airbnb bedroom

Ideas For Airbnb Guest Rules

It’s safe to say that Airbnb has been one of the great innovative success stories of the past few decades. This home-sharing service has made it possible to earn additional income from what was previously a dormant room in your home. The opportunity of renting out a room in your house, or your entire house, can be daunting at first. If you’ve already made the short-stay decision or are simply considering the idea, it may be good to establish some Airbnb guest rules early on. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these ideas.

It’s safe to say that Airbnb has been one of the great innovative success stories of the past few decades. This home-sharing service has made it possible to earn additional income from what was previously a dormant room in your home. The opportunity of renting out a room in your house, or your entire house, can be daunting at first. If you’ve already made the short-stay decision or are simply considering the idea, it may be good to establish some Airbnb guest rules early on. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these ideas.

Cleaning and other fees

If you are renting out a room or your entire home, there will be added cleaning or tidying up to be done that didn’t exist before. Consider the additional washing of sheets, refreshing of towels, and vacuuming of rooms. These tasks all take time, so as a host, you’ll need to establish your cleaning or service fees upfront and determine what proportion of these you will charge to your guests. Take the time to calculate what your additional spend will be based on an average month of guests, then be sure to add on your cleaning fee when setting up your listing under the Pricing section on Airbnb.

Check-in and check-out

The generally accepted check-in time is around 2-3pm, often with check-out at 10-11am the following day. You may choose to treat each of these times as a case-by-case conversation, but be sure to factor in cleaning time. This will become important when you have back-to-back guests. If you can manage to offer an early check-in or late check-out it may be the difference between someone booking your place or another, but don’t compromise your cleaning quality to be flexible. Another option is to offer earlier or later times for an additional fee. Especially if it’s less than the nightly rate, people are likely to want to take you up on your offer if it means not having to store luggage or wait around either before or after staying at your property.

Celebrations

While you may not think of your 1-bedroom unit as the perfect place to party, guests may often have other ideas. Airbnbs offer homely, short-stay accommodation, which can lead to some guests seeing them as a great venue for get-togethers and may try and get away with louder celebrations which they wouldn’t be able to do in a hotel without staff knocking on their door! 

Make sure to be very clear in your guest rules about how you feel about celebrations, parties or loud noise at certain times of the day. If you don’t wish for parties to be held at your property, then spell this out in your Airbnb guest rules, under the ‘House Rules’ section of your listing as well as in your property guest guide. If you don’t mind a small celebration but are also considerate of the neighbours, consider including a time after which noise should be kept to a minimum. Some hosts choose to limit the use of outdoor areas by time as well to help avoid any awkward conservations with the neighbours, for example, “in consideration of our  neighbours, please refrain from sitting on the balcony after 10pm”

You are also well within your rights to list specific groups that you won’t accept if they book your property, such as under 25s, school-aged for end-of-year celebrations or wedding parties. 

A clever way to monitor this is with noise monitoring systems you can put in your house to monitor excess noise and alerts you when it reaches or exceeds a particular level. 

Cancellations or changes

It can be very annoying and disruptive if you have had your calendar blocked out by a potential booking only for them to cancel close to the time they were meant to stay. One of the most important guest rules to set with Airbnb is your cancellation and amendment policy. There are varying levels depending on your preference and these can also impact your search rankings as some guests may be after more flexible arrangements, so take a read and consider what is best for you and your property. 

In addition to time, these rules also dictate the amount of money you’re willing to refund. Here’s Airbnb’s cancellation options:

Flexible: Full refund 1 day prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

Moderate: Full refund 5 days prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

Strict: 50% refund up to 1 week prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

In rare cases you may get people cancelling last minute because flights have been cancelled. We’d look at each on an individual basis and either offer a generous amount to be refunded or in most cases the chance to book with us at another time. 

The Pet Question

There are benefits to both options when it comes to either allowing or not allowing pets. On one hand, banning pets can avoid cosmetic damage to your property, and your home will require less upkeep and maintenance without pet hair to contend with. However, for those that are okay with pets entering the premises, it can work to your advantage.

