Airbnb Guest Brought Extra People, What to Do?

Airbnb Guest Brought Extra People – What to Do

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One of the major frustrations that Airbnb hosts face is when guests sneak more people in than they booked for. You might not always know if an Airbnb guest brought extra people. So what can you do when you find out?

Guests often try doing this to avoid additional per-person fees or to squeeze in more than the maximum occupancy. As a host, you should be proactive in discouraging guests from doing this. In the end, it will add wear and tear on your property as well as utility costs.

How Will I Know if a Guest Brought Extra People?

If you utilize self-check-in, you might not be aware when guests are ignoring your maximum occupancy. It may be a good idea to invest in a security camera for the exterior of the property, and be sure to provide proper notice in your listing that cameras are present.

Another easy way to find out is to ask your cleaning service. A cleaner usually has a good idea if more people stayed than are allowed. They can often judge based on the amount of mess left behind, and the number of consumables or linens used.

Your cleaner may see two or three fully packed vehicles in the drive away when they arrive to clean. This would be a bit suspicious when most listings sleep 5 or 6 at most. So don’t be afraid to ask your vendors or co-hosts what they’ve seen.

Why Extra Guests Can Be a Bad Thing

You may be thinking, “If I don’t notice, why does it matter if an Airbnb guest brought extra people?” Even if you don’t know about it, having guests break your occupancy rules can have serious consequences for you. Most cities or municipalities have limits on how many people can occupy a private home or short-term rental.

Here’s what you’re facing when you stay in the dark:

  • You risk a citation or fine.
  • Even if there are no restrictions, you’re still increasing the wear and tear on your property.
  • They’re using extra consumables, and increasing your utilities.
  • As the number of guests increases, so does the risk of an injury or accident on your property.

Luckily, in the Smart Home age, it’s extremely easy to set up an always-on security system. That way, you can check those cameras from anywhere in the world using your smartphone.

What Should You Do If An Airbnb Guest Brought Extra People?

Most new hosts are afraid to approach a guest that’s broken the house rules for fear of a bad review. But we recommend confronting them anyway since it’s disrespectful for guests to take advantage of hosts. While it seems harmless, they’re essentially taking money out of your pocket as well as breaking the house rules they agreed to when booking. Typically, if they do write a retaliatory review, you can have it removed.

How to Approach a Guest that has Snuck in More People

Guests usually respond more positively if you give them the benefit of the doubt. You can say something like this:

“I’m sure it was just an honest mistake, but you have more people staying than the booking allows.”

If it’s only one or two more people, you may allow them to pay an extra fee and carry on, if you wish. Guests are usually apologetic and agree to the extra charges relatively easily when you approach it as an honest mistake. Even if it was intentional, don’t focus on “accusing” them, focus on the problem and the solution. Be firm, clear, and concise. Here’s a good example:

“There are more people here than the booking allows. There is an extra fee for additional, unlisted guests. Here’s how you can pay that fee.”

When you accuse them of intentionally circumventing your policies, you put them on the defensive. And you’ll wind up increasing your chances of a bad review. If they have brought a lot more people than the maximum occupancy, contact Airbnb and ask them to cancel the reservation. They will usually assist in asking the guests to leave.

How to Prevent Uninvited Airbnb Guests

Generally, this problem happens at some listings more than others. Unannounced, extra guests are more likely to show up in listings that have a lot of space relative to their maximum occupancy. Guests think they can bring their own air mattress and still have plenty of space.

Reconsider Your Pricing Strategy

It also happens with listings that are priced lower than other listings in their market. Why? Because they’re already trying to get the best pricing for the most people. Consider raising your minimum prices to avoid guests like these.

Add a Fee to Your House Rules

If you frequently have this problem with your listing, consider adding the following to the house rules:

Any guests beyond the number listed on your itinerary will be charged a penalty of $50 per person per night. We reserve the right to terminate your stay without refund if you exceed the maximum occupancy of (## guests)

You can also add this rule to your automated check-in messages. This may greatly reduce the number of times you run into this situation. When you do encounter the occasional misstep, Airbnb support can help enforce your rules and charge the guests the fees you set. Guests may call after seeing the message and disclose their extra guests so you’re able to change their booking accordingly.

While it can seem intimidating to charge extra fees, remember that your ideal guests won’t think twice about it. And the extra rule will be there to protect you when you need it.

Don’t Advertise Options for Extra Guests

If you’re charging an extra fee in your listing for additional guests, consider removing it. You’ll be able to increase your nightly fee and remove that open invitation for guests to lie. This strategy reduces the number of variables on your pricing and makes it much easier to measure your search rankings. Remember that fees for extra guests should be a backup option, not something you always offer.

How do you handle a situation where an Airbnb guest brought extra people? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author Kevin Kelsey

Originally from Connecticut, Kevin moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked his way up to becoming an editor on award-winning reality TV shows. Kevin owns 4 short term rentals in Southern California and founded AirHost Academy to help other hosts improve their business.