Airbnb's have proven to be a successful way for homeowners to earn some extra cash. However, there is a bevy of rules, terms, and conditions that hosts have to follow in order to maintain their proceedings. This protects them legally and ethically should they want to continue their endeavor as an Airbnb host.
Besides the obvious stipulations such as getting approved and filing for the appropriate permits, there is a list of other rules that hosts, and subsequently, their guests, have to follow. These obligations are set in place in order to protect hosts from liability concerns and well as a way to ensure an adequate experience for anyone using Airbnb's app. Some of them may seem obvious, while others are you might not expect. Here are the ten weirdest rules Airbnb has that you never knew existed.
10 Cancellations Are Taken Seriously
Airbnb explicitly states in their handbook that cancellations are taken very seriously. It remains a staple requirement as an Airbnb host to avoid canceling their guests' reservations at all costs. This makes sense as it puts a black mark on the service as a whole, with fairly no consequences to the host since the renter wouldn't be able to leave a review.
9 They Can't Ask You To Lie
In order to be an Airbnb host, you have to check with your local regulations to ensure that your area, condominium, and home are eligible to provide Airbnb services. Some places, namely condominiums, do not allow Airbnb services to take place on their property. Because Airbnb cannot possibly hope to have information on each of these places throughout the world, this responsibility lies solely with the host.
However, people determined to run an Airbnb will sometimes forgo this rule. In order to remain undetected, sometimes hosts will ask their guests to refrain from mentioning Airbnb while staying. This is obviously forbidden as is using a property for rental purposes without the proper licensing.
8 They Have To Pay Hotel Taxes
According to state regulations, some Airbnb hosts will have to pay hotel taxes for their Airbnb services. These short-term bookings are only allowed through permits or in certain zoning areas, but all of them are subject to the same taxes as a standard hotel. Because of this mandatory fee, most of the time, Airbnb hosts will include this in the final price of their listing.
7 They Should Be Themed
This isn't a hard and fast rule, but Airbnb encourages personalized touches to Airbnb homes. They don't want the rental properties on their website to give the appearance of a mass chain hotel. This is why themes rooms relating to popular culture (i.e. Harry Potter or Game of Thrones) have been rampant on the site in recent years. In fact, hopeful Airbnb hosts have a better chance of being accepted if they provide unique accommodations.
Airbnb specifically says, "Properties should have a unique, independent environment and style (for example, boutique or lifestyle hotels...). They also say that common rooms should be colorful and vibrant and that guest rooms with local or unique touches are highly encouraged.
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6 They Need Basic Fire and Health Supplies
Every single Airbnb should be equipped with supplies in case of an emergency. This includes a fire extinguisher, local emergency numbers, and a First-Aid kit. This rule isn't always followed by Airbnb hosts and isn't always explicitly detailed in the room's description. However, Airbnb notes that all hosts should be doing this as well as outlining where to find them. Airbnb specifically lists that homes should have "a functioning smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, and that your property meets government safety guidelines for your area (e.g., International Building Code). Ensure you provide a functioning fire extinguisher and complete required maintenance."
5 No Paid Reviews
There is a lot of competition when it comes to Airbnb. The fastest way to grow a reputation as an Airbnb host is to get glowing reviews by former guests. However, this can be hard if your listing is buried in the rest of the app's options. One way that hosts try to climb their way to the top is by eliciting in paid reviews. These are positive reviews that come from people that haven't actually stayed at the Airbnb property. This is strictly not allowed and can result in a property being taken off Airbnb. Likewise, hosts who offer to discount or outright pay an actual guest for a five-star review are also breaking the rules.
4 They Don't Tolerate Extortion
On the other hand, this same rule applies to Airbnb guests. Extortion of any kind is a steady rule that Airbnb highlights. Their website says their policy pertains to "Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review." Anyone who ignores this rule is acting against Airbnb guidelines and policies which may result in a guest's suspension or termination of their Airbnb account.
3 Hosts Are Responsible For Guest's Noise
Airbnb tells their hosts that they should be wary of guest noise and potential complaints at all times. Rules and guidelines pertaining to pets and babies should be made aware, especially in Airbnb locations that are in close quarters. Airbnb hosts have gotten themselves into a fair share of trouble for parties being held at their residence. It's important to outline your stance and "party policies" as a host because Airbnb will not accept any responsibility on that end.
2 Airbnb's Should Be Experiences, Not Transactions
While Airbnb hosts are not responsible for the full planning of their guest's vacation, they are still expected to provide unique experiences. Airbnb prides itself on its rare accommodations and has guidelines for their hosts to take the same honor in their property. They specifically detail in their expectations that hosts do not treat their guests as a simple transaction. It goes on to say on their website, "we still expect that every listing is not just a transaction, but a place for others to belong."
1 Hosts Should Be Available At All Times
Reliability is a key trait that all Airbnb hosts have to oblique. This means being available at all times and addressing any concerns within a timely manner. Running an Airbnb puts hosts at an on-call methodology, meaning you can't simply ignore a guest while they are using your property. Breaking commitments and being unresponsive is a quick way to get an Airbnb property unlisted from the site. Their website even says, "You should not have persistently and pervasively low ratings, be unresponsive during booking or throughout a stay, fail to provide an adequate point of contact for hosting, or refuse to participate in our resolution process."