In the vacation rental market, hosts may face various obstacles, such as visitors checking out late, taking a few items from the rental, or destroying anything.
Guests who bring extra individuals to the rental home without alerting the host are a big reoccurring issue. It might be that they don’t want to pay for an additional person or that there is a limited number of visitors that they can’t exceed — whatever the case, it’s undesirable and a major source of frustration for hosts.
If you’ve had problems with visitors bringing additional people and are fed up with their deception, there are several steps you may take.
Why Is Being Strict So Important?
There’s a reason you have a maximum occupancy restriction. You don’t want to pay for extra bills, resources, or cleaning Since your house was only constructed for a particular number of people, you don’t want to have noise issues with your neighbors, or you don’t want to pay for additional bills, resources, or cleaning. The list could go on and on.
Due to legal requirements, some states require you to register every guest staying in your holiday rental. Furthermore, if an illegal visitor is wounded due to an accident, flood, or another calamity, they may sue you.
Furthermore, after a shooting at a Californian Airbnb in October 2019, Airbnb has banned all parties. Enforcing your regulations will protect you as a host while also assisting you in avoiding any additional expenses, particularly legal fees.
Before the Arrival of the Guests
As soon as a visitor makes a reservation, you should inform them of your policy against bringing uninvited guests. As a result, you may avoid the issue from arising in the first place. Let’s look at what you can do to prepare for their arrival:
1. Make it clear in your house rules what your policy is.
House rules are a formal means of putting down the ground rules for all visitors that come to your home.
Noise, smoking, dogs, rubbish, parking, check-out time, and other regulations are usually included.
In the house regulations, the maximum occupancy restriction should be stated. You must consider how many people may remain in the rental; for example, no more than six people can stay if the reservation is for four people. You should also clarify that visitors are not permitted to bring any extra guests, regardless of how long they stay, and that parties are completely prohibited.
House rules may be enforced on Airbnb and on your vacation rental website, and on any other online travel agencies (OTAs) where you offer your property.
Your visitors must follow your home rules since they have signed them. They are aware of the consequences of breaking any of the rules. You may customize and change the house rules template on Lodgify to fit your rental company. Don’t worry, the information about extra guests has already been added.
2. Include the Names of all Guests in the Rental Agreement
Because both parties must sign the paper, a rental agreement will protect both you and your visitors in the event of a disagreement or dispute.
The maximum occupancy constraints, check-in/check-out periods, minimum stay requirements, house regulations, rental pricing, and extra cost information, among other things, vary for each host and company.
When your visitors arrive, have them fill out the rental agreement with all the residents’ names. This way, you’ll know precisely who’s staying at your home, and the guests won’t be able to justify bringing unwanted visitors since they’ve indicated who’s staying and signed the agreement themselves.
The most crucial parts of a rental agreement, such as maximum occupancy limits, are covered by Lodgify’s rental agreement template. You can get it for free in PDF format here.
3. Put Down a Deposit
After you’ve included the restrictions for extra visitors in your home rules, you’ll need to include some repercussions if they’re broken. A security deposit is required not just in the event of property damage or wear and tear to furniture and amenities but also in any infraction of house regulations.
As a result, you may collect a deposit from your guests and only return it if they do not bring any new visitors. Owners have a pool of money they may tap into and withhold payments if they breach the regulations by collecting a refundable deposit upfront.
Guests will be less inclined to bring extra visitors if they know that they will be charged for it.
4. Charge an Extra Guest Fee
Hosts on Airbnb may charge a fee for extra guests on their listing. There is a tab for additional charges on the host’s price page after you’ve signed in. You may then charge a fee for further visits. You have complete control over the quantity.
This only applies to bookings made in the future. This cost will not be levied if the visitor arrives and then leaves. This is simply another excellent way for visitors to know that they would have to pay more for additional guests.
Throughout their visit
Even if you’ve done everything above, there’s still a potential that visitors may bring other guests.
Travelers might be dishonest and believe they can avoid paying additional fees by inviting their buddies to the rental. This means that you’ll have to keep a watch on them to see whether they make any further visits throughout their stay. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Install a surveillance camera system.
Installing a video surveillance system outdoors will give you peace of mind, knowing that you can keep an eye on the property at all times. It’s a good security feature since you can observe who comes and goes from the property. Consider mounting the camera at the property’s entrance or facing the driveway.
A smart doorbell is another useful utility. This most recent idea is a doorbell with a camera that instantly informs your smartphone and connects you live to the camera. You’ll be able to view who is at your front door at all times, regardless of where you are, and you may even talk to them if you choose.
Visitors should be informed that you have a security camera or a smart doorbell installed. This will deter visitors from bringing more guests since they will be observed when they arrive and exit the property. And if they do bring more guests, you’ll have the proof you need to charge them more and denounce them to Airbnb.
2. Check With Your Neighbors
Asking your neighbors to keep an eye on your guests is another approach to keep an eye on them without being too invasive. Give your neighbors a schedule of our rental, including when it’s occupied and unoccupied, so they know when to be on the lookout.
Get your neighbors to contact you as soon as they see unlawful guests. You may then take the required measures, such as phoning your visitors, reporting them to Airbnb, or immediately charging them.
If you’re managing the property from afar, having a good connection with your neighbors is always beneficial. You may also ask your property management to keep an eye on things.
3. Contact Airbnb to File a Complaint
If any of your visitors break your guidelines, you should report them to Airbnb. Make a point of gathering as much proof as you can. How did you learn that they had brought more people? Take screenshots of your security camera or smart doorbell video, as well as talks between you and your travelers. You may even get a report from your next-door neighbor and submit it to Airbnb.
Airbnb will then initiate a case and take the appropriate action, such as charging your guests an extra cost or deducting a portion of their deposit. Take a look at these nine methods to reply if one of your visitors leaves a poor review. According to new standards, Airbnb will henceforth delete any harsh reviews guests make in retribution or out of anger.
What if I don’t want to list on Airbnb?
You may still employ house rules and a security deposit if you don’t use Airbnb and have your vacation rental website. Using video surveillance, a smart doorbell, and your neighbors or property management, you can keep an eye on your visitors throughout their stay. You may also keep the deposit if the rental agreement and home regulations are followed.
What if my visitors bring their pets?
If they bring pets, the same principle applies. You may charge a pet fee to your visitors if your vacation rental is pet-friendly and you accept dogs. Most tourists would be OK with paying for this, but others may prefer to save money by bringing their pets with them.
This should be stated explicitly on all of your listed sites and paperwork. If you don’t accept pets at all, make it obvious that they won’t be able to bring their pets along with them. They will be charged if they break this rule.