A guide to setting house rules for holiday rentals

A guide to setting house rules for holiday rentals

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Create extra reassurance by setting clear house rules. From pet policies to safety instructions, discover standard and additional rules you can set for peace of mind.

In the world of holiday rentals, you have the power to create a relaxing hosting experience. One of the keys to that peace of mind is to set house rules, which help to provide extra reassurance that guests will look after your property during their stay. 

“Having the option to add house rules and really design your listing to communicate key information with guests is really helpful,” says Zoey Berghoff, a US-based holiday rental host. “Overall, it makes the host experience better because your guests aren’t asking you questions every two seconds, and it’s also better for the guest experience because it helps them understand what they can expect.”

Standard house rules

Here are some standard house rules you can tailor to your property on Booking.com that guests must read and agree to before they can book:

  • Pets: Decide whether guests can bring their furry friends.

  • Parties or events: Share your stance on gatherings and celebrations.

  • Smoking: Let your guests know if your space has a smoke-free policy.

  • Quiet hours: Specify when guests need to keep the noise down.

  • Curfew: Limit the hours your guests can leave or enter your property.

  • Check-in and checkout times: Share your preferred timings for arrival and departure.

  • Children: Highlight if your property is suitable for little ones.

  • Maximum number of guests: Define the occupancy for your space.

Tip: In addition to these rules, you can customise policies regarding damage deposits for extra reassurance. 

Additional rules to consider

In addition to standard house rules, here are some extra house rules that you could consider communicating directly to guests – for example, in your welcome pack:

  • Extra visitors: Share your preference regarding additional guests.

  • Parking: If on-site parking isn't available, guide guests to nearby options.

  • Safety and security: Emphasise the importance of security by providing clear instructions for actions such as locking doors and turning on/off alarm systems.

  • Food and waste: Inform guests of where they can dispose of waste, including instructions on recycling.

  • Shared areas and amenities: Outline rules for any communal spaces or amenities you may have.

Tip: Before setting house rules, make sure you review our non-discrimination guidelines

A guide to setting house rules for holiday rentals 2


The benefits of house rules

In addition to providing extra reassure, house rules can help you to:

Foster connections
House rules can go beyond mere practicality. When guests understand and respect your house rules it can help foster connections between you and your guests.

Protect your property
House rules also serve as a way to protect your holiday rental. By setting clear expectations you can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that your property is treated well.

Set the tone
Your house rules can set the tone for the entire stay. For example, if you want to create a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, your rules might reflect that.

Save time
Setting clear house rules can save both you and your guests valuable time. For instance, it can help reduce guest queries and in turn, the time it takes to respond to frequently asked questions. 

How to communicate your house rules


There are multiple ways for you to communicate your house rules – the more ways you communicate them, the better awareness your guests will have.

In listings
Clearly communicate your house rules in your listing description. This gives potential guests a chance to understand what to expect before they book, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings.

Welcome packs 
Include a copy of your house rules in your welcome pack. This provides a physical reference for guests during their stay.

Visual cues
Use creative visual cues around your property to remind guests of important rules. For example, you could have a sign by the pool reminding guests to shower before swimming.
 

Best practices for setting house rules

Keep your house rules up to date
As your property or hosting style evolves, your rules may need adjustments. Regularly review them to ensure they remain relevant.

Send rules in advance
Send your house rules to guests in advance of their stay. This gives them ample time to review and ask any questions. 

Be clear and transparent 
Create simple rules that are clear and concise, and where necessary, explain the reasons behind it. Guests appreciate hosts who are fair and communicative.

Customise your rules
Think about the specific aspects of your property or your hosting style that make it distinct, and tailor your rules to reflect these qualities. For instance, if you have a beautiful garden, you might have rules about guests enjoying the outdoor space responsibly.

By considering these points and implementing them effectively, you can create an inviting environment that ensures a smooth and enjoyable stay experience for both you and your guests.

 

How this holiday rental host attracts global travellers with Booking.com
Stay in charge of your property with Booking.com

House rules are one way we enable you to stay in charge of your property and listing. Discover more benefits of joining Booking.com. 

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Takeaway
  • House rules can set clear expectations for your guests, helping them to decide whether your property is a good fit for their stay
  • Utilise Booking.com's extranet to set standard house rules for your property that guests must read and agree to before they can complete their booking
  • Beyond the basics, consider additional rules you can cover with your guests that can provide you with additional reassurance