If you’re setting up a vacation rental business, you’ll no doubt have come across the ‘house rules’ section of your property listings – whether on Airbnb or another site. This is a vital part of your vacation rental listing, as it sets the expectation for your guests and lets everyone know where they stand.
So, where to begin with Airbnb house rules? As vacation rental properties can vary significantly, you’ll probably find that your rules evolve over time in response to experiences with different guests. However, to help you lay the foundations, we’ve put together this guide to Airbnb house rules.
What are Airbnb house rules?
As mentioned, the purpose of vacation rental house rules is to set the expectations between you and your guests, so that everyone knows where they stand and there are no misunderstandings. Setting house rules prevents property damage and protects your vacation rental business from issues ranging from noise complaints to legal issues.
Depending on the platform you’re listing on, guests will likely see the full list of rules in your property listing. In many cases, they’ll have to read and agree to the rules before making a booking, so this is an opportunity to communicate with guests and set the tone right from the offset.
How to add house rules to your vacation rental listing?
The first thing you’ll need to do is log into your platform of choice and edit each listing individually.
Of course, if you’re using Avantio’s software, you simply configure the rules per property, and they’ll be automatically synchronised with all your connected portals.
If you have a welcome book or digital guide book you can add your house rules here too, so guests always have them to hand.
Keep in mind…
It’s important not to leave anything open to interpretation. Rules should be written simply, without complicated language. They should also be as explicit as possible. Remember, you may have guests who aren’t native speakers of the language, and it’s easy for misunderstandings to happen.
Try your new rule list out with a few guests and ask them if everything is clear. Your rule list should always be treated as a working document which you can update whenever necessary.
Example Airbnb House Rules
Start with a short introduction explaining why it’s necessary to have house rules in place, if necessary reminding guests that they’re in a residential area. Let them know that return of the security deposit may be depending upon whether rules have been followed. Also inform them of any noise-monitoring tech you have in place.
Of course, guests are coming to enjoy your property, and it’s crucial that they feel welcome and comfortable. Try to strike the balance with the tone of your house rules, so they’re clear but not cold.
Make sure guests have this information in advance of their stay. If guests are able to park their vehicles at your property, state how many vehicles can be accommodated and where exactly they should park.
If there’s a parking garage, provide instructions about entry and which spaces are for use by your guests.
As we’ve seen, the demand for pet-friendly vacation rentals is skyrocketing. While it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of allowing pets in your property, the evidence suggests that it can be a smart business move, attracting more guests for longer stays.
If you’ve decided to open your doors to furry friends, be sure to clarify which areas pets can access, and any other restrictions you’d prefer to have in place.
Parties or events
We’ve all heard the horror stories from the early days of vacation rental, when properties were rented out as wild party venues, or worse…
Fortunately, with some clearly stated rules, this can be easily avoided. Let guests know what you define as a party (groups of people, loud music, etc). Also make sure you define how many guests (if any) are permitted at the property.
If you are happy for some events to take place in the property, discuss this with the guest in advance, so everyone is clear on what to expect.
Related to the events and parties guidance, it’s a good idea to let your guests know of your expectations in relation to any other guests they might invite to the property. While you may have no issue with this in principle, be mindful of who will be liable if any damage is caused to the property. Also keep in mind that some local authorities require guest details to be registered with them, so having unregistered guests may compromise your ability to be compliant.
If your property has a pool or hot tub, inform guests of any specific access hours. Also clarify any safety points and if there’s anything they shouldn’t take in the pool (e.g. food or glassware).
If you have a barbecue or firepit on site, let guests know how to operate it safely, and also how to clean it out after use.
If there’s any other outside space like a garden, deck, or balcony, highlight any safety concerns and make sure guests know if they need to be conscious of noise when in these areas.
It’s generally advised to make your vacation rental non-smoking. Allowing smoking in the property increases the risk of damage or even fire. It’s also incredibly difficult to get rid of the smoke smell , which can be very off putting for future guests.
It’s generally expected that vacation properties are non-smoking, but it’s better to state it clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.
Food and Drinks
Although you want your vacation rental to feel like a home from home, you don’t want it to be treated like a college dorm. You can avoid stains and damage to the soft furnishings in the bedrooms by asking guests not to eat or drink in there. Although guests may not always play by rules by enjoying a cheeky coffee in bed, they’ll at least know what your expectations are in this respect.
The option to do laundry is increasingly popular with vacation rental guests. It means they don’t need to pack so many clothes and can travel lighter. It’s particularly beneficial for families with small children.
If you’re concerned about the energy or water consumption in your property, you might ask guests to limit their laundry to once or twice per visit. Be sure to let them know about any quirks of the machine too, to avoid blockages or breakdowns.
If, like many other vacation rentals, you’re taking steps to be more sustainable, it’s good to remind guests of their energy consumption. Encourage them to switch off appliances when they leave a room or the apartment. Let them know of any energy-saving tech you have in place to help manage this.
Transparency is key
However you choose to share your Airbnb house rules with your guests, being transparent will help your business in the long run. When guests are clear on the terms of the rental they can truly get the most of the experience, without any misunderstandings And of course, satisfied guests are repeat guests.
For more information on how to streamline your vacation rental processes and get the most out of your properties, get in touch with us at Avantio.