11 Top Airbnb House Rules For Guests [+ Best Practices & Template]

Lizzie Griffin
Lizzie Griffin

January 3, 2024

Just one bad stay can be costly to your vacation rental business—cigarette smoke can linger for weeks without extra cleaning, pets can provoke allergic reactions in future guests, and excessive noise can cause neighbor complaints and tensions in the local community.

However, house rules can also be seen as excessive and heavy-handed, and in themselves be a cause for complaint. So you’re constantly treading a tightrope when it comes to protecting your property and safeguarding your business interests.

To address your concerns, in this article we:

  • Explain which Airbnb house rules for guests to avoid
  • We give you tips on how to get guests on your side
  • Walk you through how to share rules using the Airbnb platform and your own guest communication software

Also, you can download our free Airbnb house rules template, which you can easily customize for the specifics of your properties and their local neighborhoods.

Download your free Airbnb house rules template here

Best practices for Airbnb house rules

Guests want to feel welcome and appreciated, so be aware of your tone of voice when writing your short-term rental guidelines. Ideally, you’ll come across as warm and friendly, but not at the expense of clarity.

Also, follow the three areas of advice below so you know which rules to include and how to get guests to observe them.

Vacation rental guests smoking indoors

Guests don’t want to feel unwelcome, but they also need to maintain the condition of your STR property.

Apply rules to improve the guest and host experience

You might find it hard to decide what to include in your house rules—you don’t want to overwhelm guests with an enormous list of do’s and don’ts. Equally, you’re responsible for someone’s home and need to avoid issues with the homeowner, neighbors, and local authorities.

To help you decide which guidelines to implement, only include rules that:

  1. Help guests have a great stay
  2. Minimize stress—including for you, the homeowner, and neighbors
  3. Help protect your business

By sticking to this principle, you can ensure there’s always a purpose to the house rules you share. So, avoid rules that won’t have a noticeable effect if they’re not followed—for example:

  • No visitors
    As long as guests are respectful of your guidelines on quiet hours and safety, and aren’t breaking any local ordinances on occupancy, it’s best to be flexible on daytime visits.
  • No shoes inside the home
    Try not to be overly restrictive. Unless guests are causing actual damage to the contents of your home, a few footprints can be easily dealt with during a standard turnover.
  • No food or drinks in the bedroom
    Again, the issue here is really one of cleanliness—so simply ask guests to be considerate without being too strict about what is and what isn’t acceptable.


Keep your rules simple and fair

Overcomplicating your house rules will lead to them being ignored, and if you ask too much of your guests, they may end up complaining and giving you a negative rating. So, keep your rules bitesize and scannable—and don’t implement excessive requirements. 

For example, asking guests to complete detailed tasks before check-out, such as mopping floors or laundering linens, would create a negative experience for guests and eventually impact your occupancy rates.

Likewise, if there’s a concern that a valuable ornament might be damaged during a stay, rather than asking guests not to touch it, simply remove it from the rental property.

Be clear on the consequences and benefits

The best way to get your guests onside is to simply and directly explain the implications of not following a given rule. 

For example, your Airbnb guests are more likely to be cooperative if they realize they’ll be on the receiving end of a neighbor’s complaint if they’re too noisy. Similarly, if there’s a possible penalty as a result of not observing a rule, be clear and specific about what that penalty could be.

On the other hand, some of your house rules, rather than some kind of preventative measure, could offer a benefit, such as: 

  • Conserving energy
  • Reducing their carbon footprint
  • Minimizing waste
  • Increasing safety
  • Reducing the workload of staff

Let your guests know the value of your guidelines and they’ll be more respectful of them.

How to share your Airbnb house rules

Just as important as your house rules is how you communicate them. Some rules should be made clear as early as possible in the customer journey—for example, your pet and smoking policies need to be clear in your Airbnb listing. Other rules, though, for example on safety and cleanliness, can be made clear closer to check-in time. 

