Top

Tough times are temporary. Knowledge is forever. Sign up for short-term rental tips, news, and motivation from TDG!

Uncommon House Rules To Consider At Your Airbnb

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content for products we've tried and loved.

In this post, we’re going to talk about house rules. More specifically, we’re talking about house rules you may not have considered yet. The kind of stuff that you can’t anticipate until it happens at your property. Like a guest leaving a loaded handgun behind in a drawer. (Yep, it has happened!) 

uncommon-airbnb-house-rulesHouse rules are a delicate balancing act. Too many rules, and good guests will be turned off. Too few, and you might end up in a sticky situation with problematic guests who claim they didn’t know any better. We advise that tone has a lot to do with how guests react to your house rules. 

Don’t forget to contextualize your policies and explain why you’ve put them in place. For example, “we don’t allow pets because we want to be sensitive to guests with pet allergies.” That reminds guests that you’re a human who just wants what’s best for your property and all of your guests. 

With that in mind, there are likely some house rules that you haven’t considered yet, if you’re new to the industry—and that you might want to consider. Here are some to get you started. 

Weapons and fireworks

It pays to have an explicit policy about guns, fireworks, and other dangerous devices that guests might bring to your rental. Of course, it’s your call whether or not you want legal guns—or legal fireworks—on your property. It’s perfectly reasonable to forbid guns; it’s also perfectly reasonable to allow them where concealed carry is legal and/or where hunters are plentiful. Either way, having a policy about them will protect you should they cause harm to people or property. 

You should also include a line to make clear that if a firearm is left behind, you will call the authorities to retrieve it. It’s up to the guest who left the firearm, then, to figure out how to get their property back. 

This protects you, your cleaners, and anyone else who may enter your property. If you allow guns, it’s also a good idea to roleplay this scenario with your cleaner—make sure they know not to touch the weapon but instead report it to you (or the police). 

Filming and photoshoots

Owners of photogenic properties, beware! With the rise of Airbnb, many rentals have become the unwitting setting for films and photoshoots of all kinds. (Yes, all kinds.

At the very least, hosts and owners should be getting paid extra if their properties are being used for someone else’s money-making venture. Include a policy that states that if the rental is used for a film or photoshoot, the guests will be charged a commercial fee. 

You may decide to forbid all photoshoots and films by default. In a worst-case scenario, your property could end up being associated with a scene, cause, person or product that you would rather it not be associated with.  

In a best case scenario, though, you can create a viable additional income stream at your property. Depending on your place and the size of the company who wants to rent it, you could get paid a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. 

Google “residential location scout + your location” and start contacting various local scouts.  Set up a meeting with them at your property so that they can photograph it and catalogue your home.  This will get your home in their system and fresh on their mind.  

One more note: Airbnb has its own policy about filming and photoshoots that you can mention in your house rules: if a guest films or photos at a property without express advance permission, they will be banned from the platform.

WiFi liability

Did you know that if a guest downloads movies or other content illegally (i.e. pirated content) you could be on the hook to pay a fine to your internet provider? To protect yourself, include a clause that you are not liable for illegally downloaded content and any fines will be passed to the guest. 

Strangers

Likely you have a party policy already in place. But what about a situation that seems more innocent on its face: strangers at the property who aren’t part of the group’s initial reservation? 

Some hosts are okay with this, as long as those guests don’t stay the night. But be sure to include a policy about not giving out keys or door codes to people outside of the reservation. (A Ring doorbell on the entry door is a good way to monitor comings and goings, too.)

Cannabis

As marijuana becomes legalized (or decriminalized) in several US states, you will want to consider your policy on this substance. If you already have “No Smoking” language at your property—and/or designated smoking areas—you’ll need to specify if these rules include cannabis. Otherwise, guests might take your silence on the subject to mean it’s fine to smoke marijuana anywhere in or on your property. 

The smell of marijuana smoke does tend to fade faster than cigarette smoke. Still, you may not want to deal with the extra hassle of airing out your rental for the next guests, so keep your threshold in mind.

Don’t forget about accessibility

This one isn’t a house rule, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. After hosting guests at my Kauai property for many years, I have learned that for some guests, the number of stairs leading to her second-floor rental (25 stairs, to be exact) is a dealbreaker. So I now make it a point to alert all guests to this. While it’s not a house rule, per say, it’s a concern that I want to make clear at the outset to avoid unhappy guests. 

Happy hosting! 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Client Love

If you own a short term vacation rental or are considering purchasing a vacation rental Alanna’s course, Blueprint For Beginning...

Melissa MacNail

Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies
5
2021-11-01T12:23:59-07:00

Melissa MacNail

If you own a short term vacation rental or are considering purchasing a vacation rental Alanna’s course, Blueprint For Beginning Rentalists, is an absolute must. Alanna has gone above and beyond to lend her expertise in the hospitality business with several years of personal experience. This course is extremely thorough; complete with checklists and extensive resources, walking you through the process of finding a qualified realtor, to the ins and outs of running your business, marketing, and so much more. You will not find another course out there to match the quality of what this course has to offer. Coming in as a newbie myself I feel well equipped with the proper tools and know-how to run my business successfully and how to continue to grow in the future. In addition to the course material, Alanna holds weekly office hours via zoom where you can ask any questions you may have as well as connect with fellow owners gaining even more insight and knowledge to this ever growing and evolving industry. From personal help and feedback on website design, channel management, interior design, insurance and so much more. These are just a few of the many ways Alanna has helped me personally and I look forward to staying connected over the coming years through her office hours and private Facebook group as questions and scenarios arise. If you desire to create a profitable vacation rental investing in the Blueprint For Beginning Rentalists course will set you and your business up for success!
Alanna has been my go-to person as I've navigated the learning curves of running my vacation rental businesses.  She helped...

Cathy Scott

Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-07:00

Cathy Scott

Alanna has been my go-to person as I've navigated the learning curves of running my vacation rental businesses.  She helped me re-brand my properties, market them effectively, and connect with other valuable industry resources.
Alanna at The Distinguished Guest has been an invaluable resource while setting up my first vacation rental.  I recently bought...

Robert Howell

Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies
5
2020-11-01T08:47:41-08:00

Robert Howell

Alanna at The Distinguished Guest has been an invaluable resource while setting up my first vacation rental.  I recently bought a house in Hilton Head Island and knew nothing about what it takes to be a successful vacation rental.  Alanna has always been willing to lend a helping hand and responds quickly to all of my many questions!  If you're looking to set up a new vacation rental or refresh an existing rental, I would highly recommend contacting Alanna to help out.  She provides a 5 star experience!
Regardless if you are new to the industry or have more than a decade of being a vacation rental host,...

Celine Girard

Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies
5
2021-08-30T08:38:31-07:00

Celine Girard

Regardless if you are new to the industry or have more than a decade of being a vacation rental host, this course is for you! The course covers a lot of information, delivered in easy to follow modules with a clear, logical and effective structure. Equipped with downloadable workbooks, checklists and resources; I am now confident and ready to be the best host possible for my guests.
Alanna Schroeder’s common sense approach, level headed ideas, and years of practical experience all come together in her excellent course on STR...

David Boe

Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies
5
2021-09-03T08:09:53-07:00

David Boe

Alanna Schroeder’s common sense approach, level headed ideas, and years of practical experience all come together in her excellent course on STR hosting. Every page yields valuable insights, which are thoughtfully presented with clarity and purpose. A terrific resource.
5
5
Vacation Rental & Boutique Hotel Supplies