How to Create a House Rule Plan for your AirBnb Guests

House rule plans allow you to establish a set of rules that ensure the protection of your vacation rental

If you are brand new to the whole short-term rental game, there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to establishing yourself on Airbnb. One of the things you need to know about is setting up some house rules for your rented-out property.

Creating a set of house rules allows your guests to know what is and isn’t allowed on your property. Vacation rental house rules also enable you to set up some housekeeping tips to make things easier for you when it comes to managing your property.

These Airbnb house rules are a vital step as they create a clear communication channel with your guests. It ensures that future problems are avoided and boosts efficiency.

For this blog post, we are going to provide you with the information you need to create an hours rule plan for your Airbnb guests. 

What are house rules?

Airbnb hours rules are a set of guidelines that you as the host will give to your guests to establish a set of expectations during the remainder of their stay.

The list can include what they are allowed to do and provides them with an idea of what type of host style you are running on your property. The house rules are generally outlined in the listing, granting the guest a chance to see if your property meets their needs before booking.

Setting up these rules beforehand will ensure that both you and the guests have an excellent experience with each other. It can also lead to repeat business and great reviews. However, before you can start creating a list of rules, you need to know what type of guests you are more likely to gain the attention of.

Plus, you don’t want to be overly strict with them since your guests are more likely to rent your place for their vacation in your location. But you do want to permit them to do certain things while they stay on your property.

Above all, based on the type of guest you are likely to have, you should consider including some personality in those rules. They can be short and to the point, or you could make them easygoing and humorous.

Regardless of how you decide to structure your house rules, here are some tips for you to follow when writing your Airbnb house rule plan. 

Tips for creating a set of house rules

  1. Don’t make your house rules overly complicated. Do you enjoy the idea of reading a 20-page legal document when trying to find a place to stay for your vacation? Chances are that the answer is no, so don’t make it too long. Keep your house rules short and simple so that guests can read them thoroughly and clearly understand them. Plus, you may have international guests staying at your property, so keep that in mind when drafting your house rules. Make sure they are easy enough for them to translate when necessary.
  1. The house rules should be short enough to read. That means listing out your must-haves first and establishing them as your horse rules. Any potential nice-haves can be added to your hour's rules once your guests have checked in. You don’t want to overwhelm your guest before they even decide to book your property. 
  1. Over time, you will make changes to your house rules as you gain more experience running your Airbnb listing. Make sure to revisit your house rules every once in a while. Don’t be afraid to include new ones to your listing, and take off any of the ones that are detrimental or no longer needed. If possible, get some feedback from your customers and see if you can apply them to your rules. Just make sure you are continuously updating your house rules. 
  1. Lastly, make sure your rules are not left open for interpretation. The writing should be as explicit as possible.

What to include in your house rules template

There are plenty of things that can be added to your house rules, so take the tie to ponder what you would do inside the house and what you would not like someone else to do if they stayed there. In other words, put yourself in your guest’s shoes. 

Some of the more common rules found on other people's lists include smoking, drinking, the number of visitors they can have over, security deposits, and even areas they don’t want the guest to wander into.

Some go so far as to include conditions like no parties, excessive noise, breakage, pets, and so forth. Anything can be inserted in the list, but it needs to be whatever you feel is most relevant for keeping the house in excellent condition. 

Every guest you have over will be different, but renting your property means you need to ensure that your property is well maintained and that you have respectful guests booking your listing. The property you rent out will determine the length of your house rules.

Rules are critical to ensure you cover all the vital details that keep guests safe and boost satisfaction.

Here is a more detailed example of what you should include in your house rules:

Check-in and check-out

In your Airbnb listing, make sure your guests are aware of what the best time to check-in and check-out is. If you are planning to include late fees for the check-out period, make sure they are aware of these rules ahead of time.

Doing so provides your guest a chance to plan when they are booking their transportation and travel.

You should also add how your guest needs to check-in and out of your property to make the listing more distinct from the rest.

If your guests are aware of their arrival being in the later hours of the night, you may want to offer them options for how they can get inside the house. If you can’t meet them to hand over the keys, they provide an access code to unlock the door. 

Listing out these procedures on your house rules section of your Airbnb listing can save everyone the trouble of a headache. 

