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Sneaking in Extra Guests Airbnb: What You Should Know

Explore the issue of sneaking in extra guests at Airbnb properties. Understand the risks, learn about Airbnb and VRBO policies, and discover preventive measures to ensure a positive experience for both hosts and guests.


By Derick Hargrave

Published on June 7, 2023

Have you ever booked an Airbnb and wondered, “Can I sneak in an extra guest?” Or perhaps you’re a host who’s had to deal with unannounced visitors. Either way, this is a hot topic in the Airbnb community. Let’s dive into the issue, understand the risks, and explore some preventive measures.

The Issue with Sneaking in Extra Guests on Airbnb

Extra guests sneaking into an Airbnb property
Extra guests sneaking into an Airbnb property

Host Experiences

As a host, you might have had the experience of finding more guests in your property than initially booked. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of unannounced guests and overcrowding. This can lead to security concerns, especially if you’re not living on the property.

Consequences for Guests

On the other hand, as a guest, you might think sneaking in an extra friend, or two isn’t a big deal. But did you know that Airbnb has policies regarding this? You could face extra charges or even negative reviews from your host.

Understanding Airbnb and VRBO Policies

Guest Limitations

Airbnb and VRBO have clear policies about guest limitations. When you book a property, you’re expected to state the exact number of guests. Any changes should be communicated to the host.

Extra Fees and Penalties

You could face additional charges if you bring in extra guests without notifying your host. Some hosts have a per-person fee for extra guests. Violating this policy could also lead to penalties from Airbnb or VRBO. You can view the average fees charged for a guest in over 500 cities by viewing our short-term rental analytics guides.

Host Responsibilities

Hosts have a responsibility to enforce these policies. They need to communicate their rules clearly and take action if guests violate them. This could include reporting the issue to Airbnb or VRBO.

Risks of Sneaking in Extra Guests

Safety Issues

The risks of overcrowding in Airbnb properties for hosts and guests
The risks of overcrowding in Airbnb properties for hosts and guests

Sneaking in extra guests isn’t just a policy violation—it can also pose safety risks. Overcrowding can lead to accidents or damage to the property. Plus, unauthorized guests might not be covered by Airbnb’s insurance.

In some cases, there could be legal ramifications. For example, if a property is licensed to accommodate only a certain number of guests, exceeding that limit could violate local laws.

Negative Reviews and Account Termination

Finally, hosts can leave negative reviews for guests who break the rules. This could affect your ability to book in the future. In severe cases, Airbnb might even terminate your account.

Preventive Measures

Security Measures

As a host, you can take several security measures to prevent guests from sneaking in extra people. This could include installing security cameras, conducting regular check-ins, or using monitoring systems.

House Rules

Setting clear house rules is another effective preventive measure. Make sure your guests understand your policy on extra guests and the penalties for violations.

Effective Communication

Communication is key. Have open discussions with your guests before they book. Be transparent about your rules and expectations, and keep the lines of communication open during their stay.

Dealing with the Situation

Confronting the Guests

 If you find yourself in a situation where guests have snuck in extra people, handling it with diplomacy and assertiveness is important. Direct communication is key. Politely but firmly remind them of your house rules and the agreed-upon number of guests.

Reporting to Airbnb

If the Situation doesn’t resolve, you might need to report it to Airbnb. They have a support system in place for such issues. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation, like messages or proof of extra guests, to support your claim.

Seeking Resolution

Finally, you might need to seek a resolution through Airbnb’s Resolution Center. This could involve mediation between you and the guest, or you might need to claim refunds or compensation for any extra costs incurred due to the extra guests.

Written by

As a content writer passionate about travel and hospitality, I have a unique perspective on short-term rentals. With years of experience creating engaging, informative content for various clients, I enjoy communicating the benefits and appeal of short-term rental properties. I've been an Airbnb host for the last three years, consistently providing my guests with a high level of hospitality.