Writing helpful house rules
Your house rules are so much more than just a list of do's and don’ts. They set expectations for guests, and give them a preview into your hosting style. They also help guests evaluate whether your space is a good fit before they book it, which can make for a better experience. Because of the importance of house rules, we’ve made them visible to guests when they book.
Need a little help writing yours? Follow these tips from hosts like you.
Keep it simple
Use clear, easy-to-understand language. “House rules should not read like legal mumbo jumbo. If they do, nobody will read them or potential guests will go to another listing that’s less complicated,” says J Renata, a host in Rio de Janeiro.
The best way to keep things simple? Think about how you would want a guest to behave in your space, and how you’d explain that if you were talking to them in person—then write that way.
You also don’t want to overwhelm guests with too many rules. Focus on the must-haves and save the nice-to-haves for sharing elsewhere.
“I don’t put courtesy requests or pointers, like where to leave towels and what to do with laundry, into my house rules,” says host Annette from Prescott, Arizona. “I communicate those in person when guiding guests through the apartment, or I leave a friendly note.” Another option would be to create a house manual for helpful details that don’t necessarily belong in your house rules.
Don’t assume guests are as vigilant about safety and security as you are. It’s a good idea to share this type of info in your house rules. Here’s how some hosts have done this:
- “Please close and lock all windows and doors when you leave the suite.” —Dave and Deb, Edmonton, Canada
- “No candles. None. Instead, we provide flameless, battery-operated candles for you to use.” —Heather, Ithaca, New York
It's also important to emphasize health and safety requirements related to COVID-19. Use your house rules to remind guests of mandatory practices around masks and social distancing, and highlight any additional guidelines for shared spaces if necessary.
Take the opportunity to educate guests
If your guests are visiting from afar, they might not be aware of issues specific to your location or culture. Your house rules can be a chance to share critical information. Here’s how some hosts have incorporated local knowledge:
- “We ask that you be prudently silent and discreet, especially at night or during the siesta.” —Beatriz Elena, Medellin, Colombia
- “No shoes inside. This is very common in Thailand.” —Nutth, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- “Illegal downloads are forbidden. If you’re found guilty, government fines can run about 1,700 € per movie.” —Branka and Silvia, Zagreb, Croatia
Showcase your personality
Your rules provide insight into your hosting style. It’s one more way for guests to determine whether your space is a good fit for them, so be yourself.
If your approach to hosting is relaxed and fun-loving, let a little humor shine through. Like things a little more orderly? Make sure that’s communicated clearly.
Host Amy from Nashville likes to inject a little humor into her house rules:
- Don’t burn down the house
- Don’t kick my dog
- Don't eat drippy food at the table
- There are several wastebaskets around the house: the toilet is not one of them”
House rules help protect you
In the rare event of an issue with a guest, house rules can also help you mediate a disagreement. If a guest violates a house rule, your first step should be to communicate with the guest and try to resolve the issue directly. If you’re unable to come to a resolution, contact Airbnb customer service for assistance.
Note: All house rules must be in line with Airbnb’s policies and terms—including our terms of service and nondiscrimination policy. Learn more
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