbnb property.”
Much like the issues associated with parties, extra guests are less than desirable. Any additional visitor takes an expense out of your pocket. To stay in good graces with guests and avoid future problems, it’s best to either not allow extra guests or set a capacity limit with a no-overnight clause.
If you choose to allow visitors, you can say this:
“Guests are only allowed a maximum of 2 visitors for the entire duration of the stay. Under no circumstances will visitors be allowed to stay the night.”
If your property is in a city or neighborhood, you probably have a sound ordinance to abide by. Even if you’re not the one breaking the rules of the sound ordinance, you could still be liable and fined. To avoid these expenses, include a rule about noise.
Our template states:
“Guests and Visitors must keep noise to a minimum as not to disturb the occupants of neighboring properties – especially during nighttime hours (e.g. 11pm – 8am), and upon arrival and departure”
Many towns and cities have particular rules in place surrounding trash and recycling. If your guests are from out of town, they might not be familiar with the different bins or how to sort their trash. Having rules for trash and recycling are useful and save you the headache of having to deal with it later.
Our template allows you to input the exact rules for trash on your property, but you could say something like:
“Recycling is to be disposed of in the blue bin, organic and compost is disposed of in the brown bin, paper and cardboard products are thrown in the yellow bin, and all other trash can be disposed of in the black bin.
All trash must be disposed of in these designated bins and should never be left around the property.”
If you’ve ever had a guest lose, misplace, or break keys then you know how much hassle can ensue. Avoid this trouble by emphasizing the importance of the guest keys in your Airbnb house rules template.
“Keys are to remain in the possession of the primary guest at all times during the stay. The keys should never be replicated or left out of the care of the primary guest.”
Appliances and Electronics
One of the greatest benefits of staying in a vacation home versus a hotel is the appliance and electronics offerings. Unlike traditional hotel accommodations, many short-term rentals come with a complete kitchen setup as well as appliances in the bathroom or laundry area. These perks help to increase bookings, but rules are necessary for property usage. To avoid problems you should be clear about the usage of each appliance in the house.
“TV usage is allowed for guests during the entire duration of their stay. The streaming services included are Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus. Guests are not allowed to purchase, download, or rent any subscription or entertainment not listed above.”
Are Airbnb house rules legally binding?
Yes, but be wary of any exceptions to the rule. The Airbnb terms and services are legally binding and well backed by a legal team. Likewise, your own house rules can be legally binding, but in the event of a court case or legal issue, you might have trouble defending it under the law, as a stand-alone document.
Some hosts choose to incorporate their house rules into the rental agreement to give it more legitimacy. If guests break a rule, this would be considered a “breach of contract” and therefore could have legal consequences. You can download our free Airbnb rental agreement template below:
What to do if Airbnb guests break house rules
The reality is guests will break the rules, whether intentional or accidental. It will happen and you’ll need a clear response and action plan for when it happens to keep the interaction professional and resolvable. When an Airbnb guest breaks house rules, you’ll need to think about how to proceed before acting any further.
Depending on the severity of the offense, you might have a couple of different routes to follow. Gauge what you think would be the best course of action for each scenario so as not to aggravate the situation and get bad reviews.
Speak with your guests
You’ll never know what happened or what your guests plan to do to resolve the situation if you don’t ask! In many cases, guests are happy to right the wrong if you just talk to them first. Let’s say for example a guest broke a bedside lamp. If you talk to them about it and explain that the cost will be deducted from their deposit, you might not have to take any further action. In the best-case scenario, you avoid unnecessary paperwork and make your guests a whole lot happier.
This highlights the importance of having a damage deposit in the first place. Without one, you risk having to jump through several hoops for reimbursement. A damage deposit and open line of communication help to ensure smooth fixes in the case of a rule break without the guest experience being damaged as well.
If you maintain good contact with your guests, you’ll resolve the issue quicker and have a faster turnaround time to get your property back on the market and accepting bookings.
Address the issue immediately
If your guests report damages during the stay, the course of action should be established in the timeframe of the reservation. Nobody wants lingering problems after their vacation. If you have a plan to fix the problem before they leave, then your guests can finish their vacation without further problems. This does NOT mean that you should actually have the damages repaired during their stay, only that the reimbursement of the damages and scheduling of the repairs should be done during the period of their stay.
The best time to get these damages squared away is at checkout. Obviously, you can’t visit the property in the middle of their stay, but if you include a home inspection as a part of the check-out process, it will allow you to take care of the problem while your guests are present.
If you discover the damage after check-out, you can still swiftly deal with the rule break. Follow up with guests immediately and before the next guests arrive. It will get harder to prove fault if you’ve already admitted other visitors onto the property at the time that you accuse the previous guests of breaking the rules.
Keep it professional
This one should go without saying. We all want to believe that there’s a silently understood agreement of trust and respect when it comes to a guests’ stay, but sometimes rules are broken and poorly handled. It needs to stay professional on your end. Not only to avoid bad reviews or guest dissatisfaction but also because these interactions could, in the worst case, be assessed in court.
If you’re handling the broken rules poorly and not appropriately communicating with guests, you risk looking unprofessional and losing your legal standing in court.
Reimbursement or filing claims
If an expense, fee, or fine was incurred at the fault of a guest, you need to clearly write down the amount owed and make the guests aware of this charge and how you got to that number. If it’s something simple like a parking ticket, you can attach a copy of the fine as proof of the owed amount, but it gets complicated when property damage, like artwork or landscaping, is destroyed.
The best thing you can do is have receipts on file of all the purchases you made for your vacation rental. That way, if a guest breaks something, you’ll have documentation of the exact value of the item. If you don’t have the receipts, hiring an appraiser for high-value items is advisable.
All requests for reimbursement should be made on paper. Remember that verbal agreements, especially as it relates to vacation rentals, would not hold up in court.
How to remove guests who break Airbnb house rules
In some cases, guests simply must be asked to leave the property. If you decide that it would be worse or more costly to continue a guest’s stay then the best thing you can do is terminate their reservation and ask them to leave.
This should be handled with extreme care to avoid further problems. Be professional, calm, and clear about the reason for removal. You need to state the amount of time guests have to vacate the property.
To avoid problems, you should be on the premises at the time the guests are removed.
How to set up an Airbnb house rules template
Airbnb house rules must be stated before guests start their stay. Hosts can choose if the house rules should be agreed upon at the moment of booking or anytime before the reservation begins. The important part is that an agreement is reached before guests step foot on the property.
As mentioned, the house rules should be included in the vacation rental agreement. Not only does this save your guests the trouble of having to skim through legal documents multiple times, it also gives legitimacy to your house rules.
Where are house rules on Airbnb?
House rules are found under your “listings” settings on the Airbnb website. You can mention them there and they will appear under your property, but if you want to have it as a separate document, you’ll need to send it to your guests separately.
How to edit house rules on Airbnb
If you have your house rules directly listed on Airbnb you can adjust the rules by going to your listing on the Airbnb website and follow these steps:
- Click Manage listing on the listing you want to edit
- Click Booking settings at the top of the page
- Next to House rules, click Edit
- Select your expectations and rules for guests, then click Save
Download our free Airbnb house rules template
We have made the work of creating your own house rules for your Airbnb rental easier by putting together a template. We’ve covered some of the basics, as well as extras that others have recommended in their Airbnb guidebooks.
This allows you to go through the checklist of things and add or take away what you feel is important to your rental property. Covering all bases is ideal when renting to others and you want to ensure that damages or other instances are taken care of appropriately.
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