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HMW #136: Top 7 "House Rules" every Airbnb Host Should Have

alan corey how to start lauren keen aumond new investor property management short-term rentals starter kit Jan 10, 2024

Read Time: 5 minutes

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You have your short-term rental furnished, decorated, and photographed. You're creating your listing. Then you come across the "house rules" field. "What should go in here?" you ask yourself.

Your mind starts to race. You want to be the fun house to attract those coveted 5-star reviews, but you don't want your guests to have too much fun at your property's expense. You're open to hosting out of town guest's get-togethers, but draw the line at a spring break party.

We came up with the Top 7 House Rules for every Airbnb and Vrbo host to use to make sure you attract the guests looking for an enjoyable stay and not an all-night rager at your property's expense.

We hope that works for you.


100%! Chaos is definitely not an investor trait we like to cultivate around here at House Money Media. 

Here are your must-have rules:


1: No Smoking

Create an outdoor area for this. Inside, this should be a big no-no. This is the standard and few should complain. They'll even bring their own ash trays! Lauren once had a guest not put a cigarette out all the way...there was no damage, but it caused quite a scare.

2: Party Size Limits

State the maximum guest size for all bookings in your house rules. You can monitor and enforce from security cameras (but try not to monitor your guests too much in real time, that's creepy). Setting clear expectations upfront are the key to success!

3: Camera Disclosure

Speaking of cameras, stating where all the cameras are and if they record video and audio is a huge bonus to show you can enforce rules outlined in number 1 and 2 above. This should give both guest and host peace of mind. Airbnb actually requires you to disclose the cameras anyway.

4: Quiet Hours

To limit the time frame of any get-togethers, it's crucial to have posted Quiet Hours. Your neighbors will also love you for this too and will be the first ones to reach out to you when this rule is breached. Lauren recommends 10 pm.

5: No Entering Locked Spaces

Make it clear not every nook and cranny in the home is for guest use.  There are locked spaces for a reason and they can't play dumb if the guest has been notified way in advance within the house rules.

6: Fire & Flame Policy

Are you allowing outdoor grilling? Fireworks? Campfire? Wherever a fire or flame may be used or created, state specifically where it can be done and in what fashion. This is not a policy you want to enact after learning the hard way. 

7: Security Deposit

We saved the most important rule for last. This is the ultimate rule that will govern how all the other rules will be obeyed. A security deposit amount clearly stated in the house rules at booking will almost guarantee any bad actors will self-eliminate themselves for your booking. For example. guests are much less likely to smoke inside if they know they have money at stake.



You are catching on fast!  This simple 7 guidelines in your House Rules will give both your AND your guest a good night's sleep.


Now, that's efficient!


  • No rules or loose rules is a recipe for chaos
  • Clear and detailed guidelines make both guest and host comfortable
  • Security deposits are your main enforcement strategy to make sure rules are followed

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