To add house rules to your Airbnb listing, follow these simple steps (taken from the Airbnb Help Center):

On desktop:

  1. Go to Listings and select the listing you want
  2. Click Arrival guide, and go to House rules
  3. Make your changes and click Save

On mobile:

  1. Tap Profile and then tap Switch to hosting
  2. Go to Menu, tap Listings and select the listing you want
  3. Under Your space of the listing editor, go to House rule
  4. Make your changes and tap Save

Your guests could book months in advance of their stay, so be sure to also share your house rules in full within your communications.

You can do this easily using Breezeway’s templated guest messages, which you can also use as an opportunity to link your digital guide, where you can share your house rules again—so guests always have your house rules to hand, wherever they are.

With Breezeway’s digital welcome book, guests have an easy way to message you if an issue arises, as well as see information like directions, how to use amenities, and your recommendations on the local area.

Breezeway’s guest messaging feature

Breezeway’s guest messaging software makes it easy to share rules and communicate with guests.

Free Airbnb house rules template

Download your free Airbnb house rules template here

Welcome to [Property Name]!
[Property Address]

To ensure a fantastic stay for you and future guests, here are some guidelines:

1. Check-In/Out Times: 
Check-in is at [Time] and check-out is at [Time]. 

If you need some flexibility, let us know in advance and we'll do our best to accommodate.

2. Parking:
To remain observant of local ordinances, please park within the designated zones: [Specify parking zones and maximum number of vehicles].

Please note that you could incur a fine of up to [Specify amount] for breaking neighborhood parking regulations.

3. Respect the Peace—No Parties: 
Keeping noise levels down, especially between [Time] and [Time], helps maintain a good relationship with our community and avoids you experiencing any neighbor complaints.

4. Smoke-Free Stay: 
Our home is a strict no-smoking zone, which helps us maintain a fresh environment. 

Please smoke outside in the designated area, where you’ll find chairs, a table, and an ashtray.

5. No Extra Guests: 
If you plan to have visitors during the day, no problem. But please make sure the only guests who stay overnight are those listed in your reservation.

This helps us follow local ordinances on maximum occupancy and keep our home comfortable and safe for everyone.

6. Pet Policy: 
We’re a pet-friendly home, just please keep dirty paws off the furniture and rugs./We’re a pet-free home, which includes animals of all types.

7. Pool Safety: 
Please ensure that, without exception, children are supervised at all times while using the pool. Additionally, strictly no glassware is allowed in the pool area to prevent accidents and injuries.

8. Trash and Recycling: 
Please take out the trash the night before [Garbage Day]. We appreciate your help in separating recyclables: [Provide specific instructions]. 

This small step makes a big difference to the environment and will help us avoid a fine.

9. Handling Damages: 
Accidents happen. If something gets damaged, please let us know so we can take care of it.

10. Simple Clean-Up: 
Before you leave, please wash and put away any dishes or kitchenware you've used, so our housekeeper doesn’t have any extra work to do when preparing for our next guests. 

But please don’t feel you have to strip the beds or wipe the floors, we’ll take care of that!

11. Emergency Contact: 
If you need assistance, you can reach [Name] at [Phone Number] at any time.

In case of emergency, please contact:
Medical: [Phone Number]
Fire Department: [Phone Number]
Police: [Phone Number]

The fire extinguisher is located [Insert location in property]
The first aid kit is located [Insert location in property]
The electrical shut-off is located [Insert location in property]

We hope these guidelines help you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult your digital guide [ADD LINK] or reach out to us directly. 

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation!

Protecting your business AND your brand

It can be hard to achieve the right balance between managing risk and ensuring a fantastic guest experience. But there’s no question that property safety and your business concerns must always be a priority.

By focusing on the most important issues, and by using language that’s both direct and friendly, guests will know where they stand, and you’ll be fulfilling your responsibilities as a property manager. In doing so, here’s what you should remember:

  • Only create a rule if it’s important to your business and your customers.
  • Always be clear and direct.
  • Maintain a warm tone of voice.
  • Keep your language simple and bitesize.
  • Explain why the rule exists.
  • Share your house rules in multiple digital locations.


Download your free Airbnb house rules template here