If you are providing keys to access your rental property, make sure to include a penalty if they lose the key. That may require you to change the locks if that occurs, plus force you to head over there and open the place for them, causing everyone to get annoyed. 


Even if you're a smoker yourself, you should consider banning your guest from smoking in your rental space. Not every one of your guests will be respectful enough to throw away their cigarette buts into the trash can, which means you need to search around and find the ones lying around your property.

Furthermore, not every guest can stand the smell of smoke in a room. Removing the cigarette odor from your property is challenging, so you need to decide if turning your rental into a non-smoking place is ideal or not.

Off-limit areas

Even if you decide to rent out the whole property, there are most likely some areas in your rental home that you want your guest to stay away from. You must be explicit about this, so guests know which areas to avoid during their stay. 

Are there any areas that your guest should avoid entirely? If you have an area under construction or for personal use, make sure your guests are aware that they are restricted from going into those places. 

For example, you could write down a message stating that guests are prohibited from entering the outdoor shed or basement.

No pets allowed

While banning pets from your rental vacation may seem like an obvious thing to do, there are some nuances behind it.

Establishing a no-pets rule can protect your place from a chewed-up sofa, strange smells, hair everything, noises at night, and claw marks on your furniture, allowing pets can also serve as a selling point for your listing.

Most people these days tend to take their pets alongside them during their trip to another location. If you become one of the few Airbnb listings that allow pets onto the property, it offers you a better competitive edge. Furthermore, if you permit pets on your vacation rental, you can list your property on niche websites that cater to guests who travel with their pets.

Consider the pros and cons of allowing guests to bring their pets inside your property before settling on a decision. 

Parties and visitors

Some Airbnb listeners permit their guests to host parties or events. If your property is one of the many that does, clarify the total amount of people and cars allowed. Make sure your word isn’t vague enough for them to take advantage of.

Some people may interpret the rules for a “few” friends differently from what you had in mind. Plus, if your vacation rental is a part of a development, make sure they are aware of the HOA rules and quiet hours.

There is a decent chance that your guests may meet other travelers or locals while they explore the city. Make sure you tell them ahead of time the rules for bringing over guests that are not registered to remain on the property. That way, you ensure that your vacation rental is well cared for, and the guests are held liable for any potential damages that occur. Inviting guests can complicate the situation, so make sure to take a firm stance on this in your house rules. 

Noise curfew

For most neighborhoods, there is a time where everyone should be quiet. If you want to ensure that your relationship with your neighbors remains in positive standing, you need to guarantee your guests respect the noise curfew. Establish a time when they should start turning the noise down, such as 10:00 pm.

Suitable for children and toddlers

One of the five preset rules for Airbnb allows you to mark your vacation rental as suitable for children under the ages of 12 and toddlers. Generally speaking, it’s ideal that you accept children since it provides you access to a massive pool of travelers, including families with children in them.  

However, if you decide to allow younger kinds into your vacation rental, you need to ensure that your household is equipped to handle them. For example, there should be a space for toddlers to sleep in. It should also be child-proof to ensure the safety of these kids.

If you want to go above and beyond, turn your rental space into a very kid-friendly location by installing things like gates at the stairs, covering outlets, and leaving some toys for the kids to enjoy during their stay.

Take out the trash before leaving

One of the more common house rules is to have your guests take out the trash right before they check out.  It ensures that you have less to deal with once the guests are gone and you should also make them be aware of where to throw things away.

Details on the cleaning procedure should be on your list and should be handed to them when they check-in. It also helps to remind your guest of these responsibilities before they arrive.

Eating areas

Take the time to establish where your guests are allowed to eat on your property. If you have set up any designated eating areas, let your guests know the house rules.

By restricting where your guests are allowed to eat their meals, you can save hours from doing laundry. If you permit the guest to eat in any area of the house, they can leave stains on your sofa or beds. That is why you need to consider which rooms your guests can eat in.


House rule plans allow you to establish a set of rules that ensure the protection of your vacation rental. Neglecting to do so will cause your guest to be confused about what they are allowed to do while they stay on your property.

Most of them may interpret it as an opportunity to have free reign and do things you may not be okay with. It could lead to all sorts of damages and issues that could have been avoided if you had let them know ahead of time. So, take your time to set up a set of house rules that meets the needs of your property.

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