What is an Airbnb house rule?

Airbnb house rules are a set of guidelines that explain how a host expects their guests to behave while they’re staying on the property.

Your Airbnb house rules list is clearly displayed on your listing for guests to see before they book a stay. They can be seen as a contract – a list of policies that the guest agrees to abide by during their stay. It can even include potential penalties for Airbnb guests breaking house rules.

Airbnb house rules can have a big impact on the sort of guest you attract, whether party people, young families, pet owners or digital nomads. As such you should keep your ideal guest in mind when creating your rules, to ensure you don’t drive bookings and revenue away, but instead attract more of your target customer.

Why establish house rules for Airbnb?

With house rules, Airbnb gives hosts an element of control over what happens on their property. You could go completely rule free, but then you risk turning your hotel into a land-based version of international waters where (almost) anything goes.

House rules for Airbnb can ensure you avoid all manner of issues; everything from property damage to disputes with your neighbours. It can also help you to hold guests more accountable.

What happens if Airbnb guests break house rules? 

The good news is that Airbnb house rules are designed to be somewhat legally binding. When a guest books a stay with you, they agree to your terms. However, some rules are easier to enforce than others, and some rule breakages are easier to prove than others.

A more legally binding option is to get the guest to sign a rental agreement, though this will be a step too far for most hoteliers.

Humans being humans, you need to expect that at some point your rules may be broken, whether accidentally or otherwise. The consequences will depend on the circumstances and severity of the rule breakages. It’s wise to:

  • Act fast: Document any evidence and get in touch with the guest immediately.
  • Talk it out: The guest will often be apologetic and willing to pay for any damage. Remember that reviews are as important for guests as they are for hosts on Airbnb, so you have some leverage.
  • Use AirCover: Airbnb includes insurance cover on every booking, so if you have trouble getting reimbursement from the guest, this is your fallback option.

Airbnb house rules examples

To get a sense of what your guidelines might look like, let’s look at some common Airbnb house rules. You can either take the following sample Airbnb house rules as they are, or tweak them to suit your needs and situation.


“Please do not park in the permit-only spaces at the front of the building.”

Consider whether you offer guests a dedicated parking space on site, whether there are places where guests definitely can’t park, and the maximum number of cars per booking.


“No pets allowed.”

This can either be a blanket rule, or can be made more specific, such as ‘house-trained dogs only’ or ‘pets to be kept outside’. You also might want to make exceptions for service dogs.


“No smoking.”

Once again, this rule can be changed to allow smoking in certain areas, but just be aware that it can be tricky to ensure your guests only smoke on the balcony (for example), so it may be easier to implement a blanket ban.

Check in & check out

“Please respect check in and check out times. We are unable to offer early check ins and late check outs.”

It’s important to clearly state check in and check out times, particularly if you don’t offer self-check in. While it’s better to offer guests flexibility wherever possible, you may choose to have a blanket ban on early check ins and late check outs.

Parties & events

“No parties or events.”

This one is relatively self-explanatory, although one person’s party might be another person’s get-together, so it’s wise to be specific, which brings us to…


“Please confirm with the hotel before you accept visitors.”

As a hotelier, your site may only be open to guests, in which case it’s important that you make this clear. This can be an effective way to avoid unwanted parties, but you should also offer flexibility on this policy where appropriate.


“No excessive noise 11pm-7am – please be respectful if checking in/out between these hours.”

Quiet hours are an effective way to avoid parties and to ensure all of your guests enjoy a comfortable stay.

How to add and edit house rules on Airbnb

Wondering how to add house rules to Airbnb? It’s simple:

  1. Head to the Airbnb dashboard and click on ‘Menu’ > ‘Listings’.
  2. Click on ‘Policies and rules’ > ‘House rules’ on the side bar.
  3. Click the tick or cross symbols against each of the preset rules, and add any important information for each.
  4. Add custom rules in the ‘Additional rules’ field at the bottom.

Wondering how to edit house rules on Airbnb? Use the same process as above!

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).