This winter has been one of the slowest seasons in my entire 5+ years as an Airbnb host. I have a google document where I keep track of my guests' information and how much money I make every month.

Yes, I’m a bit excessive (over-the-top/hyperbolic/OCD), but all of this data gives me great foresight for future pricing and what to expect. It also lessens surprises (I said, lessens not eliminates).

I know winters can be super slow, but this winter season was so much so that I had to break my own Airbnb House Rules. House Rules are like the law of the land, the law of your land. Before you can break House Rules, you have to have them…and no, it can’t be the ol’ adage,  “Mi Casa, su casa.”  That is NOT a House Rule. That is an invitation to an orgy. Remember, “Law of the Land.”

How to Determine your House Rules?

Think of your guests and what kind of constant host experience you want to have. Here are some questions to make you go, hmmm:

  • Are you comfortable allowing:
    • Visitors?
    • Pets?
    • Overnight guests of your guests?
    • Parties?
    • Smoking?
    • Drinking?
    • Drugs?
  • What if something breaks?
  • Can they use the kitchen?
  • Can they bring food to their bedroom?
  • What happens if they lose their keys?
  • Any reason to forfeit their deposit?

Your house rules will change as you continue to host and gain experience.  Please, DO NOT punish future guests due to past guests’ behaviors.  “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.”

My Simple House Rules:

• Remove your shoes.

• No pets – sorry Fido has to stay home.

• No parties, no outside visitors or overnight guests without previous approval from your host.

• Do not engage in illegal activities anywhere on the property.

• If you break or damage something, please let me know and arrange for its replacement or repair.

• Do not leave any food out that will attract uninvited pests. Our home is pest-free and we intend to keep it that way with your help. 🙂

• No smoking – also don't discard your cigarettes in the house trash cans. They get stinky.

• Recycle – I get fined by the city if we don't recycle properly.

• Return all keys.

Ok, so without further ado, here’s my House Rules breaking story, and why? Well, the truth of it is quite simple, really. I needed guests! I needed guests in my home to generate money in my pocket. I told you, simple.

The House Rules I Broke:

No Pets:

I had guests who were having a construction in their home and needed a place to stay for about a week. They had a dog, and I said yes. We spoke about it, and I was very clear about the consequences of any noise, damages, etc. At the end of the day, I never even saw or heard Fido.

Photo by: Nomao Saeki via Unsplash Photo by: Nomao Saeki via Unsplash

Another rule I broke:

• No Parties.

These guests were throwing a birthday party. They made it very clear that the party was the only reason they wanted my home. Thankfully, they had a good review from another gathering they had at another Airbnb, which made it easier to say yes.

Photo by Yutacar via Unsplash Photo by Yutacar via Unsplash

What happened?

One more time, I was very clear about the expectations. We discussed the time frame for the party. I gave them noise boundaries, trash instructions, and other house information. I informed my neighbors about the party and gave them my contact just in case there were any issues. The guests were in my age range, over 40, so the gathering was a bit tamer than college kids.  The party happened, and I came home to a pretty clean house, everything in order. They weren’t college kids, but over 40 can still be a toss up! Trust me, I know.

In the end, your House Rules are for THEM…but at times they’re for YOU, too. “Law of the Land.” You make them, and ONLY YOU break them.

Do you have any house rules? Any you break?

Happy Hosting!







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