When you decide to list a property on the popular site Airbnb, there are several vital steps that you need to take to ensure your listing works for both you and the guest. You want to ensure that whether you are renting out your property or room for a night or 8 weeks, the process is smooth and you will hopefully have repeat custom. One of the most important things you need for your property is some house rules. This way, they will know exactly what they can or cannot do in the property while they are renting it. But if it’s the first time you have had to write house rules, you might not know where to start. Therefore, we have created the ultimate guide to ensure you make a list of rules that is clear and fair. Here is our guide to setting Airbnb house rules.
Airbnb - What are house rules?
If you have never rented out your room or property before on Airbnb, you might not know what house rules are. House rules are an essential way for owners to make their rules crystal clear to guests so that they have a say in how they stay in the property. It’s a great way to ensure they respect your wishes and treat the place how you want them to. The rules which feature on Airbnb are a professional way to make expectations from your guests and what might happen if they do break the rules.
House rules will vary depending on the type of property. Before you put pen to paper you need to consider who will be renting the property. After all, rules for a family will be different to rules for the young adult market. So consider your guests first before writing down any house rules. House rules need to be professional and formal. These rules will appear on your listing, so guests will get to see these before making a booking. With these rules in place, it will hopefully stop any problems from occurring that will cause you to take further action. After all, if the guests know they are accountable, they are unlikely to do things against the house rules.
Writing house rules on Airbnb - getting started
When you are writing the listing for your room or property on Airbnb, one of the things you will need to complete after adding the descriptions and photos for the property is the house rules. You will find ‘house rules’ under the booking settings option. There are several options underneath booking settings but when you get to the line that says house rules, you can add the exact options you want to with some preset rules available for you to select. However, if you would rather add your own custom rules, this is possible too with the option to add as many as you like. You can then continue filling out the rest of your listing.
If you already have a listing, it’s possible to edit the listing with house rules even if it’s already live. You just go to the manage listing option, go to booking settings, click edit on house rules and then choose which rules you want to add (or write your own custom rules) and then you can click save.
It’s important to make note of which rules you do add for your property so that you can check this later if your guests do break any rules. When a guest goes on your listing, if they want to book, they will have to read the house rules before they can reserve the property. They will have to accept them and they are then expected to follow these. You can remind the guests about these house rules on your reservation email, in the welcome letter and even put a notice up with rules to remind them at the property.
What are examples of house rules for Airbnb?
As we discussed above, there are some options you can select as house rules that are commonly used. But you can also create your own custom rules too if there are certain things you feel strongly about. Here are some examples of rules you might want to put in place for your property:
The majority of Airbnb rentals put no smoking as one of their house rules. Even if you are not against it yourself, you don’t want to upset future guests with cigarette scent in your property. It can be hard to remove the smell after the guest has been and you might not have a long time before the next guest arrives. Also, it doesn’t look appealing if there are cigarette butts in the garden or around the property. Additionally, if an accident occurs due to a lit cigarette, this could damage your property. If you do decide on a designated smoking area, ensure there is a sufficient place to remove them.
It’s a hard decision whether you decide to let guests bring pets or not. There are benefits and negatives to having pets in your property. A lot of people like to bring their pets and you might gain a booking if you do let them bring their furry friend. You could also have a higher rate for pets. But of course, pets will bring extra mess to the property. You could end up spending more on cleaning and it might put off allergy sufferers if they find out that you have allowed guests with pets to stay in your property. Therefore, decide what works for you and make it clear on the house rules whether or not they can bring them. Remember to make it clear how many pets can come along too.
Children under 12
You need to make it clear whether children are allowed to visit your Airbnb rental when you are making your house rules. A lot of rentals are allowing children and toddlers as it opens them up to the family-friendly market and you can charge more for larger groups of people. If you add some extra features such as a high chair or a crib, a young family is more likely to book your property. Toys and books also go down a treat with families. But there are some downfalls to letting kids stay at your home. There might be a higher chance of breakages and a higher cleaning bill after children have stayed. Also, remember to consider if your place is kid-friendly and if it’s safe for children to stay.
While some rentals on Airbnb advertise themselves as a great place for hen do and stag dos, you want to make it clear whether you are open to parties occurring at your place. A lot of rentals say no parties because you are opening yourself up to potential damages. They might leave it in a mess and could offend others living around your property. You need to make it clear what you think about parties and could add a rule about potential visitors. That way, it will stop them from arranging a gathering.
It’s worth adding whether there are any specific areas of the property which are a no-no for eating and drinking. After all, you don’t want to end up having to buy new items as they have been ruined from food stains. And future guests will not be happy if they see food and drink left in areas around the home. Therefore, decide exactly where you are happy for guests to eat and put down any no-no areas such as the bedroom on the house rules.
If you are renting out a room or are offering a property in an apartment building, it might be worth including a house rule about the noise. After all, you don’t want them to make a loud noise at night that will upset the neighbours or even disturb you. Therefore, make it clear whether there is a specific time they need to turn the volume down.
Add house rules that will help your guests
Not all the house rules need to be things they shouldn’t be doing. You could also use the house rules to provide helpful answers. Here are a few helpful rules that you could include in the house rules for your Airbnb rental.
It’s a good idea to inform guests about the parking rules. For instance, you can tell them if there is a space, how many cars will be able to park there and if there is a specific time they can park from and to. Ensuring they know exactly how many parking spaces are available will ensure they don’t turn up with too many cars. Also, you want to make it clear what time the car has to be moved on the checkout day so that the new guest arrives to find no space.
It’s also worth adding whether there is a specific time they should use the washer and dryer at the property. Not only will this help to cut costs for you, but it also helps them to be aware of when they can wash their clothes. You could add a limit so that they are not washing excessively while staying as a guest. You could add a good setting to use to help them make the most of the washing facilities.
It’s worth mentioning what exactly the guests need to do at checkout in your house rules. That way, every guest will do the same thing and it makes the process much easier. For instance, you might want to add where to leave the keys and what they should do about bins. A lot of rentals want the guests to empty the bins before the next guest. Therefore, make it clear if you do want them to do this before they leave the property.
Reminders about safety
Another thing you should consider when writing house rules is to ensure you give your guests some safety rules. Here are a few ideas which will help them to stay safe while renting your flat:
Locking the doors
It’s worth reminding guests as part of your house rules that they should keep the doors and windows locked when not in the property. This will ensure their belongings are kept safe when they are out and about. It will also stop a break-in in your property from occurring too.
You should also inform guests in the house rules about any fire exit for your property. For instance, if the rental is in an apartment block, it’s worth reminding them where it is located and also to keep them shut when not in use. If there are any fire drills you could also mention this in the house rules so they are aware and they take part as necessary.
Whether the property has a pond, is next to a lake or has a swimming pool, it’s important to remind the guests in regards to safety. If they have young children, it’s a good idea to remind them about the safety rules and regulations.
Protecting your property
It’s important to remember that the house rules on Airbnb are there to protect your property. From stopping damage to your home to preventing accidents, these rules are important to stop you from taking further action. Ensuring your guests are educated and aware of the rules will mean they know there will be consequences if rules are broken. Therefore, ensure you place house rules that work for you as well as help your guests to have a stress-free, uncomplicated time in your home. With these house rules in place, you will hopefully have a good relationship with potential further bookings.
Just remember to keep the rules straightforward and clear for your guests. You want to be firm but fair with your house rules. Also, remember that it’s fine to edit your rules if necessary. After all, if you have a bad experience, you want to ensure that this does not occur again.
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