In the vacation rental business, there can be a lot of problems for hosts. For example, guests might check out late, take a few things from the rental, or break something.
This is a big problem when guests bring more people to the rental property without telling the host. It could be that they don’t want to pay for an extra person, or there is a maximum number of guests that they can’t go over. Either way, it’s unacceptable and a huge pain point for hosts.
If you’ve had guests bring more people and become tired of their dishonesty, there are some things you can do.
It’s essential to be strict.
It’s for a good reason that there’s a maximum number of people in your room. For example, your home may only be big enough for a certain number of people, or your neighbors might be noisy and you don’t want to deal with that. You might also not have the money to pay for more resources and cleaning up. It keeps going.
Laws in some states say that you must keep a record of every person who stays at your vacation rental. Because an accident or flood could happen and someone who wasn’t supposed to be there got hurt, they could sue you.
Also, after a shooting in October 2019, anyone who isn’t an Airbnb guest isn’t allowed. As a host, enforcing your rules will keep you safe and help you avoid paying extra fees, like legal ones.
Before the guests show up
Guests should know about your no-guest policy when they book a room with you. In this way, you may be able to avoid the problem before it even happens. You can do some things before they arrive:
1. When you write down your house rules, write down your policy.
In a business sense, house rules are how you lay out the land for everyone who comes to your home.
Most of the time, they have rules about noise and smoking and pets and garbage and parking, and the check-out time.
In the house rules it should say how many people can stay. For example, if there are 4 people on the reservation, they cannot have six guests. You need to make sure that the rental has enough space for everyone. You should also make it clear that guests can’t bring any more people with them, no matter how long they stay. Parties are also not welcome.
It’s not just Airbnb where you can enforce house rules. You can also enforce them on your vacation rental website and any other OTAs you’re listing on.
Your guests must follow your house rules because they signed them. They know what will happen if any of the rules are broken. Lodgify’s house rules template lets you change and personalize it to fit your rental business. Don’t worry, we’ve already added the section on extra guests.
2. When you rent a house, make sure to write down all of their names in the rental agreement, too.
In the event of a disagreement, you and your guests will be protected because both of you have to agree to sign the rental agreement.
Each host and business has different rental agreements. They usually cover things like maximum occupancy, check-in/out times, minimum stay requirements, rules for the house, rental rates, extra fees, and so on.
Once your guests have arrived, ask them to write down the names of all the people living in the rental. This way, you’ll know exactly who is staying in your home, and the guests won’t be able to say that they didn’t know anyone else was coming because they signed the contract.
Lodgify has a rental agreement template that covers the most important contract parts, like how many people can stay. You can get it in PDF form here for free.
3. Deposit money.
In your house rules, you need to add consequences if you break the rules for extra guests. It’s not just for damage to the property or wear and tear on furniture and other things. It’s also used if there are any violations of house rules.
Because of this, you can deposit your visitors, and only give it back to them if they didn’t bring any more people. Owners have a fund they can dip into and take money from if they break the rules. They do this by taking a refundable payment upfront.
This will make it more likely that guests won’t bring extra people because they know they’ll be charged.
4. Add an Extra Guest Fee.
On Airbnb, hosts can charge extra for more people staying at their place. There is a tab on the host’s pricing page when logged in. It says “extra charges.” From there, you can charge extra for more people. The amount you pay is up to you.
If you want to make a reservation for the next time, this only works. This fee can’t be charged after the guest has checked in and then checked out. This is another way for guests to know that they’ll have to pay extra for more people.
In their stay,
People may still bring more people even if you’ve done the above.
People can be dishonest and think they can bring their friends to the rental and not pay extra. So, during their stay, you still need to find out if they had other people with them. This is how:
1. Add Camera Surveillance to your home.
When you put in a camera surveillance system outside, you will be able to feel more in control. You will know that you have eyes on your home or business at all times. It’s a good idea because you can see who comes and goes from the property. Consider putting the camera near the front of the house or facing the driveway.
Another useful thing is a smart doorbell. This new invention is a doorbell with a camera that you can put on your front door. It automatically tells your smartphone and then lets you see the camera live. You can see who is at your front door no matter where you are. You can even talk to them if you want.
You should tell your guests that you have a security camera or smart doorbell. This will make guests not want to bring extra people because they know they will be watched the whole time they enter and leave the rental. If they do bring extra people, you have proof to charge them extra and report them to Airbnb.
2. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for them.
It’s another way to keep an eye on your visitors without being too intrusive. You can also ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your visitors. People who live near us should know when our rental is rented, so they can be on the lookout.
People who aren’t supposed to be there should call you as soon as they do. From there, you can take the next steps. You can call your guests, report them to Airbnb, or charge them right away.
If you live far away from the property, having a good relationship with your neighbors is always a good thing. Ask your property manager to keep an eye out for you, too.
3. Tell Airbnb about them.
if your guests break your rules, you should tell Airbnb. Make sure to get as much proof as you can. How did you find out that they had more people? Take screenshots of things that happen on your security camera or smart doorbell, like when you talk to your visitors or when they come to your house. They even want to see a report from your next-door neighbor. You can even give it to Airbnb.
In that case, Airbnb will open a case and do what needs to be done, whether that means charging your guests an extra fee or taking some of their deposit away from them. If your guests write a bad review about you, here are 9 ways to respond. As a result of new rules, Airbnb is now going to remove any bad reviews that were written by guests in anger or as a form of retaliation against the host.
What if I don’t want to list on Airbnb?
The house rules and a security deposit can still be put in place even if you don’t list on Airbnb. If you have your vacation rental website, you can still set them up. During their stay, you can keep an eye on them with the camera surveillance, smart doorbell, and through other people in your neighborhood or the person who owns your home or apartment. With the rental agreement and house rules, you can still take the deposit back. This is also true.
People might bring their pets with them.
If they bring their pets, the same thing applies. If your vacation rental is pet-friendly and you allow pets, you can charge your guests a pet fee. Most people would be fine with paying for this, but some people might want to avoid paying and sneak their pets in.
It’s essential to clarify this on all your listing sites and in your documentation. if you don’t allow pets, make it clear: if you have more guests, they can’t bring their pets. If they do not follow this rule, they will be charged.
Utilize vacation rental software
Be sure to take full advantage of the tools that are available. A vacation rental software can be a great tool in helping you run a successful vacation rental business.