It is not uncommon for problems to arise with some guests who do not respect the vacation rental rules, but it is a widespread practice among travelers to bring more guests than they have booked for. Additional guests can cause a number of problems for you as a host: it can create a fire hazard, it is against the stipulations of your vacation rental contract and it can disturb the other tenants in the building. But what can you do to avoid this situation? By putting into practice this series of tips you will avoid this and other complicated situations in your vacation rental.
Why is it essential to establish a maximum number of guests?
Establishing a maximum number of guests for your rental is one of the conditions that you may need to specify in order obtain the vacation rental license. This certificate of occupancy is only valid for a certain number of people. Safety plays a key role in vacation rentals and the more guests than allowed can cause damage, hygiene problems and dangerous situations in case of fire, eviction or flooding.
However, many travelers are not aware of the dangers of bringing extra friends or family members along for the duration of the stay, especially for overnight stays. Although there are rental platforms that have already implemented programs to assist hosts, such as Airbnb Cover, it is always better to be safe than sorry in these cases.
6 keys to avoid hosting additional guests in your vacation rental
1. Inform guests of specific requirements in writing
It is important to put it in writing, both to officially inform guests and to address any problems that may arise during the stay. To this end, the house rules are an important tool to ensure that instructions are clear and guests are aware of limitations and situations to avoid.
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Before the house rules, your listings on the platforms should be clear about this issue. For example, insisting that the vacation rental can only accommodate X people or that no additional guests are allowed.
2. Do not forget to carry out the registration of travelers and the contract.
In certain jurisdictions, it is necessary to carry out a registration of travelers that will be shared with the authorities. This documentary record of travelers must include the details of the guests as well as the date of arrival and departure. Remind them that you need to share this data with the authorities, and perhaps this will discourage them from bringing additional guests.
The vacation rental contract is also a form of protection for the hosts, since its legal value commits the guest to respect the rules and conditions agreed upon during the stay.
3. Interact with guests
Knowing in advance the guests’ plans will help you foresee if they will plan to invite more people at some point. It is not a foolproof tactic, but creating a climate of trust will always be good. Also, don’t forget to check the comments on the travelers’ profiles (for example on Airbnb) to see if they have had problems in the past with another host.
4. Ask neighbors or people you trust
If you cannot personally monitor the arrival of travelers or be nearby during their stay, it is always good to have the help of a third party who can inform you about these practices. Neighbors will also be able to warn you if there are parties, annoying noises or uncivil behavior by guests and contact you to solve the situation.
5. Install an intercom with camera
An intercom with a built-in camera is a good ally to control who enters and leaves tourist accommodations. You will be able to easily see if more guests enter than the number of guests and the occupancy rate is exceeded, at the same time that you will have more power over the access control to the property, especially if it is a keyless entry or with smart locks.
Often the above practical tips are not enough to prevent additional guests from gaining access. Both platforms and hosts know that this happens frequently and that is why you can charge extra for each additional guest. On Airbnb, for example, you only need to configure this option during the booking process.
In this article you will find more information and the steps to add this fee.
What should you do as a host if none of the above works?
As a last resort you can always go to the competent bodies of the booking portals and report the offense committed by the guest. In this case, the company will be responsible for opening a report on the incident and proceed to punish the traveler, either financially or by withholding part of the deposit.
In short, as a host you should not be afraid of these situations, and if they occur, keep in mind that there are mechanisms to support you in case the situation goes beyond what is normal and reasonable. Putting these tips into action will ensure that guests are aware of the rules and the consequences if they choose to ignore them.
Table of contents:
- 1 Why is it essential to establish a maximum number of guests?
- 2 6 keys to avoid hosting additional guests in your vacation rental
- 3 What should you do as a host if none of the above works?