Attracting guests to your property as an Airbnb host means standing out from other properties in your area, and with many Australian households owning at least one pet, this can be an enormous market. Pet owners are often willing to pay more for the chance to travel alongside their feline friend or canine companion, which can offset a lot of the costs associated with additional cleaning. We’d normally consider the type of pet, read previous reviews of the guests and charge an additional cleaning fee which is agreed by the guests upfront before booking. 

Smoking 

Given the laws we have in Australia forbid smoking in enclosed public places, most property owners won’t allow smoking inside their premises. Whether you allow them to do so outdoors is completely up to you. It’s also a hard one to control as even with no smoking rules you may still get guests who will smoke outside. If you do allow some flex on smoking, you can ask guests to smoke outside with the door to the apartment closed and specify that any evidence of smoking in areas where you said not to, will incur additional cleaning fees. It’s important to stipulate these fees on your listing and also in your guest guide.

Other Potential Airbnb Rules to Consider

Naturally, there is an abundance of rules to be considered when starting as an Airbnb host. Here’s an example list of additional rules you may want to consider:

  • No additional guests allowed on the premises without prior approval
  • No shoes to be worn indoors (we’d suggest this for high end properties only or ones with wooden floors that may be damaged by heels)
  • Fees for lost keys, garage remotes or parking permits
  • Fees for unwashed dishes or if your place is left in a condition that may require additional cleaning (Airbnb will need photographic evidence if you do wish to charge a guest additional fees once they’ve left)
  • Minimise all noise between 10pm- 7am
  • Penalties or additional fees for damages that exceed the security bond (as previously mentioned, Airbnb will require photos, receipts or quotes for repairs to help support your case if required)
  • No illegal or illicit activities (this may seem obvious, but it’s worth having it written down)

Your list will change based on your preferences and the specifics of your property. However, when making your Airbnb rules, make sure that you take every possibility into consideration without completely stifling the freedom of your guests. Your success as an Airbnb host will depend on the enjoyment of your patrons, so plan ahead and create rules that ensure the safety of your property and the comfort of your guests.

Setting yourself up as a host on Airbnb is a great way to earn an additional income. Protecting your assets as well as your time and effort should be a high priority. If you’re listing a new home, room or are simply revisiting an old listing, consider these ideas for your guest rules. If you want to understand your rights as a host and what rules you can set for your property, contact our Quickstay team today.

Cleaning and other fees

If you are renting out a room or your entire home, there will be added cleaning or tidying up to be done that didn’t exist before. Consider the additional washing of sheets, refreshing of towels, and vacuuming of rooms. These tasks all take time, so as a host, you’ll need to establish your cleaning or service fees upfront and determine what proportion of these you will charge to your guests. Take the time to calculate what your additional spend will be based on an average month of guests, then be sure to add on your cleaning fee when setting up your listing under the Pricing section on Airbnb.

Check-in and check-out

The generally accepted check-in time is around 2-3pm, often with check-out at 10-11am the following day. You may choose to treat each of these times as a case by case conversation, but be sure to factor in cleaning time. This will become important when you have back-to-back guests, so be sure to leave yourself or your cleaners enough time. If you can manage a point of difference to offer an early check-in or late check-out it may be the difference between someone booking your place or another, but don’t compromise your cleaning quality to be flexible. Another option is to offer earlier or later times for an additional fee. Especially if it’s less the nightly rate, people are likely to want to take you up on your offer if it means not having to store luggage or wait around either before or after staying at your property.

Celebrations

While you may not think of your 1-bedroom unit as the perfect place to party, guests may often have other ideas. Airbnbs offer homely, short-stay accommodation, which can lead to some guests seeing them as a great venue for get-togethers and may try and get away with louder celebrations which they wouldn’t be able to do in a hotel without staff knocking on their door! 

