For Airbnb hosts, it’s not a matter of “if”, but rather “when”. At some point, some guest is going to try to sneak in more people or pets than their reservation allows. For some hosts, this could even be a pretty regular occurrence.
Of course, such gate-crashing attempts don’t necessarily mean these guests are trying to throw an epic rager. The guests could just have a last-minute change of plans, with a few buddies looking to squeeze into the car (and your house) at the last minute. Either way, unregistered guests can be a big issue for Airbnb hosts. Many hosts charge more for larger parties, which produce more wear and tear, use more linens and towels, and may even exceed insurance-mandated limits on occupancy. Not to mention the messy legal or insurance implications of something going wrong in your house when it involves somebody who wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.
And when guests do break this rule, things can get tense. Hosts may feel that they have to let it slide, lest they upset a guest before the all-important review (the omnipresent Sword of Damocles that all Airbnb hosts always have an eye towards) is submitted.
Which means the best way to solve the too-many guests problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Good Airbnb hosting is all about setting very clear expectations early, and creating situations where guests feel compelled to follow rules on their own. A system that I’ve found works for the too-many-guests issue: A combination of a simple gadget and the right words in my Airbnb listing.
First, the gadget. I recently installed a Ring Video Doorbell in my front door. This device is essentially a combination doorbell, security camera, and walkie-talkie. When somebody buzzes the house (or even approaches the door unannounced), I get an alert on my phone that can take me to a video feed of the action. From there, I have the ability to talk to whoever is approaching.