Airbnb house rules are set so a host can accurately describe what is/is not allowed on the property they own. A polite, yet clear set of Airbnb house rules will be an Airbnb host's best friend, and can lead to less instances of property damage, more respectful Airbnb tenants, and even less legal troubles.
However, if you have never written a set of Airbnb house rules, attempting to cover everything can seem like an impossible task. A good set of house rules will outline the do’s and don’t of the rental property, common courtesies, and anything else that might be specific to your property. This requires a great deal of thought and time, but have no fear: at Uplisting, we have reviewed thousands of Airbnb house rules, and generated a foolproof template to help you cover anything and everything associated with your rental property.
An opening statement is usually an initial email between the guest and the host, which includes a greeting and general guidelines the guest can easily refer back to. The statement should be warm and inviting, but should provide a clear understanding of what the guest needs to do before they enter the property. This should also include your contact information so guests can bring up any issues they may have before they arrive, and have an easy place to find the information. Some rental property managers prefer to automate the airbnb messaging process, as sending these emails out to hundreds of guests a year can be time consuming and leave room for error. Below is an example of an opening statement, free for you to copy/paste:
“Hello (guest First Name),
Thank you for choosing to stay at (property address/type). I hope you find this property to be a home away from home, and all of the amenities suit the needs of your stay.
I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to look at the house rules I have included, and contact me if you have any questions regarding these rules. I have put a great deal of effort into making this property a comfortable place to stay, and these house rules make it easier for future tenants to enjoy the same quality space you will be enjoying.
If you happen to damage any of the property, or feel that you may be in violation of the house rules, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I understand the accidents happen, and I am very lenient with tenants who are open and honest about issues that may surface during their stay.
Adhering to these house rules will not only help to avoid issues with the property, but will also ensure your stay is safe and comfortable. I am available (time frame within guest’s stay) throughout your stay, so feel free to give me a call if you have any questions concerning the property, the area, or you just want some general recommendations on things to do in (city, town, area).
Please be sure to do a couple of housekeeping tasks before you leave the property:
Thank you in advance for being a wonderful guest, enjoy your stay!
Include any information about parking that is relevant to your guests. If you have a parking space associated with the property, clearly define which space is theirs. If the parking space is on the street, include the parking boundaries and time frames so guests don’t end up receiving a ticket for lack of local knowledge.
You can also include any information that is specific to your local area, such as “no backing into parking space” or “space closed on Saturdays for delivery”. Another great tip to leave your guests is which way they should approach the parking space, especially in condensed areas with higher traffic.
Whether you allow smoking or not on your property will be entirely up to you. Some hosts ban smoking on the premises entirely, due to the associated risks with lit cigarettes/cigars and the potential for damage to the property. Other hosts believe that banning smoking will limit the potential amount of guests they could receive at their rental property.
If you do allow smoking, it is highly advised that you clearly state smoking is only permitted in a designated area outside, and clearly state where the receptacle will be placed for cigarette butts and cigars.
Not all rental properties are suitable for all ages. If you have a high rise apartment with no safety guards, your property may not be suitable for guests with infant children. You should also consider the special amenities you have on your property, such as hot tubs or pools, that pose a risk to the safety of younger guests.
If your property has multiple steep flights of stairs, you may want to consider disclosing the information in this section. This type of physical activity may not be suitable for elderly guests, who may have trouble navigating the stairs.
Unregistered guests can be a burden for many reasons, and also a huge liability for Airbnb rental property managers. Most property managers like to keep it simple: no unregistered guests are allowed on the property. This is as clear of a statement as it gets, and leaves no room for error.
If you decide to allow unregistered guests, you do so at your own risk. Because these guests are not a part of the reservation, they do not fall under any liability waivers that registered guests fall under. Some rental property managers that allow guests like to cover themselves by charging additional fees for the guests, or setting parameters like “no unregistered guests past 12AM”.
Parties are usually bad news for rental property managers. Most Airbnb hosts prefer a strict “no parties” policy that is enforceable by eviction. This limits you chances of property damage, and including this in your house rules gives you a leg to stand on if issues arise as a result of a party.
If you allow parties, you should encourage guests to disclose that they intend to have a party, and how many guests they plan on having. Some hosts charge extra fees, and also limit the amount of guests, how late the party can go on, and restrict the noise to avoid complications.
Be sure to include the process for disposing of garbage. If you recycle, ensure the guest understands where the recycling bins are located, and what can be recycled. Outline what trash duties the guest is responsible for, and where they should take the trash when it is full. Be sure to throw in a reminder that a clean living space makes the space more enjoyable for the next person, and less work for your hard-working housekeeping staff.
Some hosts will have their guests throw their sheets into the washer before departure, while others prefer to do it themselves/task a cleaning service. Beddings and sheets should be washed/disinfected after each stay, so be sure to outline this policy on your house rules.
Allowing pets is another rule that is entirely up to the host. Pets can cause serious damage to your property, and may not be suitable for every space. Some hosts will charge an extra cleaning fee for pets, while others simply will not allow them.
On the other hand, not allowing pets may limit the amount of guests available to you. If you decide to allow pets, you should clearly state the policy for any damages that occur as a result of any pet (relieving themselves on the carpet, chewing furniture, etc.). As a kind gesture, you should also disclose that your property may not be suitable for guests with pet allergies.
Checkout is an extremely important part of your house rules set, and one of the most crucial tasks you will have to stay on top of for successful airbnb property management. You should outline what time the checkout is, what to do with the keys, fees associated for late checkout, and fees associated with lost keys/other property.
This is also a great place to remind guests of the common courtesy tasks they should perform before their departure. Most guests will check the checkout time several times throughout their stay, so a little nudge in this section will go a long way.
Most hosts think this section is for their information only. However, only providing your contact information in this section is a huse disservice to your guest, and irresponsible. Along with your contact information, you should include contact information to local and national emergency services such as local police, poison control, 9-1-1 (this seems obvious, but include this anyways), the local fire department, and other relevant services.
Last but not least, you should end your house rules with a final statement regarding the guests' failure to comply with your house rules set. Politely but firmly let guests know that anyone in violation of your house rules is subject to eviction of the property with no refunds, as well as additional penalties like cleaning fees, legal action, etc. On your digital copy of your house rules list, you should also include a link to Airbnb’s terms of service.
While this template covers the general issues most Airbnb property owners face, there are unforeseen issues that may arise that are specific to your rental property. There are thousands of potential issues that we could not possibly cover in our general guideline, which is where the need for your own due diligence comes into play. Assess and and all of the risks associated with your property, and include ways to avoid these risks in your Airbnb house rules. Be sure to also include any guidelines for extra amenities you may have, neighborhood policies, and state/local government laws that are specific to your area.
As a general rule-of-thumb, if you are on the fence about including an item in your house rules, go ahead and include it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and a more comprehensive house rules list makes for an easier stay for both the guest and the rental property manager.