Additional guests are a nuisance everywhere, be it a party, gathering, trip or Airbnb extra guests. They are always unwelcome to the hosts’ eyes; however, they are an inevitable recurring problem with short-term rentals. You can barely host a vacation rental without running into these interlopers. Experienced hosts have many Airbnb-extra-guests stories to tell.
By extra guests, we mean the guests who book your vacation rental for, say, two people and show up four, five, six,…, or even ten! They are unauthorised guests who sneak into your property without any prior announcement. They aim to either avoid the maximum occupancy limit or skip the extra person fees.
Vacation rental managers hold different opinions of these additional visitors. Some hosts, especially the new ones who care about negative reviews and their Airbnb reputation, will tolerate and let go of them. In contrast, some might get profoundly offended and want to evict all the guests right away when they find out about the extra people in their home.
Regardless of the hosts’ viewpoint and the reason for unregistered guests staying at your property, Airbnb extra guests must be dealt with firmly because
– there is a maximum occupancy limit for each property in some countries’ short-term rental regulations or states. Besides, hosts need to know who will be staying in their place.
– unauthorised guests are prohibited by Airbnb and are subject to a surcharge. ‘Hosts have the right to turn away any guest who has not booked their spot through Airbnb.’
– additional unregistered guests are dishonest and take advantage of your property. If you can’t trust a guest with your most primary house rule, what other things will they do while staying in your house?
– they might impose on you added costs for wear and tear, additional bills, extra cleaning fees, and other resources.
– AND they can disturb your neighbours by making loud noises or constantly entering and leaving the house.
How to Discourage Airbnb Extra Unregistered Guests to Show up at Your Rental
1. Register Every Person Staying at Your Vacation Rental
As a professional vacation rental manager, you must always keep a complete register of your guests, even those who will arrive later. It is necessary to keep a record of your guests for whose actions you are liable. In some countries, it is even required by legislation.
Zeevou’s 5-Step Booking Confirmation Process can pretty much help you take care of guest registration with no hassle.
2. House Rules, House Rules, House Rules
Having a detailed list of house rules and having your guests accept it before a booking confirmation is indisputable to save your short-term rental business from future headaches.
You can only report a guest to Airbnb if you have your maximum occupancy limit evidently stated. Your house rules must be as comprehensive, easy-to-understand and transparent as possible. Very clearly and firmly state that extra guests are required to pay an additional guest fee and clarify how much they must exactly pay.
Politely but strongly let your guests know that due to your house’s capacity and local short-term rental regulations, you will just accept the registered guest(s) in the booking, and there are no exceptions.
3. Rental Agreement
Besides having your vacation rental’s house rules clearly stated on your listing page, your direct booking website, and on the property itself, to have legal recourse over likely future disputes, make a robust rental agreement.
This document must include all the experience details, your house manual and your guests’ register. Have your agreement signed by your guests either at the property while they check-in or through a digital signature solution like Signable.
4. Security Deposit
Pre-authorise security deposits to cover possible breakages and damages to your property, excessive cleaning fees and additional repair charges caused by extra guests. Besides, it can deter your guests from violating your rules and bringing other guests to your property.
5. Optimise Your Listing
Clearly state the size of your property and the number of people who can stay in it. Highlight the extra guests’ fee in your pricing and make sure it won’t confuse or mislead your guests or leaves any space for misinterpretation.
How to Detect Airbnb Extra Unregistered Guests Staying at Your Rental
6. Have a Meet and Greet Check-in If Possible
Many hosts believe that checking people in and showing them around the house personally or by your concierge staff can help you make a friendly relationship with your guests and stop them from sneaking relatives or friends in. You can also pay them mid-stay visits to ensure everything is going smoothly, and no unauthorised guests are staying at your property.
However, vacation rental managers are so busy with the unending tasks of managing multiple properties or live miles away from their rentals that they can’t meet their guests in person. Some may not afford concierge services, either.
7. Install Vacation Rental Smart Devices
An outdoor security camera can help you monitor your property and functions as a security measure to save your rental from theft when it is vacant. Besides, it can help you collect evidence in the events your guests breach your rules. However, it requires an active presence.
In addition, video doorbell solutions like Ring use detecting motion to help you find out about extra guests staying at your property when people come to your house. They can send you notifications on your phone, tablet or computer and even let you hear and speak to visitors wherever you are.
The other smart technology that can help you supervise the number of people staying at your home is smart noise monitoring solutions like Noiseaware. This small device is easily installed at your property and can immediately alert you if the noise in your property is louder than a certain level. It can also send your guests direct messages to resolve problems and save you from future issues.
Notice that Airbnb prohibits CCTV and other recording devices that observe a vacation rental interior, and the guests can report you for them. The hosts must document any kind of security cameras and other recording devices in the Things to Know section under Health & Safety. Check Airbnb’s rules about security cameras and other recording devices in listings before you install any monitoring devices at your place.
How to Handle Airbnb Extra Unregistered Guests Staying at Your Rental
8. Modify the Reservation
If you follow all the steps to prevent additional guests and still have some guests show up with a bunch of extra unannounced people at your front door, there is no way out but to make a compromise through guest communications.
Suppose your property can accommodate the extra guests. In that case, you can send your guests a message and suggest changing their reservation and adding to the number of people staying. Politely ask them to pay you the extra guest fee.
Beware that you might receive negative reviews from your guests as an act of retaliation. You can respond to their review and clarify the situation, but you still get a poor rate.
9. Report to Airbnb
If you are not lucky enough to make the guests confirm the booking change or paying the extra guest fee, as a last resort, you must report them to Airbnb or any other channel that the booking has come from.
You can report your guests who have brought extra people to your property by filing a resolution request with Airbnb at the Airbnb resolution centre only if you have enough evidence to prove the trespass.
The guests will receive a notification of your resolution centre report and will be asked to respond. If they ignore or decline your request, you can tell Airbnb to take action on your behalf after 72 hours.
There is no way you can stop receiving unauthorised visitors or solve all issues with guests staying at your property without consent. However, the steps suggested here will help you reduce the chance of receiving Airbnb extra guests and handle the additional visitors without much pain.