Make sure to be very clear in your guest rules about how you feel about celebrations, parties or loud noise at certain times of the day. If you don’t wish for parties to be held at your property, then spell this out in your Airbnb guest rules, under the ‘House Rules’ section of your listing as well as in your property guest guide. If you don’t mind a small celebration but are also considerate of the neighbours, consider including a time after which noise should be kept to a minimum. Some hosts choose to limit the use of outdoor areas by time as well to help avoid any awkward conservations with the neighbours, for example, “in consideration of our neighbours, please refrain from sitting on the balcony after 10pm”

You are also well within your rights to list specific groups that you won’t accept if they book your property, such as under 25s, school-aged for end-of-year celebrations or wedding parties. 

A clever way to monitor this is with noise monitoring systems you can put in your house to monitor excess noise and alerts you when it reaches or exceeds a particular level. 

Cancellations or changes

It can be very annoying and disruptive if you have had your calendar blocked out by a potential booking only for them to cancel close to the time they were meant to stay. One of the most important guest rules to set with Airbnb is your cancellation and amendment policy. There are varying levels depending on your preference and these can also impact your search rankings as some guests may be after more flexible arrangements, so take a read and consider what is best for you and your property. 

In addition to time, these rules also dictate the amount of money you’re willing to refund. Here are Airbnb’s cancellation options:

Flexible: Full refund 1 day prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

Moderate: Full refund 5 days prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

Strict: 50% refund up to 1 week prior to arrival, except Airbnb fees

Rarely you may get people cancelling last minute because flights have been cancelled. We’d look at each on a case-by-case basis and either offer a generous amount to be refunded or ideally in most cases the chance to book with us at another time. 

The Pet Question

There are benefits to both options when it comes to either allowing or not allowing pets. On one hand, banning pets can avoid cosmetic damage to your property, and your home will require less upkeep and maintenance without pet hair to contend with. However, for those that are okay with pets entering the premises, it can work to your advantage.

Attracting guests to your property as an Airbnb host means standing out from other properties in your area, and with many Australian households owning at least one pet, this can be an enormous market. Pet owners are often willing to pay more for the chance to travel alongside their feline friend or canine companion, which can offset a lot of the costs associated with additional cleaning. We’d normally consider the type of pet, read previous reviews of the guests and charge an additional cleaning fee which is agreed by the guests upfront before booking. 

Smoking 

Given the laws we have in Australia forbid smoking in enclosed public places, most property owners won’t allow smoking inside their premises. Whether you allow them to do so outdoors is completely up to you. It’s also a hard one to control as even with no smoking rules you may still get guests who will smoke outside. Some rule suggestions if you do allow some flex on smoking is to ask guests to smoke outside with the door to the apartment closed and specify that any evidence of smoking in areas where you said not to, will incur additional cleaning fees. It’s important to stipulate these fees on your listing and also in your guest guide.

Other Potential Airbnb Rules to Consider

Naturally, there is an abundance of rules to be considered when starting as an Airbnb host. Here’s an example list of additional rules you may want to consider:

  • No Unregistered Guests Allowed on the Premises
  • No Shoes Indoors (we’d suggest this for high-end properties only or ones with wooden floors that may be damaged by heels)
  • Fees for Lost Keys, Garage Remotes or Parking Permits
  • Fees For Unwashed Dishes or if your place is left in a condition that may require additional cleaning (Airbnb will need photographic evidence if you do wish to charge a guest additional fees once they’ve left)
  • Minimise all noise between 10pm-7am
  • Penalties/Additional Fees For Damages That Exceed the Deposit (as above, Airbnb will require photos and receipts or quotes for repairs to back your case against a guest)
  • No Illegal or Illicit Activities (This may seem obvious, but it’s worth having it written down)

Your list will change based on your preferences and the specifics of your property. However, when making your Airbnb rules, make sure that you take every possibility into consideration without completely stifling the freedom of your guests. Your success as an Airbnb host will depend on the enjoyment of your patrons, so plan ahead and create rules that ensure the safety of your property and the comfort of your guests.

Setting yourself up as a host on Airbnb is a great way to earn an additional income. Protecting your assets as well as your time and effort should be a high priority. If you’re listing a new home, room or are simply revisiting an old listing, consider these ideas for your guest rules. If you want to understand your rights as a host and what rules you can set for your property, contact our Quickstay team today.